Retail Success Dependent on Stores’ Ability to Differentiate
Amazon.com recently offered a promotion that riled up small business retailers across North America. The online retailer provided consumers with up to $15 in credit if they competitively price-checked via its mobile app while in retail stores.
While retailers have every right to be angry, many have even more reason to worry. This is most likely not the first of such promotions, and in fact, customers price-checking on their phones will likely become the norm in the near future. To combat this, small retailers must work to differentiate their stores from the online marketplace.
Retailers can do this by focusing on creating an in-store experience that cannot be recreated online, and offer additional services for its customers. Retailers can recreate the “in-store magic” by focusing on three main strategies:
1. Focus on entertaining customers, offering classes and additional services, and creating a memorable and remarkable in-store experience.
2. Reduce the store’s real estate and only carry the inventory that matters most in a clear, easy to navigate in-store layout.
3. Replace the commissions-focused sales robots with likable experts that customers can relate to–and trust.
To implement these strategies effectively, retailers can utilize advanced functionality in new point of sale software solutions such as retail customer relationship management (CRM), maintenance management, inventory analysis and management, and employee management.
As we move forward, retailer success won’t be defined as how well a store can compete against Amazon–but how much it doesn’t have to.