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5 Tips To Increase Foot Traffic & Sales In Your Retail Store

Whether you’re opening your first retail store, or are an experienced retailer simply wanting to boost sales, identifying opportunities to increase foot traffic is among the most critical ways to enhance store performance.

In fact, a study from May 2019 reveals, “Shopping in person is actually a revenue booster for retailers because in-store shoppers spend more.” Expanding on this, Forbes explains, “Emotion plays a role in shopping behaviour. There is a human side of in-store shopping and shoppers crave that visceral experience.” 

As per Forbes, 71% of shoppers spent more than $50 when shopping in a store, while only 54% of shoppers did the same when shopping online. Hence, the ability to see, feel and try products before purchase remains the biggest motivator for consumers to shop offline. 

So, keeping this in mind, how do you plan to boost your store foot traffic in the coming days, weeks, months and even years ahead?

We’ve curated 5 tips highlighting how modern retailers can capture more customer attention through strategic, engaging ways that help increase customer visits to their stores. Before that, you can take time to know what is foot traffic and why it is important for your business.  

What Is Foot Traffic

Foot traffic is a metric that reveals the number of consumers entering your store. This metric is essential since it predicts customer presence in the store and future revenues. It goes without saying that the more foot traffic, the greater the sales.

Here are some factors that may help you determine foot traffic – 

  • Average time spent by customers in the store
  • The average length of time spent shopping on an annual basis
  • Types of products or items that are most in-demand
  • Distance customers travel from their homes to the store
  • Comparisons of traffic data with other competing stores

Why Foot Traffic Is Important For Your Store

With regular foot traffic, retailers get to interact with customers personally and engage them in sales. They can generate word-of-mouth advertising and, in turn, repeat customers through recommendations. Keeping this in mind, you can guess why foot traffic is so important to retail outlets – higher foot traffic can lead to higher sales.

Benefits Of Foot Traffic To Consider –

Better inventory planning
Measuring foot traffic will allow you to forecast sales and predict the appropriate amount of inventory required to prevent shrinkage and out-of-stock incidents. It will also help you avoid overstocking products. 

Enhance your sales and discount strategies
If you know your retail store’s busy hours or days, consider planning flash sales or special deals during busy times. By doing so, you’ll hit more customers and, ultimately, sell more inventory. 

Employee increase
Measuring traffic allows you to get more associates on the sales floor during peak periods. You can also avoid having too many staff during slow periods. The additional staff you hire can be part-time, which will allow you to reduce operational costs. 

Now that you know how foot traffic is vital, you can work on increasing it through these steps – 

Enhance In-Store Experience

Your customers’ experience reveals a lot about your marketing tactics. If they are generally happy with your services, it probably means that you stay mindful of how they would like their products and you strive to serve them better. To improve your customer experience, you can follow these points –

  • Enable Fast Checkout –  Long queues near the checkout point may mean that a lot of customers visit your store, but it also prevents potential customers to buy from you. In fact, if the queues are long almost every day, it will hamper your to make more sales from additional customers. 

    Consider investing in a reliable POS system that is cashier-less and enables fast checkout. Likewise, you can also display an option for online payment, which will reduce the time of checkout. 
  • Offer in-store exchanges and returns –  A study reveals that 9 out of 10 consumers will buy something again if returns are easy and hassle-free. Moreover, 62% of shoppers are more likely to purchase online if there is an option to return items in-store.

    This means that having a great in-store return and exchange experience will not only drive your customers to your store but will also give them another reason to shop with you next time.
  • Award in-store discounts or points –  Discount coupons or points are one of the best reasons why customers would want to visit your store again. It’s not necessary to roll out discounts every now and then, but introducing offers on certain holidays can do wonders. Try making bundles of complimentary products and sell them at lesser prices. 

    You could do this with your slow moving inventory or dead stock, which will help you get rid of old items and restock your shelves with newer and better wholesale products. 

Work On Your Storefront 

The appearance of your retail storefront is what drives foot traffic in the first place. The storefront display provides information to potential customers as they walk by your store. For instance, consider your overall aesthetic, seasonal items, promos, and more.

People are more inclined to visit the store if they read what’s on display at your door or window. Making your storefront appealing gives pedestrians a reason of entering your store. Also, a good store layout helps you make more impulse purchases from your customers. 

What you display on the window should be distinctive, elegant, and eye-catching at first look. If you want to display things or other products in your window, make sure they look presentable.

Pro Tip: Depending on the season or time of year, change your window display frequently. Consider showcasing your items in the window with Christmas decorations throughout the holiday season, for example. You may also utilise the window to show clients attractive deals or discounts.

Have A Strong Online Presence

Build Your Social Media 

It is observed that 76% of consumers buy products they discover on social media. 

You may consider Facebook, Instagram & other social media platforms to encourage customers to buy from you. Post discounts and offers on exclusive items that they would love to get. 

Enhance Your “Near Me” Searches 

If you have a website, you can use this feature to come to the notice of your customers online. Near-me searches are location-specific search queries on google which are usually aimed at getting quick results nearby. 

Upgrade your Google My Business listing as it is critical for local search rankings. Verify your listing and keep it up to date at all times.

Pro Tip: Be sure to add as many details about your business as possible – including your address, phone number, hours of operation, special features, and good-quality pictures!

Optimize your website metadata with “near me” keywords. Do not overdo it, but rather keep it relevant and user-friendly. 

Also, don’t forget to encourage customers to leave reviews on Google.

Keep up with the trends

Pop culture is contagious and it can be utilised to boost your sales and foot traffic. Incorporate the latest trends in pop culture like picking up a hot topic to your advantage while marketing.

For instance, “Stranger Things” on Netflix is trending worldwide. Showcasing themed products or naming a collection after a show can intrigue and capture customers pretty fast. 
The best thing about this feature is that you can resonate with the audience by keeping your marketing message simple & brief. Even if a person walking past your store had no intention of entering, they would look at something you did on the trend  – like creating a sandwich board or incorporating discounts with a theme.

Let Your Shoppers Spread The Word

When your customers get a good experience of shopping from your store, they are more likely to recommend you to their relatives and friends. This is how “Word of Mouth” works and you get more customers without doing anything extra. So, focus on providing your existing customers a valuable experience, and the rest shall follow. 

Final Thoughts 

And that’s how you can increase foot traffic in a retail store. There’s so much you can do with your existing store layout and online apps or tools like Facebook & Instagram to attract more customers to buy your wholesale products. 

Remember that you must also work on converting your visitors into paying customers. So, for our final tip, we want to emphasize the importance of optimizing your conversation rate. After all, when it comes to retail success, foot traffic and conversions go hand-in-hand!

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