By Chloe Marchbank
If you run a retail business then foot traffic – the number of people on your premises at a given time – is a key measure you’re always looking to increase.
Why foot traffic is key
Clearly, people can’t buy from you if they don’t even make it into your premises (leaving aside online only buyers if you have this facility), and foot traffic metrics tell you much about how effective your marketing efforts are.
Increased foot traffic hopefully leads to increased sales and gain a customer, learn about them, and sell to them again thanks to the information you capture when you.
Along with the basic ‘how many people are in the shop?’ metric, other information such as how visitors behave once inside, how long they stay and other factors is important information.
So how can you improve your foot traffic?
Much like a home relies on ‘curb appeal’ to entice buyers when looking from the outside, so your premises should look clean, well-kept and inviting.
Clean windows, good decor and general tidiness are basics that should be kept up to date even if it means cleaning the windows every few days.
An imaginative window display changed frequently will add interest and encourage people to come in – especially if there’s an inducement to entice them whether a direct sales offer or a ‘come in and enter our free raffle’ or similar.
Employee behavior and training
Staff matter hugely in customer facing environments, so ensure yours are well trained and motivated to take customer care seriously.
Even if it’s quiet, have your staff at least appear busy rather than looking bored and slovenly. Whilst customers appreciate attention and ‘being noticed,’ don’t encourage pushy ‘hard sell’ behavior amongst your staff.
Pleasant, attentive staff who know their products make a big difference and help positive word of mouth spread so encouraging more people to visit your premises.
Your online presence
Even though you’re a ‘bricks and mortar’ concern, you should have an organized online presence to help increase foot fall.
While many people prefer to physically visit stores as opposed to shopping online, many will still use online facilities such as websites and social media to gather information before visiting a retailer. Give them enough helpful material and they’ll come to you as a trusted source on the matter in hand.
Website – your website can draw attention to in store offers and encourage people to visit: perhaps offer seasonal incentives over Christmas or during the summer vacation period.
Ongoing contact – collecting customer details at the point of sale using your POS system as mentioned earlier means you can develop a relationship with your customer, encourage them to buy again and recommend you to others.
Email marketing –can really reap rewards over the longer term. Along with building relationships, it’s easy to draw attention to forthcoming in-store promotions and offers for example.
Social media – the right use of social media to build relationships can add to your foot traffic. Many brands seek to engage with their customers and target market, but the key is to remember social media is primarily about creating and nurturing relationships.
A basic way is talking to your market in their language: for example, if you’re a funky fashion retailer targeting teenagers and early 20s adults, then your tone wouldn’t be in the style of a dry public service announcer. Fast food outlet.
Provide click and collect
If you do have an e-commerce website, then offering click and collect is not only an added facility to help drive sales but means people will visit to collect their goods.
This could encourage a further purchase once they’re inside, or at least a chance for you to promote your image with positive face-to-face customer service when processing their transaction.
hloe Marchbank is an enthusiastic freelance writer, currently working for various businesses across a variety of sectors. As a recent English graduate from Nottingham Trent University, she is passionate about gaining experience and making a name for herself.
Chloe Marchbank is an enthusiastic freelance writer, currently working for various businesses across a variety of sectors. As a recent English graduate from Nottingham Trent University, she is passionate about gaining experience and making a name for herself.
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