It’s more difficult for physical stores to attract customers and stay afloat today than it has been at any other point in history. Thanks to the internet, buyers can search for whatever they’re looking to purchase, sift through a number of options and variations, find the best possible price, and have their item delivered to their doorstep. Accordingly, to contend with the far-reaching business implications of the internet, physical store employees and owners have to implement a plethora of measures and steps designed to increase brand and location recognition, maximize foot traffic, produce sales, and ultimately, create profits.
The following five tips, which have been effective at increasing foot traffic for a number of stores across the globe, are sure to help businesses expand their customer bases and provide top-quality products and services.
Let’s take a look!
- Invest in a Pop-Up Display
Large, colorful, and sure to draw attention, pop-up displays are fantastic ways to attract foot traffic to stores.
The displays themselves are simple enough, and they consist of a poster, banner, or standee printed in stunning high definition with a custom design. Quite a few companies can create state-of-the-art pop-up displays, and the marketing tools are surprisingly affordable to have crafted. Between those who’re walking to another store to those who are driving by, as well as many other types of onlookers, pop-up displays end up paying off in no time at all, in terms of brand recognition and increased storefront visitation.
And when multiple stores and businesses are featured in a single establishment (such as a shopping center), the effectiveness of pop-up displays greatly increases, as potential customers have more than one reason, in the form of more than one storefront, to visit the advertised establishment. Pop up displays for shopping centers are all but sure to amplify foot traffic.
- Purchase or Create Attention-Grabbing Signs
Although many customers browse the internet to find out about new stores, restaurants, and other brick and mortar businesses, the reality is that virtually everyone drives and/or rides in a vehicle to get from one place to another. And when individuals are driving or riding from one place to another, they notice quite a few details of the areas they pass. Stores that have invested in memorable roadside and roof signs will accordingly draw attention, make an impression, and have an increased likelihood of being visited.
A store’s signs—one for the road and one for above the entrance, if possible—are most effective if they’re large, colorful, detailed, clear, and in some way unique. These signs can be bought or made, but the sooner they’re installed, the sooner foot traffic will increase—if only as a result of customer curiosity. Once potential buyers have stepped in the door, storeowners can demonstrate what separates their products and/or services apart from those of the competition.
- Hand Out Free Samples
Handing out free samples might seem like a counterproductive measure—these samples do of course cost money to create—but in many instances the benefits of doing so far outweigh the costs, particularly in terms of foot traffic increases.
Stores that market free samples with a cardboard sign by the road and/or a window painting will almost certainly see an uptick in visitors; everyone loves free things. Store owners should be sure to offer free samples for a limited time, preferably during the weekend, when most people are off work and can filter in the store throughout the day. More than attracting foot traffic, free samples allow stores to showcase the quality of their products and provide free sample recipients with an incentive to make a purchase.
- Hold a Special Event
Like free samples, special events are exciting, not-often-seen incentives for potential customers to visit stores. Special events should be held on weekends, and again like free samples, they should be marketed with signs, window paintings, and additionally, newspaper and internet adverts, if possible.
A store’s special event should pertain to the exact products and services that are sold by the establishment at-hand. In this way, a store’s offerings can be touted and shown off while customers are entertained. For example, a good special event for a custom craft store would be a project demonstration that audience members can follow along with; a good special event for a bakery would be a live demonstration and subsequent sampling of baked goods.
Customers flock to special events, and store owners should take advantage of this tendency to increase foot traffic and sales.
- Engage Customers
In today’s quick-moving, internet-driven business landscape, customers can once again buy almost anything and have it delivered to their home without so much as speaking to another human. In terms of efficiency and convenience, this point is irrefutably outstanding. In terms of personalization and human interaction, it’s very, very lacking.
Customers and business owners used to share much more personal relationships; they might have talked about the happenings of the weekend, or some recent news, or family health. Presently, though, between the rise of chains and the prominence of the internet, this interaction has mostly dried up.
Store owners can take capitalize on this truth and increase foot traffic by doing so.
The logic behind engaging potential customers as people is simple and straightforward. It’s hard to find caring, attentive, and dedicated individuals who work at stores. By building relationships with those who take the time to browse a store, business owners demonstrate that their service and care go above and beyond those of competing business owners. Word of this quality and attentiveness will spread, and the end result will be increased foot traffic and consumer confidence.
There’s never been a better time than now for store owners to implement the listed steps and attract as many potential customers as possible. Business competition is generally stiff, but with some creative effort, state-of-the-art products and services, and unparalleled customer service, any store can thrive.
Thanks for reading, and here’s to pleasing customers and staying in the black!