In today’s world, it may seem like online shopping is king.
And in a lot of cases, online shopping provides a whole range of benefits. It’s open 24/7, there’s a seemingly infinite variety of products, competitive pricing, and so on.
But there will still always be a demand for a good old brick-and-mortar store. There’s just something classic and human about being able to walk into a physical store and to be able to touch the products you’re interested in, as well as being able to talk and ask questions to staff and other customers.
Believe it or not, it can sometimes be more difficult to attract attention and customers to a physical store. Online stores have the advantage of going viral on the internet, and all that is required is a link to their website to be shared around.
If you want to increase foot traffic to a store, this article will help give you some much-needed information and clarity. We’ll be taking a look at the most common and effective ways people bring some attention to their store.
Although online shopping can seem great and futuristic, it can also be immensely boring.
Most people who shop online are doing it on their phones or laptops. Yes, laying down in bed seems quick and easy, but it can be totally unengaging and quite lonely.
Now, compare that experience to having quite a social and energizing event inside your store. By events, this can really mean anything. The first thing that may come to mind is having a large and noticeable sale that focuses on being entertaining and enjoyable to be in.
Some stores may find it appropriate to use mascots or staff willing to create some attention and entertain. Having in-person events absolutely crushes online shopping simply because you can have experiences that are going to be more memorable.
Some casual stores or stores that are food-related may find that having a simple barbecue outside is good enough to attract some attention. You can also earn a bit of extra money on the side doing this.
If you happen to be in charge of a store that sells car-related products, maybe try and organize a meetup in which car enthusiasts can gather around on the weekend in the store. This not only brings some awareness to the store, but allows people of similar interests to make some new friends that are likely to be long lasting.
Never judge a book by its cover, right? not really, most people will judge the outdoor and indoor appearance of your store. If your building looks quite shabby and run down, it can create a depressing and uninteresting atmosphere for people thus leading them to walk straight past.
In a lot of cases, minimalism and space are king. Ever been to an Apple store? They almost always seem to be full of people. Not only because Apple makes high-quality and well-known products but because the stores are always sleek white, immaculately clean and have a lot of room to fit large amounts of people.
You’d also want your place to feel unique and not too dull though either. One of the best tactics to make a store look sleek is to use digital signage. This makes everything feel automatically more crisp and professional, especially when you choose the right digital signage software, as opposed to just using typical signs that are unable to adapt and change.
Having a store that is also more spacious on the inside will lead to less crowding and an overall less anxious atmosphere. For instance, if you’ve ever been to a cheap dollar store then you may be all too familiar with how crammed and close the aisles can be - and those awkward shuffles that you have to do in order to simply just get past a group of people.
Smells can also play a big part in whether or not customers are going to be interested in walking inside. A lot of restaurants are well known to cook great smelling foods deliberately in order for customers to get hungry and want to walk inside to buy some food.
Another thing to do to play on the senses is to play some nice music. There may have been a couple of times where you would be walking down the street and brush past a store that has been playing your favorite song - and you just cannot help but walk in to check things out.
Try to stick to music that is popular and that most people are going to enjoy listening to. Unless you’re running an alternative store where different crowds are expected, avoid playing harsh music that isn’t radio-friendly and is explicit. Although, it may be beneficial to try and experiment with music that is going to sound unique and attract some on-foot activity.
Japan is quite famous for having very unique experiences and services available to their customers. For example, certain hotels will use robots in order to talk to customers and allow them to book a room. Instantly, this brought a lot of attention to the hotels and there was a massive trend and increase in sales for them.
But on the other hand, they used the increase in popularity to their advantage and actually had decent quality hotel rooms. So it wasn’t just a gimmick after all. Certain beauty or fashion stores may even allow customers to have their makeup done for them - free of charge. Certain restaurants allow the customers to interact with the chef and watch the food get made.
Certain Gillette stores allowed men to lay back on a professional barber’s chair and get themselves a nice relaxing clean shave. Not only was the experience great and done by someone as good as Sweeney Todd, but the customers felt relaxed and were more interested in buying the razors that the barber used.
In the world of business, you should always aim to try to be unique; why would someone want to purchase a product or service that is just as good as everything else? This is something that many famous businessmen and entrepreneurs like Elon Musk and Steve Jobs tend to repeat often.
Again, Apple is praised for its extremely high-quality customer service, with employees regularly going above and beyond to fix tech issues as well as making customers feel welcome when they enter an Apple store.
Using tech is one of the quickest ways to make your store feel sharper and more up-to-date. Using new technology that people are not familiar with is also a great way to make your store more unique and engaging.
As mentioned before, using digital signage can be an absolute game changer since the screens are able to update with more relevant information and pricing.
McDonald’s also introduced touchscreen kiosks a few years back which made things much easier for customers to purchase their food, but it also made it quite fun. Another thing to realize is that some people prefer to use the touchscreen because they are most comfortable not having to talk to people.
Online shopping is popular because of this reason too, and the added convenience that it brings. But introducing new technology to customers can bring some immediate foot traffic to your store.
Fashion stores, for instance, can have a camera and screen outside that allows outdoor customers to quickly see what they look like when trying on clothes virtually. Another way that technology has absolutely changed the way people shop is to look at Amazon for example. Amazon has convenience stores that allow customers to simply walk in, pick up the things that they want and then walk out.
The store uses cameras and advanced technology to notice when people pick up items from the shelf. Then, all you need to do is simply walk straight out of the store and Amazon automatically charges you as soon as you leave.
You never know, in the near future you may find it effective to display products as holograms outside.
So there you have it. To sum things up, we’ve taken some points to remember when thinking about increasing foot traffic to a store:
Using in-person occasions and events will help bring an enjoyable social experience to your store and automatically drive some foot traffic. Hosting party-like sales are sure to bring crowds and encourage people to stay and shop.
Having an aesthetically pleasing store inside and out can drastically improve the comfort people feel when shopping inside your store.
Services that are better and more unique will make customers more inclined to visit your store as opposed to everybody else’s.
Making use of technology can not only make customers have a better and more seamless experience, but it can also attract some attention due to how unique and fun it can be to use the technology.
Although having a brick-and-mortar store can seem more daunting and come with a lot of responsibilities, you will also find that there is just something different about being able to interact with customers and share and experience with them.