What’s the best way to compete effectively with online retailing? Make sure you know why people come to your business—and then make sure you provide it. Rieva Lesonsky, writing on the Small Business Trends website, points out some reasons customers like brick-and-mortar stores, and how stores can take advantage of those reasons:

Hands-on: People shop in stores to touch and test what they’re going to buy. Make it easy for them to do so, through hands-on displays, testing stations (for food or cosmetic items), and knowledgeable employees.
Inspiration: Are your customers browsing for home décor updates or gift-giving ideas? Give them some food for thought through your displays and windows, and let them know, via social media or mail, when you have new items in.
Fun: Shopping can be a very social activity. Product demos, food sampling, or in-store performances can all draw regular customers—or new ones—into your store.

See more of Lesonsky’s suggestions at bit.ly/1ChyXQJ.