The retail trade is faced with a problem, as more and more customers are deciding to buy online. According to a survey conducted by ServiceRating GmbH, however, there are still several different ways to continue to be successful as a retailer.
Advantages of online retail
Online sales are growing and growing. But what does it mean for the future of the retail trade when more and more customers decide to buy online? According to the survey conducted by ServiceRating, there are several reasons for the exodus of more and more customers: What appeals most of all to the majority of customers when it comes to shopping online is the wide product range available (70 percent). Cheap prices (58 percent) are also given as a reason, as well as easy access (59 percent) and the wider scope of information offered on the products (50 percent).
Strengths of brick-and-mortar retail
Brick-and-mortar retail, however, can also score in certain essential areas. Customers list the strengths of retailers as being advice (64 percent), shopping experience (53 percent), simple exchanges (49 percent), quicker availability of products (48 percent) and better service (42 percent).
Picture: According to a survey conducted by ServiceRating GmbH, many customers appreciate the services offered by brick-and-mortar retail.
ServiceRating stresses two main differences between e-tailers and retailers: Online businesses primarily attract customers via the product, whilst brick-and-mortar retail creates customer loyalty via service. For this reason, brick-and-mortar retailers should place a greater emphasis on service, as a focus on customers and the success of the company are very closely linked. “Brick-and-mortar retail should learn from online businesses, offering customers a unique service experience thanks to a combination of human interaction and technology,” states Kai Riedel, managing director of ServiceRating.
Advice directly in store
We have been dealing with this topic for years now together with our retailers, exploring how brick-and-mortar retail can be made fit for the future. The result is our kiosk technology as part of the connected store, as well as our related Local Hero strategy.
With the brodos.net kiosk in store, customers have the option of selecting from an enormous catalog of over 200,000 products, either having the article delivered to the convenience of their own home or for collection from store. This allows retailers to extend their shelf space, whilst also having the opportunity to provide customers with the required consultation and advice at the kiosk. The kiosk offers the customer detailed product information as well as pictures and videos giving a wealth of infomation about the product. In connection with the brodos.net online shop, which depicts the store on the internet, customers can also shop at their own convenience, even on public holidays or at the weekend. This allows them to take away one of the competitive advantages offered by etailers, namely the advantage of constant availability.
The issue of cheaper prices on the internet also belongs to the past thanks to the brodos.net kiosk, as the StoreShip price is made visible at specialist retailers thanks to our brodos.net kiosk or online shop and brodos.net. All StoreShip prices for the products are shown on the Brodos platforms. Our tools make it possible for specialist retailers to secure the best purchase price, resulting in turn in a fair price for the consumer, as the calculated StoreShip prices are only displayed if the possible retail price is competitive with the online price.
Picture: With the in-store kiosk, products which are not in stock in store are still available.
Making service visible
As well as local advice, service is another important card brick-and-mortar retail must play in order to be successful. In order to make this visible, we have invented and developed our physical service cards. They symbolise services which a retailer can offer directly in store, making customers aware that each service does also correspond to an equivalent monetary value.
If they are to be used successfully it is crucial that services are actively offered, and that a conscious effort is made to mention them to customers in store. Physical service cards itemise services individually, showing the price for each specific service. This lets end customers see the monetary value of the service straightaway. A clear advantage, which end customers appreciate and make use of, according to the survey.
Picture: The service cards can be positioned where they will catch the customer’s eye, e.g. on a revolving stand directly at the counter.