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How Can Brick and Mortars Fight Back in the Age of Amazon?

Wednesday, January 16, 2019 | Comments (0)

Retailers have faced a lot of challenges with the advent of e-commerce websites. This technology has evened out the playing field, especially for small and medium enterprises or SMEs.

For the first time, retailers can start a store up without putting up too high a capital. They have no physical outlet to take care of, so they have lower operating expenses than brick-and-mortar SMEs. Plus, on the customer side, they -- apparently -- offer convenience and privacy in shopping.

However, that doesn’t mean brick-and-mortar stores cannot compete well with e-commerce stores like eBay, Amazon, Shopify and so many others. There are many ways that retail outlets can fight back, in a figurative sense, against these obstacles to profits and success.

Team Up With Your Landlord

Retail stores are usually tenants in arcades, malls and department stores. Bear in mind that these properties are also business entities by themselves. If you get a lot of human traffic, it benefits them too!

If you want to revitalize your retail outlet, it would make sense to approach the officer-in-charge of the establishment where you’re a tenant in. They can help you out by giving your store more exposure through outdoor advertising on their premises.

All you really need to do is come up -- in tandem with them, of course -- with a promotional event that you and your landlord can market together through social media and the traditional channels.

Speedy Service is the Key

By now, you’d have realized that people prefer shopping online because of the convenience that this route offers them. After all, you only need to is sit in front of your computer and access the online store’s catalogue. If you like something, you place an order and wait for it to arrive.

It may sound impossible, but you can actually match that. Your main advantage is that you’re located within the same area as your customers. Your buyers won’t have to wait for 2 days (in an express delivery setting) for their package to arrive. Offer same-day delivery if you can. Give them superb customer service with an eye for helping them find what they need conveniently and quickly.

Offer Personalization

One of the things that offline stores can offer and most online stores can’t is personalization. On the other hand, as long as you train your people right, your retail outlet can provide a customer service that’s totally customized according to your individual customer’s requirements.

For instance, you can train your sales representatives to constantly engage with your customers while they shop, giving the impression that they are there to make sure that these buyers find exactly what they need. Everyone should be warm, approachable and able to upsell courteously. The trick here is to make each individual customer feel that everyone in your store wants to help them and, thus, win their loyalty.

If You Can’t Beat Them…

Join them! As mentioned earlier, opening up a retail store is easy as counting from one until three. This is the most direct method of competing with Amazon and other e-commerce stores - play the game by their rules! Open an online version of your retail outlet using any of the e-commerce solutions you can find online.

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