Dan Naden

A Little Slice of Heaven at a Record Store

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?

It's easy to get evocative when your scouring through discs.
It’s easy to get evocative when your scouring through discs.

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?

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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,

Dan Naden

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