A variety of factors contribute to a storefront losing traffic. Perhaps competition opened around the corner. Maybe the location is no longer desirable. The economy, change of seasons or other big events impact how many consumers shop in a given month.
Even though business owners can’t control outside factors, taking proactive steps to bring traffic in helps counteract any negative effects.
How Can I Increase Traffic to My Store?
Retail Dive recently looked at the loss of foot traffic many luxury stores such as Macy’s and Nordstrom experienced in the fourth quarter. One cause is rising inflation and consumers adjusting how they spend their money to counteract rising grocery and fuel costs.
While mid-range retailers are still staying afloat, many are seeing fewer visits and smaller sales. What can companies do to keep traffic rolling in and counteract the effects of a tight economy?
1. Team Up With Another Business
One thing people always need is food and haircuts. Teaming up with a local salon or offering food onsite can bring people in who otherwise might not visit a store. For example, invite a local food truck to set up outside the store a few days a week.
Encourage cross-promotions, such as if the customer brings a receipt from the food truck they get a discount on their purchase and if they show the food truck a purchase from the store they get a reduced rate.
2. Install Digital Signage
If people aren’t in the area anyway, they might forget to stop in a store. One way to draw them in is with digital signage. Around 76% of consumers say they entered a new-to-them business because of seeing a sign that drew their interest.
Digital signage allows owners to rapidly change displays, show daily discounts and share last minute news. It also is eye-catching because it stands out from the non-digital signs in the area.
3. Train Employees
The more a company invests in employees, the better equipped they’ll be to help customers. When businesses offer an exemplary customer experience (CX), people are inclined to tell others about the brand. They’re more likely to remain loyal and visit again.
Employees should know how to resolve conflict, have a repertoire of upselling skills and be well-versed in company policies. At the same time, give them the power to stray outside those policies to keep a customer happy or offer excellent CX.
4. Showcase Product Arrivals on Social Media
Although one may want to drive traffic into a physical location, online promotions can help drive people to the store. Offer a special code they can mention when they arrive for a free promotional item or discount, for example.
Host a fun night out for people where a store employee teaches something related to what the location sells. One example is a soap and body care store offering a class on which products work best with certain skin types. Another idea is to make a skin scrub from sea salt and some minerals. Offering classes gives the store an opportunity to connect with customers and brings traffic into the store.
5. Utilize Geotargeting
Recently, installations of online retail apps grew 55% on Androids. Coming up with an app that ties into a storefront gives businesses an opportunity to push pings and reminders to a customer’s phone as they pass by.
Geotargeting also gives businesses an opportunity to push out personalized offers based on past buying behavior. New arrivals or clearance sales may give a customer the incentive to visit a store for something new or big savings.
6. Add Extras
Plug in some extra outside features that might pull people inside. Create amazing window displays showcasing your top new products. Add a sandwich board listing out that day’s specials or an inspirational quote.
In shopping malls, add floor stickers to point the way inside the store, such as footprints leading the way to a new display table.
Inside, add some signage to up the sale to foot traffic the store already has. Make it clear where to go to check out. If people grow frustrated, they might set their items down and leave.
7. Offer Pickup
People love the convenience of shopping online. You may not be ready for a full online store operation, but you can let customers add some popular items to a cart and pick them up already bagged and rang up.
Offering ways for loyal clients to save time can increase how many people choose to shop with a store. They’ll also tell others about how easy the experience was and drive more traffic to the brand.
Statista estimates e-commerce sales will hit $8.148 billion by 2026. Even though foot traffic makes a huge difference, especially for stores such as bakeries and consumables, an online presence is crucial.
8. Launch a Referral Program
Offer a discount for those who refer others. Host a bring-a-friend night. Anyone who brings someone with them gets a percentage off their total order.
Also popular are loyalty programs. Encourage repeat visits by offering something free after so many purchases. Work out the math based on the business model for the store and what winds up being a discount. Don’t forget other coupons and promotions the person might take advantage of to get to the freebie.
Creative Solutions Are Worth Trying
Think outside the box on how to bring people into the store. Even if a brand tries something and it flops, the owners can always chalk it up to experience and try something different. What promotions work best depends on the business model and local area. Pay attention to competitors, experiment with different marketing strategies and stumble on what works to keep people flowing into a store.