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How your Physical Business can Compete with online Retailers

How your Physical Business can Compete with online Retailers
Tuesday, September 04, 2018

More and more customers are taking to the internet for their everyday shopping needs. In fact, more and more customers are taking to the internet for their one-off shopping needs too. So, where does this leave your physical business?

 

In order to keep up with the online giants, you’ll need to make sure your business provides customer service and convenience that can’t be found anywhere else. A great price helps too!

 

In this article, the Panthera team explain why more customers are shopping online and how you can make sure your business stays competitive.

 

What draws people to online businesses?

 

Internet business took off more than 10 years ago and it’s showing no signs of slowing down. Here are the two main reasons that more shoppers are turning to the internet:

 

Convenience

 

Why travel to do your shopping when you can just as easily sit at home and order your products to your home? People haven’t got an incentive to make their purchases in-store anymore.

 

Competitive price

 

Online marketplaces aren’t restricted by geographical location as physical stores are. They can service all 65 million people in the UK from only one premises. There are other significant cost advantages to online retailing particularly with regards to business rates.  If your customers don’t have to leave the house to get a better price than you’re offering, why would they come to your store?

 

How can your business compete?

 

If you want to stand a chance against online goliaths like Amazon and eBay, you will need to find ways to differentiate your business from the competition. How could you do that?

 

If you can’t beat ‘em

 

Regardless of whether or not the majority of your sales come from in-store transactions, you should have an online presence. Even if you aren’t selling anything at all online, you can still interact with customers, showcase deals, and take polls using social media. This is a good way to grow your audience and reach out to a larger proportion of your target market.

 

Focus on your customer service

 

One thing that online stores lack is human interaction. When you are dealing with a sales assistant in a store, you have somebody who can answer your questions, who can tell you more about a product or service, and their presence adds personality to your business.

 

By improving your customer service, you can capitalise on one of the fundamental flaws of online businesses – they can’t provide the support that everyone needs.

 

Emphasise how convenient it is to visit your shop

 

When you purchase an item from an ecommerce site, you expect to receive the item in several days’ time (or pay a lot of money for overnight shipping). Physical shops are the only way that you can buy a product and walk out with it immediately.

 

Depending on the kind of products that you deal in, this could be a major selling point that you are potentially overlooking. No-one ever went bust catering to people’s need for instant gratification.

 

Become more competitive with your pricing

 

Because one of the biggest draws to online marketplaces is the low prices, you need to do whatever you can to lower the prices of your products. You might want to try to come to a new agreement with your supplier or explore alternative and cheaper methods of distribution to your store or stores.

 

Cutting back on your fixed and variable costs means that you can pass on those savings to your customers and this can get them to fall in love again with a trip out to the shops.

 

We can help

 

If you’re looking for some advice on how you can budget to remain competitive as a physical store in an online world, get in touch with our team. For more information, call us on 01235 768 561 or drop us an email to enquiries@pantheraaccounting.com – we’ll be back in touch with you shortly.

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Pete Dungey

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We found Panthera via our search for a Xero expert. We knew the software we wanted to use, and needed a forward-thinking accountancy partner who could get us up and running, and teach us the ropes moving forward. Tory and her team have always been on hand to answer our questions, and help us to grow as a business, particularly during periods of big change, such as becoming VAT registered. They are always on hand to alleviate any concerns and help to keep our records in order, which makes our year-end accounts an absolute breeze! Being based in Bristol, our relationship is entirely email based, alongside one consolidation meeting at year end - this keeps things simple, efficient and most importantly, hassle-free.

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The whole team at Panthera are great! Working with them has been a huge support to my growing business. They help me to understand the numbers I need to know. They give me technology solutions like Xero so that I can process things quickly and have access to my own figures. They are quick to reply, highly knowledgeable, nothing is too much trouble and as well as making sure that everything is compliant and on time, they are enthusiastic, professional and fun to work with.

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I would like to say that Panthera Accounting have helped me with my business accounts for more than 4 years now. They have consistently offered an excellent competitively priced service that works both professionally and in such a friendly way that I would highly recommend them to everyone considering using their services.

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I had been with Mr Dunn for 20 years when upon his death Panthera took over the business. They now play a bigger part in the running of my business, they do all the stuff that has to be done but I don't like doing ie book keeping, VAT, wages, and returns. They are always there to answer queries and sort out issues and make sure all Tax deadlines are met. Their costs are fair, service is great and I have and would highly recommend them.

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Panthera Accounting have gone above and beyond the call of duty to guide and support our Company. They offer a professional, friendly and personal service that can take the stressful and sometimes frightening feelings out of running a business. They have guided us through the working of Xero and have offered “teaching sessions” on the day to day running of the accountancy package. Our only regret is that we didn’t join their team earlier.

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Tory and her team have provided a friendly, approachable and helpful service from the start. They have delivered a quality service, above and beyond anything I could have expected. Panthera, with the help of the Xero package, have taken the stress, strain and confusion out of managing my company and personal accounts. I look forward to working with them for many years to come.

Sara Southey Bluestones Garden Design
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