From CompUSA and Circuit City to Toys ‘R Us and Harold’s, countless retail businesses have been forced to close their doors in recent years. However, the retail industry is not going away anytime soon. According to Statista, most consumers prefer to shop locally in brick-and-mortar stores than online. To connect with these consumers and weather the recent market fluctuations, retail businesses are using the following tactics.
Some retail businesses are opening up stores in outlet centers to boost sales and revenue. Check out our Disney Store, Rawlings, Coleman, Orvis and more as more proof that big name retailers are pursuing this model. While traditional shopping malls are seeing fewer shoppers than in the past, outlet centers are seeing more. A survey of more than 2,500 U.S. consumers in 2016 found that more than one-quarter had visited an outlet store in the past 30 days. Outlet stores often offer better deals than traditional retail stores because they cut out the middle man, thereby making them popular among budget-conscious shoppers.
One of the biggest complaints by consumers who shop at local retail stores is the long, tedious checkout process. After choosing their products, shoppers must wait in line at a checkout register. Some retail businesses, however, are seeking to simplify the checkout process. Fortune reports that Walmart is developing a cashier-less store that allows shoppers to purchase products without checking out. Amazon launched a similar grocery store earlier this year. Known as Amazon Go, the Seattle-based grocery store automatically scans shoppers’ products while they are shopping.
Discount shopping is paving the way for a brighter retail market. Even if a retail business has a website, it may offer discounts that are exclusive to its local stores. These in-store discounts can often attract shoppers who would otherwise not visit the business’s store. Whether it’s a buy one, get one free offer or 10 percent off, consumers love to save money. By offering discounts exclusive for in-store use, retailers today are achieving greater success.
Personalized Customer Service
A key difference between retail shopping and e-commerce is that the former relies on positive customer interactions. If a shopper has a poor experience with a retail store’s staff, he or she will probably leave and never return. This has prompted many retail businesses to provide exceptional, personalized customer service.
Positive, Recognizable Brand
A retail business’s brand is essential to its success. Even if a shopper doesn’t buy anything, he or she may still remember the business’s brand. So, the next time that person wants something sold by the business, he or she may visit its retail store. For this to happen, though, the retail business must create a positive, recognizable brand. Many retailers now use an omni-channel marketing strategy to achieve this goal. Rather than focusing on a single marketing channel, omni-channel includes multiple channels.
To better connect with millennials, retail businesses are developing and launching their own mobile apps. The Walmart app for Android and iOS devices allows shoppers to check the prices of products in store while they shop by scanning the barcode. If a shopper finds a product that’s missing a price tag, he or she can simply scan the barcode using the Walmart app to instantly check its price. The app also features the retail giant’s rewards program, Savings Catcher, allowing shoppers to receive store credit for select purchases. Some apparel retailers have developed mobile apps that allow shoppers to try on garments in a virtual environment. The apps work by displaying a digital image of a garment over the shopper’s body.
Not all retail stores will survive. Like all markets, some retail businesses fail while others succeed. But many successful retailers are using the tactics listed here to make a comeback.
Conventional wisdom might be that millennials and Gen X’ers are completely allergic to shopping in brick and mortar stores, preferring to their retail shopping completely from their computers or smartphones.
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However, conventional wisdom is wrong. While online shopping is a huge business, it’s not as though 20-40 year olds are completely avoidant of traditional shopping methods. In facts, research suggests that this younger generation actually prefers shopping this way.
The Internet Is Not The Experience They Are Looking For
It isn’t that millennials don’t use the internet for shopping. It’s just that they like to supplement their online shopping experience with visits to brick and mortar stores. Why? Because visiting stores in-person allows one to get up close and personal with a product. Misgivings about a product can’t be as easily assuaged on a website as they are online. When one visits a store, they can get much better assessments of a product. Consider jewelry as a case study. Christopher & Banks, QVC Outlet, Ten Thousand Villages, Bass, New York & Co, will all agree that on the whole people prefer to try jewelry on.
It also helps to have the face-to-face experience. When someone is shopping for a product online, it can be difficult to fully trust the promises of the anonymous text in the description. However, if one is speaking with a retailer such as a salesperson, they can forge a better connection. Plus, it’s much easier to ask questions this way. Seeing a product in person can help a shopper consider things they previously hadn’t. They can ask for a demonstration and bring up any concerns that they might have. This is much easier than waiting to order something and crossing one’s fingers that it functions as expected.
This doesn’t mean that a millennial is guaranteed to buy something in a brick and mortar store. They might use that shopping experience as a means of seeing how a product works before purchasing it online. However, we know that because of our amazing shops and ultra-low prices on popular name brands, that our shoppers won’t have to do this!
