Friday 14 June 2013

4 Tips for Beating Online Retailers

An interesting article in the Harvard Business Review last week gave tips on how brick and mortar stores can beat online retailers and much of the advice was relevant to market traders.

First we should acknowledge that brick and mortar stores are unlikely to compete with online retailers when it comes to price. An online warehouse operation is always going to be cheaper to run than a retail store largely because of rent. But let’s look at where brick and mortar can get an advantage –

1. Branded, exclusive products. – department stores do this well. They tie up a brand for their exclusive sale so customers have to come to them if they want that brand. For market traders that is not easy unless you make your own goods.

2. Non-exclusive goods but with a unique feature – this may be adapting a well known product or perhaps just packaging it in a way that creates a difference.
3. Non-exclusive but well-priced – despite what we said in our second paragraph, there are still areas where a brick and mortar retailer can undercut online. Many manufacturers and wholesalers find cash purchases by market traders to be attractive sources of sales and worthy of a “special” price.
4. Best bought in a store – many customers will not buy apparel online, preferring to go in store and try on. Goods that require assembly will often make it preferable to go in store. For instance many customers will avoid having to assemble a BBQ or a pushbike.

Brick and mortar stores need to “create value” without just relying on price. How does your business fit in?

Have Your Say - click here