For business owners, online threats can come in a variety of forms. This is true not just for online companies, of course, but also for offline companies. Even if you’re the owner of a brick and mortar store, online reviews can still prove devastating, as can defamatory posts. That’s why brick and mortar stores need reputation defense every bit as much as online merchants.
In fact, there is one form of Internet-enabled attack that is specific to brick and mortar stores. It’s a practice known as showrooming. Here’s how it works: A consumer comes into your store to look at a product up close, handle it, hold it, take it for a test spin. Then, if he or she sees that the product is high quality, the consumer will order it online—saving a few bucks in the process, more often than not.
The Internet has made showrooming all too common, which is why many retail stores are facing problems on the brick and mortar side of things. What’s more, showrooming can cause damage to your products, because they are handled so much. Surprisingly, though, there are some online content writing and reputation defense tips that can help brick and mortar stores ward off the harmful effects of showrooming.
In-Store Coupons, Online Advertising
Just because your store is a brick and mortar, that doesn’t mean you can’t use online ads and search listings to your advantage. In fact, you can actually use this Google real estate to curb the effects of showrooming. In your Google ads, of even in the search engine text for your main website, alert consumers to the fact that you offer big discounts and coupons—only available for use in stores. Consumers can download the coupons, then actually buy the products in your store.
Priced for Competition
As the owner of a brick and mortar store, you probably know that you have to price your products competitively. When a consumer orders a product online, there is often a price discount, but the consumer also has to wait for the item to ship. Your task is to offer pricing that is discounted enough to offset this shipping delay.
Simply offering competitive pricing is not enough, though. You also have to advertise this fact. Part of your reputation defense strategy should be developing content that makes your competitive pricing clear to online searchers.
Using Search to Your Advantage
A final reputation defense tip is to remember that, while the Internet is what enables showrooming in the first place, it can also provide you with defense against it. Specifically, you can implement reputation defense tactics that prioritize local SEO. Getting local consumers to bring some foot traffic to your store is a great way to counterbalance the effects of showrooming.
Ultimately, of course, showrooming is a matter of consumer behavior. There is little that can be done to fully change it. However, brick and mortar storeowners can ensure that are protecting themselves against all forms of online attack—including the damaging practice of showrooming.
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