Expert Retail Advice From Massachusetts Footwear Executive Paul Froio
Thousands of shoe stores have closed as customers turn to online shopping. Internet footwear sales increased an average of almost 9 percent annually in recent years, according to IBISWorld. Nevertheless, stores in Massachusetts can use these recommendations from Paul Froio to draw foot traffic and compete with online retailers.
According to Footwear News, a study found that shoppers primarily buy shoes online because of greater convenience, lower prices, or better product selections. Conventional stores must take action to improve their offerings in all three areas.
While the internet lets people order footwear from the comfort of home, it doesn’t allow the opportunity to try wearing shoes before buying them. Customers often have to spend time returning items that don’t fit.
Stores have a major advantage in this area. They can make the most of it by keeping a wide variety of sizes and styles in stock. Consider adding something exclusive to your shop’s selection, such as a private-label brand or vintage footwear.
Customers can easily compare prices on their smartphones and tablets, so competitive pricing is crucial. Consider offering to price-match reputable online retailers. You could also give discounts or reward credits to customers who make multiple purchases.
A few stores attract shoppers by personalizing products in meaningful ways. This increases sales and customer satisfaction because it creates a highly memorable shopping experience that people can’t find on the internet.
Certain stores in Massachusetts provide this service. For example, a shop in Holyoke produces custom handmade leather boots and shoes. Buyers choose the colors, shapes, measurements, thread types, and other footwear traits.
Even if it can’t customize products, your store can improve the shopping experience in many ways. The right lighting and music make a big difference. Cleanliness also holds great importance.
Quick assistance and short checkout lines significantly increase the likelihood of a sale. Ensure that your store always has adequate staff. Employees should know how to help people choose the right footwear for various purposes.
At the same time, many customers prefer to pick out and try on shoes independently. Macy’s recently prioritized self-service in its shoe department by shifting more footwear from the back room to the sales floor. This significantly boosted revenue, according to RetailWire.
Retailers can also offer online ordering with the option to ship shoes to a store. This increases the selection while maximizing convenience. Shoppers might browse in-store items and make another purchase when they visit.
- Lower shipping costs (commercial rates)
- Customers don’t worry about missing deliveries
- Shoppers can easily return items for free
Although internet sellers benefit from unlimited “shelf space” and lower overhead costs, in-person retailing still has major advantages. Stores can stay competitive by focusing on strengths that maximize convenience and enhance the shopping experience.
About Paul Froio
Paul Froio, a Massachusetts product creation executive, has worked at Adidas and Reebok for over 27 years. He previously served as the vice president of Reebok’s U.S. retail sales division. Froio enjoys boating, golfing, traveling, and spending time with his family.