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How can technology help brick-and-mortar retailers compete against e-tailers?

Physical retail isn’t dying; it’s evolving

In the era of e-commerce, traditional retailers find themselves engaged in a challenging battle with their online counterparts.

Physical stores not only grapple with the financial burdens of renting prime locations and employing staff, which often exceed the expenses of online operations, but also face limitations in customer outreach due to their localized presence.

One of the key distinctions between brick-and-mortar stores and their online counterparts lies in the aspect of convenience. Online shopping consistently outshines in-store shopping in terms of convenience: virtual stores typically stock all sizes, including specialty sizes, offer a wide array of colors, eliminate the need to wait in long lines, and allow shopping from any location. Moreover, online shopping provides personalized and tailored experiences, a feature that traditional physical stores do not always offer (even though they should).

However, technology has emerged as a beacon of hope for traditional retailers through the adoption of omnichannel strategies. These strategies serve as a bridge that closes the gap between physical stores and their online adversaries.

This blog will outline how technology can help brick-and-mortar retailers compete against e-tailers.

Unveiling Omnichannel Mastery

Omnichannel retailing is not just the future; it’s the lifeblood of any modern retail enterprise. In its simplest definition, omnichannel retailing is the art of integration. It’s about ensuring your brand’s message, service, and delivery method remain consistent across all platforms—be it the classic storefront, a website, or a mobile application. This fluidity in experience encourages customer loyalty and often translates to an uptick in sales.

But why does it work so well, and how can it be harnessed to revive brick-and-mortar sales?

Customer-Centric Consistency

73% of consumers juggle multiple shopping channels during their shopping journeys. They start on their phone, consult their laptop, and maybe finish at your store. This is the dance of convenience, and customers expect your organization to know the steps. They want a fluid experience—prices, products, and promotions mirroring the store regardless of its digital or physical reality. The promise of “you can find us anywhere” is only fulfilled when “us” is the same, each and every time.

The Power of Personalization

Customers now anticipate tailored recommendations and offers founded on their shopping past and preferences across all platforms. An impressive 80% of customers lean towards brands that provide customized experiences, emphasizing the importance of personalization in omnichannel retail.

On digital platforms, algorithms customize experiences for individuals. By incorporating in-store technology with omnichannel capabilities, brick-and-mortar businesses can offer personalized customer experiences as effectively and efficiently as online retailers.

Picture the sales associate who remembers your favorite colors and suggests a new product based on your recent online purchase. This personal touch fosters customer loyalty.

Converting Stores into Omnichannel Hubs

When your stores are seen as liabilities, it’s time to reframe their purpose. Each location, every square foot becomes a potential hub in the omnichannel network.

Maximizing Fulfillment Flexibility

Today’s technology has revolutionized the way retail stores function by transforming them into efficient fulfillment centers. The integration of Buy-Online-Pick-Up-In-Store (BOPIS), curbside pickup, and Buy-Online-Return-In-Store (BORIS) options has rejuvenated the traditional in-person shopping experience by connecting the physical and digital realms. This integration not only enhances convenience but also amplifies customer satisfaction by offering a harmonious blend of online efficiency and personalized service in-store.

Enhanced Visibility and Engagement

Imagine the invisible data threads linking your customers’ online behaviors to their in-store interactions. Technology enables retailers to create an intricate tapestry that engages and guides customers through an omnichannel journey. Providing digital channels enables customers to engage with associates while shopping online, so they can ask questions about product details, receive personalized recommendations, and seek assistance in making informed purchase decisions. Additionally, by providing associates with visibility into a customer’s online activities, they can better understand preferences and shopping habits to better personalize their journey.

Inventory Management in Real-Time

Endless aisle technology equips store teams to showcase the full breadth of product offerings and get them into customers’ hands regardless of where the inventory is located. Knowing that the product they desire is in a store a mile away and ready for pick-up within the hour can make all the difference between a sale and a lost opportunity.

Additionally, with real-time inventory tracking, retailers can harness technology to prevent stock-outs or overpacking, ultimately saving costs and customer dissatisfaction.

Bringing it all together

Retail isn’t dying; it’s evolving, and your store can evolve with it.

The technology is here, the strategies tried and tested. By transforming your retail stores into omnichannel champions, you not only compete against e-tailers but set new standards.

Omnichannel retailing is crucial for modern retail success, integrating the brand across all platforms. Customer-centric consistency and personalization play key roles, driving loyalty and sales. Converting stores into omnichannel hubs maximizes fulfillment flexibility, enhances visibility, and offers real-time inventory management for an enhanced customer experience.

Learn more

Contact us today to learn more about Tulip’s best-in-class Clienteling and POS capabilities that provide omnichannel retail for the world’s most iconic retailers like David Yurman, Versace, Jimmy Choo, Mulberry, Saks Fifth Avenue, Ferragamo, COACH, and Michael Kors.

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