Brick and mortar retail is losing because most just hope someone shows up every day. This is why malls will be failing all over the country in the coming years. People have to go there, find parking, get out, walk in, and find a store. Why will people still go to movie theaters when technology comes along to put a device on your head and have a virtual experience in the comfort of your own home? For a retail store to survive in the coming years they will need to generate their own opportunities and traffic.
Sears had 3,500 stores in 2011. Today they have less than 1,500.
There’s a reason why Sears and others like JC Penny are shrinking—and dying. Retailers can blame falling sales on the economy, but the reality is poor customer service and no attention on sales opportunities are the real reasons. You can wander through a department store and go from the men’s section to the kid’s section to the hardware section and never have one human being even say hi to you.
This was in 2011 and it’s only gotten worse…
Does your big retailer experience mirror mine?
Here are 4 reasons why brick and mortar retail is dead:
1) Retailers Don’t Know How to Greet
How many minutes does it take when you step into a retail store before you are even acknowledged? Appoint a greeter who makes customers feel welcomed and directs them to the department they need. “Thanks for coming. What can I get you information on or what department can I direct you to?”
2) Retailers Believe Customers are “just looking”
This is an important one. A customer can “just look” online if they choose, so ignore this idea that any buyer is just looking and respond with, “90% of the people that come here start off by having a look. Why did you come today?” Show them specials, updates and other inventory choices that may not appear on your website. Take advantage of the fact that you have them there in-person to interact with.
3) Retailers Allow Customers to Wait
When customers wait they become restless and unreliable. No customer who ventures out to a store using his or her time should have to wait for anything. Make sure your sales process is fast and easy. Waiting in long lines to pay should be a thing of the past.
4) Retailers Ignore Second Sales
Every product purchase creates an opportunity for another product sale. Wait until the first product is all but rung up and offer other products that would best support the first purchase. “We have a scarf that would be perfect with that coat. Let me show you.” People are open to buying more to justify their first purchase. We have all done it before.
We live in a world today where people do mobile call-ins to Starbucks—many people don’t want to stop at a place, let alone wait 3 minutes for a coffee. This is why Amazon has blown up. A lot of people don’t want to deal with retail. It’s easy to shop online, and soon you’ll be getting your stuff delivered by drones.
For a retailer to be successful in 2017—and all those who work in retail—you need to commit to service. You must exceed your customer’s expectations and deliver outstanding customer service. You know the feeling you get when you receive great service—it makes you want to buy regardless of price. Give attention to the customer because people like it when you make them feel important. This is different than pestering a customer. When you give the right kind of attention, it’s never annoying.
Retail as you know it is dead, but you can still create your own economy in retail.
I’d encourage all of you out there—in retail or not—to get a ticket to stream 10XGrowthCon. This is going to be one of the best investments you could make this year to grow your income and business.