SHREVEPORT, LA (04.18.17) – Headlines from across news outlets… print, airwaves and digital… continue to use works like ‘Retail Meltdown,’ ‘Tipping Point,’ ‘Store Closings,’ ‘Filed for Bankruptcy’ and ‘Going Out of Business’ and ‘Layoffs.’ The fact that online commerce continues to capture sales from brick and mortar retailers has become a constant that won’t change – unless brick and mortar retailers change their approach to the marketplace.
E-commerce sales during the 2016 holiday season were up nearly 20%. Between Black Friday and Christmas eve FedEx and UPS combined to deliver over a billion packages. To be sure, not all of those packages were Christmas gifts. However, as online ordering surged, the majority were Christmas gifts. In the first 4 months of 2017 Radio Shack closed over 550 stores and most recently hh Gregg closed their doors.
In the evermore digital marketplace, all brick and mortar retailers must change their mindset and stress marketing in their approach to engage the consumer marketplace. Retailers must let the buying public know their goods and services can enrich lives. To be successful retailers must create an overall experience consumers can not get online. Hearing crisp highs, and feeling bass in the chest, just can not be experienced online. Seeing in-vehicle lighting and power sports installations first-hand will drive sales. Safety and convenience products, along with in-vehicle connectivity, are also categories where an exciting in-store experience can capture business for brick and mortar retailers.
Candidly, marketing seems to be vanishing from the landscape these days. Marketing is defined in Webster’s as 1. the act of buying or selling in a market. 2.all business activity involved in the moving of goods from the producer to the consumer-including selling, advertising and packaging. Sure seems there are so many 12volt products on the market today that consumers don’t know exist. As the “Race to Zero” to move numbers the budgets to advertise and market have virtually vanished.
Social media outreach is an extremely powerful vehicle through which 12volt retailers can develop a legion of loyal followers and engage consumers. Mobile devices are in the hands of virtually all consumers today. The smartphone is such a valuable tool for 12volt retailers to showcase their respective message to their followers and consumers. New product arrivals, hot installations and new in-store displays represent ideal content to highlight through planned social media posts.
By the time the morning coffee is brewed a far sighted 12volt retailer could have made an engaging Instagram post for his followers to checkout. That post could feature a new product with an invitation to come into the store for an ultimate demonstration. As the Instagram post was made that content could have been shared to Facebook and Twitter accounts also.
The Instagram Business Profile upgrade, which is free, allows a follower to call the store from their smartphone as they view the post. Also, a follower can send an email to the store as well as get a map to the store. Making a post, with the opportunity to get an immediate response from a follower, is an amazing outreach 12volt retailers can’t pass up in today’s marketplace.
For the good of our 12volt industry, the community of suppliers must endeavor to inform the world of the benefits mobile electronics products offer consumers. Recent emphasis on high end in-vehicle audio, connectivity, collision avoidance plus power sports for UTVs and marine plus lighting, is a terrific way to get consumers into brick and mortar stores.