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3 Ways for Brick-and-Mortar Retailers to Stay Competitive in a Digital Age  

By Contributing Author

Retailers are a critical aspect of the American economy. Indeed, last year retailers accounted for $3.5 trillion in sales –– and experts expect to see that number grow this year. It’s perhaps not surprising that retail has enjoyed a boom in conjunction with the rise of digital shopping and e-commerce stores. Given the fact that many businesses choose to supplement or flat-out replace their physical retail locations with digital alternatives, it can prove difficult for strictly brick-and-mortar establishments to survive –– let alone thrive in the current marketplace. The good news is, there are actions retailers can take to ensure their continued viability. Here are three ways brick-and-mortar retailers can maintain their status:

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Highlight the Experience

Shopping should be fun. After all, unless you’re purchasing groceries, gasoline, or some other essential, most shopping is done on a whim or to satisfy a desire. No one needs a new set of earrings in order to live. But people buy non-essential items all the time because they enjoy the experience of shopping. While many may consider visiting a brick-and-mortar retailer a chore, it’s critical for retailers to instead focus on improving the shopping experience. After all, there’s a marked difference between shopping on your phone for a specific book and going to a bookstore to peruse a dozen or so books before making a decision. Savvy retailers work to optimize the customer experience and offer the human element that online stores simply can’t replicate.

Guarantee Security

Many consumers are rightly concerned about protecting their information online. In fact, in 2014 nearly half of all American adults suffered some form of security breach online. Brick-and-mortar retailers then should strive to market themselves as a safe, stress-free alternative to the potential perils of digital shopping. In addition, business owners need to have the technology to back up those security assurances. Look for hardware that suits your industry specifically, like a point of sale for pharmacies, or a security camera monitor for outlet chains. Even a small investment can go a long way toward putting your customers’ minds at ease.

Go the Extra Mile

Brick-and-mortar retailers may feel they’re fighting an uphill battle, but that doesn’t mean they can’t exploit niches in their industry. Often, consumers like to speak to an expert directly before making a big purchase. What’s more, retailers can display delicate or fragile items that most people would be reticent to order online. The point is, there are opportunities for brick-and-mortar retailer business owners to explore –– they just have to be willing to look for them first.



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