COLUMN: How is the digital foundation of your brick-and-mortar store doing?
Internet giants are pushing prices down, people are increasingly moving to urban centers, consumers are speding more and more time online, and, with artificial intelligence, you feel you will soon be left with peanuts…Do these fears sound familiar? Well, you’re not the only one. Brick-and-mortar stores have been dealing with these challenges for a while already. Is there anything that could be done?
Most business still happens in physical stores. In the specialty goods and utilities trade, online trade is estimated to be about 20 per cent. It is, however, a large percentage – and constantly increasing its share.
Rehabilitate you digital foundation.
People still want to touch and try products in physical stores. They are, however, looking for more information online to support their decision to buy. Even before entering your store, they will have searched and processed information about your company’s selection in general and nowadays also about your company’s values. People don’t look for information only on a company’s website, but they also use different kinds of social media channels and message boards.
It is crucial that you have your company’s basic digital elements in order. Find out the state of your Google visibility and improve it. You can do a lot for free, too.
Take at least one social media channel into use. Which channels do your customers use – do some research! Find out and learn about social media behaviour of other players in the field. Check how people talk about your business in social media and on message boards. If needed, change the way you operate.
Think about establishing an online store. It can nowadays be done very cost-effectively.
Turn your communication into entertainment.
According to studies, combining humour and marketing is very effective - although admittedly, it is not always an easy task. Try communicating with your customers with a little twinkle in your eye - after all, we all need something to lighten our spirits every now and then, don’t we?
We are here to help you with marketing, the digital world, or developing your business in any way – don’t hesitate to contact us. Regional development and business cooperation are some of the main tasks of Satakunta University of Applied Sciences.
The author is a regional developer at Satakunta University of Applied Sciences who works in both national and international projects in the field of business development.