As a business owner, you know that having customers in your store is essential. After all, foot traffic is the lifeblood of any successful business. The good news is that there are plenty of ways businesses can drive more people through their doors. Here are a few strategies to get started.
Use Word-of-Mouth Marketing
Word-of-mouth marketing has been around since the dawn of time and it’s still one of the most effective ways to drive foot traffic. Encourage customers to share their experiences with friends and family by offering incentives like discounts or free products. You can also use social media or other digital platforms to spread the word about your business and its offerings.
For example: When posting your companies special promotion on social media, go ahead and ask friends to share your post to help get the word out. This would work especially well if your event included some of the profits going towards a local charity or animal shelter.
If your sending out an email campaign to your customers always include share buttons to social media so customers can share your email to their social media. And you could offer a referral incentive to any customers who actually share your email. You can keep track of this through the email’s platform of analytics which shows you who shared the email to social media. Then compile the list of customers who shared and send them a special email thanking them with a store gift certificate. Of course, they will come into to your store to redeem it, and you get to thank them again in person, while they shop… wink, wink!
Engage With Your Community
Your local community is an untapped resource for generating foot traffic. Get involved in local events, join your Chamber of Commerce, or sponsor a team at a nearby school or sports league. This will not only give you access to potential customers, but it will also help build rapport with existing ones who will be more inclined to visit your store again in the future.
Depending on your business type, sign up for rented space at town events, craft fairs, holiday stroll etc. By having a tent or table at community events gives you the opportunity to engage with new people, show off your best products and services, all while giving support to town events.
Take it a step further and offer a special raffle prize at your table by collecting names, addresses and emails. When the winner comes into your store to receive their prize, make sure to get a photo of the recipient receiving the gift and send the photo and description to your local news paper to be used in the community section at no cost to you! So, that one free raffle gift got you a bucket full of names and emails that you can use for marketing campaigns going forward, and you got your companies good gesture published in the local paper! I would say that’s a Hat Trick! Three wins for the price of one!
Offer Special Promotions
Everyone loves a good deal! Consider offering special promotions such as discounts on certain days, loyalty programs, or other incentives that will encourage people to come into your store and purchase something. This is especially effective when used in combination with email campaigns targeted at existing customers.
Does your company offer a point reward system for dollars spent in store? A percent off after X amount of dollars spent goes to the customer’s next purchase. If you want your customers helping you spread the word about your great rewards system, then implement a referral ticket that they can refer a friend (which includes both their name and the friends name on the ticket/coupon) to come shop at your store. The friend comes to your store and signs up for the rewards system (aka, gives you their name and address and email) and receives an instant discount on their first purchase. In return, the referring customer will also receive an instant discount on their next shopping trip. Basically, a great way to have tons of your customers bring you new business and build your email list. Big Win!
Make Sure Your Signage Is Working for You
If you own a store, you know the importance of having an inviting and attractive storefront. You also know how important it is to draw customers in without breaking the bank. One solution? Signage! The power of visual appeal should not be underestimated. When potential customers walk by your store, they should see a sign that clearly communicates what your store has to offer and entices them to come inside. This could be in the form of a simple banner or something more elaborate like a neon sign. Whatever type of signage you decide to use, make sure that it fits with your store’s branding and aesthetic. The more eye-catching, the better!
Take Advantage of Your Window Space
Windows are another great opportunity for signage—and one that many businesses overlook. Windows can be used for anything from displaying products or services to simply letting passersby know about upcoming sales or promotions. Not only does this help draw more attention to your store, but it also helps create an inviting atmosphere that encourages people to enter and explore what you have to offer.
Don’t Forget About Exterior Walls
Your exterior walls are another great place for signage—especially if they’re visible from the street or sidewalk. You can use these walls to showcase information about your products or services, announce upcoming events, or even display customer reviews—all without taking up any valuable window space! Plus, exterior walls can be seen by people who aren’t walking right by your storefront so they can serve as additional advertising opportunities as well.
Signage is an essential part of any successful store’s marketing strategy. Not only does it draw attention to your business, but it also creates an inviting atmosphere that encourages people to come inside and explore what you have on offer. Whether you’re using windows, exterior walls, or other spaces around your store for signage, make sure that it reflects your brand identity and entices potential customers with its visuals and messaging! With effective signage in place, you’ll have no problem attracting more business than ever before!
Optimize Your Google Business Profile
If you do not already have a Google Business Profile (formally Google My Business), you need to set one up immediately as without one you are virtually invisible to potential customers on the Google Map! Just setting one up, however is not enough. You will need to optimize your profile for your goods, services and service location and keep it fresh with frequent content, updates, and photos. The more you use your Google Profile, the more searches your listing can appear in, and the more local clients will see your listing on the map and in other local searches.
Provide Excellent Customer Service
The key to getting repeat customers is providing excellent customer service every single time they walk in the door—no exceptions! Whether it’s going above and beyond by helping them find exactly what they need or simply providing friendly conversation while they shop, always make sure your customers feel valued and appreciated so that they want to come back for more!
There is nothing more important than treating your customers like gold. Or bread and butter is the old term, right? With so much competition out there it’s imperative to have your customers feel special while shopping with you. We’ve all had the experience of poor customer service while shopping. And we think- why are they even working at a job that they’re not happy with or very good at it?
The best thing an owner or manager can do for the company is to educate their employees on how they need to treat customers. Take a closer look at training your employees, and most importantly, making sure they are happy with working daily at your company. By constantly rewarding your employees and coaching them, supporting them when they have to handle difficult customers. You can do this by role playing, giving employees another way to respond positively to your customers. If you nurture your employees to be the best they can be on a weekly basis, and reward them, your customers will feel the positive vibe and will love shopping at your store. Happy employees, happy customers, happy business.
Host An Invite: Event/Open House
Hosting an open house is a great way to introduce new customers to your local business and gain more foot traffic. All you have to do is send out some invites, scatter in some freebies, provide delicious food, and spread plenty of good cheer!
Studies have shown that customers are much more likely to come back if there’s a sense of familiarity and connection with the staff. To ensure gaining loyal local customers, an open house is always a great way to start. You could host these events several times throughout the year for special occasions or make a once-a-year big event that gains notoriety and gets bigger and better every year. You can announce it in a local paper or radio and invite local media outlets (they love free food!) to cover the event as well so you can get even more exposure! With access to good entertainment and interesting topics of discussion at the open house, you’ll be gaining more local business in no time. And don’t forget to take photos for social media!
Driving foot traffic should be a top priority for any business owner looking for success. By using these strategies—word-of-mouth marketing, engaging with your community, offering special promotions, hosting an invite: event/open house, providing excellent customer service, and keeping employees happy—you can increase foot traffic in no time! With some effort and dedication from you and your staff, you can ensure that your local business thrives!