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3 Ways Bricks-And-Mortar Retailers Can Stand Out In A Digital Landscape

Digital Media

How can bricks-and-mortar retailers gain ground in a shifting retail landscape? An article on the Independent Retailer website highlights three ways physical stores can still claim a stake in a digital retail world.

  1. Use dashboard technology to manage retail data: Web retailers saw 28 percent growth in 2012 over the previous year, and online sales are expected to grow another 9 to 12 percent in 2013. With a retailer’s web operations getting bigger, it’s increasing the demand for dashboards and business intelligence (BI).

    Dashboards track order fulfillment, stock and point-of-sale purchases. But it’s important to be able to slice and dice the information to see trends and same-store sales. A well-run retail sales department has key performance indicators and goals. For example, its goal might be to have $25,000 in sales per day for each store. The information that dashboards provide is critical to achieving business goals.

    Having a flexible BI system is important for most retailers. They don’t want the canned report that comes with the system. They want to modify it and view the data in different ways. Investing in a flexible BI system is the best way to make this visual data customizable.

  2. Ensure your website is easily viewable on tablets: Industry research found users “are almost twice as likely to make a purchase on a tablet device than a smartphone,” the article reports. That’s likely due to the image quality on tablet displays; 75 percent of consumers ranked picture quality as “critical” or “very important” in their mobile device decision making. And considering that images display differently on each platform, it is vital that a retailer’s website is viewable on mobile technologies, especially tablets.
  3. Embrace “showrooming” as a part of great customer service: Showrooming — when customers check the product in-store, but purchase it online — sounds like it takes away business, but a retailer’s physical location helps to drive up the chain’s online sales. That’s why “now, more than ever, retailers need a showroom more than a store,” the Independent Retailer article explains.

As online sales continue to grow, bricks-and-mortar businesses should partner with an online distributor. Also, physical locations play an important role in the customer interaction with the retail brand. As the article notes, “the transaction may happen online, but the experience happens with your associates.”

Source: Independent Retailer, March 2013