I surely hope physical music stores never die.
I know they are living on borrowed time, but I am holding out faith that they find a way to survive.
There’s something about sensing the records and discs in your hand. Flipping through U as you hunt for an older U2 record, or rifling through V to see if any Vampire Weekend music is in stock is a tactile, fun, alive experience.
I am no technophobe, yet sadly these experiences are going digital. Yes, it’s convenient to download anything, anywhere, at anytime, but aren’t we losing something in the process?
This music shop has it all: posters, instruments, a deep rare collection of hard-to-find music, knowledgeable, helpful staff.
The challenge is great for brick and mortal retailers. How do you prevent your shop from becoming just a place to price compare? It’s become common to see people comparing prices of an in store item versus what can be found on Amazon.com.
If you own a retail store or business, this isn’t time to think of better days in your past. It’s the time to think that now is your time to create an in-store experience that gets your customers talking.
So what might you do to create an in-store experience that’s remarkably memorable?
- Build packages that paint the picture: Don’t just place products in isolation. Package together complementary products that transform one random purchase into a transformation of a room or space. Think IKEA building fully-featured rooms of furniture or a music store showcasing Tom Petty’s music since Full Moon Fever.
- Show an appreciation for each visitor: Yes, the selection and convenience in the digital world can’t be beat, but what if you have a question? Using the chat function via a Web site is a lame replacement compared to getting questions answered directly from a store associate. Hire and groom employees to be the most helpful customer-centric stewards for your business.
- Use the online to drive the offline: Just because your store dwells in the physical world doesn’t mean you should neglect digital. If you do, you are making a big mistake. Use your site, social media, e-mail to promote in-store events and discounts; establish a presence online that’s different, friendly, fun.
Music stores, clothing retailers, convenience stores: use these tips to stay relevant in this ultra-competitive climate. There’s no reason why the smallest, coolest Mom and Pop can’t try its best to stand out and give the digital world a real run for its money.
Until next time,