The evolution of the role of the internet has transformed the marketplace, forcing retailers to radically rethink their strategy. Regardless of industry, if a retailer doesn’t have a digital presence they will immediately be at a huge disadvantage compared to their competitors.

However, moving over to online selling isn’t as easy as flicking a switch and to get it right requires commitment and research. There are lots of myths out there too; this guide will help you wade through the fact and the fiction to succeed in retail in the digital age.

FICTION: There’s no point having a physical store

Although there’s no denying the importance of being active online, don’t be too quick to write off the benefits of having a physical store. Research shows that customers still prefer shopping in person when possible, and that there’s a place even as retail turns its focus to the online marketplace.

To be successful, retailers need to sync their strategies for their physical store and their online presence. The high street store has a new place in marketing, which complements the digital strategy.

A great example of this in practice is Tic Trading Limited Darlington, a retailer which blends their online strategies with their high street store. Studies reveal that most customers do their research online first, even when buying from a store in person. Therefore, both elements are essential to reach the widest possible market.

FICTION: Social media isn’t relevant for every industry

While it’s true that social media lends itself particularly well to certain markets, there’s almost no retailer that wouldn’t benefit from having an active presence.

Around half of all potential customers look on social media for products or services, so if you’re not actively engaging then you are already a step behind.

To get the most out of the platforms you should be accessible and responsive to your audience; research shows this is the way to secure sales in the future, even if not today. With ever increasing numbers of digital natives, it’s never been more important than to utilise the same channels that they will instinctively be using.

FICTION: To be successful you need a good app

 There was a time when retailers were all scrambling to get their own app developed to make sure they would be able to claim the lion’s share of the online market. However, while it’s always nice to have a shiny new app to market, the truth is that very few customers are bothered about using them.

In fact, some studies showed that many customers weren’t bothering with apps, and instead preferred to hop straight on to the internet directly.

Therefore, rather than wasting time and money on developing apps that customers would be loathe to download, efforts should instead be concentrated on having a mobile-friendly site. More customers than ever use their mobile phone to research brands before making a purchase so don’t get left behind the rest of the digital market.