A wonderfully designed store layout, excellent customer service and a variety of useful products can all feel moot for a store if there’s no foot traffic. When it comes to bringing in customers, the appearance both inside and outside a shop plays a critical role in enticing passersby. In addition to enhancing curb appeal, a store can pursue a number of strategies to boost recognition, including forming a partnership with influencers, hosting events and utilizing digital tools.
Store owners can apply the methods below to bring more customers into their establishment:
Ramp Up the Curb Appeal
Even if they initially have no intention of going into a store, standout curb appeal can pique the interest of people passing by.
In addition to a business sign that stands out from its neighbors in color and tone, consider making a display for the store’s window. Use this space to capture something special about what the store is selling or to highlight tempting sales. Highlighting a sale encourages impulse buys, while a concise and witty advertisement about the products’ allure inspires curiosity. Something as simple as a computer store highlighting the importance of a new laptop for back-to-school or a beauty shop with before-and-after makeup photos can capture the attention of the right customer.
According to research, 35% of people passing by a store don’t pay attention to it if it doesn’t have a sign.
Also, take advantage of the surrounding space by placing a sign on the walkway in front of the store or using chalk to highlight the store’s entrance. A beauty shop writing in chalk at its entrance “This way for awesome beauty supplies!” with an arrow pointing at the door can tempt customers as they walk past.
Painting walls a striking color, flying a flag in the parking lot or entrance, planting vibrant flowers outside the entrance and offering free samples right outside the door can also make your business more noticeable.
Partner with Community and Brand Ambassadors
Another great way of increasing foot traffic into a store is partnering with community and brand ambassadors, whose trustworthy presence and notability can pique the interest of potential customers. To catch their attention, pitch them an email or phone call explaining how the business benefits the community at large and how them taking a visit to the store would be an honor. From there, work on developing a relationship. There will likely be some form of compensation required, though it can be well worthwhile if the community or brand ambassador has a large network.
Stores can also offer anyone the opportunity to become a brand ambassador with referral programs. If they refer a certain number of new customers or social media likes, they can receive benefits. Apparel store Jobedu’s referral program is a perfect example. These programs are a win-win for the store and their best customers.
Host Store-centric Events
Events provide attendees an opportunity they can’t experience elsewhere. Examples include hosting a talk by a local artist, a fundraiser, tutorial or holiday party in the store. To spark even more interest, offer discounted store items during the event. Doing so will likely win you several new customers who will return often. Events seize upon the shared interests of attendees to grow a store’s following, while also creating an engaging presence in the community.
Additionally, these events provide fantastic content for social media. Stores can promote these events to a community as a whole on social media without coming across as spammy, since they are helping a local artist or charitable cause. The availability of products is just a small perk. In the promotion, be sure to emphasize the event over the items. You will have a chance to showcase the products once interested attendees arrive.
Once an event is established and promoted, consider setting the mood. Put on music in the background to prevent awkward silences, while also serving refreshments like appetizers or wine. On their way out, give attendees a goodie bag with treats or sample products. Depending on how much you’re willing to give, goodie bags can serve as a small showcase of the store’s products.
After the event, use social media to post photos and recaps from the event. You want attendees to remember the fun they had.
Offer In-Store Pick-Up
Home delivery may be convenient, though many people work on most delivery days. As a result, they can miss packages and be forced to drive to a mailing facility and wait in line. The alternative, driving to a nearby store with a minimal line, is attractive in comparison. Use this preference to your advantage by offering customers the option to pick up orders in-store.
Research has found that about one-third of shoppers prefer an item delivered to somewhere other than their home with the rate increasing each year. Of those who responded and opted for in-store pickup, 45% of respondents bought something else when at the store. In-store pickup is ripe for new customer opportunities and increased foot traffic.
A combination of curb appeal, engaging in-store events and local involvement can boost the foot traffic for a business significantly, assuming their inventory and customer service is up to par as well.