Millennials are still patronizing brick and mortar stores suggesting they have more vitality than people think. Even if they don’t purchase the product that they’re testing, they might still be drawn to other products in a store. It’s important for brick and mortar retailers to be able to stress their other products and to be accommodating to all their customers to encourage repeat business.
Millennials aren’t hermits. They might be busy with work and school, but that doesn’t mean they’re not going to take the time to go in a store. After all, how else would they purchase essentials like their weekly groceries? Even if they are using their smartphones for some shopping, plenty of them are happy to come into a store. They appreciate the hospitality of having their questions answered by someone in-person.
It’s also important to remember that the convenience of retail stores can often trump that of online. If a millennial realizes that they would have to wait up to a week and provide their shipping and credit card information, they might understandably be more drawn to go into a brick and mortar business with cash.
The next time you’re in a brick and mortar store, take a look at the other customers. You might be surprised by how many are in their 20s, 30s and 40s. Millennials are not the death knell of the traditional retail industry. If anything, they’re what’s keeping it thriving.
The Shops @Rockvale are offering the best deals for back to school fashion perfect for men, women, and children!
Who says you can’t go to school in style?
Here at The Shops @Rockvale, we’re always keeping up with the newest, coolest, and most fashion-forward trends to keep you looking good. With the number of stores to choose from, your appetite for fashion will surely be satisfied. Your schoolmates will be left speechless!
2018 Trends-Keep It Movin’. Lancaster PA’s Back To School Shopping Destination For The Best Clothing Deals. More Than Just Outlet Shopping!
And because 2017 introduced some cool and flirty-bold trends, we’re not going that road anymore. 2018 is all about exploring different styles and showing the world who you really are—through the most interesting clothes and accessories available! In a word- its about progression in fashion, but also THROWBACK styles.
Here we’ll give you a rundown of some of the latest back to school trends to flaunt your personal style.
Back to School Fashion for Boys-Young Men
Teenage boys and men alike don’t have to shy away from fashion anymore. Whether they are aiming for maximum swag or just wanting to look classier, there are plenty of fashionable options. Just remember that you don’t have to settle for just plain t-shirts and straight cut jeans.
There are ways to look stylish while staying comfortable: accessorize with a white cap, and sneakers to create that casual, sporty look. Having skinny blue jeans paired with white sneakers is a simple way to give off that confident vibe.
This year, having shirts tied around your waist is a trend you don’t want to miss out on.
And don’t shy away from your floral prints: men can rock these outfits and look stylish too.
Back to School Fashion for Girls & Young Women
For accessories, berets and statement earrings are making a surprisingly grand comeback. Berets are cute, classy, and easy to wear. You can take any look from bland to bold.
Looking to jump in on that brand logo trend? 90’s branded sweatshirts, hoodies, and t-shirts are in style too! Visit these stores: Alfred Dunner, New York & Co, and Christopher and Banks. They provide high quality apparel for women.
Back to School Fashion for Kids
Your kids probably aren’t too concerned about fashion- or are they? There are plenty of options out there that can make dressing up fun for them too!
This season, animal-themed outfits are in, and there are so many printed shirts available that feature your child’s favorite animal. If you’re looking for something more versatile or casual, try plaid patterns. Your kids can wear it all the way into the holidays! They never really go out of style.
Your kids will love wearing these styles back to school.
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The shopping landscape has experienced many changes over the past several years. Online shopping has become big business, with over 90 percent of retail sales coming from E-commerce in the first quarter of 2018. The popular perception is that millennials and gen x shoppers born between the mid-1970s and the early 2000s, are driving this shift in the retail landscape.
You may be surprised to learn that gen y shoppers and millennials love the experience of brick-and-mortar shopping. Here are five reasons why young shoppers want to stay with the traditional shopping model- at least for part of their shopping experience.
1. Bargain Hunting
The Northeast region has the greatest proportion of millennials who shop brick-and-mortar stores. First Insight, a market forecasting firm, has found that 25% more millennials are shopping in multiple stores looking for deals. In a surprising contrast, 65% of baby boomer shoppers would rather explore shopping deals online. One reason for Gen X and Millenials to be bargain hunting, can be attributed to their time in life. Namely, many in this time of their life are raising a family. And as we all know kids dont come cheap. They need clothes, food and all the stuff that comes with them.
2. Search for Quality
Comparing products in person gives the shopper a much better idea of quality for the price. This can be difficult to judge online, where a shopper has to rely on reviews to find out more about the product. Online product reviews can be skewed or even fake. When a shopper finds a product in person, he or she can examine it in many different ways and find out whether it is worth the money.
3. Ability to Try Things On
Being able to try on garments (see New York & Company, Hanes & vf outlet) and shoes is a major advantage of shopping in brick-and-mortar stores. Clothing sizes are not always standard, and it may take some trial and error to find the correct size. In a retail store, a customer can take several different sizes into the fitting room and judge which one is the best fit. Online, this could take several rounds of tedious returns.
