At some point, the future of brick and mortar small businesses was uncertain, largely because of tough economic conditions, technological advancements, and consumer behaviour.
On one hand, the rise of e-commerce and online shopping has made it easier for consumers to purchase products from the comfort of their own homes, which has had a negative impact on many brick and mortar small businesses. However, there are still many people who prefer the personal touch and tactile experience of shopping in physical stores, and small businesses that can provide unique, personalized experiences are likely to continue to thrive.
How B&M small businesses will win!
Adopting Technology – To compete with online retailers, small brick and mortar businesses will need to adapt by incorporating technology into their operations. This can include implementing online ordering and payment systems, leveraging social media and other digital marketing tools to reach customers, and using data and analytics to better understand consumer behaviour. Of course it’s not always so easy to incorporate and, more importantly, to use effectively as it sounds when small businesses are usually short on staff and limited in funds. Small businesses are going to have to be vigilante about the technologies they adopt, considering their limited resources. Easy to use and cost effective will be important factors to consider.
Re-engaging local Customers – Every B&M businesses first customer, is the local customer. Small businesses have to invest in re-engaging with the local community to get those customers into their stores. With digital platforms such as Google and Social Media, being so competitive and expensive to advertise on, small businesses need to find alternative channels to connect with their local customer. Investing in smart technology that brings customers through the door, offering exclusive in-store deals or hosting in-store events are some tactics to get the attention of local customers.
Sustainability – The trend towards local and sustainable products and services may also benefit small brick and mortar businesses. As consumers become more conscious of the impact their purchasing decisions have on the environment and local communities, they may be more likely to shop at locally-owned stores. Cutting out shipping helps reduce waste from packaging, returns. Also reducing deliveries means reducing carbon emissions, making shopping local and in-store the sustainable option.
In conclusion, the future of small brick and mortar businesses is complex and multifaceted, but those that are able to find the right tools, adapt and provide unique, personalized experiences are likely to have a better chance of success.