Retail entrepreneurs are now rethinking their business strategy, a testament to how things are changing to accommodate both online and offline efforts. When the Internet retail boom hit, everyone followed a singular advice: take your retail business online.
True enough, those that had a brick and mortar setup soon began hiring web developers and designers to help them take their online game up a notch. Search engine optimisation was not far behind, because now it was not just a battle for the attention of customers walking down the street on which your store was built, but for the possibility of ranking higher in online searches. Those searches could come from anywhere. So now it was not just about local customers, but customers from all around the world.
Even those that never owned a store soon began building their virtual versions. Don’t be surprised if online shops outnumber the shops that actually take up real estate. That’s just how powerful online shopping has become.
Some entrepreneurs don’t even have websites. What they usually do is create an account on Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms. Then they use those accounts to start selling. Small businesses have never been easier to build.
Now, entrepreneurs are coming full circle. They’re taking their successful online operations offline — well, not exactly offline, but they’re building actual retail versions of their Internet shops. And it’s no longer about trying to market to the world — not always — it’s about going local.
So now it’s not just about hiring the best graphic designers to give an eCommerce website a snazzy upgrade; it’s also about buying the latest retail display shelving to attract those people on the street and those who take the time to get their heads out of their smartphone screens to finally walk into what they found on Google. It’s about using your website, social media accounts, online listings and blogs to direct people to your physical store. It’s about building authority, just like it’s always been, and this time you’re giving your authority a face outside of a screen.
Who would’ve thought that going back to the physical would take entrepreneurs to the next frontier? But it’s happening now, and even Google is adjusting its algorithms to support this latest development.