Toledo, OH—In its weekly Tuesday Tips & Tricks newsletter this week, Fruchtman Marketing addressed the issue of clicks to mortar—i.e., online companies such as Blue Nile and Amazon launching physical locations. In her article, president Ellen Fruchtman says that when Blue Nile initially set up two pilot shops inside Nordstrom stores, nobody in the industry seemed terribly worried. She was astounded. “I had no idea why you weren’t worried,” she writes.
The Blue Nile/Nordstrom pilot test proved to Blue Nile that the e-tailer was correct in its instincts to open a physical store. The Centurion asked Fruchtman for five first-step tips to do now to ensure you can compete successfully in a multi-channel retail world.
Here are her Top Five Tips to compete with click-only companies and click companies adding bricks:
- Start by becoming bricks and clicks. Provide the option to buy on your own site. Just temper your expectations. Currently, the consumer still wants to buy in-store, but times are changing quickly.
- Make sure you have the most up-to-date web responsive site, with streaming product, beautiful photography, descriptions, and pricing. Understand it's the single most important marketing component to your business. Don't cheap out on this initiative. You wouldn't install plastic showcases in your "bricks" so do the same with your "clicks". And, do not provide the same experience online in look and feel to the guy down the road. Your prospect is checking them too.
- Your marketing should communicate the ease of shopping/purchasing online and the added benefit of knowing it's anchored by brick and mortar.
- If you can't beat the price, beat the service. Make sure your service offerings are exceptional from very lenient return policies to lifetime free appraisals every X years. Look at what your online competitors offer and blow them out of the water.
- Pricing: Become more competitive in your pricing. It's going to have to happen. Be transparent at the counter; even show some pricing. And, make price part of the conversation. It's not a dirty word.
Ellen Fruchtman says start addressing click-to-brick competition now, before it opens in your town.