4. Easier Returns
Shopping online may be simpler in theory, but returning products is not. Generally, a customer must pack the item and ship it back to the seller. This is a hassle, and not all product returns are free. Returning an item to a brick-and-mortar store requires only a receipt and in some cases a form of identification. It is much easier to go into a store and exchange an item that doesn’t fit or is the wrong color.
5. Fun Shopping Experience
The experience of shopping in a brick-and-mortar store is fun for many consumers. Many people enjoy the social aspect of shopping, from seeing other people out and about to interacting with store staff. Shopping in a mall or outlet center can also include stops for meals and snacks. Many customers enjoy relaxing in a restaurant when their purchases are complete.
Millenial shoppers continue to shop in brick-and-mortar stores even as other age groups have begun to move online. Young shoppers enjoy the convenience of shopping in person. Since their demographic is not as affluent as others are, they have a strong interest in saving money. They are better able to compare the price and quality of products they want to buy, and they are able to return items much more easily.
The experience of shopping in a mall or outlet can’t be replaced by visiting a website. Young shoppers will continue to visit brick-and-mortar stores and will be an important part of the retail landscape going forward.
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Millennials are frugal shoppers. They typically don’t have as much money as their parents did, so they are committed to comparing prices when making a purchase. Retailers have to learn new tricks to earn and keep their business.
Millennials are changing retail in four noticeable ways. Furnished with an unlimited selection and transparent pricing, Millennials know exactly what they want and where they will purchase it. Also, they expect to be rewarded for giving retailers their business, but they don’t want to be limited to any specific brand. In addition, they cannot be bothered with the drama and hassle of a crowded mall on a Saturday afternoon; rather they prefer the ease and comfort of online buying from home. Finally, they see going to the store as a form of entertainment that should be shared with friends.
Less Impulse Buys. Most Millennials know exactly what they are going to buy before they even leave for the store. They believe in bargain hunting and do not have the funds to support impulse buys. Millennials research all prices and selection, usually online, before choosing a store. This means that they visit fewer stores, but may actually spend more at each store. Retailers cannot rely on impulse buys to increase profits. Instead, they must learn to attract savvy shoppers who do their homework before heading out the door.
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Entertaining Incentive Packages
Millennials prefer making purchases from merchants that reward them with incentives to buy again. Services like Foursquare and Facebook Places turn buying into a game because they offer rewards that can be redeemed with a common currency. Instead of store-specific rewards, customers can redeem rewards across many different retailers. Merchants can keep up with this trend by learning to collaborate with each other to offer shoppers rewards at multiple locations. They must recognize that shoppers will want to cash in on their rewards at multiple stores, but they will still expect their privacy to be protected.
Online Retailers Are Less Hectic Yet Lacks The Personal Connection That They Crave
Millennials sometimes want to avoid the stress of the mall. Some days they do not have the patience for crowded parking lots or long check-out lines. Rather, they may prefer the comfort and convenience of buying online, particularly true on the busiest shopping days of the year.
Instead of braving the crowds at the store on Black Friday, they are more likely to shop from the convenience of their own homes on Cyber Monday. Online purchasing clubs like Gilt.com, Shopitome.com and Designer Social provide a useful means for comparing prices. They allow shoppers to find the exact products they want for the best price. Retailers can attract online shoppers by offering perks such as free shipping, easy returns, and peer reviews.
Spending Time with Friends & Building Relationships
One distinguishing characteristic of Millennial shoppers is that they prefer to shop with peers. They seem to rely on the assurance that their purchases will be consistent with those of others in their social group. Also, they see visiting stores with friends as a fun, relaxing pastime. In fact, they may choose a vacation destination based on access to retail areas. Also, women are not the only ones doing the buying.
Male Millennials shop more often than their counterparts from previous generations. Many admit that they shop for clothes several times per month, if not at least once per week. Retailers need to recognize that Millennials see shopping as a social event. They can attract customers by finding ways to make going to the store an entertaining event like a social gathering. Online retailers can achieve this with peer-sharing tools such as social networking, blogs, and live chat customer services.
Transparency is Key
Millennials are media savvy and socially conscious. Retailers must recognize that their customers are aware that they are the focus of marketing. Brands that want to succeed must keep the lines of communication open with their customers. It is important for them to be frank and disclose any inaccuracies or oversights.
At The Shops @ Rockvale we are dedicated to bringing new technology, better user experience and a better shopping environment. Keep checking back to our location for our new stores and improvements that we will be making to the grounds and facilities.
The Shops @Rockvale
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The Shops @Rockvale is Lancaster Pennsylvania's #1 destination to "Play|Eat|Save|Together". We are passionate about creating a culture where friends and family to enjoy life together. We have some of the best shopping, and dining around. We invite you to come see our continually evolving campus.