Online retail is not only not ever slowing down, it’s growing at such a rapid pace. In fact e-commerce giant Amazon started 2018 off on a high note with a 30% increase in its receding quarter to boost its revenue to over $60 billion. And with the advent of mobile technology, non-traditional e-commerce companies are getting in on the app-driven retail industry like Uber.
So, what’s the plan now for local Indianapolis brick-and-mortar retailers looking to carve out their own edge? One thing that can be done is to protect their business assets through a Business Insurance policy with an insurance agency in Indianapolis, and another is to focus on getting creative. Here are a few ways to compete with online retailers, even the behemoth that is Amazon.
Assess The Business and the Competition
For small and local businesses who want to put a dent into the side of major online retailers, and not just for local clientele, it’s important to know what they can offer that others can’t. Retailers are currently not offering enough for a differentiated experience or product mix to make it worth walking into a store for. It’s easier to stay on your couch or in the coffee shop and click through a few items on your phone and wait a couple days for the packages to arrive.
One things that retail stores have that online retailers don’t are actual human beings helping out in person. Not everything goes smoothly with online ordering; shipments are late, orders are wrong, and more. Offering great customer service and in-store deals may just be the little edge that brick and mortar shops have to keep a local following.
Be Niche, Not Overly General
The days of putting out an open sign are over. Shops need to become specialists in whatever products they are offering. A small store may not be widely recognized, but it’s a good thing to be known as a specialist in a certain area of retail. Focus in on certain products or be known to have regular sales. This will bring in a targeted audience looking to pay more for something produced really well and offered more easily and with more quality than an online retailer. Whether it’s scarves, hot dogs, pen sets, you name it. Home in on what major products and services can be offered.
Beef Up Social Media Marketing
Today’s shoppers don’t just want good prices, they want amazing customer service to come with it. As mentioned above, not everything goes according to plan with online shopping, so having a specialized presence in-store will help to do away with the stress that can come with online shopping. Loyal consumers will choose a hands-on and knowledgeable approach to shopping over a robotic one any day.
But local stores can still go online with developing an effective social media presence. It’s no secret that social media can help boost anyone’s brand, so developing a strategy is key. Sharing relevant and timely information, like new items and upcoming sales, will help to create robust interest around a niche shop. Having a consistent social media presence to also create engagement with customers will add a personal touch of community that they do not get with online retail giants. Social media platforms can also help to create a loyal following through brand awareness, discussions, and understanding customer concerns.
Competing with online retailers is not an easy feat, but there are still ways to develop a local following and a solid social presence that will keep the foot traffic consistent.
About McClain Matthews Insurance
At McClain Matthews, we specialize in providing comprehensive insurance solutions for Indianapolis residents, business owners and beyond. For the last 69 years, we have established relationships within our community and pride ourselves on tailoring coverages as needed by our clients. For more information on how we can serve you, contact our friendly experts today at (317) 298-7500.