Foot traffic is one of the most essential measures when it comes to running a successful retail brick-and-mortar store. More traffic means more opportunities for sales and customer engagement, which in turn leads to higher revenues.
So, how do you drive foot traffic to your retail store?
Here are a few things you can do to increase store traffic – get more people walking through your doors.
- Keep your storefront well-maintained
Nobody wants to walk into a store with dirty windows or peeling paint, so stay on top of these maintenance tasks.
Step out of your store and look at it from the outside. Evaluate the physical state of your windows, doors, and walls, and identify the things that need sprucing up. You should assign people to perform various maintenance tasks (like sweeping and glass cleaning) daily. Perhaps your employees can take turns doing different jobs, or you could hire a third-party to maintain your storefront for you.
Go beyond typical window displays and add extras by having additional elements outside your store. For instance, you can have a sign that talks about something special going on inside your store!
- Have an online presence
Like it or not, people are spending more time online. Now, you can complain about how the Internet is driving people away from physical stores, or you can use the web to your advantage.
So, have an ecommerce presence. Set up a website that showcases your products and allows people to browse and buy. Doing so not only gives you more chances to generate sales, but it can lift brand awareness and foot traffic.
Online shopping has really changed how customers behave, even if people don’t pull the trigger and make the purchase on your site, your online presence still generates interest
- Offer click-and-collect
Already selling online? Great. We also strongly urge you to offer click-and-collect services in your stores. Such initiatives will not only get people to your physical location, but they can potentially increase sales in the process.
Research has shown that about a third of shoppers would prefer to have an item delivered to a location other than their home… and many of those are choosing to pick up their orders in stores.
- Make customer loyalty a bigger focus
Your foot traffic strategy shouldn’t just be about getting new people to walk into your store. See to it that you’re putting significant focus on getting your existing customers to come back.
Treat your customers so well that they bring friends and families.
- Offer services
Do you sell products that require maintenance? Consider offering those services for free in your store to encourage people to stop by, and it works out really well for the business.
For instance, are you in a Jewellery business, consider in-store services such as jewellery cleaning and battery replacement, as doing so will help increase traffic and sales. This can be done as a ned-day special in a month program.
- Hold events
Hosting events is one of the best ways to get people to head to your store because they offer experiences attendees won’t find online or in other shops.
To make your events more fun and enticing, consider “cross-pollinating” with other brands or individuals, doing so creates a win-win situation for you and your partners.
This allows you the opportunity to draw in more traffic by a) offering your customers something unique, b) leveraging the audience of like-minded people to grow your fan-base and c) growing your relationships with individuals and organizations in your community.
- Explore social media opportunities
Use social media to their advantage. One way to do this is to use Facebook ads.
Utilize Facebook Offer Ads to incentive patrons to come into your brick and mortar business. You can track how many people have claimed the offer and then also track in store how many people came in with the offer code from social media.
Not too enthusiastic about ads? Then at the very least, you need to keep your social accounts active with updates and interesting posts.
Regularly post on your social media account to showcase the cool things your business is doing in the community and peak customers’ interest. For example, are you doing any charity or community events? Do you have specials going on in store? Are you partnering with another local business? These are all good content to showcase on social!
Thanks to tools such Instagram and Facebook, it’s never been this easy to share up-to-the-minute info with your audience. Use them to your advantage. You can, for example, post images showcasing your new arrivals.
- Implement email marketing
Do you have any in-store promotions going on? Got an event coming up? Keep your customers posted via email. Mention the perks of showing up in-store, such as exclusive offers that can only be redeemed on-site.
For best results, target your posts based on your customers’ demographic information, location, and purchase history. For instance, if you’re having an event at your Lagos, then only send out an email to people in that area; otherwise, you risk alienating your other customers.
- Make sure your associates look busy
If you have a large window that shoppers can look into, then how associates behave in-store may affect people’s decision to walk in. For example, bored-looking sales staff can be a turnoff to potential customers who are considering shopping at your store.
Prevent that by ensuring your store employees are mindful of how they look and act even if there aren’t any customers inside the shop. See to it that they appear busy and welcoming at all times so passers-by will be more enticed to come in.
- Invest in employee training
Speaking of associates, you can have the prettiest shop, implement the hottest tactics, and run the most enticing offers, but if your staff members provide lack product knowledge, provide poor customer service, you’ll be hard-pressed to drive visits to your location.
One tried-and-true way to drive traffic to your store is to provide excellent customer service. More business is lost due to poor service and poor treatment than poor product.
Retailers spend lots of marketing dollars trying to convince us to buy their products, but if customer contact is not handled just right in a store or associates lack the skills to progress the sales conversation, get pass customer objections and close the sale, all that money is wasted. You have one chance to make a first impression and gain a repeat customer. Poor customer service and experience can stop a purchase, create negative social media shaming and ruin a brand.
The key is to Train your employees – If you have some sales and customer service training in place, review it with your employees regularly. Don’t have one? Then hire an experienced expert to spend a day training your staff. If you have no time to train, remind your employees that “Thank you for shopping with us”; or “We appreciate your business” can go a long way, costs nothing and leaves a positive lasting impression.