How an online store can save your storefront

by Meike Müller
Retail is dying out - the oversupply on the market and online retailing have been ensuring this for years. Brick-and-mortar retail is having a hard time holding its own against the broad online offering and the prices prevailing there, and terms like "retail apocalypse" and "death of brick-and-mortar retail" do anything but encourage you as an already unsettled retailer. Have you already asked yourself whether your company should also take the step into online retailing? But you don't know how the development of an individual online store should support your stationary trade? We at EXWE help you with this article to clarify the first questions.

If you walk through German city centers, empty storefronts quickly make you aware of how precarious the situation really is. The economic impact of the Corona pandemic has done the rest this year, significantly worsening the already difficult starting position of the retail sector.
At a time when established companies such as Tom Tailor, Esprit or Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof are threatened with insolvency, you are probably asking yourself more and more often how stationary retail can still save itself. It is clear that concepts and processes must be adapted - and this is where digitalization comes into play for you.

Digital transformation as a challenge and an opportunity

The year is 2020 and the question is no longer whether digitization is good or bad, but how stationary retail can best implement it. If you can't be found virtually, you won't be searched for in real life. So what can you do to make your store visible and interesting for customers? The first thing you should realize as a retailer is that digitization is an opportunity for you, not an enemy. A wider reach, expanded product range, national and international clientele - these are all strong arguments for digitally connecting your store.
Your customers expect flexibility, product variety, individuality, and professional and personal advice. At the same time, they want to enjoy added value, experience, and emotions through their shopping. Convenience must not be neglected either, of course, because consumers want to be able to store anywhere, anytime, and - of course - at affordable prices. Doesn't sound so easy for you as a retailer, does it?

Cross-channel retailing is the magic word

One approach to saving your brick-and-mortar store is to connect your brick-and-mortar store with an online store. When your business uses multiple sales channels to sell products, it's called cross-channel selling. Your customers can get information online and buy offline or vice versa. A good and easy way to implement this is Shopware with its merchandise management system Pickware.
With Shopware, you can create your personalized online store or have it created for you. With the help of an iPad, a cash drawer, receipt printer and scanner, you can use Pickware as a POS system and connect it to your Shopware store. The special feature of the system: Your products and their prices never have to be entered separately into the cash register again, because after installing the Pickware app, all data is automatically transferred from your Shopware store. Pickware thus creates the perfect interface between the online and offline world. Your stocks are also managed automatically - perfect for retailers who have low storage capacities. Other plus points are contactless payment, payment by cell phone and Pick & Collect - your customer can order in your online store and easily pick up his purchase in your store.

It all sounds great, but how exactly is this going to save my store?

Of course, you're right to wonder to what extent this will help you as a brick-and-mortar retailer in the long run. One important point is the visibility and presence of your online store. Potential buyers become aware of you during the product search and your customer base expands. As already mentioned, you now have the chance to sell your products locally AND online - across cities, nationally and in the best case even internationally. Your online store also has no opening hours. So your customers can store around the clock, even if your store is closed. If you combine your store with an online store, you have the best of both worlds and offer your company new sales channels. Are you curious how you can position yourself on the digital market? Contact us and we will help you with all aspects of online store creation and develop a long-term digitalization strategy together.

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from 17.08.2020

Hello, my name is Meike. I take care of the EXWE back office and am responsible for our social media channels. All of our articles are meant to make your life easier and help you make decisions. Nevertheless, it can happen that something remains unclear, so: If you have questions about this article you can easily reach me at +49 231 93149827.

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