(Disclaimer: This blog was written after consuming six coffees!)
We’re all finally allowed to venture back into stores, halle-freakin-lujah! While my urge to drop an absurd amount of cash on things I’ll never need at Target trumps my fear of getting COVID-19, not all people are cut from the same cloth. Unfortunately for many store owners, people just aren’t ready to jump straight back in.
With rent, utilities and staff to pay most of us can’t afford to be patient and as the age-old saying goes nothing comes to those who wait or at least that’s what I tell myself. So, here are our tips for finding your customers and getting them back in your store.
1. Attract Locals to Your Store
If the foot traffic to your store hasn’t quite recovered you’re probably wondering, as Lara Bingle so eloquently put it, “Where the bloody hell are ya?” If your store is in a shopping mall or some other high traffic location use a sandwich board to write witty and fun messages – you can highlight sales or a new product.
Make sure your business is listed online! Seems like a simple one but in the midst of a big move, it’s easy to forget to update your location, hours or phone number. If people can’t find you they won’t. Add in some appealing imagery to your listing and ask for reviews from happy customers. Which salon would you most likely visit? Salon A for fresh chop or Salon B to potentially be chopped up?
Update your social media regularly and post stories at your store with the location tagged. Most people use Instagram in a similar way to Yelp—that is, to search for local businesses. They might be out and about in the mood for a certain kind of food, or they are looking for a specialty store, and instead of turning to Yelp or Google, they do a search on Instagram to find local businesses that meet their needs. If you’re not actively tagging posts or stories it’ll be much harder to find you. In fact, posts and stories with a tagged location result in 79% higher engagement than posts without a tagged location.
2. Make Your Store Appealing
You wouldn’t buy from a website that was poorly designed, spelled incorrectly and had no images. Your shop front is the same. The objective isn’t to look sexy, it’s to bring people into your store and fuel retail purchases.
- The average person’s attention span is 8 seconds or less – which, remarkably, is shorter than the attention span of a goldfish.
- 65% of individuals say they’re visual learners
- Visuals increase message retention by 42%.
If you don’t have a window display, make your signage clear, your storefront is clean and your staff look busy. If you do have a window display think of it as your company bio. What narrative do you want to share? How do you want people to feel when they look at it?
3. Bring People in With In-store Events
Get your customers’ attention with an in-store event. You can host a VIP shopping night, a look behind the scenes at how your product is made, live music or some other engagement. Partner with suitable influencers to get your message to the masses. Not all in-store events have to benefit the customer. Give people a chance to give back to the community and host a food or clothing drive by purchasing items in your store.
You promote your event with email marketing, social media ads or go old school with a letterbox drop.
When looking for innovative ways to attract customers to visit your brick-and-mortar location, get creative! As long as you understand your customer base, you can find unique opportunities to encourage them to visit your shop.