Social Marketing Fella

How to Increase Foot Traffic in a Retail Store

Written By: Riya Sander

If you have a brick and mortar store, you’re probably wondering how to generate traffic to your store — foot traffic, that is, not just traffic to your website. Foot traffic from your targeted clientele, potential purchasers. While it’s important to have a solid online presence, you need people to walk through your doors, look around, and buy your products. Here’s how you can do that.

Boost Curb Appeal

Whether people know about your store and are heading there on purpose or they are just walking by and may decide to pop in, you need to make sure your curb appeal is on point. Even if a customer leaves the house with the intent to go to your store, they’ll shy away if they see dirty windows or an unkempt exterior. Make sure to keep the exterior of your shop well-maintained so that it’s enticing to potential customers. Place visually appealing items that attract your targeted demographic in windows.

In addition to sweeping the sidewalk and cleaning the doors and windows, you can increase curb appeal with little extras. For example, put a sandwich board outside that has an eye-catching, funny message. If there are a lot of cyclists in your area, put a bike rack outside.

Along with “curb appeal,” consider hosting charity events or small social events – and advertise these on your web-page, in your store, in your window, and on your outdoor signage. By hosting an event that brings your target audience into your store, even if not to shop, they will likely engage in shopping while they are present. The pictures posted by the participants will end up on social media, and bring even more potential shoppers your way.

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Put Thought Into Signage

Signs made with an innovative technology like laser cutting will catch the eye of passersby more than low-quality signs will. Plus, a great and noticeable sign will make it easier for your customers to find your shop — if it’s not easy for people to see where you’re located, they’ll quickly stop looking and decide it’s not worth their trouble. Have signage be easily viewable at a walking height from the sidewalk or street – don’t make people search around for the name of your store.

Offer a Demonstration or Sample Day

If you sell products that have a learning curve or if you feel that your community doesn’t understand what it is you sell, hold a demo or sample day. This can work for all types of retail stores, from tech to food. Showing customers your product in action means they’ll see how the product will benefit their life. Giving away some of the product for free will also give them a taste of the product and make them want to come back for more.

Target Facebook Ads to a Local Audience

When it comes to how to increase foot traffic in a retail store, there’s a lot of power in social media. So many of your customers are on Facebook that it’d be a shame to not reach them there. With local awareness ads, you can make sure you’re targeting only people who actually have an opportunity to come to your store. The ads will only be shown to people who are a certain distance from your store. Your call-to-action can make it even easier for people to visit your store by including directions.

Showcase Customers on Social Media

With the permission of your customers, show them shopping and buying in your store on Instagram. Potential customers love seeing that other customers are happy with the experience. Plus, people will get a look at your shop and what you sell to decide if it’s right for them. You can even create a daily theme like Customer of the Day and offer a small giveaway to the winner. This will encourage more and more people to visit your shop on a regular basis for the chance of winning the prize (and they’ll browse and shop while they’re there). You can also encourage your customers to share posts on their social media accounts by running a giveaway or by creating a branded hashtag.

 

Keep Associates Busy

Driving traffic to your store has a lot to do with how customers feel when they walk in — or when they even consider walking in. Shoppers hate walking into a store where the sales associates are standing in a group, quietly (or loudly) talking to one another. The customer will feel like they’re intruding or that the tight-knit group is catty, and they won’t want to shop in your store. Make sure your associates keep the socializing to a minimum and that they always look busy. More importantly, make sure they’re friendly and that they openly acknowledge people who come into the store.

Run a Community-Aware Sale

If there’s something notable going on in your community, like an upcoming championship game or a new community building that’s going up, tie a sale to the event. You can offer game day sales or name one of your products after the event, which broadens how you promote the sale and who you can reach with your marketing. To get the community on board, even more, consider donating a part of your proceeds to the partnering organization.

The more people you can get through the door, the more sales you make. A majority of your marketing efforts should focus on getting people into your shop.

About the author: Riya is an inspired writer, passionate about traveling, lifestyle and encouraging startups. She understands the importance of productivity at work and never stopped finding new ways to create her work productivity. Connect with Riya on twitter, @sanderriya.

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Andre Bourque (SocialMarketingFella) is Editor Emeritus of Technorati.

He covers emerging trends and news in social, mobile, cloud, and related technologies.

Based in San Francisco, he can be contacted via his social channels and at: andrefbourque@gmail.com

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