Why a bricks and mortar business desperately requires digital marketing is because ecommerce is rapidly replacing traditional retail. The most valuable lever in a bricks-and-mortar business is its employees. While digital marketing can’t replace the human touch, it can help a bricks-and-mortar business keep pace with the ever-changing technology landscape. Today, many long-time retailers are closing locations due to decreased traffic and decreased sales.
The digital world has completely changed the retail industry, and two-thirds of consumers use their mobile phone to research prices and shop online. As a result, a brick-and-mortar business must take its website seriously. Visitors to a brick-and-mortar business’s website should be able to find valuable information, including in-stock items and a return policy. By offering a good website, a brick-and-mortar store can attract more visitors.
While brick-and-mortar businesses have a greater human interaction with customers, they also risk making costly mistakes with their marketing strategy. Even a small mistake can cost a business dearly. A better strategy would be to engage with customers in-store and see how they feel. For example, a friendly employee is likely to make a better impression on a customer than a snooty one. It’s also important to understand what differentiates your brick-and-mortar business from its online counterparts.
Brick-and-mortar businesses still have plenty of room to expand their business. But the speed of change is killing traditional retail, so a brick-and-mortar business needs to rethink its strategy. In the past decade, Walmart became the third largest online retailer, and it’s doing so faster than any other industry. This trend is not a sign of the end of physical retail, but a reflection of changing consumer behavior.
Despite a lagging economy, digital marketing can boost foot traffic and increase sales. For example, a clothing brand can use digital signage to highlight an exclusive sale in-store. In-store marketing tools can help simplify the customer experience. By providing call buttons, staff can alert a customer when he or she needs assistance. They will be much more likely to buy when a brick-and-mortar business makes use of digital marketing tools.
The traditional relationship between a brick-and-mortar business and a consumer has become much more complex. Consumers have developed new buying habits that combine digital and physical, resulting in new terminology such as BOPIS (buy online, pick up in-store), ROPO (research online, purchase offline), and BORIS (buy online, return in store).