Every year the online marketplace takes another chunk out of the profits of shops on the high street. It’s hardly surprising that this is the case. Afterall shopping online is generally perceived to be easier, faster and even cheaper. Customers commonly discover a product in store that is a lot less expensive online. Recently, shops have been working to beat the online buzz but will it ever pay off? Is there ever a case where customers will choose to buy in store rather than online?
If you’re running your own high street store, you’ll be pleased to hear that it is possible to get the upper hand against the online competition and we’re ready to show you how.
Service with a Smile
If you look online at reviews of the major stores, you will typically find that there is a definite pattern with what customers who don’t like about the service they receive. Many feel that online companies are dehumanised, others hate the fact that it is impossible to get a response from customer services and more still, do not feel as though they are treated like a valued customer but rather just a number on the screen.
Online shops are going to have to deal with this issue, but for high street business owners, it can be seen as a grand opportunity. To get the upper hand, high street shops just need to make sure that they are hiring the best staff with friendly attitudes and a positive work ethic. When customers see that going into the shop, they can get better service than they ever would online, it makes the idea of a quicker transaction far less appealing.
Tech to Keep Things Moving
As already mentioned, one of the big benefits of shopping online is definitely how fast the service can be. But it is interesting to see that shops like Amazon are now heading back to the high street with their own stores. The difference? These high street stores are embedded with tech and there’s no reason why yours can’t be as well. With things like liquor POS systems even transactions involving products that are sensitive can be quick for the customer and easy for the shop owner.
Technology like this and others such as contactless payment methods will never make a retail store as easy as shopping online. But, they can guarantee that the service is more efficient, and the experience is more pleasant for customers.
Try Before You Buy
Finally, one of the biggest advantages that high street shops have over online stores is the possibility of trying before you buy. This option should be implemented in every type of store on the high street. Games should be playable for kids looking to make a purchase, food should have taste samples out and ready for eager customers and technology should be accessible with a member of staff ready to show it off.
These ideas already exist in stores around the high street, but even smaller companies now need to use these ideas to draw customers away from their computer screens and through their shop doors.