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3 simple ways to increase foot traffic to your shop

With online shopping being the norm, it can feel like a bit of an uphill struggle for those business owners who require customers to physically visit to make a purchase. That doesn't mean its impossible. If you run a physical store, there are a number of simple things you can do that can increase the volume of foot traffic to your store.

Look at your shop front as if you were a customer and make improvements

It's likely that as a business owner, you spend most of your life at your premises. It's not uncommon, or wrong, to put a lot of your effort into the interior of your shop but actually the outside of your shop can be just as important. One thing you, or a family member or friend who can be completely impartial, can do is to look at your shop front from the perspective of your customer and ask yourself a few questions.

  • Can you clearly identify your business from the road or pavement?

  • Is it clear what your business offers from the outside?

  • Is your shop front well-maintained?

There are some things you can do to make your shop front a bit more inviting including:

  • Improve the signage of your shop - this doesnt have to be super expensive. It could be printing some pavement signs or placing posters in your shop window. Once you have more customers, you can move towards more expensive options however we advise always start simple. You can see big improvements without having to go for the most expensive option!

  • Add curb side appeal - whether you’re selling beautiful plants or maybe you’re running a bakery, there are little things you can do to encourage customers to notice your shop from the pavement. Why not test having some of your products on show, or maybe hand out some free tasters to encourage the visitor to enquire further. It won’t cost you anything but could give the customer a sneak peak as to what’s inside and spike their interest

  • Make it super accessible - it might sound obvious but an open door is much more inviting than a closed one. If you have a business that has on site parking, make it clear that free parking is available, especially if it is very close to your store. Maybe it's not always easy to find the entrance to your premises once your customer arrives and you need some additional signage to point them in the right direction. At the end of the day, you want to make the experience as easy as possible for your customer so have a look at what some of the barriers for your shop are and try and find a way to solve them! 

  • Always try and greet the customer - everybody loves a personal experience and they especially like to talk to an expert before making a decision. If it's a particularly quiet day, why not move to the entrance to the shop and try and strike up a conversation with individuals browsing through your shop window. This can be a great ice breaker and make the person feel more comfortable on entering. Plus it can give you a bit of heads up as to what they are looking for so that when they do enter the shop you can guide them to right product. 

Hold a launch event for your store 

Even if you have been in business for a number of years, a launch event can be a great way of getting the attention of new customers. Launch events can be as big or small as you want but it's good to have an incentive for you customers to come and visit. This could be a one day only offer of 10% off everything or maybe a free product sample. Some businesses find success simply offering a free cup of tea to anyone who visits. Advertising your open day is key to its success. Some things you could explore include: 

  • Team up with a local radio station to get some personalised advertising

  • Reach out to local media outlets to enquire whether they will include an advert in their publications about your launch event

  • Carry out local door drops with flyers advertising the event and your special offer

  • Launch a facebook campaign with some paid-for outreach to speak to those customers in your immediate vicinity 

It is always important to try and encourage customers to return and so when you are running your event look for a way in which you could carry on marketing to them. One really easy thing to do is to try and capture some personal details such as an email address to allow you to send email marketing in the future. Customers tend to be quite protective over their personal data however, so you will want to offer something in return. One option is to run a “Free Prize Draw” with a juicy incentive such as a £50 gift card to spend in your shop, or a chance to win a luxury break. Although this can feel like a big up front cost, capturing this personal information now could mean £100’s in revenue in the future. At Design 49, we are experts in running integrated marketing campaigns and can advise the best route for you to take depending on your business and objectives. Why not get in touch and see how we can help.

If your customers won’t come to you store, go to them! 

Sometimes the easiest way to find new customers and to get them to visit your shop is to go out and find them yourself. It might be that all it takes is for them to hear about your offering and they will start to visit your store. Some things you could explore: 

  • Going into your local town with a selection of flyers- physical leaflets have a great shelf life especially if they manage to find their way into people’s homes. This can act as a constant reminder of your store 

  • Why not try advertising on social media? - This can offer you a brilliant way to reach an audience that is genuinely interested in finding out more about your product. If you haven’t already, check out our first article on 3 ways to grow your funnel with leads, which explores all the social media platforms in more detail. 

  • Use word of mouth to your advantage - existing customers are your biggest advocates. They can talk to their friends and family about your product or business, but most importantly their audience is more likely to trust their opinion and take action off the back of it. Why not try creating “pass-it-on cards” which you can give out with every purchase. These could include an introductory offer to really make it enticing! 

Well there you have it. 3 really easy things you can do to increase traffic to your store. If you give any of these a go, let us know how you get on. We are always here to give our advice so why not drop us a message via our get in touch page!

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