Considering that the average American spends almost half their day tied to a screen, it’s no surprise they start their shopping journey online. They are entering stores ready to buy, having already researched their purchase online. And with ecommerce giants like Amazon and Nordstrom streamlining the online buying and delivery process, customers have a new-found expectation for “white glove” customer service, regardless of what they’re buying.

Knowing this desire for superior service and the intrinsic link between digital browsing and in-store buying, retailers need to get smarter about how they’re selling. Though it may seem daunting, this new paradigm of retail is really an opportunity to engage with customers in an entirely new way. While it’s unrealistic to think that small businesses can compete ecommerce behemoths like Amazon, there are key digital marketing strategies that can help them “coexist” in this changing landscape.

Adopt an Omnichannel Strategy

First, it’s important to realize that while most shoppers start the buying journey online, 90 percent of them still prefer to buy in an actual store. This is especially true for considered purchase categories, which are big ticket items that shoppers research heavily before buying (i.e. home appliances, mattresses, cars etc.). Retailers need to focus on engaging buyers online first, to ensure that your company is top of mind when they do decide to make a purchase.

The key to reaching customers online is meeting them where they are. The New York Times recently reported that that consumers spend an average of 50 minutes a day on Facebook or Instagram. That may…