E-commerce shopping sites offer a user experience that consumers find more convenient and engaging compared to shopping in any retail outlet. The ecosystem, which is built up in the world market, targets specific consumers with busy working schedules but decent purchasing power. These consumers, who used to shop from offline retail stores a decade back have changed their habitual buying behavior and are getting more dependent on online shopping which indicates a sharp competition for offline retailers. Online shopping is also popular among consumers as they can easily compare prices of the same product offered by various sellers.
5 things retailers can do to stay competitive in the ever-changing world of retail:
Building an Audience in Social Media - Promoting merchandise on social media is key for online sales. E-commerce websites have a strong presence on social media which helps them keep their audience and customers updated about emerging products of new seasons. Retailers need to establish a business presence on social media as well if they want to compete with online stores. Engaging more with the audience by providing high-quality content on a consistent basis is the key to branding and sales for retailers.
Customer Relationship Management - This is something that retail store owners can take advantage of, as online stores can’t have an in-person meetings with the clients. No matter what, telephonic assistance for customers is way more inconvenient than the one-to-one customer support of an offline store. Building good relationships with customers plays a significant role in growing sales and eventually revenue. Most customers prefer human interaction while purchasing products, and in the case of e-commerce shops, online chats and over-phone conversations can benefit the clients to some extent, but they do not wholly substitute the offline store associates. Employing staff in retail outlets who have expertise in customer relationship management can aggravate retail sales to a greater extent.
Testimonials and Reviews of Clients - Testimonials as well as ratings and reviews are very effective to strengthen the trust of the customers as they specify what other customers have experienced after using particular merchandise or service. Online stores use reviews to prove the quality of their goods. Retailers must ask for feedback from the customers and convince them to post photos on social media tagging the brand so that other people get to know about the product. Building a community among the consumers is important to create awareness about the brand and the products.
Using SEO as a Key Tool – Selling offline doesn’t mean staying away from the online promotion of the retail business. Search engines are one of the most powerful tools for redirecting customers to retail stores. The higher ranks on the first page of search engines help retailers connect with more visitors and increase footfalls. Retailers can seek expert assistance who can help them boost their SEO and enlighten them with other technical know-how, related to website and social media management.
Product Quality Control - Online stores give huge discounts on the products but the customers purchase the items, most of the time they are dissatisfied with the quality of products as they can’t experience the product physically while purchasing. Retailers have the advantage of making the customers feel and touch the merchandise as well as experience the service before selling the actual goods to them. So maintaining the product quality within a certain price point will help the retailers to fix their position in the competitive market.