A Look Into The Crystal Ball: How Can Bricks and Mortar Retailers Compete with Pure Players?
We asked five industry experts how bricks-and-mortar retailers can compete with pure players.
How can bricks-and-mortar retailers really compete with the pure-players?
Retailers need to be considering their points of difference vs. the pure players. They still have a significant benefit in having physical space which can be used to support USPs like Reserve and Collect and Click and Collect.
It’s also worth bearing in mind the human touch – something that the pure players will always struggle to compete against.
High street retailers need to take a hard look at what they are using their store for. Your store should be the biggest shop window for your brand.
What high street retailers need to think about is how they equip their stores and staff with the tools they need to be the effective drivers of customer acquisition that they should be. I am thinking of the digital experience, but also of fulfilment centres where staff can have a view across the entire enterprise and supply chain, including what is in stock elsewhere.
Marks & Spencer
Firstly, high-street retailers should act more like pure-players – retailers need to find ways to be nimble, or they risk being outpaced. Big organisations need to drive an innovation culture and adopt agile development processes to avoid being left behind.
Secondly, they need to differentiate themselves in the mind of their customer. Pure players chip away at big corporates with compelling, niche propositions. Retailers must avoid a commodity-based, one-size-fits-all approach and find ways to build differentiation through tailored offerings.
Finally, they should play to their strengths. High street retailers must figure out how to use their stores to their best advantage by connecting the digital and the physical experience. In addition, they should try to win customer loyalty in a way that’s difficult for pure players to break down.
Focus on the customer experience. What can you do to add value in the relationship with your customers?
Expert advice, personal assistance, enhanced after-sales experience, service in-store.
Ultimately, customers want life to be made easy for them. Retailers need to leverage the physical scale they already have in their retail locations and enable real-time stock information to be made available immediately across the network.
The new cohort of tech-savvy online only retailers is a real challenge to traditional retailers, but they should also be regarded as an opportunity.
The evolution of the digital and customer experience provides for many avenues to experiment, innovate and optimise – and traditional retailers should be seeking to capitalize on the innovations made by some of the newer companies.
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