Brick-and-Mortar vs. Online Retailers: Who Wins?

Posted on: August 13th, 2015 by Rob Baumhover


HME Retailers,

In an age where many industries are turning to technology to advance their businesses, there’s one industry where having a physical showroom gives you the upper hand – and that’s retail!

While brick-and-mortar retailers often struggle to compete against the low prices available online, solely online retailers can’t compete with the traditional retailer’s ability to capture the “touch and feel” customers. Physical stores provide customers with a different experience than online stores can – one where they can truly connect with the people they interact with and the environment they’re in.

Use these tips to keep your brick-and-mortar HME ahead of the computerized competition:

1. Create an emotional connection

Humans are more likely to have an emotional reaction to a physical environment rather than a virtual one. When customers shop online, they’re sitting in front of a computer – it’s a screen, there’s no emotion. Play off your customers’ natural inclination towards a physical environment by creating an inviting, attractive looking showroom. Pay attention to paint, color schemes, and lighting.

2. Satisfy both kinds of shoppers

Most customers fit into one of two categories:

a. The goal-oriented shopper. These customers know what they are looking for and want to be able to easily find it. Category signage and easily approachable customer service employees will help these shoppers to be served quickly and efficiently.

b. The browsing shopper. These customers come in to browse, hoping to find something but not sure what that something is. Capture their attention with signage, colors, and displays.

3. Understand the habits of your customers

Retail is the domain of women. Females typically shop to purchase both essentials and discretionary goods for the family. It’s not surprising that women account for over 80% of consumer spending, or about five trillion dollars annually, according to the US Census Bureau. While men generally shop for only what they need, when they need it, women are more open to add ‘this or that’ to their shopping list.

Understand and capitalize on these habits by placing impulse or add-items strategically throughout the store. Your female customers will see these items and will be more likely add them to their final purchase.