7 Reasons Getting Your Brick and Mortar Store Online Is a Relatively Safe Bet

Crisis creates opportunity.

Something like a global pandemic ends up leveling the playing field. With fewer customers and hours spent managing the daily operational struggles, businesses have time to think and explore new grounds.

There is no denying that the pandemic has changed almost every aspect of human lives all over the world. Due to the unforeseen crisis, there have been major shifts in personal lives, society, economy, and businesses. The retail industry has not been spared by this turmoil and retail businesses have been struggling to get back on their feet amidst the crisis.

It is quite clear that digitization and online presence is the key to business continuity in the current situation. Retail businesses all over the world are making modifications to their business model to adapt to the changes in market behavior. It is essential to find sustainable ways to ensure that the business continues and thrives.

Due to the mandated quarantine, many brick and mortar stores had to shut their doors for a long time. The US retail industry has suffered a loss of over $100 billion. Since the stores are closed and people are hesitant to come out of their homes, many shoppers have switched over to online stores. A lot of these customers started using eCommerce websites for the first time during the pandemic. The writing is on the wall that it is time that you start taking steps to transform your retail business into an online store.

Here we have tried to chalk out 7 steps for moving your retail business online.

Shift to a Digital Approach

Even before the pandemic started the consumer behavior had started moving towards eCommerce. After the mandated quarantine started, online clothing stores saw an increase in business traffic by over 160%. So giving your retail stores an online address would be the first step, along with a digital transformation of the way you run your operations and management.

Even if you have already started taking these steps, you will need to fast track it.

Why It’s a Safe Bet?

  • Better customer traffic than a physical store
  • Better revenue and sales
  • Lower expenses than a physical store
  • Exploring new customer bases outside the local bubble

Centralize Your Inventory Management

Customers who prefer shopping online also prefer buying things from multiple channels. More than 30% of adults in the US now prefer to shop on the internet with a click. You need to incorporate a multi-channel strategy with an integrated inventory management system so that you can generate more sales. Once you reopen your brick and mortar stores, they can be utilized to provide a better customer experience through store pickups and walk-ins. The integrated multichannel system will enable you to keep a check on the fast-moving inventory as well as the shifts in prices across the market.

Why It’s a Safe Bet?

  • More options for the customers to choose from
  • Customers will land on your products through multiple sites
  • Observe market trends to shift products and increase sales

Alter and Strengthen Your Logistics

The pandemic has brought certain discrepancies to limelight within the supply chain management and logistic support. Since your retail store would be one of the thousands who would turn their physical store into an online one, the competition will be stiff. Any slightest error with the delivery of the product can result in the permanent loss of a customer. Therefore you must take steps to digitize and achieve a seamless supply management and logistics chain.

The use of AI software and automation can be key factors to ensure the success of the delivery process.

Why It’s a Safe Bet?

  • Better delivery of products
  • Better customer satisfaction
  • Fewer human errors.

Alternative Manufacturing Units

Due to disruptions in cross border supplies and procurement, a lot of manufacturing hubs have been severely affected. In such a situation you must consider alternative manufacturing units for your eCommerce business, preferably located on the US soil. Also, ensure that you engage your procurement from multiple manufacturing units as that might help your supply chain and logistics.

The reorganization of your supply and manufacturing operations will help you in the long run even after the pandemic is over.

Why It’s a Safe Bet?

  • Uninterrupted supply of products
  • Multiple sources for products within the country
  • Save on shipping expenses and import duties
  • Multiple points of delivery and lower delivery charges

Create Comparative Avenues

Customers who shop online also love the ability to compare various products based on the prices, reviews, and presentations irrespective of where they finally buy it. Having multiple channels that engage customers can prove to be the key to become the final stop for a consumer’s purchase cycle. Adopting an integrated approach for your online retail store can have positive effects on the purchase pattern of customers one way or another.

Why It’s a Safe Bet?

  • Better customer engagement.
  • Increase in the number of customer checkouts and higher sales.

Better Assortment

As the demand for eCommerce increases, so will the supply. You will need to prepare your online business to cater to a bigger market and face more competition. You must be fast to add more variety of products at your online store. Displaying an assortment of products that satisfy the customer’s requirements will set you apart from your competition while adding to your customer database.

Why It’s a Safe Bet?

  • Better customer experience
  • More choices for customers
  • Enable the business to keep up with market trends

Gain New Customers

You will need to have a real-time strategy to gather data about market insights and movements to enable you to supply the current demand. The prices of online businesses fluctuate constantly so you must be able to monitor it and regulate your prices accordingly. This will give your business an edge over your competition while allowing you to attract new customers every day.

Why It’s a Safe Bet?

  • Better customer database
  • Stay ahead of the competition
  • Better price control over your products and increased profits

The Covid-19 crisis has created irreversible alterations in market patterns and behaviors. Transforming your brick and mortar store into an online retail store can bring you back in the game. Using AI-driven solutions and strategic business operations can empower you to make informed decisions and increase your revenue as well as profitability.