“Reports of the death of stores are greatly exaggerated” according to Retail Systems Research, author Brian Kilcourse in his article titled: Stores. Do shoppers really like them?
The retail apocalypse
The idea of a “retail apocalypse” became fashionable in 2015 and retail thought leader Scott Galloway declared that “people are no longer going to stores for products. They can find them for less online.”
However what I said in 2018 has now been proven to be true.
“To be successful, retailers need to operate at one of two ends of the market
– either premium or bargain.
The middle ground in between these two positions is steadily declining
as consumers choose to shop either where they get the best value for money
or where they get the best service and specialist advice.”
In my December Blog article I pointed out that “It is easy to get swept along in all of the hype about online retailing but it is important to keep things in perspective by looking at the facts.”
Even though the COVID pandemic caused an acceleration of online shopping, the latest Ecommerce sales data from the U.S. Census Bureau (November 2023) showed that store sales still represented about 84% of total sales.
The vast majority of retail transactions end up being completed in stores.
One of the best ways for retail stores to differentiate themselves from the low-priced online retailers involves careful product selection, engaging instore displays and an entertaining instore environment.
By presenting customers with curated category “stories” that are supported with personalised service from trained staff - your store will continue to exist at the specialty end of the retail spectrum, that can’t be easily replicated online.
None of this means that you shouldn’t also be investing in the creation of an engaging “omnichannel” retail offering. The best time to get your store online was yesterday, and the next best time is today.
This advice for retail pharmacies from 2020 lists these 5 key tactics which can drive online customers into your bricks and mortar store:
1. Online bookings
2. Click and collect
3. Google My Business listingshttps://www.rsrresearch.com/research/stores-do-shoppers-really-like-them
4. Electronic Direct Mail (EDM) to loyalty club customers
5. Social media engagement
Your best strategy
The best defence against the shift to online is to increase your investment in the creation of an integrated, omnichannel shopping experience. According to Steve Rowen from Retail Systems Research “With customers increasingly growing restless, retailers do not have a lot of time to play with here.”
Get in touch today to learn how RPM Retail can assist your retail store by integrating your instore POS system with your ecommerce website and digital marketing.