Is it possible for retailers to profit using retail space in the e-commerce age?
Naysayers feel that e-commerce and physical stores are inherently opposed to one another but research tells a different story. In fact, it shows that physical retail stores with an e-commerce website see an increase in foot traffic by 37% on average.
Similarly, many previously digital-only stores have taken to opening a physical location which has boosted their earnings by a tremendous margin. For example, Warby Parker, a previously digital-only brand generates $3000 in sales per square meter. These findings indicate that physical locations are an asset to retailers provided the strategies are retooled in the right way.
Retail space needs to be redesigned to match the e-commerce shopping age. Traditionally, retail stores used their space to display their wares creating a somewhat cluttered environment. However, with e-commerce, having a space for the sole purpose of obtaining goods is no longer enough. Retailers have to create a shopping experience and the best way to accomplish that is with your retail space. Some shopping brands have taken full advantage of this need by converting their space into semi-luxurious areas that make customers feel special.
You can use the retail space to convey the personality and character of your brand. While traditional stores try to appeal to everyone, e-commerce brands have learned that you don’t have to appeal to everyone to be successful. Instead, by focusing on a niche set of customers to enjoy high conversion rates. Thus, retail space can be used to maximise conversions by using the right design scheme.
Your retail space can be used as a hub to draw customers away from your competition. The retail brand that demonstrated this best was Meatpack, a retailer based in Guatemala. The retailers created an app designed to syphon customers away from their competition. When a customer came too close to a competitor, they would get a message from Meatpack offering a timed discount starting at 99% and counting down until they reached the nearest Meatpack branch. Within one week of implementing the app, it drew over 600 customers to their stores.
There are two benefits of this tactic. The first is extra foot traffic, which can create additional attention from passersby, which in turn encourages more people to visit your store. The second is that customers who would have been lured away from your store by competition now have little reason to go elsewhere.
To make the most of your retail space, enhancing the customer experience is key. One way of improving customer experience is making it easier to find the products and services they want. Thus, interactive shelves can be a huge asset that can improve the shopping experience. Interactive shelves are strategically placed iPads that allow customers to find the products they need.
The shelves have two benefits – the first is that you no longer have to display all your products in the space itself. Thus, giving you the chance to redecorate your space. Furthermore, customers benefit because they no longer have to prowl all corners of the store for what they want. They can search for what they want from one location and even make purchases from the shelf. Interactive shelves are possible for most retailers, especially if they have the right EPOS system. Most EPOS systems support interactive shelves and there is even added functionality where customers can make orders through the shelf itself.
Micro-targeted segmented marketing campaigns is a great opportunity to combine the immense power of digital marketing with the aesthetics of retail space. For example, retailers can comb through their data to segment customers based on where they buy, how they buy, what they buy, when they buy and a dozen other variables. Retailers can use this information to create small-scale marketing campaigns targeted towards each segment with unique offers provided they meet certain conditions, for example, visiting the store.
The news filled with horror stories of physical stores stagnating and closing down. However, if your retail space is used properly then it can generate a lot of income for a retail brand. Retailers simply need to rethink how they use their retail space, instead of making it a place to display your product, it can be a place to strengthen the personality and appeal of your brand.
Learn more about growing your retail space with the right technology, here at eposEX.