The Future Of Retail Stores

Currently the future of retail stores is being called into question like never before. Brick-and-mortar stores were already struggling to bring in a sufficient amount of foot traffic prior to the coronavirus pandemic. Now, with lockdowns across the United States, millions of unemployed Americans, and uncertainty revolving around the safety of shopping in person, retail stores have entered a new dire time period. 

However, not everything is doom and gloom for the future of retail. As always, customers will be looking to update their closets and will want to purchase new trends as we move from winter into spring. While retail brands will struggle financially if they continue to stick to old methods of selling, there is an opportunity currently for stores to find new audiences and expand online. 

Many large retail brands have already began a transition to move more of their product online. If you’re a small to medium sized retail brand, consider following suit and taking this time period to grow your online audience

This transition into the digital space has been termed as a new phase in the retail industry known as Retail 4.0

What Is Retail 4.0

In essence, Retail 4.0 is the expansion of a retail brand in the digital space. It centers on retailers shifting their focus away from in-person stores that require a specific amount of foot traffic to be financially viable, and instead focus on how a retail brand can reach a large number of people online to find new customers and audiences. 

Unfortunately this explanation is more simple than Retail 4.0 is to put into practice. However,  Retail 4.0 is a practice that has already been put into place by a vast number of large retail brands, and a substantial benefit of moving more into the digital space is that small to medium-sized retail brands can now compete with far larger brands. 

Continue reading below to learn some tips about perfecting Retail 4.0.

1. Establish Your Social Media Accounts

One of the main ways to reach new potential customers is through the use of social media. People spend a lot of time on Facebook and Instagram, scrolling through their friends’ accounts and looking for a reprieve from their daily lives. This benefits your retail brand because it can allow for you to reach a wide audience of potential customers. It also allows for consumers to get a quick “snapshot” of your brand and your product without requiring someone to go to your website. For this reason, it is especially important that your social media messaging is concise and shows your products in the best light possible.  

Social media also allows for the perfect platform for you to connect with customers that you already have. If a customer is buying a product from you, consider offering them a discount or a rebate if they will put a post of your product on their social media account and tag you in it or use your company’s hashtag. From there, this person’s friends will see the post, and your brand will have reached a whole new group of people. This can have a huge benefit for your brand because customers are more likely to buy a product if they are gaining a referral from a person they know and trust.  It will also allow your current customer to feel more “bought in” to your brand, and they may feel more inclined to continue buying from you in the future. 

2. Establish An Email List

It isn’t always easy to get people to visit your website, so when they do you need to make sure you have a way of getting in contact with them again. Consider using a pop-up that will allow for you to collect their email addresses. From there you can send them updates on new products or sales that are happening on the site. 

Be sure to keep this pop-up as simple as possible. Only ask for their name and their email address. Most people won’t fill out a form if it has more than three fields. 

3. Give Your Website A Facelift

Finally take a good, hard look at your website. If your site is difficult to navigate, or if the calls to action aren’t clear, then it might be time for a change. Keep in mind that you want your buyer’s journey to be as simple as possible. If your customers have a bad user’s experience, then they will be less likely to buy from you in the first place. 

Follow these tips to move more into the digital space! If you’re looking for more tips on Retail 4.0, learn more here. 

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.

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