You’re probably wondering: Why would a bricks-and-mortar business need digital marketing? After all, most consumers use the internet for more than just shopping. In fact, most consumers visit a brick-and-mortar store’s website before they actually go shopping in the store. By leveraging digital marketing to promote your brick-and-mortar business, you’ll increase your sales and gain loyal customers.
For one thing, brick-and-mortar businesses have a more direct connection to their customers than their online competitors, which means they’re at higher risk for mistakes in digital marketing. Luckily, these mistakes are fixable. It’s important to know what makes your brick-and-mortar business stand out from the competition. Knowing these differences is crucial when deciding whether to invest in digital marketing.
While brick-and-mortar locations are not going anywhere, they aren’t likely to stay solid as the landscape of marketing changes. For one thing, major brands are making more of their sales online. For the first time in history, online sales have surpassed physical stores. But even if brick-and-mortar businesses can’t abandon the traditional business model, they should embrace digital marketing strategies.
For eCommerce websites, the most important aspect of digital marketing is a website. Two-thirds of millennial shoppers research a business online before visiting a brick-and-mortar location. That’s why it’s crucial to make your website a priority. Moreover, a website will be your digital front door. Make it count by providing valuable information to your visitors and making it easy for them to return products.
As the size of digital audiences grows, the opportunities to engage customers through digital channels will increase. As audiences get accustomed to using the internet, digital marketing is likely to take over as the dominant marketing strategy. Moreover, as more people use the Internet for their daily needs, it could become an increasingly necessary practice for a bricks-and-mortar business. It could even become an imperative in a post-COVID world.
The digital age has made it possible for consumers to be more selective about where they shop. Rather than having to choose between online and in-person, they expect seamless retail experiences. Retailers should try to complement their brick-and-mortar operation by integrating both. With digital channels, stores become showrooms, warehouses, and community hubs. Digital channels also help retailers listen to their customers.
The biggest challenge for bricks-and-mortar businesses is adapting to fast-changing consumer behaviors. Even Walmart, the world’s biggest brick-and-mortar company, is closing some stores this year. Walmart now ranks as the third largest online retailer in the world. The retail apocalypse is less about the death of physical retail stores and more about the evolving habits of consumers.