Business Tools

How Brick-and-Mortar Can Stay Ahead of Online Retailers

By Michael Hart

Online aftermarket industry sales are growing rapidly. According to one report, online aftermarket revenue was $6.5 billion last year. That report also notes that retail stores generated $30 billion in sales—proof that brick-and-mortar isn’t going anywhere. What do you need to do to guarantee your store’s sales continue to grow in the face of this digital challenge?

The 2016 SEMA Show will introduce a new retail track designed to provide ammunition to take on online competitors. The best strategy for competing with e-commerce is customized customer service. In “5 Ways Brick-and-Mortar Is Beating Online,” attendees will learn tactics to assure customers that the best way to get what they want is to come into their stores and why personalized service trumps internet shopping.

There’s a ton of information available online today about specialty equipment. In fact, maybe there’s too much information for the DIY hobbyist who must be able to visit his or her local installer, builder, tuner or restyler, and talk face-to-face about the project and how to complete it. Attendees can learn how to turn their expertise and knowledge into dollars with the session “Selling Value Is Winning Back Customers at Brick-and-Mortar Shops.”

The specialty-equipment industry isn’t the only business segment experiencing the looming threat of digital competition. Some of the basic principles of how to overcome obstacles and thrive in an e-tail economy are universal. The “Retail Perspectives: Universal Principles of Retail Success” session will show what winners in other industries—photography, music and book sellers—are doing to guarantee success in their retail outlets.

Finally, the “7 Low-Cost Design Ideas for Small Retail Spaces” session will offer good nuts-and-bolts advice on what to do with customers once they enter the store. The consumer is changing and so must a store’s interior layout. Learn some common-sense design strategies that will generate more revenue today.

Competing with an anonymous website can be tricky for brick-and-mortar store managers, so take advantage of the SEMA Show’s retail track to find out how to beat online competitors.

View complete information on all the 2016 SEMA Show education tracks.