Online retail is coming to Australia. More and more Australians are not favouring various online shops to real ones. The appeal is understandable. Shoppers can buy things using a computer or a handheld device in a matter of minutes without even stepping out of the house. The brick-and-mortar retail scene in the country is still going strong, compared to what is happening to retail in the U.S., the home of Amazon.Com.
Sooner rather than later, Australian traditional businesses should expect to face serious competition from online businesses. All is not yet lost, however. There are several steps store owners can take in advance to outsell e-stores. Here are several tips that will help your shop in Sydney remain competitive against online shopping:
Upgrade the Appearance and Aesthetics of the Store
The best way to get people to visit a shop is to make it visually appealing and physically comfortable to customers. Offer something customers cannot get online. For example, if your store sells clothes, set up spacious and innovative booths for customers to try on clothes leisurely. Get rid of those try-on booths with long waiting lines. Customers may be able to look at hundreds of dresses online, but they can’t touch the fabric or try them on.
Focus on similar aspects of the purchase process that online stores cannot touch. Making the store look good would also attract customers. For starters, make sure the sign of the store is glaringly visible so even passersby won’t mind stopping by. You can use a service like Corporate Sign Solutions to design creative and high-quality signs in Sydney.
Optimise Your Store for Local Google Search
Even if you are running a brick-and-mortar store, make sure the shop has a website. Customers will go online to look up information about your store, or what your shop is selling. It’s important to have this online visibility to attract attention. The main advantage for shops with a website is that you can optimise the site for Google local search. Think about your target audience.
Who is most likely to stop by the store? People who are in the city or visit the city temporarily. When anyone who is located in Sydney conducts an online search, these search results are made relevant to the locale by the algorithm. For example, if someone in Sydney Google “Italian food,” the search results would include a list of restaurants located nearby.
Likewise, optimise your site with keywords and phrases that will attract a local audience. Localised optimisation will actually bring online shoppers to your actual store.
Invest in Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is really the best way to get your brand on the word-of-mouth train. Social media is a very powerful tool, particularly for smaller brands, to become visible to the target audience. Social media sites, like Google, also use local search.
For example, your ad can be exclusively shown to Facebook users in the area. Social media is the best way to engage with potential customers to create brand awareness and also to drive traffic and conversions. Therefore, dedicate a hefty amount of your marketing budget to social media marketing. Hire a great team to stay ahead in the retail business.
It is not impossible for a brick-and-mortar store to outperform online retail and actually survive the onslaught of e-business. Use the above tips as a starting point. 🙂