retail market trends

How Retail Stores Can Compete in the Digital World

Brick and mortar retail is constantly challenged by the state of digital competition which has caused many physical retailers to fail. As more consumers turn to on-line shopping, traditional retail stores must find ways to integrate their offerings with the online experience to go beyond satisfying their customers basic needs. What can retail stores do to compete?

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Competition is in the Palm of Your Customer’s Hand

Many consumers also love the ease and convenience of shopping online, and they flock to Google to find the information they seek on a potential purchase. Often, they are doing this research right from the palm of their hand.

Seeking answers online allows consumers to:

  • Avoid rude salespeople.
  • Get consistent, informative answers to their questions.
  • Browse without pressure.
  • Take as much – or as little – time as they want in getting information and checking prices.

What Retail Market Trends Can Help Brick and Mortar Stores Compete?

Many people still love walking into a store to shop. Nothing can beat the tangible aspects of holding, feeling and trying on your potential purchase. Here are 11 tips for making your retail store a destination that attracts shoppers.

a retail market trend that never changes: people still love to shop

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  • Use retail analytics to discover which products are the most popular and make sure that they keep these popular products stocked in prime locations in their physical stores. Apparel retailers must be sure that all sizes of popular clothing items are available to try on.
  • Make sure that sales staff are well trained in customer service and knowledgeable on all products carried in the store.  Consider equipping them with digital devices that give them the ability to quickly access the same information your customers are seeing.
  • Staff should know how to be helpful without being obtrusive. Greet customers as they enter the store and make sure sales staff are available away from the checkout to help customers find items.
  • Ensure a premium and fun shopping experience by optimizing the store layout and making sure displays are kept neat and visually appealing.
  • Respect your customers time! Keep checkout and fitting room lines short. When waits are necessary, offer your customers something to do while they wait.
  • Encourage customers to compare prices online.

Dixons Retail is encouraging its customers to compare prices with its major online rivals via its mobile app. Dixons recognises that customers will do this anyway, so it hopes to build trust by offering this transparent service. This transparency, along with the retailer’s new same-day delivery service, is changing Dixons’ relationship with its in-store customers.  – CloudSherpas.com 

  • Offer buy online, pick up in-store options for consumers that enjoy the convenience of browsing online with the speed of same-day pickup.
  • Allow easy in-store returns for online purchases. Make sure customers have the opportunity to exchange products they are returning for in-stock items of equal value.
  • Manage turnover of all inventory effectively. Loyal customers will want to see new and updated merchandise each time they return to the store.
  • Consider the seasons. Make sure you stock seasonal merchandise early enough to meet demand and clear it out quickly when the season is over.
  • Stock the right products for your local economy. When consumers have a steady job that generates plenty of disposable income, they tend to buy the products they love more often. Overall, spending on ‘wants’ vs. ‘needs’ goes up. When people are unemployed or are struggling to make ends meet, they aren’t going to be as quick to purchase something. They are going to hold onto their money in the hopes that they can make it through to their next paycheck. Make sure you have the right mix of products to meet the level of ‘wants’ and ‘needs’ spending in your area.

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Conclusion

Shopping for fun is not dead! If your retail store delivers an exceptional experience, it will be rewarded with loyal customers.

If you want to learn more about how to use retail analytics to improve in-store results, check out our guide below. Even if you don’t run a retail apparel store, you are sure to pick up some universal tips.

whitepaper download: in-store apparel retail analytics - beyond people counting