PLYMOUTH, MI - JULY 17, 2016: Culinary outlets, shops, and businesses line the sidewalk along South Main Street in this quaint suburb of Detroit.
Recent times have not been very favorable for retail stores. There’s a consistency in the kind of news we get from such stores these days, like Sears, expressing uncertainty about their future. Toys R Us, Ralph Lauren, and The Limited are shutting down their stores. While JC Penney has also announced the particular stores it will be closing.

With such news, it does seem that retail stores are dying. Shopping malls might not remain the way they are today in a few years time. Looking at the current generation, brick and mortar retail isn’t what they are particularly looking for. These days, people prefer to relax at home, ordering the products they need through the internet.

We can relate to this, in the busy schedules of today, that shopping online is considered a much better option rather than walking around in a mall and getting tired going from store to store.

This also poses a problem for the owners and stakeholders of brick and mortar stores. Can they survive? If so, then how will they survive these changes? Below, we have some tips on how you can save your brick and mortar store from having your customers snatched by online sellers.

Become an Expert

You need to know the specifics of what you are dealing with – everything related to your product, from the perks offered to advice regarding the precautions necessary to be taken while using it. You need to make sure that customers are aware of the fact that you know the answers to their questions and queries. Providing knowledgeable support to your customer at your store is a great way to showcase yourself as a business offering something that is not offered by competitors. One of the most important doubts that a customer has when purchasing products online are the details of the product other than those mentioned on the webpage. In such a situation, consumers prefer to head to a brick and mortar store in order to get a hands-on experience with the product they are interested in. They come with questions and, if you can answer them clearly and accurately, customers are sure to buy from your retail store instead of an online counterpart.

Build an In-Store Experience

Unlike in the past when retail stores could sell enough just by displaying their products for sale, these days you need to define an experience that sets your brick and mortar store apart from something that customers are able to find online.

You need to provide a unique experience relevant to your brand in the store. This might be displaying your products in an interactive way, including details about your products that would otherwise not be found online. Try to increase the interactions that your store staff has with customers. This should not be any kind of interaction as emphasized above, it should offer knowledge. Another innovative idea is to engage a customer’s five human senses (smell, touch, sight, sound, and taste) during their interaction with a product. Of course, you can’t engage all senses at the same time, but any kind of engagement gives you an upper hand over online shopping. For example, bakeries can offer taste samples to their customers, a mobile phone brick and mortar store could offer a live interaction with different smartphones. It is recommended that you do your best to increase tactile interaction, which online shopping lacks, in order to help your retail business survive.

Going Online

It is commonly said; if you can’t beat them, join them. Similarly, it is an extremely good decision to transition your brick and mortar store into a hybrid between regular retail and online selling. After all, online selling has multitudes of benefits. Make the setting up of an e-commerce unit within your brand one of your priorities. Creating an amazing experience at your store along with offering a quick convenient online option will get you the best of both worlds.

Conclusion

You need to be aware of the needs of your customers and be quick in addressing them. In the current world of innovations, it is crucial for your brick and mortar business to adapt to different changes in order to retain and get new customers, sustaining its existence in the process.

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