Bringing Brick-and-Mortar Retailers into the Online Arena: A Survival Guide


In the age of digital dominance, brick-and-mortar retailers have faced an unprecedented challenge. Once the cornerstone of shopping experiences, physical stores compete against the vastness and convenience of the online marketplace. However, all is not lost. With strategic adaptation and a focused online presence, brick-and-mortar retailers can survive and thrive in their local areas, retaining and acquiring customers.

Mobility all started with a walking stick, or so the saying goes. Brick-and-mortar shops, once bustling hubs of commerce and community, faced a new reality with the advent of the Internet. With access to endless information and options, customers began shifting their purchasing habits online. The convenience and seemingly infinite choice offered by e-commerce platforms lured them away from physical stores.

Then came the unexpected blow of the COVID-19 pandemic, which accelerated this trend, leaving many traditional retailers reeling. Suddenly, the once vibrant high streets and out-of-town shops struggled to survive in the face of lockdowns and restrictions.

While enjoying the convenience of online shopping, customers began to miss the tangible experience of browsing through physical stores. The lack of choices in brick-and-mortar establishments left them disappointed and disconnected. Once a significant factor in consumer behaviour, brand loyalty took a back seat to immediacy and availability.

But hope is on the horizon, especially for mobility retailers and other brick-and-mortar businesses. It’s time to fight back and reclaim lost ground online.

The key lies in leveraging the unique strengths of physical stores while embracing the opportunities presented by the digital world. Here are some strategies to consider:

  1. Harness the Power of Expertise: Brick-and-mortar retailers often boast a wealth of knowledge and expertise in their respective fields. This expertise can be a powerful tool for engaging customers online. Whether through informative blog posts, how-to videos, or live Q&A sessions, sharing valuable insights can help establish your store as a trusted authority in your niche.
  2. Create an Online Presence: Establishing a solid online presence is essential for reaching customers beyond your local area. This includes having a user-friendly website, active social media profiles, and an e-commerce platform for online sales. Ensure your online presence reflects your brick-and-mortar store’s unique personality and offerings.
  3. Capture Customer Data: One of the biggest challenges for brick-and-mortar retailers is capturing customer data for follow-up communication. Implementing email sign-up forms, loyalty programs, or even in-store surveys can help you gather valuable contact information from online visitors and in-store customers.
  4. Personalise the Experience: Personalise the online shopping experience using your customer data. Send targeted email campaigns, offer personalised recommendations based on past purchases, and meaningfully engage with customers on social media. You can foster stronger relationships and encourage repeat business by making customers feel valued and understood.
  5. Provide Seamless Omnichannel Experiences: Strive to create a seamless customer experience across online and offline channels. Allow customers to research products online and seamlessly transition to purchasing in-store. Offer options like click-and-collect or in-store pickup to cater to varying preferences.
  6. Focus on Customer Service: Finally, always appreciate the power of exceptional customer service. Make it easy for customers to contact you with questions or concerns online or offline. Respond promptly to inquiries, address any issues or complaints with care, and go above and beyond to exceed customer expectations.

In conclusion, while the rise of online shopping has posed significant challenges for brick-and-mortar retailers, it has also opened up new opportunities for growth and innovation. Brick-and-mortar retailers can compete effectively in their local areas and beyond by embracing digital marketing strategies, leveraging their expertise, and prioritising customer engagement. With the right approach, they can retain their existing customer base and attract new customers in an increasingly competitive landscape.

To discuss your digital marketing strategy, contact Mike at info@mgretailconsulting.co.uk or tel 07480801256.


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