ERP Analyst from Software Advice, Michael Koploy, provides Independent Retailers with a blueprint to differentiate their businesses from Online Retailers
Michael Koploy wrote an article, How to Differentiate Your Store form Online Retailers: A Guide for Independent Retail in 2012, about how online retailers, like Amazon, have provided more convenience and better pricing than store-front businesses. The benefits of online business shopping raise the bar for store fronts, also known as brick and mortars, to provide exceptional shopping experiences for their customers. In this article, Koploy provided three areas where independent retailers can differentiate from e-tailers (online stores).
In his first section, “Differentiate on Service-Or Die”, Koploy uses a catch phrase from Doug Stephens (President, Retail Prophet), who wrote in his blog about this subject. In order for brick and mortar businesses to gain and maintain success, they should do one of two things: either offer a high-convenience service; or offer a high-fidelity service. Koploy explains how brick and mortar merchants can implement this strategy.
Next, Koploy gives “Three Ways to Differentiate Beyond Price and Convenience”: 1. Interact, Entertain, and Educate; 2. Rethink the Store Inventory and Layout; and 3. Replace the Sales Associate with the Likable Expert. These steps explain how retailers can provide a better and memorable in-store experience, great customer service and expert employees with whom customers will enjoy each interaction.
Last, but not least, Koploy provided “Point of Sale Features for Success”. This section highlighted the tools and resources that could be added to improve the store experience, inventory management, store layout, and sales associates. New POS (point of sale) solutions can greatly improve on customer’s in-store retail experience.
Throughout this article, examples from large chain stores such as Best Buy and JC Penny provide illustrations of what a business owner can implement. You can greatly benefit from this resource by taking at least one of the three sections and determine how to implement it to help your brick and mortar business stand out over the online shopping experience.
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Based on this article, what will you do moving forward to differentiate your business from online retailers?