28.5.2020

How to Drive Foot Traffic to Your Shop When You Reopen

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The COVID-19 pandemic has taught retailers many things, including how to adapt and continue to trade through the medium of online ordering and delivery. But what retailers want more than anything is to return to normal and welcome customers back into your business.

The UK Government has announced that all non-essential shops that were forced to close during the pandemic will be able to reopen on the 15th of June. But while this is certainly welcome news, it doesn’t necessarily mean that business owners can expect an immediate return to normality.

Retailers across the country will have to adapt to a new “normal”, meaning the high street will look very different as a result of the social distancing measures put in place to keep staff and customers safe.

Because of these new and vital measures - and the general public’s understandable reluctance to be in close proximity to others - businesses will need to work harder than ever to convince customers to come back to bricks and mortar stores.

We’ve previously talked about the 5 vital steps you need to take before you reopen, but once you are open, how do you get customers through the door?

How to Drive Foot Traffic to your Store

1) Put Health and Safety First

Enforcing health and safety and social distancing rules in line with government guidance is not only the responsible thing to do, but it will also encourage customers to visit your shop when they’re understandably nervous about human interaction.

We’ve discussed social distancing and keeping your staff and customers safe in a previous article, but you may also want to think about things like how many customers you can accommodate and what type of signage you’ll need to reassure customers.

2) Use Historic Sales Data

In your Epos Now back office you can analyse your historic sales data to see which products and categories were most popular last year so you can really curate your reopening product lines.

Better still, if you’ve been operating as an online shop during the lockdown as you will be able to see what items are popular right now which can help influence your decisions on what to sell.

3) Launch a Reopening Sale

Putting on a sale is a sure-fire way to attract customers to your store. After all, everyone loves a discount!

There are two main types of promotions you can run, depending on your aim:

  • Multi-Buy Deals - Offering buy one get one free, or 3 for the price of 2 deals are a great way to shift excess stock
  • Percentage Discounts - Offering a percentage off all or selected items in your shop will attract customers and get them through the door

We would advise you to be smart when putting on a reopening promotion as you don’t want to offer too much discount when you’ve had several months of either not trading, or trading at a limited capacity. Simultaneously, offering deals and offers that are too generous could have the danger of attracting more customers than social distancing will allow you to manage.

4) Create Attractive Window Displays

An attractive window display that focuses on the season or what’s topical can be a great way to attract passive customers who are just passing.

They’re a great way to have fun in what aren’t the most fun times. For example, if you’re a clothes shop you could have socially distanced mannequins wearing face masks!

5) Promote your Opening

There are several ways you can promote reopening and the measures you’re putting in place, as well as any sales and the products you’re selling.

Social media is completely free so you can keep in touch with your customers, and if you’ve recorded customers’ email addresses you can send them email marketing using a programme like MailChimp.

In Conclusion:

Reopening your shop is going to be a massive turning point for your business so you need to get it right. Customers are still nervous about the COVID-19 pandemic, despite being able to go back to work due to restrictions lifting, so you need to give them a reason to make that journey.

For more information on the developing COVID-19 situation and its impact on businesses, as well as for access to useful resources, please visit our dedicated page here.