In any business, online or offline, the physical aspect of growing your retail business does pop up! You do have online businesses that will need a physical outlet, even though it might primarily be ‘online’. Take a look at this contributed article and see if the information provided can help you in growing your retail business.
The Physical World: The Importance Of A Real Location To Grow Your Retail Business
Growing your business becomes a considerable challenge every time you go past a certain metaphorical checkpoint. Whether you have accrued more custom, or you have more funding, regardless of the industry that you are operating in, you need to consider different approaches to growing your company so that it proves beneficial, not just for you and your customers, but the business infrastructure.
Retail business is something right now that has a lot of question marks hanging over it. This is especially in the case of those businesses that operate with a physical store, because the rise of e-commerce has, in essence, rendered a lot of physical locations redundant, and as people can make their living purely online now, is there much of a point in having a physical location anymore?
When we see the figures that more people are buying their products online, in conjunction with the Black Friday offers, holiday sales, and the fact that the items can be delivered to your door, there is little need for a consumer to venture out to the shops. But, a physical location is more important than you realize, and here is why…
It Gives Customers A Reason To Come To You
The common problem consumers have when they shop online is that they have to do a little mathematical equation to ensure that the product they buy is fit for its purpose. So, with something like a clothes store, it is a gamble if you order an item online. If it is delivered to your door and it doesn’t fit, then you’ve got the hassle of sending the item back, getting a refund, and so forth.
It’s so important to give customers a reason to come to you in a physical sense because this is the olive branch that online stores can seldom offer. There are things that e-commerce is trying to implement to make the experience more “total” for the customer, such as augmented reality, but in the meantime, that human interaction is something that customers still need to ensure they make the right purchase. We can all browse specifications online, but this only gives us half of the answers when it comes to deciding whether we want to purchase a product or not.
It Is Your Domain
Running a physical store has many challenges, but it’s the equivalent of someone buying their own house, they are able to put their own stamp on the place. You can dress up the premises as much as you desire to attract foot traffic and custom, as well as future customers.
You can make the most of flag banners, merchandising techniques, in combination with a well-thought-out store layout, as well as uniforms and branding that communicates very specific attitude and ethos. You can present some of this online, but the fact of the matter is, customers can maintain a distance when they are shopping online. You can click “on” and click “off” the site, but when you venture into a store, you are stepping into their world. And this is where your staff can get to work.
Promoting Trust Between Customer And Business
Sometimes we all need a person to speak to. A real person. With e-commerce or any online store, the issue with trying to speak to someone via their inbuilt messenger box can be a long, drawn-out affair. When we have a person we can maintain eye contact with, and ascertain certain truths and whether the salesperson is just giving us a load of bull, it gives us, as a customer, a better-informed opinion whether to make that transaction.
Trust is a very difficult thing to acquire online, and while websites can be verified, and you can do your own research with sites like Yell, or even by checking their social media accounts, sometimes that’s not enough. Especially for the older generations of customers, they want to be able to speak to somebody and get a problem solved far quicker than they can online.
Trust has a big part to play in retail, and it is the underlying current between all transactions in retail. So you need the relevant staff members to put forth this trust. It’s more difficult nowadays, but if you have the tenacity to further equip your staff in a unique approach to salesmanship, as opposed to those outdated methods of being akin to a used car salesman, this will benefit you in many ways. This will get you repeat customers, customer loyalty, that builds trust between the business and the customer.
It Gives You A Unique Angle
There are two ways that a physical store location does this. Firstly, because businesses are going online and doing away with the physical store, this makes you stand out. And because you are offering that little something that online stores, for the most part, are unable to do, in other words, face-to-face interaction, you can develop relationships with people one-on-one.
Secondly, the grassroots approach to building a business in a local sense is lost online. You register a business, and you go online, and it’s just one other business in the world. By having a physical store, you can be relevant in a local sense. Communities are a key part of the marketing process that online businesses tend to not think about. Promoting a local interest, and being relevant to local issues, will be one of those ways that you can get repeat customers and customer loyalty.
And this is not saying that you should ignore having an online store, it’s certainly beneficial as an additional marketing tool, and it gives your customers more communication with you. But when you are looking to build important relationships with customers, and you are starting out, but traffic, as opposed to web traffic, is something that shouldn’t be underestimated.
A physical location can be so much more than a poorly designed store, it can be your eyes and ears to customer trends in a local sense, but it can be your gateway to improved customer relations. So remember, your physical store is also your gateway to your business.
Images courtesy of Pixabay and Flickr.
If you would like to learn more about creating an article like this one, CLICK HERE!