Brick-and-mortar store owners may feel at a loss when it comes to increasing in-store traffic. With Amazon’s one day delivery becoming more common and millennials shopping online more, opening and running a physical store today seems daunting. Fear not…there are ways to reach out and increase the number of visitors that enter your door.
1. Host a promotional event.
Whether you’re opening as a new business or you’ve been around for a while, nothing gets more attention than a promotional event. Celebrations of all kinds, like grand openings, grand re-openings, giveaways and contests attract consumers. Advertise the event with as far a reach as possible while staying within budget, targeting key markets to get bigger bang for your buck.
Remember to collect key data from those customers who show up, so you’ve got information for future marketing campaigns.
2. Increase your online presence – go where the traffic’s at.
Many shoppers like to learn about a business online first, before making the trek to the store. A well-designed website helps customers learn more about what you offer, enticing them to visit. Invest in an online marketing agency or use a web-design site to build your presence. Tips to help make your presence shine include:
- Usability: Build a site that’s user-friendly, easy to navigate and digest.
- Get Found Faster: Include keywords and phrases common to what potential customers would use to find a business like yours. Embed them throughout your site to boost search ranking.
- Glowing Reviews: Nothing convinces a new shopper more about a visiting a store than reviews from customers who had wonderful experiences to share. Reward current customers to leave feedback, so their experience can be shared, bringing your business closer to its customers.
- Local Listings: Include your business in local citations, like Citysearch, Yelp, YellowPages, and more. The more your business’s name is listed, the higher it will rank in a search.
3. Become newsworthy.
Get in the news! Do something that puts you front and center in the press. Before event day, let the press know of something fantastic you plan to do on that day – maybe it’s donating a portion of your proceeds to a local charity, maybe it’s offering a huge prize to one lucky customer who steps through your doors. Getting attention is the name of the game.
4. Sell with a sale.
While far from newfangled, having sales events attracts shoppers – no matter what. Shoppers love knowing they are getting something for less. Creating a sense of urgency helps promote the sale even more and makes it even more enticing. You could hold a sale all day, but offer an extra 10% off for the first 50 shoppers. Tie a rewards program sign up in the mix and you’re on to something.
5. Use your contacts.
Events and sales don’t work unless you stay in touch. Keeping in contact with customers on your contacts list, at a rate that’s welcome, keeps you in their minds. These communications allow you to encourage them to bring friends to events, helping widen your reach, and possible, increase your contacts list.
Digital data helps drive this connection and allows businesses to easily and automatically send out communications that are well-timed and personalized – your interest in your customers increases their interest in you!
6. Emphasize customer service.
Customers come back for stuff they love, but they also come back for great service. This is what trumps brick-and-mortar stores over online shopping venues – the interactions and special attention you get. This interaction must be noteworthy enough to be shared with others – this brings more traffic through the doors. It also increases the value of your relationship with your customers, which drives a loyalty that goes far beyond saving a few pennies.
7. Get involved with your community
What better way to attract more visitors than by being an active participant in what’s happening in your community. Your face and your business will be further marketed by the increased interactions you have with those who are a part of your community, which means they’ll learn more about you, your business, and what you have to offer.
Examples include participating in community service projects or hosting workshops or meetings that support your community. Both help bring in traffic, not for the purpose of selling, but for establishing the fact that you exist, and that you care.
Entice store visitors to share their experience and your business with friends, families and followers by rewarding them with incentives. Offer gifts to both when a purchase is made by the customer who was referred. They can then get in on the deal and news of your business will spread.
These can easily be powered by a digital loyalty program that makes it easy for the business owner to track points, communicate deals and dole out rewards.