You’ve probably heard it at one point or another – Amazon is going to put small businesses out of business. That isn’t true. Consumer purchasing habits have just changed. In-store shopping is still a very significant portion of the retail industry and bringing customers into your store should be a focus as the holiday season approaches.
71% of shoppers that visit a store spend more than those shopping online. Increasing foot traffic can boost in-store revenue. Keep reading to discover some creative ways retailers can engage customers and influence them to visit and become lifetime customers.
Use Technology to Understand Your Foot Traffic Trends
How shoppers navigate and spend time in your store is essential to managing a retail business. Your decision making should be based on customer interactions. Retail analytics and performance technologies like RetailAware make tracking customer behavior easy and provide real data behind those actions.
Gadgets like floor sensors and motion-activated trackers help you know how far your customers walk into the store, where they get bottlenecked and which areas are underutilized. Keeping customers in the store and making the most of your space is just as important as getting more bodies in the door. The knowledge you gain may solve simple problems like if a product should be placed closer to the front of the store or further back, and more complex issues.
Help Online Shoppers See the Value in Going to the Store
The internet has been the largest revolution in promotional advertising in the last decade, pushing shoppers to buy quicker, see more information and always be aware of the next sale. Loyalty programs are no longer just a coupon but can be used as a tool to influence online customers to see more value in an in-store purchase.
Online codes used to get in-store discounts, give-aways or early-bird announcements are just a few ways retailers are using loyalty programs to push the envelope and build lifetime customers. More recently, retailers are using digital technologies to offer more in-store value in the form of BOPIS – buy online, pick up in-store programs. Waived shipping fees, discounts and incredibly easy returns make picking an item up more valuable and appealing to shoppers.
Community is Everything
Owning a business is one of the hardest jobs around. There’s always too much to do and not enough time, people or space. Within all of that, it’s important that you don’t lose sight of your customers, figuratively and literally speaking. When they walk out of your business they don’t just stop existing, they live entire lives in your community. So, engage with them there.
You know exactly what products the locals like most. Grab a case of products, a table, some awesome signs and literally set up shop at local fairs, fests and community events. There’s no greater way to teach your city what makes your business great.
Increasing foot-traffic takes understanding, new ideas and most importantly the loyalty of your customers and passion about your business and products. The best way to make shoppers feel welcomed is by keeping your business operations running smoothly and your shop floor up to brand standards with a solid retail audit program.
Remember, every customer is equal and some may need some mental or physical accommodations. Read more about how to create accessibility with ADA compliance.