Just reading over some old copies of Harvard Business Review.
In the Dec 2011 issue, they outlined some direction on what small business needs to do to survive change in the retail industry.
1. Omnichannel Retailing
In order to survive a small business must mesh online and offline together seamlessly. The advantages of both methods of shopping must equal a greater experience.
2. Must overcome the challenges of embracing digital technologies
There are a few things small business can adopt that include test-and-learn methodologies and phase out analog metrics such as same-store sales and focus on other measures such as return on investment.
3. Update your physical store
This is the big advantage over internet retailers. The experience of shopping in your small business store must be entertaining, exciting and emotionally engaging.