Did you know that in 2013, retail sales topped $4.5 trillion and are expected to exceed $5.5 trillion in 2018?* Jiminy Cricket! Who says retail is dead?
With so much focus on the online and digital marketplace, it’s easy to forget that ecommerce sales only represent about 6% of overall retail sales.* Don’t get me wrong—ecommerce is the next frontier, but people love the experience of touching merchandise and, well, live shopping. Anyone out there not like live shopping?
10 Easy Ways to Get Traffic into Your Brick-and-Mortar Store
Even if you don’t have a brick-and-mortar you can certainly snag a few pointers from this article. Now let’s take a look at a few strategies to get more foot traffic into your store!
#1 Run a social media contest
If you have a social media presence, why not ask customers to take a photo of themselves using or wearing your product and submit it for entry into a contest for a $500 or $5,000 shopping spree for more of your products (of course).
#2 Mail a postcard
A postcard mailing to the area surrounding the store location makes major good sense here. Bath and Body Works does a superb job with their direct mail. Again, as much focus as there is on ecommerce, over 155 billion pieces of direct mail were processed in fiscal year 2014, and 80.9 billion of those pieces were advertising related* So direct mail works. Check out my article, “7 Ways You Can Use Direct Mail to Engage and Sell.”
#3 Start or use your refer-a-friend program
If you don’t have a refer-a-friend program in place, start one. You can offer customers who refer their friends and family to your store (and make a purchase) a special bonus or discount on their next purchase. And hopefully the newly referred friend will refer someone so they can get a special incentive, and so on. An exponential win for your foot traffic.
#4 Host an open house
Find a reason to host an open house. Invite the community to preview your newest season’s product line, or newest flavor, or newest toy, or newest electronic product, or newest something—anything. People like new. And while they’re in your store they can get to know your flagship products and buy.
#5 Give come-back coupons with every in-store purchase
I talked about this topic in my Facebook post, “What Not to Say in the Checkout Line.” Your goal is to bring people back into your store, and the checkout line is a perfect way to do just that. “Did you find everything ok?” won’t cut it. Offer an incentive to come back at the time of purchase. Remember: They’ve just purchased from you and are excited about their merchandise—you have a super-ripe opportunity to keep them excited and incentivize them to come back.
#6 Offer a Groupon or Living Social promotion
Yep, I said it! While you typically need to offer deep discounts, Groupon or LivingSocial sure can help you get new foot traffic. Make sure, though, you are staffed up for the inflow of new traffic into your store. Once you get folks into the store to take advantage of their special deal, offer another, less deeply discounted incentive to come back. See #5
#7 List your store on all the top directories
Be sure to list your local business on Yelp, Yahoo, Bing, Yellow Pages, and MapQuest. Yelp had an average of 142 million unique visitors as of April 2015.** Check out this cool infographic on how Yelp can help your business.
#8 Newspaper advertising
Place an ad in a local newspaper or advertise your business in your local Valpak direct mail program.
#9 Hold limited-time specials
Place instore-only redeemable, limited-time specials on your website. Do this daily, weekly, bi-monthly, or monthly to keep folks coming back for more, and to see what’s new and on sale.
#10 Giveaway free samples
Everyone likes free! Send an email to your database and promote a free product giveaway to the first 50 people.
Remember, while ecommerce is a growing channel, retailing still reigns supreme. Use these 10 Easy Ways to Get Traffic into Your Brick-and-Mortar store.