[:en]How Physical Retailers Can Stay in Business And Thrive[:]

[:en]How do you compete with Amazon? They can cut prices just to remove competition. They deliver in 2 days. You can pick what you want and get it at the price you want. It’s more convenient than going to a store just a few blocks away.

How do you beat that?

You don’t. Amazon sees itself as a tech company who happens to be in retail. This unique perspective has skyrocketed them to a nearly impenetrable position as the market leader.

But, if you have a physical store and want to remain in business, you don’t have to fret. Here’s how you not only keep your doors open, but continue to grow in a market dominated by Amazon:

  • Learn from Lowe’s “LoweBot”

Beginning in fall of last year, Lowe’s rolled out an autonomous customer service robot at select stores called the “LoweBot.” But the LoweBot wasn’t just an in-store gimmick.

Sure, it would attract attention because of its uniqueness. But the true utility was in its ability to answer simple customer questions. That would free up employees to have more time to deliver personalized service and project expertise.

Besides this project, which we don’t yet know the outcome of, Lowe’s launched its “Innovation Labs” to constantly discover more ways they can meet the changing demands of the marketplace. Long-term, that may be their true key to market success.

  • Invest in an Amazing Brand Story That Connects with Your Customers

Customers don’t buy what you do. That’s simple to accept because so many retailers do basically the same thing. If people focused on buying what you do, you’d have no need to market your company.

Instead, consumers buy why you do what you do. And to help them understand why you do what you do, they need to hear a story.

Coca-Cola masters this. They sell happiness. When you drink Coke, you’ll feel happy, the promise goes.

Finding the perfect story your market wants to hear, and then creating the business behind it that makes it reality isn’t easy. But it’s a way to nearly guarantee you survive and thrive in retail.

  • Build Customer Relationships

If there’s one thing Amazon stinks at, it’s email. Their emails are dry, humorless, and seem like they’re written by machines. Email doesn’t have to be used just to drive online sales.

You can use it to create in-store sales too. And you’ll get the best response when you have personality. That simply means writing your emails not like you’re writing to 100,000 customers, but as though you’re writing directly from yourself to another individual you know personally.

That’s the value of email marketing. You build personal relationships in ways impossible with any other marketing tactic.

Can you compete with Amazon? Yes. Every giant has its weaknesses and blind side.

Most physical retailers that lag behind haven’t budgeted for researching the market and keeping pace with emerging trends. They reacted to changes long after they happened, rather than innovating and moving the market forward.

But you can compete. And now you have three tactics which help you do just that.[:]