In this eCommerce age, it can be easy to fall into the thought trap that traditional retail is dying a slow death.

The fact is that many retailers are still feeling their way into new niches and configurations that will serve them well in the decades to come. Not only is it important for retailers to have an online presence like the digital shops that are trying to outcompete them, it’s even more important that they reach back to their roots to find the branding message that’s central to their core being.

It might sound a little overly dramatic, but unless retailers set themselves apart, people will stop shopping in physical stores.

Branding a Retail Shop Through and Through

Branding can be literally anything.

It could be the way all the retail employees wear blue shirts and carry around tablets hoping to help someone buy an electronic device or the decor, music and energy that a store creates. The one thing that “real-life” retailers have over eCommerce shops is that they have physical, tangible spaces. Within these, the retailer can create a unique experience that can’t be had online, or anywhere else, for that matter.

But that means that branding has to get serious for retailers. Your shop needs to take every opportunity to reinforce the image you hope to impress on your customers. In this increasingly niched world, it’s important to identify your people and what it takes to attract them to the store again and again. Otherwise, you’re just another stop in the supply chain.

Advantages Retailers Have Over eCommerce

There’s no question that retailers have some specific advantages over eCommerce shops when it comes to customers.

Beyond the customer experience detailed above, there are certain things you can do in a physical shop that you can’t in an eShop, including:

  • Trying on clothing for a proper fit. Online clothing shops suffer some of the highest levels of returns, often due to poor fit or descriptions that fall short of the item in the mind of the buyer. Being able to try on those items in real life can ensure customers are buying the right size and colors, eliminating the hassle of returns for retailers and shoppers alike.
  • Examining items with your own senses. Just like the clothing conundrum, buying almost anything in a store gives a shopper a more accurate feel for what it will be like in their space. Whether it’s a table or a bottle of dish soap, there’s a lot of sensory loss when things are bought online.
  • Choosing your own items for purchase. Grocery and other food deliveries are becoming hugely popular with customers who are already accustomed to buying things online. However, many still refuse to skip the grocery store because they want the opportunity to choose items that have natural variances, like meat and produce, by their own standards.

People are absolutely still shopping in physical stores, but many are using technology to help them navigate the aisles. Your best bet to keep them coming back is to provide them with the information they want, the branding they love and the experience they deserve.