Driving in-store traffic can be tricky if you're relying on the same old, tired tactics. Here are a few suggestions to consider when pondering how to entice some fresh faces to check out what you're offering.
1. Try Geo-Targeting Tactics
Local advertising has gotten really advanced since the day of traditional offline media like TV, radio, and print. Now, thanks to technology, online advertising options like Facebook's Local Awareness Ads and Bing's Ads Express help you reach an audience that's located in the same area as your business. This practice - known as geo-targeting - is awesome because it delivers different chunks of content based on a visitor's physical location. This means you can reinforce various messages based on a potential customer's country, city, state, or even zip code.
Mobile app Pushlocal does something similar. By connecting to your desired consumers' GPS smartphone data, you can target possible purchasers within a certain radius. This technology, also known as geo-fencing, is different from geo-targeting because it targets everyone within this radius - not just those meeting specific targeting criteria like demographics who are located in your targeted area. Both of these tactics allow businesses to spend their advertising budget more effectively, while reaching potential consumers near a specific location.
2. Offer Consistent, Frequent Discounts
Nothing beats the lure of spending less on something you would be willing to pay full price for. Advertising sales may seem old-school to some, but technology has made discounts and promotions so accessible you can now connect to thousands of deals with just the swipe of a finger.
So how is a mobile or web-based promotion going to actually get more people in your brick-and-mortar store? The trick is to create a deal that's only offered for a limited amount of time. "Offers that come with a sense of urgency are always effective to get customers to come to stores," says Irene Dickey of the University of Dayton's School of Business Administration.
3. Create an Extraordinary In-Store Experience
Chances are, if you go above and beyond a customer's expectations, they'll remember it and might even tell others. While it's possible to go the extra mile via a web-based business, you have an additional advantage with a brick-and-mortar store because of the face-to-face element. Personalized product knowledge, immediate recommendations, helpful advice, and enthusiasm are just a few of the in-person benefits. Plus, never underestimate the power of friendliness and a genuine smile.
Fantastic in-store experiences also rely on perks. Freebies like free snacks or reusable bags can add a feeling of getting "something extra for nothing." Events with exclusive deals and creative cocktails combined with tasty hors d'oeuvres, show potential customers you're excited to show off what's in stock, while giving them the VIP treatment.
Want one last way to make an amazing impact? Think about times customers might get frustrated, like long checkout lines or limited inventory on a particular item. Now, consider ways to take the sting out of not getting what they want right away, like free candy while they wait or a discount on the out of stock item.
4. Get Involved in Your Community
Did you know you can boost foot traffic even when you're not directly trying to sell? Consider hosting a workshop that shows consumers how to get the most out of a purchase. This can help build your reputation as a business that values learning, sustainability, and innovation.
Similarly, a fundraising event for those in need can act as a triple whammy of positivity for your business. It shows you're interested in helping those in your community, creates good will for your business, and has the potential to increase sales if you partner with a well-known organization.
5. Don't Forget Social Media
When you think of social media, you may not initially consider it a sales-driver. However, if your fan base is mostly local and the content you post has some relevance to those in the area, it could increase your chances to have a face-to-face conversation with someone who saw something of interest online. Your best bet is to use your pages to promote new items, upcoming special offers, and anything else exciting happening at your store.