Methods for Competing with Online Stores
I learned a new word today – showrooming. Many of us do it in today’s high-tech world. It’s a consumer strategy for saving money.
How is it done? You take your smartphone into a brick and mortar store, find a product that you want to purchase, and use your smart-phone to scan the bar-code for information and price. Then you go online to see if you can buy it cheaper that way. The process can save you a lot of money, but it can cost stores a lot of money!
The technology isn’t going to vanish anytime soon, so brick and mortar stores are devising ways to counter-attack. Some big-box stores are price-matching if customers can show that they can buy the item online at a lower cost. Others have programs that allow customers to buy online, but have the product shipped to their store to be held for pick-up. This saves the customer shipping charges and gets them into the store where they will possibly buy something else while they’re there.
Smaller stores are looking at product customization to compete successfully with online stores. By giving buyers exactly what they need, with modifications possibly not available online, they are carving out a new niche in the market.
Another strategy is the use of loyalty “perks” to keep customers coming back to their store. Discounts on products from points accumulated, gas credits, and free products once you have purchased a certain number of the same item are perks that I have often seen.
And not surprisingly, stores are attempting to accommodate today’s tech-savvy buyers by making it possible for them to “click and buy” with in-store mobile payment options. The convenience offered by eliminating the waiting in line to check out is appealing to those in the upcoming generation who grew up with computers and cell phones.
Is your business taking advantage of these techniques to keep customers coming into your brick and mortar store? NCR’s Counterpoint POS Software can help you with those special options like loyalty programs, frequent buyer tracking, and connecting with your customers. If you would like more information, call us now at 425-672-4806 or email us.