Recent wave of profit downgrades by retail giants has sent a shockwave across much of the retail industry. Especially small retailers are feeling most of the pain. Issue here is their expense bills keep coming while customers come in to look around and then go online to buy from overseas stores.
Do customers always get what they want when they order online? Or they’re willing to compromise a bit for better price? And prepared to wait even longer in holiday season to receive the goods and loose all the excitement of having it straight away.
We can never compare the feeling and excitement of buying at the shop where you can touch and feel what you like as compared placing an order through virtual world and then hope for the best.
One of the reasons for this growing trend to shop online is the perception that you can get better product at cheaper price.
As a retailer, you have an enormous advantage over online shopping in terms of personal touch, real products and assurance that if something goes wrong, where to go back. You can easily extend this advantage by offering choice to your customers between buying at store at listed price or buy at lower price from your online store and wait 3-5 days.
That’s exactly the difference between real shops and online shops. In this instance while you’re giving customer a clear choice, they will also see the value in buying from the store they already know. From time to time, you can also offer some unique specials or range of products at your stores not offered online to maintain your store’s edge over online option and vice versa.
This strategy will not only give choice to your customers but will extend your reach far and beyond and offer credible competition to overseas online stores.
So it’s not all doom and gloom for retail industry, it’s how well you evolve to meet the demands of changing times. It’s same as 20yrs back, when businesses started with efpos to give choice to their customers with no cash. And now you would need to incorporate e-commerce in your business model to give choice to customers who want pay less but also prepared to wait.
NextGen ebiz Solutions specializes in development of e-business strategies and solutions for small to medium business in Australia through web redesign, Search engine optimization, e-commerce and Internet Marketing. www.nextgenebiz.com.au