Any brick and mortar retailer knows that the current retail business is in a state of flux. The former status quo of enormous malls and expansive department stores seems more and more like a remnant of the past, especially with the recent bankruptcy filing of onetime industry king Sears. The short explanation is that the internet has shifted everything online, but that’s not the end of this tale. The truth is that the future of retail is still wide open to businesses that are willing to innovate and redefine themselves.
With the meteoric rise of Amazon as the new king of retailers, there are quite a few brick and mortar companies just trying to keep up with all the changes that have come to the industry. The dominance of online retail and the hit that pure-play brick and mortar retailers have taken in sales and customer base, has, in short, shaken the industry to its core. But that doesn’t mean brick and mortar is dead. It just means it has to change with the times and find new ways of drawing customers in.
The real question for any retailer is how to change and what aspects of their business to invest in. To solve this problem, many new ideas are popping up about what a successful retail plan for the future will look like, including one concept that aims to find a balance between the classic and modern models of the retail business.
The New Model for Retail
Industry experts have recently noticed one trend that is catching on fast in the retail world. That is the clicks-to-bricks model. Functioning as an effective combination of the best parts of online and brick and mortar retail, clicks-to-bricks retailers offer both quick and effective delivery as well as a physical location where customers can interact with and try out products.
This new model aims to combine the warehousing and fast delivery of e-tailers with the experience of trying out products and getting expert help from store clerks. Often this manifests as a small showroom that features limited products available from the retailer, products people can try out then add to their cart of products that will be delivered to their home.
With many e-tailers moving in the direction of opening showrooms and minimal brick and mortar locations, current brick-and-mortar retailers can stay a step ahead by leveraging the power of their physical locations to provide customers with a flexible purchasing experience, one rooted in a balance between customer service and convenience. This allows people to choose the way they want to buy products and experience the store based on their own individual preference.
Leveraging Logistics to Stay Competitive
Whether or not you want to shift your efforts to be more like clicks-and-bricks retailers, an extremely effective way to jumpstart your brick and mortar business is to use logistics to your advantage. With same-day and two-day delivery becoming the norm in the industry, most modern customers expect to get products fast. By combining efficient delivery options with unbeatable customer service, you can turn your brick and mortar business into a powerhouse retailer.
To gain that upper hand, investing in same-day delivery from your store is a great place to start. That way customers are granted the convenience of having a product quickly delivered to their house, but also have the ability to go buy it at the physical store, or even reserve it in advance for in-store pickup if that’s what they prefer. People who want the hands-on customer service experience that a brick and mortar store offers will have access to that. If they don’t, they can also stay at home and easily get the product delivered to their doorstep.
The Future of Retail
Regardless of how the future of retail plays out, we know that effective logistics will be the key. That’s why you need an adaptive and forward-thinking logistics company like Expak. To discuss more about how we can improve the efficiency and speed of your deliveries, get in touch with our team of supply chain experts at your convenience. We look forward to helping your company find success.