You would be forgiven that thinking that setting up a store in the modern age is one of the most obvious business disasters ever committed. After all, the e-commerce industry is thriving and is cheaper in many ways. And while there is a debate between setting up a store online and in-person, there is a lot to be said for the expanding physical brick-and-mortar setup. The retail industry is not dying a death, but it is changing. Many entrepreneurs are looking to bridge the gap between the online and physical experience and this is where setting up a store can be a common-sense approach. But how do we set up a store in the modern-day?
Bridging the Gap Between the Online and the Real World
When it comes to finding a gap in the market, it all depends on what you are selling. Many retail stores take advantage of providing services that you cannot get online. This can be clothes of course, but it’s also now about setting up a VR experience. Because there are things you can do online and not in person, as well as vice versa, you can now use a physical store to help customers go online. This means that there is a significant amount of equipment that you would need to ship in. Truck freight shipping services like Shiply can help when it comes to the sheer magnitude of stuff that you need to set up in a physical store, but it’s also important to remember that a retail store can have a sense of minimalism. The best approach is to ensure a sense of cohesion between all platforms.
Focus on Customer Service
Again, this goes back to what an online store cannot bring to the experience. While there are many ways online businesses are looking to increase human interaction, it is no replacement for human face-to-face contact. Customer service is about the personal touch. It’s also about ensuring that you know when to leave a customer alone. The days of the hard sell are almost behind us because of email marketing, but when there is a well-trained member of staff that can use soft skills to build a rapport with a customer, this is where a retail store becomes invaluable. Customer service components in an online setting are all about emails and online forms without that visceral human interaction. Customer service, in a human sense, can trump the online store.
Is Opening a Store the Best Option?
While there’s plenty of information to state that online retail is where it’s at, we have to remember that many people don’t like online experiences. The rigmarole of having to return an item is a very common example. When we’ve been purchasing items in a retail environment for more than 100 years, this habit can die hard. And this is why setting up a store is an alternative option in the modern-day. If you are looking to set up a unique retail experience, a store may very well provide that right now, as long as you know how to bridge the gap between the online and the real world.