June 5, 2023

Going online, great! But first base your physical clients!

Basic points to consider!

As more businesses move online, it’s important not to forget how important it is to care for and prioritize your current physical customers. There are many benefits to going online, but it’s important to think about how it might affect customer loyalty and competition. Analyze the price disparities between your online and physical stores, evaluate their impact on competition, and consider other essential factors before transitioning to the online platform.

Online Prices vs. Physical Store Prices:

One big difference between online and brick-and-mortar stores is how they set their prices. Because they don’t have to pay as much overhead, online stores can often offer big discounts, special deals, and other compelling offers. This price differential may incentivize customers to prefer online shopping over physical stores, posing challenges to retaining customer loyalty.

However, it’s crucial to note that online prices may not consistently be lower than those in physical stores. Physical stores can maintain competitive pricing by factoring in aspects like shipping costs, convenience, personalized service, and the immediacy of product availability. Highlighting these benefits is essential to differentiate your physical store and foster customer retention.

Competitors’ Response:

When you transition online, your competitors, both existing physical stores and online retailers, will become more aware of your pricing strategies. Online competitors may change their prices even more to get your customers, which will make the competition tougher. Such a scenario could trigger a price war, negatively impacting both profitability and customer loyalty.

To address this risk, concentrate on cultivating strong relationships with your current physical clientele. Emphasize the value you provide beyond price, such as exceptional customer service, in-person shopping experiences, product knowledge, and the ability to try products before purchase. By cultivating these relationships, you can maintain customer loyalty even in the face of increased competition.

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Other Points to Consider:

a. Omnichannel Approach:

Don’t think of your online and offline stores as two separate things. Instead, use an omnichannel approach so that both platforms work together. Combine online and offline channels to make shopping easier. For example, let customers pick up their online orders in-store or give them online information about products they are looking at in-store. This approach ensures consistency and convenience for your customers.

b. Unique In-Store Experiences:

Capitalize on the benefits of physical stores by creating unique and memorable experiences. Plan workshops, events, or demonstrations that will help your customers and keep them interested. Create a community around your store, which will help people feel like they have a personal connection with it, which is hard for online stores to achieve.

c. Customer Loyalty Programs:

Set up customer loyalty programs that reward and encourage your regular customers to keep buying from you. Give them special discounts, personalized deals, or early access to new products. Making your loyal customers feel valued can help them feel more connected to your brand and less likely to switch to an online competitor.

d. Enhanced Customer Service:

Invest in well-trained staff who deliver exceptional customer service. Customers will be more likely to choose your store over online options if you offer personalized interactions, know your products well, and have a friendly atmosphere.

Accepting the online world can open up new business opportunities, but it’s important to put your current customers first. Understand the differences between online and physical store prices, anticipate competitive responses, and consider additional factors such as an omnichannel approach, unique in-store experiences, customer loyalty programs, and enhanced customer service.

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Prioritize exceptional treatment for Your physical clients over online clients
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