3. Offer A Unique In-Person Experience

Give consumers a reason they should come into your store that goes beyond purchasing a product. Offer an experience that can’t be purchased through an online marketplace. Make the storefront a place to spend time, relax or have an interactive experience with products. You can even feature certain products that can only be purchased in stores. Exclusivity generates desire! – Jared Weitz, United Capital Source Inc.

4. Drive Down Regulatory Costs With Tech Solutions

Businesses—especially those in highly regulated sectors—should drive down their regulatory costs by adopting RegTech solutions, just as they are driving down operating costs by moving services into mobile and online channels. Online competitors are saving money not only on the business side but in compliance by using their advantages in data and new technology. It’s a major factor in cost management. – Jo Ann Barefoot, Alliance for Innovative Regulation (AIR)

5. Invest In Innovation

Change is the one constant. What worked yesterday won’t always work today or tomorrow. Consequently, businesses large and small should ensure they invest in innovation. Explore what’s on the horizon, place small bets and double up on the winners. By doing so you can better position your company for the future and to utilize new technologies and tools to excel in various aspects of your business. – David Brim, Bright Impact

6. Speed Up Your Payment Processes

Online merchants offer lots of financing options, so in-store retailers need to compete on speed and rate of approval. A solution needs to be quick and easy—as fast as swiping a credit card—to keep things moving at the register. It needs to work across the credit spectrum so retailers don’t risk subjecting a customer to multiple applications or customer embarrassment from declined credit. – Arad Levertov, Sunbit, Inc.

7. Establish Business Requirements For Data

Create the business requirements for IT to deliver an architecture that allows line-of-business leaders to own their data and develop strategies around how they will use it to increase revenue, become more efficient or achieve cost reduction, control and avoidance. With finance driving the business requirements, IT will make very different decisions than if they were the strategy owner. – Blake Williams, The Growth HQ

8. Prioritize Customer Service

Brick-and-mortar businesses are still thriving due to the ability for customers to try the products during the buying process. Physical stores can further play up this strength by investing in customer-service training with staff and facilitating product trials. Stores should invest in product delivery to the home as well to neutralize one of the biggest advantages of online shopping. – Atish Davda, EquityZen

9. Offer In-Store Pickup And Discounts

Folks used to be able to order from a Sears catalog and then pick up their items in a Sears pickup store in town. That’s not particularly revolutionary, obviously, since Sears used it 40 years ago. But brick-and-mortar stores need to find a way to bring online shoppers into the store to justify the sunk real estate costs. Giving an in-store discount coupon for the next in-store shop works. – James Hewitt, Travelex

10. Offer A Cash Discount

It’s important for every brick-and-mortar business to understand that they are no longer competing with the retailer across the street or within a 10-mile radius. We live and thrive in a global economy that evolves daily. Encouraging a discount for cash sales or surcharging in accordance with local state laws is a great way to add 3% to 4% to your earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization overnight. Review expenses and trim fat. – Anthony Holder, C&H Financial Services, Inc.

11. Choose Your Customers Carefully

Long ago people had to battle the discount stores. You are going to have to choose customers who pick the experience over the convenience (and price) of online shopping. You are never going to win over the discount customer who would have gone to a discount store long ago. You need to choose customers who will become loyal to your brand via great customer service, promotions, etc. – JD Morris, Red Hook Capital

12. Focus On A Marketing Strategy That Resonates With Customers

If consumers are shifting their customer journey online, traditional brick-and-mortar stores need to figure out a way to pivot and adapt to changing times. Online businesses save a ton of overhead and are able to pass that savings to customers. Traditional brick-and-mortar stores need to create an “experience” and develop a marketing strategy that resonates with their customer base. – Jonathan Moisan, Advertise Purple

13. Build Up Your Online Presence

Every business needs to focus time each month on building their online presence. With the fast-paced world of social media and review websites, every business needs to stay ahead of the trends. Adding comments, updates and offers on social media and your own website is critical to compete with online-only businesses. Spend time each month to develop a strategic plan for your online presence. – David Gass, Anderson Business Advisors, LLC

14. Make It Easy For Customers To Get Their Items

One way brick-and-mortar businesses can compete with online retailers is by offering local pickup. The customer can come into the store or browse on the business’ website for the product. If it’s in stock at the storefront, then they can simply go down to the store and pick it up. If not, the business can order it, have it sent to the nearest store and the customer can come in and get it. – Gregory Keleshian, Crestmont Capital LLC

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