Online sales continue to grow strongly as customers enjoy the relative ease of buying online. Shoppers want to buy, when and how they want to buy and have options to pick up in store or home delivery. Plus, they want fast home delivery and easy options to return products that aren’t right for them.
Online retailers are doing as much as they can to engage with the shopper and provide a personalised experience. It’s a lot harder to create add-on sales online and traditional retailers always convert more sales in store. However, with advances in technology, online retailers will be closing the gap when it comes to creating personalised experiences and making suggestions of additional products and services.
What is very interesting though is the number of traditional online retailers that are now venturing into setting up their own physical stores. It is much easier to build trust on a face to face level and create a personalised experience.
One thing is for sure and that is online is here to stay and will become an even bigger part of how we shop in the future.
So how do traditional retailers successfully compete with online? Here are a few of my thoughts:
Retailers have to embrace online and must offer their customers a seamless way to browse, check stock, check pricing and order for delivery or click and collect.
Boring retail is a sure-fire way to see sales slide and end up in store closures. Retailers have to work hard at providing a great in store experience from both the store look and feel and the people.
Retailers have to connect with their customers and provide more than just a place to purchase products. Being innovative and hosting yoga classes, offering styling advice, a place where like-minded people can meet and have coffee, connecting deeper with their local community etc.
Retail is much more challenging and we have seen how stores that struggle to innovate and stay relevant are really struggling. Embracing change, along with technology and a desire to hire, train and coach the right staff will help combat all these challenges.
Roger Simpson – CEO, The Retail Solution and Author of “The Ultimate Retail Sales Experience” With over 35 years’ industry experience, Roger Simpson is recognized as Australia’s #1 Authority on customer ROI in the retail industry and as a global expert on staff coaching, customer service, and selling skills.