Overcoming the Three Critical Hurdles Hearth & Home Dealers Are Facing
The rise of large-scale, sophisticated online retailers has not been kind to local hearth & home businesses. But here’s the silver lining: You still have a huge advantage if you can capitalize on it.
Your Store Is A One-Stop-Shop for Inspiration, Information, and Installation
I’d say, this represents an immediate opportunity for you. Buyers near your store have a passion (“Let’s get that new fireplace!) or a problem (“It’s finally time to replace this rusted barbeque!”). And they all want to talk to an expert! That’s you.
Here are the three challenges you must face if you want that local consultation and purchase to happen on your floor instead of home center or another dealer down the street:
It’s Hard and Expensive to Maintain an Effective Online Catalog
Consumers are trained to expect fast, slick online product searches that display up-to-the-minute photos and specs for a vast array of products and accessories. This represents a huge logistics burden and expense for the independent hearth and home businesses.
Being Effective Means Vetting and Implementing a Wide Range of Hardware, Software
Nobody wants to make a second career of finding experts and tools to help you build an effective multi-channel online/in-store system. You can spend months figuring out your options before you even see the first bill. This is like trying to tread water with ankle weights.
It’s Extremely Difficult to Dent the Search Rankings
Many hearth & home dealers have turned to SEO specialists (or even added part-time staff) in an effort to rank in Google’s (or Bing’s) search results. Even if you can divert significant budget to online marketing, your best efforts aren’t even a rounding error compared to the resources that bigger online retailers can throw at this.
Weak local retailers are already dying off in an ongoing consolidation wave. Those who remain standing have figured out how to face all three of the above challenges in one turnkey step — so they can focus on great products and expertise and stop trying to be part-time technology experts.
If you’re interested in a simpler, more effective way to compete, Bravo Business Media has the industry’s premium solution to propel your hearth and home business and the answers to the dilemma. Get in touch if you’d like to explore!