How Do Brick and Mortar Stores Thrive In The Age Of Amazon?

Storefont with open sign

Adaptation in the Amazon age can seem to be a behemoth of a task. With Amazon pulling in $1 billion in sales on its best day last year, for a whopping $141.92 billion in total sales in 2018, brick and mortar stores are left shaking in their boots. Even giants like Wal-Mart are struggling to compete, and have adapted their game plan to offer services like grocery pickup and free home delivery.

Although online vendors and brick and mortar stores both provide immense benefits to their customers, lately the latter have struggled to compete, and finding the right ways to market them is key to surviving. Your physical space offers a genuine human connection and the opportunity to make a name for yourself within a community. Take advantage of these unique circumstances.

Don’t be afraid to sell online, including through Amazon

You know what they say: Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Use a combination of marketing through your physical store, a third-party marketplace like Amazon, and your own website to push your product into the collective consciousness of those seeking the solutions your business offers. This multi-pronged approach is your best bet for bringing in revenue.

Offer the warmth and attention that Amazon can’t

Brick and mortar store owners have a unique opportunity when it comes to forging strong, personal connections with the people who walk through their doors. Whether you’re a local clothing boutique or a fishing gear retailer, you get to have conversations and share opinions about your products that Amazon will never be able to replace. Sure, online reviews bring back repeat customers, but warm and genuine conversation that helps a customer choose the products that are best for them is a marketing tool that Amazon doesn’t have in its arsenal.

Brick and mortar is instant, Amazon is not

Amazon is convenient, but there’s something to be said about instant gratification. When shoppers walk into your store, it’s because they’re not willing to wait 2-3 business days to receive the product they are looking for. Use this as an opportunity to upsell and promote products. Impulse purchases are real– There’s a reason stores put the candy bars by the checkout line.

Find your product niche

In 2018, Etsy was up 20.4% in sales from the previous year, with total revenue reaching an all-time high of $132.39 million. Why? People are willing to pay more for handmade, artisan goods that appeal to their particular tastes. For example, this Sherpa pullover costs only $22.94 on Amazon, but the exact same brand and product costs $39.99 on Etsy because it comes with a monogram. Capitalize on your product niche and market to the kinds of people that you know are willing to buy it.

Keeping the doors of a brick and mortar store open in the online era is hard work, but it isn’t impossible. The secret to success lies in your ability to treat people like people, not just another shopper. It’s a tool that can form strong bonds and create a thriving repeat customer base that seeks out your unique products and helpful insight. That’s something Amazon just doesn’t have.

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