There are several ways that proactive retailers can insure they remain relevant in the changing retail environment.Amazon’s meteoric rise from its humble beginnings as an online seller of books is a story for the ages, and the internet behemoth shows no signs of slowing down. The company seems to have its hands in just about everything these days, and some observers are concerned that the company’s continual growth will lead to further declines in the brick-and-mortar retail sector. While that’s certainly a situation to be mindful of, there are several ways that proactive retailers can insure they remain relevant in the changing retail environment.
Neil Stern, the partner at McMillanDoolittle, passes along three specific ways that retailers can step up their game in the Amazon age, and there’s a ton of merit to each suggestion. Brick and mortar retail is not dead - nor is it going anywhere anytime soon - but retailers that fail to adapt will certainly have their work cut out for them on the survival front.
1. Traditional brick and mortar need reinventionFor starters, traditional retailers need to be mindful that it’s beyond easy for today’s consumers to point and click their way to shopping nirvana.
“If we accept the basic premise that it is easier (and perhaps less expensive) to buy product on-line, there had better be a reason to show up in a store,” shares Neil Stern, adding that “Retailers need to up the ante - they are not simply losing business to Amazon and other online players - they are handing it to them on a platter.”
Of course, some retailers are already stepping up their game on that front. However, those that are wondering where all of their foot traffic went may want to take a long and hard look at exactly what they offer to entice customers to walk through the door.
2. Value, convenience, discovery, and experience are all places to playNext up, there are certain segments of the retail sector that continue to thrive in the e-commerce age. Inside each of those success stories are some valuable lessons that all retailers would be wise to internalize.
“Value, convenience, discovery, and experience are all places to play,” Neil Stern writes. “Look at who’s still growing store bases and comp store sales - these retailers are highly likely to fall into one of the categories above. While e-commerce will grow, there are plenty of reasons to show up at a brick-and-mortar store.”
3. Omnichannel and new technologyFinally, retailers that have yet to embrace technological advances would be wise to kickstart those efforts pronto. Customers are accustomed to getting what they want when they want it - and in the most convenient fashion available.
“Physical retailers must embrace digital retailing as a means to further their presence online, drive traffic into the stores and create better customer experiences,” Neil adds.
In short, there’s still plenty of ways for physical retailers to compete with the Amazon’s of the world, but that requires a willingness to adapt to the times and dedication to fixing the things that aren’t working.