If you have a brick-and-mortar store, it’s likely that you often ask yourself, “How can I get more customers in the door?”. You probably find more reasons to be worried as people are switching to online shopping. However, many researches show that shoppers still like going to the physical stores for different reasons (experience products, try before purchase, meet and greet, etc.). Therefore, you don’t have to fear that your effort in getting more customers to visit your stores will be in vain.
Now there are ideas for you to do this, and they can be divided into two main groups. One is expanding your customer base by being visible to more people and increasing your sales chances. The other is keeping your existing customers coming back with loyalty programs, personalized promotions, and targeted marketing messages.
1. List and verify your business online
If you have both online and brick-and-mortar stores, make sure that both your website and location addresses present to customers when they google, so you have a better chance of turning those browsers into customers.
List and verify your business with Google My Business - it will show your business information and store location(s) and direction on Google Maps, along with hours of operation, photos and customer reviews if available. There are many other sites, including listing sites and review sites that you can introduce your business to more potential customers such as Yelp.
These business listings are of great importance, as it’s the time for local search. People want to narrow their searches to stores nearby so they can save time and effort getting what they need, for example, children bookstore in Ohio. Plus, these local listings are often displayed at the top of the search results page, so it sure helps your brand visible to more browsers.
2. Get Instagram-ed!
Attract the attention of passersby with eye-catching, Instagramable window display or walls with quotes that inspire your target customers. It’s more likely that people will take photos with your store and share them on Instagram. You can hold a promotion program to encourage even more people to do so and then shop at your store with their rewards.
You can also hire micro-influencers with audiences same as your targeted ones to promote your products or services. They can take photos with your products, write a small review and tag your business profile, so more people become aware of your brand.
3. Help your customers recharge
Shopping consumes a lot of energy so a way to get more good traffic and enhance customer experience is to offer them some water and snacks, to keep them energized to continue shopping at your store. Many bridal stores offer champagne and sweets for the customers to relax and enjoy while browsing through wedding dresses, and also to congratulate the girls on (finally) finding their dream dresses.
Wifi and phone charging stations are things that your customers would really love to have. Nearly 50% of shoppers use their phones at stores to search for more information on products or services offered, compare prices and read reviews. If their phones run out of battery or can’t access the Internet, they probably delay purchasing until they feel more certain about their choices. Make sure that Internet access and phone battery are not blocks on their way to purchase at your stores. Also, for people who are in urgent need, they will probably enter your store to plug in their phone batteries, and then walk around your stores and maybe pick up one or two items while waiting for their phones to be charged.
You can make use of free Wifi to get more contacts of potential customers by asking them to provide their email addresses to get access to the Internet. On registry form, you can ask for agreement to send them newsletters and information about your shops.
4. Offer promotions and gift cards
Everyone loves bargains, so you can consider some promotions that apply to in-store purchases only to increase foot traffic. Spread the words on your website, social networks, via emails or put up impressive posters to make sure that customers know about your in-store promotions.
Gift card is another great way to encourage new customers to come to your stores. When an existing customer buys a gift card for someone, she’s getting a new customer to come to your store and purchase at your store. Or maybe she never knows you before but her friend or relative asks for that, so she comes to your store and becomes a new customer.
5. Reward your loyal customers
Loyalty programs keep customers coming back for more. Ensure that your existing customers can use their online reward points to pay for their purchases at brick-and-mortar stores. To promote your store locations, you can give them bonus points for in-store orders during the first week or month of opening or a special period of the year such as Christmas.
6. Streamline the shopping process from online to offline
In addition to listing your business location online, you can use your website to drive more traffic to your brick-and-mortar store by offering in-store pickup and return. This creates a seamless shopping experience for your customer and leaves a good impression on their minds, which is very likely to trigger positive customer reviews. Remember that when looking for a new business, 46% people trust the review of other customers more than reviews by professionals, so these positive reviews can be your winning point that persuades more shoppers to walk in your door.