Some brick-and-mortar stores feel threatened because of the continued increase in online shopping. You can’t beat it – customers can buy a full home entertainment system online and never have to wait for a salesperson at the big box store. Or, ladies can take advantage of online shopping to buy those difficult-to-fit-I-have-to-be-in-the-mood-to-try-on items like swimsuits or jeans. Grocers are taking online orders and delivering the items right to the customer’s door. Why would we still need physical store locations?
If you think about it, online shopping isn’t necessarily replacing brick-and-mortar. It is evolving from it. Physical stores need to evolve as well. Each is not an entity unto itself. They work together. Here are some tips to make the internet beast your friend.
Make it a two-way street. Give customers easy access to online inventory in the store through kiosks or computer modules that are already on the store’s website. Make sure your website has a listing of physical locations and directions.
Accept online returns at the physical store, making it easier for your customers to do business with you.
Support the online business by displaying featured items in the store. Use the right display pieces to give the customerexperience. That’s what will bring them into the store. You can’t get the real feel of a product from a computer screen. But you can get it if the product is right in front of you. If you can hold it, feel it, even see it in real life, you are more likely to form a bond and feel better about your purchase.
Some selected fixtures that will help you create the experience: Mannequins – people can tell what something will look like if it’s first seen on a mannequin; the mannequins can also be used together to create vignettes of experience with the product.
Using the same product, switch up the display vignette every quarter to parallel the seasons, or the sports events, or holidays.
Use the slat wall and grid wall to change your displays and make the experience a little different each quarter. The slat wall and grid wall with accessories can totally change a display.
Use hooks, racks, and rounders to display merchandise with enough space so customers want to explore it. Rounders and racks with clothing or swimsuits jammed onto them with no room for movement are sure to drive people back to the internet to purchase