An End to Brick and Mortar?

As Bob Dylan so aptly put it, the times, they are a-changing – sometimes faster than we can keep up with. No longer are retail businesses competing only with the store up the block or the next town over. Now online retailers like Amazon and Walmart.com are also taking customers away from brick and mortar locations.

With almost no overhead, the online business model is almost impossible to compete with. And with the billions these companies spend on getting new customers, you’d better have a strategy if you want to keep up.

Fortunately, with today’s technology, you now have the ability to deploy the same types of analytics as these big companies. Amazon knows what you searched for and didn’t buy. Then they follow you around the web trying to get you to come back and buy it later. How can you compete?

Instead of an ‘online shopping cart’ that follows the customer around the site, perhaps it’s approaching a customer with AccuPOS on your phone and offering to start/save a transaction with a, “Let me hold that for you,” while they continue to shop.

Maybe it’s the art of placing your merchandise in the store according to sales histories during similar times of the year or taking advantage of our Customer Loyalty Program.

Or maybe it’s even offering to email receipts – a paperless transaction today equals a great marketing tool/announcement of your new items tomorrow.

I recently came across this article from Forbes, which states “There is a crisis in retail” due to the advancement of online ordering deterring customers from shopping at brick and mortar locations.

While it may be jumping the gun to assume retail locations will ever go extinct, it’s undeniable that the face of retail is changing. It’s up to you to change with the times and decide what technologies to take advantage of, and how to best utilize them to enhance the overall customer experience.

If you’re looking for more information on the subject, here are some articles from around the web.
How your brick-and-mortar retail shop can compete in Amazon’s world
What Must a Brick & Mortar Company Do to Transfer Its Strategy to eCommerce Strategy?
Why You Should Sync Your E-Commerce Store with Your Offline Business
Once Proudly Web Only, Shopping Sites Hang Out Real Shingles