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How to Increase Foot Traffic in a Retail Store

Danielle Collard
18 Mar 2024

With internet commerce more relevant than ever before, the bustling high street hey-day may well be waning. Some retailers are able to flourish without ever investing much money in physical stores with glowing signs and expensively decorated shop windows.

But changing business environments will always inspire new innovations as entrepreneurs find ways of making ideas work. Retailers are thinking up in-store changes they can make to drive foot traffic and receive the boosts that come with them. So what can you do for your shop to make sure your business stays busy with bodies?

Does it make a difference?

Many business owners will wonder how much it matters to retailers and the economy if shoppers go online rather than to brick and mortar stores. But when it comes to spending bigger, buying more products, and gaining that emotional attachment to a business, being present in-store really matters[1].

Consumers in-store are far more likely to purchase items they see but did not originally intend to buy. The impulse buyer or the shopper on a retail therapy trip both have an emotional involvement in the shopping experience which continues to keep the physical store relevant.  So when looking for ideas to bring customers into your store, what does the trick?

In short, a focus on the social and sensory in-store experience and expanding that social outreach: marketing and customer service.

Marketing ideas to increase footfall

The essence of marketing is making people aware of your business and creating potential customers by showing people things they may want. The physical store’s biggest advantage over the online market is the human experience and so advertising a sociable local business is an increasingly attractive way of building traffic in retail.

It follows that social media provides the free marketing that every business wants while cultivating a social identity for a business. Many small businesses advertise themselves effectively not only by posting about products but also about themselves and what’s happening in-store.

On the other hand, making as many people as possible aware of where your store is located and what you have to offer is crucial to increasing footfall. Setting up on Google Business and getting Google Reviews is a fantastic place to start. Once on Google Business, your store will appear on Google Maps for all the world to see, making you visible and easy to find both for those looking for a business like yours and for anyone nearby.

Local Inventory Advertising will increase sales and is the perfect way of weaponising the tool of the internet with the aim of getting people in-store. This form of advertising can be used to make online sales, but is often used to tell nearby web searchers that you sell what they want and are in the neighbourhood.

NearSt is a great example of this, advertising your business's inventory through Google and Facebook. NearSt only targets web searches from those already near your business to ensure maximum relevancy for potential in-store shoppers.

So much modern marketing revolves around the internet, and even online shoppers that have already made purchases can be brought in-store if your business offers click and collect services. Some online shoppers often want the convenience of the internet but do not want the logistical difficulty of arranging home delivery. A click and collect service will bring customers inside where further impulse purchases can be made and customer relations built.

For an integrated EPOS solution that will take care of in-store and online sales, try Epos Now's specialised retail system:

  • Integrate multiple sales platforms and manage them through one place
  • Manage stock and product data quickly and easily
  • Know your business with hundreds of modifiable, detailed, downloadable reports
  • Be supported all the way with an expert team on hand 24/7

Find out more           Get in touch

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The human element of retail

While the same is true for online commerce, having a beautiful store makes people much more likely to step inside. To increase retail traffic investing time and money on a considered, colourful, and eye-catching sign above your door is important. Your sign and window display are the faces of your business and passing foot traffic is a valuable portion of your potential clientele.

The presence of foot traffic will be a determining factor in your real estate costs, so ensuring you tap into it with a good sign and the right displays is important. Choosing items for display that are interesting, popular, mobile (if possible), and part of a promotion will go a long way.

Your real time EPOS reports will tell you which products are your best-sellers and can be broken down into seasonal and monthly top products. You can use this to make the best choices for display and can update your window to match the time of year. Regular passers-by will see a fresh display and notice. Getting people to slow down outside your store is the first step to getting them inside.

A retail society: how to drive traffic to retail stores

For reluctant shoppers, having your store be a little more comfortable and personable can help ease them through the door. When competing with the convenience of online shopping, physical stores can emphasise their USPs: staff, a social space, and expertise.

Technologies like mPOS are freeing customer service teams from countertops onto shop floors. With this freedom, retailers are providing more and more one-to-one service where they can ensure customers feel comfortable in-store, make the best choices, and are fully satisfied when they leave.

Having customer appointments available can be a powerful service. With an appointment, your business appears in your customer's calendar. A member of your team then has a chance to relate to the customer while providing fantastic service and upselling other products. Appointments provide a personalised customer experience and are a fantastic method of developing customer loyalty and increasing customer retention.

Experience-led retail should be the focus of any attempt to increase foot traffic. For the right retailer, hosting events is another avenue to consider. Like appointments, in-store events are an excellent way to personalise your shop while operating on a group level. Corporate events bring both big business and potential customers through the door, and showcases provide an opportunity to display your best products for those interested in your business.

Both board game and tech retailers are fine examples of businesses that allow customers to use products before buying them. This all makes your store a fun place to visit and create positive memories associated with a physical location.

The right people with their feet on the floor

Once a first-time customer steps inside, their experience with your staff has a huge influence over whether or not they return. Putting resources into training and managing your staff can ensure your customers are given expert, friendly guidance on purchases making it worth a trip to the store.

Your team is the difference between online and in-store shopping. Often, customers feel attached to the store, and staff should feel the same way. Keeping employee morale high and ensuring they’re not overworked and tired will ensure customers get the welcome they deserve.

Your EPOS can also show which team members are making more or fewer sales, so making sure you have the right technology to aid you in staff management is worth the time and money.

Explore Epos Now for the best retail experiences available

Regardless of whether you’re on the hunt for the best business reporting around, or you want to transform your store into a modern, experience-based retail outlet, Epos Now has the technology you need.

The new Epos Now Pro+ can give your team more freedom than ever before with an all-in-one, completely mobile EPOS and payments processor. Your team can roam the floors making the restriction of the countertop a piece of retail history.

With specialist retail hardware and top-of-the-range software with marketing and customer storage capabilities, Epos Now can provide retail resources to boost in-store numbers like never before.

Contact our expert team or find out more online about an EPOS trusted by over 40,000 businesses like yours. 

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