how to compete against online retailers?

all the cool kids lining up in Harajuku, Tokyo. image credit:

Traditional brick and mortar retailers that sell expensive products have this fear that some online outfit will sell the the same product for a cheaper price. That they will simply just test there product and then buy it online! HOW DO YOU COMPETE??

Here goes.

First of all, you do have to be somewhat price competitive especially if she is an online shopper. But a more important aspect is trust. There are still many online scams. You order something that’s half the price  – but you don’t get what you expected or get anything at all. So trust is huge. You need return policies and exchanges. You have to  reduce the risks  when it comes to expensive items.

Another thing is never underestimate the time it takes to get that product. Why? Because some people hate waiting! I can buy a book from, but it will take 5-7 days. I could pay extra for 24 hour shipping. But if I really want that book and I just want to read it today, right now, then you will go to your local Chapters and get it. Instant gratification is huge.

Exclusivity is another aspect. Some high end retailers carry items that you can’t get from other shops online or offline. Imagine being the only store that has of 10 such items in the entire city or even better –  in the entire world. That is something to talk about.

And if you can’t offer that?  You have to offer service that people really love. Make the shopping experience so amazing that you don’t have to ask them to tell their friends. But because they fundamentally choose to do it. Many people still shop at high end retail stores because of how it makes them feel. An experience that can only be captured at your store.

Note:  Check out the website –  I’ve been learning some of these concepts from that site.


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