Brick & Mortar Vs. Online
3 Tips On How Brick-and-Mortar Stores Can Compete With Online Stores
Online shopping has changed the retail environment & the way we shop forever!
The figures don’t lie, according to the U.S. Census Bureau:
The estimate of U.S retail e-commerce sales for the second quarter of 2014 totaled 70 billion $!!
(An increase of 4.8 % from the first quarter of 2014 and 6 % of all retail sales in the U.S).
This article is for you, the proud owner of a brick-and-mortar establishment. Who now needs to adapt to this new reality, in order to stay relevant, increase sales and most important figure out how to lure potential customers out of their homes and away from their keyboards!
In order to do that, you need to understand people and human behavior: Most of us love the convenience of online shopping. We can shop from the comfort of our home in a matter of seconds, without having to stand in line or get stuck in traffic.
Yet we continue to shop in-store. Why is that? The answer is quite simple: there are certain in-store experiences that we cannot get online.
Yes, shopping online is convenient. Yes, we don’t need to go anywhere and can stay home in our slippers and pajamas.
Here are 3 simple tips to help you compete with online stores:
1. Human Interaction
Abraham Maslow an American psychologist (who was one of the founders of humanistic psychology ) was best known for creating Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. According to Maslow, one of our basic needs as human beings is belonging. Meaning it is important for people to feel loved and accepted by other people, and that need for human interaction is what drives human behavior.
In other words we all enjoy interacting with others. That’s why it’s very important to have knowledgeable and patient sales staff in your store, in order to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere and provide the customers with the guidance they need. This is one of the top advantages, brick-and-mortar stores have over digital online stores: The cold digital world is lacking human interaction.
Brick-and-mortar stores can capitalize on that, in order to attract customers and increase sales.
2. In-Store Atmosphere
One of the main benefits of brick-and-mortar retailers is the ability to create an atmosphere in their stores that will encourage customers to linger…and shop…for things they don’t need. They can tell a story & create a whole new in-store fantasy world, for their customers.
Imagine yourself walking through the beauty department of a busy department store. You instantly feel rejuvenated and carefree surrounded by intoxicating fragrances. Sweet soft music is playing in the background, your mind wonders and you start thinking of your next vacation, or the one you took last year and suddenly you feel you simply must have that perfume! That experience! That ‘must have’ experience is almost impossible to create in an online store.
3. Instant Gratification
Today’s consumers lead very busy lives, and wish to have simplicity in their lives and avoid hassles as much as they can. That’s why they like to have what they want right now; not tomorrow, not next week, now!
Certain aspects of online shopping are not simple at all and make it impossible to get instant gratification: The registration process can be exhausting at times, not to mention the shipping costs and having to wait for your purchase to arrive. When it comes to brick-and-mortar stores, customers have the luxury of taking the product home once they pay for it, and enjoy instant gratification.