Not so long ago, the most common way to shop was to go to a brick-and-mortar store. You could count on retail foot traffic coming through the doors, especially during special store events or during traditional shopping seasons. Things sure have changed.
Now, in addition to the option to shop in a physical store, consumers are shopping on their computers, on their smartphones, ordering ahead for quick in-store pickup, and even clicking to buy on social media ads. If your retail business is building a strategy to attract more retail foot traffic, remembering these five words can help you cover all the bases:
No marketing campaign in the world will succeed if the in-store experience doesn’t live up to customer expectations. Your staff and your retail store should be ready to treat shoppers like VIP guests, and your store itself should be clean and organized. Be strategic with merchandising, displaying the most beautiful, popular, shiniest, most desirable items near the entrance where they can entice shoppers to stop in for a look.
Also consider creating unique experiences for shoppers. Technology solutions including digital signage, kiosks, mobile point of sale (POS) and beacon technology can support engaging, interactive experiences—and get a relevant offer to a consumer right at the point of decision. With millennial shoppers placing greater value on experiences than material goods, the fun, intriguing, or special moments you create could be the reason retail foot traffic increases.
With data collected by your POS system, loyalty program, and other applications, you have the information you need to engage customers on an individual level. Market directly to them, based on their shopping and browsing histories—there is no need to attach a sale flyer to an email if it’s promoting an item the customer would never buy. Let your customers know that you know what they like and are keeping your eyes open for the deals they want to know about.
In-store sales associates can also personalize the service they provide. Train them to access data via POS or mobile POS that can help them engage the customer and make relevant offers. This will demonstrate to customers that you recognize them and value their business.
Reviews are a major influencer when a consumer is deciding where to make a purchase. A recent study from Invespro found 90 percent of consumers check reviews before visiting a business and 72 percent say a good review makes them trust a business more. With the weight reviews carry, it’s important to monitor and manage them. If a bad review appears, address it and offer to correct whatever inconvenience or disappointment the customer experienced. It’s also important to encourage reviews—if customers find no review of your business, they may interpret it as no one had anything good to say.
Creating a sense of urgency can also increase retail foot traffic. Limited-supply or limited-time offers give consumers a deadline to act. The popularity of pop-up shops, with their temporary nature and finite supply of merchandise, is proof that this strategy works. When you make an offer, make sure you let your customers know when it expires and they need to “get it while it’s hot!”
Establishing yourself as a real part of the community in which you do business is another way to boost retail store foot traffic. Participate in community or charity events—either in person or through sponsorships—and consider offering merchandise that is relevant to the community or its culture. Also consider increasing efforts to build a community among your loyal shoppers. Show appreciation for their business through loyalty rewards as special “members only” offers such as pre-sales, giveaways, or information events that relate to you market. The sense of community you create may encourage shoppers to stay loyal and shop just to “touch base.”
These five words will not only keep you on track to improve retail store foot traffic, but they can also help you increase conversions and differentiate yourself among the competition. Focusing on customer experience, personalized service, collecting rave reviews, creating urgency, and building community can increase your chances more shoppers will come through the door as well as put you on the path to business success.