With online shopping continually on the rise, it’s inevitable that your retail store could use new, fresh ways to get customers in the door. Your physical storefront will always have certain advantages over any online counterparts. A welcoming storefront, an excellent customer experience and an alluring atmosphere can all contribute to guiding customers to stop in, browse and buy.
Tactic 1: Take control of your online presence.
More and more physical store experiences are beginning for customers long before they leave their home. They want to know everything about your store before they visit.
Manage your website. Your website should be well designed and up-to-date. It should include your store’s address, phone number, hours of operation and information any current sales promotions or events.
Get on Google. Don’t let your customers get lost! When you create a local Google+ page, you’ll be able to ensure your store is correctly listed in Google Maps. Customers will also be able to quickly find your hours, reviews, website URL and phone number. Make sure this information is 100% consistent across all of your store’s online profiles.
Reply to online reviews. You can claim your business on review sites such as Yelp!, too. While you can’t control what people say about your business, you can respond to them to help resolve issues and restore your business’ reputation. Always respond in a calm, professional tone.
Tactic 2: Visually enhance your storefront.
Bold, eye-catching displays and signs never fail to help your business stand out. They should do more than alert passing customers of sales and promotions.
Use attractive imagery and target copy keywords that appeal to your specific audience.
Keep the messages on your signs short and sweet. You’ll want to use just enough information to make your targeted customers curious and engaged – enough to make them want to stop in their tracks to see what your business offers.
Tactic 3: Renovate for a unique in-store experience.
Your in-store experience is something that online retail can never replicate. Make sure yours is alluring to your target buyers. Your store’s lighting, music and even aroma can all be tailored to draw in customers as they pass by.
Offering free WIFI has been an increasingly popular way for businesses to increase foot traffic.
Public WIFI is a strong reason for customers to set foot in your store over your competitors’ and they will stay in your store longer, often spending more money.
Tactic 4: Host special events.
Classes, workshops and parties give your customers something to do. There’s so many ways you can use an event to get people in your store. Ask a local celebrity to make an appearance and sign autographs. Or, teach your customers a valuable skill.
Make sure your event is appealing enough to your customers that they’ll be willing to clear their schedules for it. Additionally, make sure to promote it long enough in advance so they actually know about it. Ask local news publications to cover your event to create even more awareness.
Tactic 5: Offer freebies and giveaways.
A free sample of your product is the easiest way to get customers hooked. If your product isn’t sample-able, go beyond balloons and pens. A freebie that is exclusively tempting to your target audience, for example, bait at your fishing supply store, will help lessen the number of recipients who will never make a purchase.
Your storefront is your space to innovate and experiment. Don’t be afraid to make changes that set you apart from your competitors. When your store is novel and inviting, people won’t be able to resist stopping to take a peek.