Nowadays, people are buying online at a rate never seen before. Should retail stores shake to their cores? Not really. Even before the pandemic, retail store owners are still investing in physical shops. Successful e-commerce stores still hope to open physical stores in the future. Nothing has changed except for the fact that their plans have been delayed. Physical stores may have slowed down in recent years, but they are not completely going away. They may have faced more challenges in the past decade, but they can continue to thrive given the right circumstances.
Unfortunately, many business owners do not understand that managing a retail store is about giving customers what they want in terms of experience and convenience. If you do not make it easy for them to shop in your store, why would they make an effort when e-commerce stores are the easier options? Many business owners do not realize that the things they do not do are what is pushing customers away.
Is it hard to find your store? Are you in the middle of nowhere or perhaps in the thick of the business district but somehow obscure because of all the tall buildings? That’s why you need to ensure two things: you can easily be found in the maps, and you have a custom address stone in front to identify your store.
Dropping a pin in your exact business location will help customers find you easier. Plus, make sure that the pin leads your customers to either the parking lot or the main entrance. Make separate pins for both customers—the one who needs to park the car and the one who took the bus or train to your store. The easier you make your store accessible for customers, the more likely it is that they’ll visit it.
If your physical store has no access to a parking lot, you will lose many potential customers. Even a paid parking lot will still be acceptable for customers compared to none at all. You do not need a huge parking lot; you just need enough space to accommodate the average number of customers who visit your store. Again, making sure that they have at least access to ample parking space will make them more likely to visit your store.
This is where the problem with online and offline shopping usually converges. Customers want to add items in their online shopping car, check them out, pay for them, and pick them up in a physical store. They also want to return items to a physical store rather than send them via courier. They also want a shared shopping cart across their desktop computers and phone, which means that items they add to their desktop computers will also be available on their phones.
Do you know that only a handful of companies offer this kind of integration? Customers want to find in physical stores what they find in the e-commerce store. They want to be offered the same deals and discounts. Take an in-depth look at your store and e-commerce site. Are they separate entities, or are they integrated?
Cash-strapped customers may not have a credit card available to purchase items from your store. They do have jobs from which they earn enough to pay for the items in installments. Retailers can offer financing to break payments into smaller chunks. This is like a layaway term, except that the customer gets the item right away. More than 37% of customers say that this kind of scheme allows them to purchase big-ticket items.
But financing is not only for big purchases. Retailers are starting to offer it, too, for something as simple as clothes, bags, and shoes. For businesses that target Millennials and Generation Z, this is the most obvious choice for you. How can you make sure that they are going to pay for the purchases? There are a lot of great financial solutions providers. Check which kind of system is right for your business.
Consumer demand changes almost every day. Some will follow what is trendy while others will stick to the traditional. Others will applaud your business for being innovative, while some will say you are being too trendy. Keeping up with customers can be exhausting, but it is something that you shouldn’t overlook. Because while you are trudging the tiresome process of responding to what your customers want, they’re also becoming more loyal to your brand. That is always a great thing.