RETHINKING LOCAL RETAIL
Traditional local retail storefronts are built for walk-in-off-the-street traffic. In this short post, I'll discuss how you should consider thinking about the space you give to walk-in traffic versus online traffic.
First, let's discuss online presence and the scenario my clients are typically in when I first meet them.
Typical Client Scenario:
In all cases, there's likely a lot of room for improvement. When I first meet with clients, in our initial interview, I ask a bunch of questions regarding their business. In most cases, the owner has a great profitable offline business and is either overconfident in how they currently run their online business or surrender to the fact that they have no idea what's happening with their business online.
Before I go any further, I'd like to say, for every business owner that I meet, it's a pleasure and privilege for me to learn about their business. I am consistently amazed by how passionate, dedicated and for how long these people have been in business.
Okay, back to the title of "RETHINKING LOCAL RETAIL". So typically, my clients have a retail showroom. They have loyal, local customers. Some new customers pop in to their retail store each day but they don't really have a pulse as to how they found out about their retail store, but "it's working".
So my argument for rethinking local retail is to think about online in the same way as offline. Instead of foot traffic on the sidewalk or cars in your parking lot, think about an entire country or the world being able to walk in to your store or park in your parking lot that is the size of the Sahara Desert. This is who can access your storefront online!
Now with this much potential traffic accessing your online store, you need to A) attract them to your website B) do this in a profitable way
This means that you must have channels to drive people to your online store and then your online store experience must bring them back again and again, just like your offline brick and mortar store currently does.
Now lets think about the space you dedicate to walk-in-off-the-street visitors versus the space dedicated to online store visitors. You might think that your online store doesn't take up much of your retail merchandise space, but you must remember that the product you merchandise online, although not displayed on your store shelves, has to be stored somewhere. That somewhere is where the retail customers cannot see, in your inventory storage room. You must remember that at any given time, people can visit your online store and order, so it's important to reconcile both online and offline inventory and keep the quantities available online and offline separated. This means, especially as you grow your customer base from local to regional to national to global, allocating more space to online then to your walk-in-off-the-street customers is essential.
Now think about a world where each local retailer is really a localized distribution hub, selling great products around the country and maybe even the world!
So there you have it, my short post about rethinking local retail. If you have any questions or would like to have a free 20 minute prospective client interview, contact email@example.com