Indie retailers can survive – even thrive – during the holidays
For independent retailers, the 800-pound gorilla again this holiday season is Amazon.com. Just when you think the onslaught of online shopping tactics Amazon uses may be starting to slow down, they roll out new ways to shop — offline. A prime example is Amazon’s pop-up stores in Whole Foods.
Independent brick and mortar retailers are hoping to survive, especially during the holiday season. Here are three tactics that I recommend:
- Join a community. FromShop Small Saturday to Independent We Stand to the local Chamber of Commerce, join the community that resonates best with your values. Interact on social media, sign up for newsletters, make the most of free resources offered. As an independent retailer, many times your business demands more than you can handle and marketing gets pushed to the side. This is where Shop Small Saturday can work to your advantage. With free marketing materials available online at shopsmall.com and an active group of Neighborhood Champions to support you offline on Shop Small Saturday, become an active participant in the Shop Small movement.
- Use a QR code. QR codes are starting to be used for augmented reality and are called AR codes.Get a QR code for your business at a free online site. Place it on your marketing materials. Make it easy for a shopper with a smartphone to learn about you and your products or services. Getting traction on your QR code is important and sets you up to expand your marketing with AR in the future.
- Viewshowrooming and webrooming as your allies. “Technology may be changing the surface of the game, but the underlying strategies to win remain the same,” according to the National Retail Federation’s “2017 Holiday Planning Playbook.” It’s a simple fact that shoppers use their smartphones for both online and offline shopping. Be sure to leverage the smartphone to your advantage with an active online presence and outstanding offline customer experience.
These are just a few ways to use online to enhance the offline shopping experience and increase your opportunity to survive this holiday season.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Which of the suggestions in the article do you see as most important for small retailer success during the holidays? What would you add to this list?