Retail management for brick-and-mortar stores competing with online shopping and technology, this post threatens their sales. There might have been years of chaos, but the pandemic is waning in America. It still doesn’t mean you can go back to exactly what you did before, especially if it wasn’t working.
In a way, the pandemic has been a gift.
This forced businesses to grow their operations, update their websites, add payment capabilities, and more.
We all face a world spinning out of control by controlling our own environment as much as possible.
Our collection of followers, photos we’re having a great time showing off, and the people we text are all filtered versions of ourselves.
We like to believe that we don’t need anyone. We are independent and smart. “I can do it better myself.”
“Many retail managers, when dealing with the stresses of everyday life, turn to our smartphones to make us feel like we are loved.”
Research shows that when we get a text on a smartphone, the chemical dopamine gives us the same feeling as gambling or drinking.
Our focus on moving forward and staying current means staying connected across social media platforms
Some people can’t trust their friends even with many followers because they know they will turn to them if something better happens.
Due to this, many employees, as well as shopkeepers, have got the illusion of connection.
The trouble is, we’re becoming more and more addicted to that dopamine rush of a text message or thumbs up.
That’s why we do it over and over – we’re all used to it. That’s why tech is telling retailers to go where shoppers have had to spend more of their time on their phones because of the pandemic.
Lockdown, Smartphones, and Brick-and-mortar stores!
Still, smartphones can’t deliver the human connection buyers crave.
And with lockdowns ending across the world, it is this human connection that brick-and-mortar stores can use to counter online retailers and add meaning to many shoppers.
With your sales training program and customer service, your way of dealing with buyers demonstrates your commitment to the humanity of relationship building.
It might not change the world, but it can make someone’s life better, even if it is only for a few minutes. And that’s enough to motivate them to buy from you.
In a few minutes, someone talked to them, engaged them, and bought something to make their lives more convenient or meaningful.
Not only did they leave with something tangible for them, but they also left with a feeling that they wanted to return soon to have the same extraordinary shopping experience.
We now know that some people call a coming world devoid of brick-and-mortar stores, affiliates, and malls. Their bleak future has a different set of gloves and goggles so you can immerse yourself in a virtual world right inside your own home.
A digitalized world where almost everything is fake, from the help you get through artificial intelligence (AI) to autonomous vehicles to delivered 3D printed products.
A world where brand recommendations cost less than Siri or Alexa, and the ever-connected world through our clothes, cars, and even our bodies.
But it flies in the face of a basic need of shoppers: human connection.
Research confirms that human relationships are at the heart of well-being. You’d better know that you are valuable and a contributing member of society more than someone else is incredibly reaffirming.
An article in the NYT points out: “It’s up to all of us—doctors, patients, neighborhoods and communities—to bond where they are disappearing, and create where they don’t exist.”
But those connections take time. And every conversation we have in public either confirms or denies our worth.
“Now that masks are optional for the non-existent, we need to double down on our interpersonal skills.”
That’s why brick-and-mortar stores are so crucial to our mental health right now…
When we go shopping, beyond our unconscious need to connect with another human being, we are also looking for someone to take the frustration out of our lives.
We are looking for someone to take responsibility for and fix a problem, product, or service. We like to feel that we are in good hands.
That’s because customers still go to brick-and-mortar stores today.
And for the near future…
Retail sales manufacture one person at a time. Do it right, and you create a relationship that lasts with your customer base.
Buyers are looking for someone responsible for their own happiness while driving to your shop. Welcome, that challenge!
How you can Enhance your brick-and-mortar stores:
1- Keep an eye on your store traffic flow continuously.
Where do buyers go from the time they walk in until they leave?
-Do they come in about 10 feet after giving your store a go once over? This is probably because you have inadvertently created a blockage.
-Where are your most profitable items located?
The reality is that you can move almost any store around—yes, even fixtures. If you’re committed to continually making your environment more exciting and engaging with your shoppers.
Remember, the physical retailer exists to answer one question from the shopper, “What’s new?” Make sure your store – especially after a pandemic – looks and smells fresh.
2- Always train your sales team
-Are you afraid to fire long-time employees that you hired but can’t sell?
– How can you reconnect them to understand party aisles, not behind the counter?
-What additional training are you giving them on how to sell to an ongoing consumer?
-How do you want the customer to have an exceptional experience? What are the processes in place?
-How are you measuring it against those standards?
When you’re slammed with revenge-pandemic shoppers, it’s easy to tell yourself you don’t have to worry about those things. Until one day, you’re not there, and you’re struggling.
3- Enjoy your marketing
Successful marketing for brick-and-mortar stores includes humor and can position you as a competitor’s angel of the devil. It gives your brand a personality.
Consider how you can make a joke about online retailers, some late, some with the wrong size, and the hassle of boxed-up returns.
All that versus your well-appointed fitting room where you put it back for them if a customer doesn’t like it. You have displays with objects they can touch, feel and use – you get the point.
Nurtured customer relationships like eating well and getting enough exercise aren’t just a matter of luck.
“Expecting team members to magically reward conversations without the sales process at your level of sales is an illusion.”
Retail Managers share blame for not creating customer satisfaction.
They often focus on tasks and rarely drive employees toward the vital goal of developing their rapport-building skills. You need to give colleagues the skill to build deeper connections with people than just tapping the heart on Facebook and Instagram.
They might not have the soft skills you do, but unless you train them, they’ll get stuck, unable to interact with strangers.
As a result, we also lose out as a culture.
These threads of connection create a community first between two strangers, then within your entire business, and then to your entire community.
Employees need to be taught that they must create a vibrant company culture if they claim to have a vibrant company culture.
Customer relationship is the key to successful for brick-and-mortar stores.
Online shopping will keep improving, and there will be all kinds of distractions like AI and virtual reality technologies that will keep brick and mortar retailers feeling outdated.
Like they’re as ancient as the ones your great aunt keeps under her pot of mint tea in the summer—quirky but irreverent.
And while many retail businesses haven’t changed since the mid-2000s, brick-and-mortar stores can still be incredibly relevant.
If you have the strength of your physical space, don’t give up on crying with despair that seeps into your every email, promotion, and new hire.
Don’t just take my word for it…
Birchbox CEO Katia Beauchamp predicted that customers would come to stores faster to receive curated experiences from store representatives.
This is from an online retailer that sees tremendous staying power and opportunity in retail stores.
When you have the power to encourage and convert buyers, you discover new ways to bridge your customers’ frustrations online and offline.
We have always been amazed by the number of pet stores losing dog food sales to online retailers. They don’t understand that their customers don’t want to house a 30-pound bag every two weeks.
If they had embraced the role that their brick-and-mortar stores could be their community source for pet food, then when the pet owner came to make some small purchases, they could build on that opportunity and buy auto or dog food.
Be the master of the fact that you are a physical repository! Lead with your strengths:
– Offer a curated variety so shopping doesn’t feel like work.
– Provide instant gratification, so customers don’t have to wait for it to arrive.
– Provide a personal touch so they get what’s right for them, not just what’s on sale.
-Displays feature that shows how seemingly unrelated items work together.
– Take the frustrations out of shoppers’ lives online in a humane way, and chatbots just can’t.
Create your own list so you can see everything you offer that your online competitors don’t. Then it will help if you commit to both the training in brick-and-mortar stores and an effective retraining effort, so you don’t become a victim by ignoring your primary strength, your physical store where people make connections.