An Online Framing Studio is Coming to My Town - What Should I Do?
Q: I see Framebridge, an online retailer, is coming to my town." They're an online framing studio. "What should I do?"
A When it comes to looking at how to compete with an online retail framing shop, I have to say the thing that pisses me off about picture framing retail stores is that they're like jewelry stores. All frames and no pricing.
Like, "Oh, we can't show our picture framing pricing to anyone." Online retailers have demystified that. You can see about all other frames. I don't know about Framebridge in particular, but I know that online retailers show you the options, "This is how much it costs," so you can build an order online. Then you can see, like, "Oh, if I want this and this and this, that's going to be $400 bucks for their picture framing services." Then the shopper could estimate their own level of comfort around your pricing.
And then they could walk into your store and say, "Hey, this rocks. I'm ready to pay $400 bucks." The customer is sold on your service and willing to drive to your brick and mortar retail space to learn more about your offer.
Here's the thing, so many independent retailers are still trying to hold your cards close to the chest like, "Oh, we're the only one that really knows this.".
The problem with that is customers know they'll find it from social media or a competitor who gives pricing on their products and services, so why not join your shoppers and be transparent about it?
Why not go through and say, "Hey, this is generally what our picture framing costs" You could build it in generalities and then tell your online shopper to come in and see us for exact pricing and to purchase your framing services.
You're afraid that someone's going to price drop you on the frame, I get it. But here's the thing - they already are price dropping you on the frame.
Why the hell not go through and be transparent on what it might cost? That's true for all of you, this idea that, "Oh, we don't want to put any prices on the web." The retail industry is changing and competition is getting smarter.
Someone already has done that multiple times whether it's Amazon or somebody else. All you end up looking like is an inflexible retailer and I don't think that builds business.
You might claim you have superior service or extensive product knowledge about photo frames or years of picture framing services that has offered a better shopping experience for your community but if you can't get them in the door to purchase, what does that matter?