How to Increase Foot Traffic to Your Small Business

how to increase foot traffic small business retail customers

Black Friday is the single busiest shopping day of the year, attracting upwards of 80 million people to stores. It’s little wonder so many business owners bank on a good Black Friday to help make their fiscal year profitable. 

There’s even more importance on Black Friday for many bricks-and-mortar stores this year. Many were forced to close their doors temporarily earlier this year. Some are only now reopening, and even those that have been open have found foot traffic reduced. 

The question for small business owners like you is, how can you increase foot traffic? Let this guide show you the way to increasing retail store and small biz shop foot traffic fast. 

Engage Your Existing Customers 

Business owners often ask how to generate more business. One surefire way is to re-engage your existing customers in an exciting new way. 

These people have already made a purchase from you. They’ve probably been in the store before. They may not have stopped by recently, but the right incentive could get them to drop in. 

A coupon or discount for customer loyalty could be a good way to engage your customers. If you don’t already have a loyalty program, then you might want to consider creating one. 

Another option is to offer a customized shopping experience. Send out an email or pamphlet inviting existing customers to book a consultation or an exclusive shopping time. They’ll be delighted you asked. 

Your Online Marketing Can Increase Foot Traffic 

It might seem counter-intuitive, but if you want to increase walk-in customer traffic, you need to get online. 

You might not have thought online visitors could turn into in-store visitors, but they do. Statistics show 88 percent of people who conduct “near me” searches visit a shop within a week. 

What’s more is that they also tend to make purchases from the stores they visit. Even if they decide not to drop by, they might send you an email or give you a call. 

Now you want to know how you can capitalize on this. One great step is to claim your Google My Business profile. This can help you improve your local SEO ranking, and it’s free. 

You can also look to your website for more local SEO opportunities. Don’t forget about a social media strategy either. Being active on Facebook or Instagram can help you connect with people who are looking for you. 

If you have a little bit of budget, then you may also want to think about pay-per-click ads as well. 

It’s All About Appearances 

You’ve spruced up your online presence a bit, but what about your bricks-and-mortar store? Appearance can’t be understated when it comes to attracting more foot traffic. 

Take a look at the inside of your store first. Is it cluttered, dark, or dingy? If customers walk in and can’t see how they’ll find what they’re looking for, they’ll likely walk right back out. 

Many small stores are cluttered or don’t use the space they have to its maximum advantage. Take some time to neatly organize your shelves. Think carefully about your displays and end-caps. 

You don’t need to have every product on the shelf or all your stock there. Similarly, switch up your displays to showcase certain products. 

Now it’s time to look at signage. This is important both inside and out. 

The right signage outside can make your business stand out to passersby and pique their curiosity. The right signage inside can help them find what they’re looking for. It’s also a perfect opportunity for branding. 

Business sign design is incredibly important. Make sure you pick legible typefaces. You’ll also want to think about the wording you use, as well as colors. 

A new sign could spruce up the outside of your store and make people take notice! 

Offer In-Store Pick-Up 

Plenty of people switched to online shopping this year, especially while stores were closed. Some will opt to get their purchases shipped right to their door. 

If you want to increase walk-in customers, though, you might consider a different option. Can you offer the customer a discount if they opt to pick-up their purchase from the store? 

That way, customers can place their orders online or by phone. Then, when it’s ready, they can come pick it up. If you have it in stock, it may be much faster than sending direct from a warehouse partner. 

If you aren’t already offering online shopping due to issues around shipping, then in-store pick-up can be a great option. 

When people arrive to pick-up their orders, they may spend some more time in the store. They may decide to pick up some more items while they’re in the shop too. 

Put On Your Customer Service Hat 

Finally, make sure you and your team are delivering exceptional customer service to everyone who does happen to stop by. Whether they’re an old customer or a new prospect, treat them well. 

If you do, there’s a good chance they’ll be back. They may not buy the first time they stop in, but they’ll be more willing to spend the next time they’re in. 

They may also help you spread the word by telling friends and family about what a great experience they had in your shop. 

There’s never a bad time to refresh your team’s customer service training or introduce new policies. In fact, the reminder during the busy holiday season could be just what your team needs. 

Get Your Business Ready to Grow 

Driving foot traffic can be a challenge for small businesses even in the best of years. With all the challenges you’ve faced this year, getting people in the door is even more important. These tips will help boost foot traffic along with sales, both now and in the future. 

Looking for more great advice for marketing and growing your business? You’re in the right spot for ramping up your retail foot traffic and sales. Check out the Bootstrap Business Blog archives for more retailer how-to guides and unique insights.

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