Small retail operations are disappearing all across the country, even while others seem to thrive. In many cases, competition from online retail giants has made it especially difficult for even formerly successful brick and mortar retailers to stay in business. Given that some retailers do seem to be keeping well ahead of this tide, however, it has to be clear that some are finding effective ways of making progress. What seems to matter the most, in many cases, is looking for ways of effectively distinguishing the in-person retail shopping experience from the online one and emphasizing the benefits of the former.
While many shoppers today, for instance, appreciate the low prices and basic convenience of shopping online, that style of buying does come with plenty of drawbacks. Not being able to actually see a product in person often turns out to be a real problem, leading to some to combine preparatory window-shopping trips to local retailers with actual purchases made online. While these kinds of behaviors might not be entirely avoidable, there are ways of encouraging shoppers to rethink their relationship to a local retailer into something more productive.
What this will generally require will be delivering a level of attentive customer service that no online competitor can hope to match. While that might seem like a tall order given the low margins with which many retailers today already grapple, there are ways of freeing up resources to devote to this important priority.
Switching to the right point of sale (POS) equipment, for example, can give sales workers the ability to attend to customers’ needs much more closely. Instead of being stuck behind a traditional cash register or an immobile POS, workers who are equipped with mobile devices capable of the same functions can afford to be a lot more helpful.
Being able to move around a store and help shoppers find the products that will truly suit them the best often turns out to make a real difference. Having that kind of ongoing connection with real people also tends to make a shopper a lot more likely to buy on the spot, instead of waiting to place an order with an online competitor. The right POS for Retail can therefore deliver more than the ability to conduct a sale that was already a foregone conclusion.