Shopping in 2022 looks very different from how it did 20, 10, or even 5 years ago. Brick-and-mortar stores have to compete with online shopping, and customers are used to the convenience of shopping from home.
Ecommerce, free shipping, and same-day delivery have revolutionized the way most people shop. Some people get everything they need delivered to their doorstep without setting foot in a physical store.
For some businesses, ecommerce is enough. But plenty of businessowners still rely heavily on in-store purchases.
Competing with online shopping isn’t easy, but it’s vital to the success of your business. Today we’re covering 5 ways you can boost your store traffic.
1. Run a multi-channel marketing campaign.
The best way to promote any aspect of your business is to send the same message across several channels. You might feel like you’re being repetitive, but your audience probably won’t.
Although the exact number is debated, the general consensus is that your audience needs to see a message at least 7 times before they make a purchase.
Check out this (non-exhaustive) list of marketing channels:
- Mail a postcard
- Create Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, or Google ads
- Try SMS marketing
- Send a series of emails
- Use your social media platforms
- Take out an ad in a newspaper or magazine
- Rent a billboard
- Pay for a radio ad
- Purchase a vehicle wrap
You don’t have to use all of them, but you should use more than one. Choose channels that fit your budget and will reach your target audience. Then use consistent messaging across all of them, directing people to shop at your store.
Direct mail, email, SMS, and social media will help convince your existing customers to shop in-person rather than online. Paid ads (digital and print) will reach a broader audience, bringing new customers to your store as well as old ones.
When you repeat a clear message across several channels, people will respond.
2. Start a loyalty program.
A loyalty program doesn’t have to be complicated by different tiers and a digital component. It can be as simple as a punch card.
A punch card gives your customers a reward for making repeated purchases and encourages them to return to your store. It’s also a physical object with a visible reminder that shopping at your store has its benefits.
The beauty of a punch card is you don’t need a computer or points system. All you need is to print the cards and keep a hole punch at the register.
For every 10 in-store purchases, give your customers a discount, store credit, or a free item. They’ll be motivated to keep coming back to your business, even if it’s less convenient than shopping online.
3. Offer store-only discounts.
Most people shop online because it’s convenient. It’s easier to make a purchase from your phone than get in the car and drive. To convince your customers to make purchases in-store, you have to make your store more appealing than the prospect of ordering online.
One way to encourage in-store purchases is to offer discounts exclusive to your store. Advertise the sale through print and digital media, but make it clear that the discount only applies to purchases made in-person.
4. Host an event in your store.
Increasing store traffic is about more than redirecting sales from your website. It’s also about expanding your audience and inviting new customers to your store.
Hosting an event is a great way to get new customers to visit your store for the first time. An event gives people the chance to see your store, meet your staff, and eye your merchandise—without the pressure to make a purchase.
Here are just a few ideas:
- Host a meet-and-greet with a celebrity or influencer in your industry
- Demo a new product and let guests try it for themselves
- Invite customers to an educational class
- Partner with some local artists for an art gallery or poetry reading
Your event doesn’t have to be directly related to your industry, but it should be relevant to your ideal audience. (If your target audience is soccer moms, don’t host a watch party for the latest monster truck derby.) Think about the things that are important to your customers. How can you relate those interests to your business?
5. Boost your Google rating through positive reviews.
When you need to find a store or service in your area, how do you choose which one to go to? If you don’t have time to ask friends for a recommendation, you probably Google it.
“Nail salons near me.”
“Bicycle repair in my area.”
“New Orleans cupcake bakery.”
When potential customers search for your industry on Google, you want your business to be the first result.
A lot of factors go into your search results ranking. One of them is your Google reviews.
- Ask your most reliable customers to leave a review.
- Leave a sign at the register with a QR code that directs customers to your review page.
- Create a drawing. All anyone has to do to enter is write a review.
When you have more positive Google reviews, you rank higher on searches. Potential customers will find your business more easily, and those 5-star reviews will encourage them to go to your store.
Creating and implementing a marketing strategy to increase store traffic is easier said than done. If you find yourself overwhelmed at the thought of Facebook ads, postcards, and email marketing, let us give you a hand. Schedule a call today, and we’ll help you bring new and returning customers to your store.