Yet, while those things may be the foundation of your business, your profits will also be immeasurably helped by getting custom from people who don’t know about your store and who aren’t necessarily looking for the products you sell, but are in the area, and decide to drop into your shop.
These are your foot-traffic customers. However, you can’t assume that they’ll just drop by just because you’re there. You need to entice them into the store. Below, we take a look at some tried and tested tips that’ll draw more people into your store.
Bring the Attractions
You won’t see your store as strangers see it. You’re far too close to it for that. While your shop might be the standout store on the street, that’s only through your eyes, which are hardwired to pick out your own creations.
The trick is to make sure other people also see your store this way. One way to do this is to make sure your store gets people’s attractions. You need to put something up that’ll get their attention.
Bright lighting, for example. If nobody can see your store, then you’re going to find it difficult to get people through the front door.
Is Something Happening?
People are drawn to activity. If it seems like something is happening, then people are more inclined to check it out. When it comes to your store, that means encouraging your staff to look active. A person might be slightly hesitant to walk into a store if there’s just one person standing behind the till, looking bored.
If the staff member is active, then a passerby will know that not all eyes will be on them when they enter the shop. Store workers will also tell you, anecdotally, about the ripple effect of a person passing through the front door -- it seems to bring more people in.
Actually, it wouldn’t be the worst idea to have one employee, dressed in plain clothes, occasionally entering your store -- we’re serious.
A Professional Store Name
You don’t have much to work with when it comes to making an impression on people passing by your store, but it’s important that you’re making the most of what you can do. Take your store name banner, for instance.
Even if you get people’s attention by other means, they’re all going to look up at your name, and they’ll make a judgement one way or another. Have an updated, high-quality store name, and it’ll be a positive judgement.
Metal signs are in at the moment; you can use a laser cutting machine to etch your store name onto a sheet, and get it professionally hung. There’s a big difference in how people perceive a store with a new, high-quality sign, and how they perceive one with missing letters and so on.
As well as your overhead signs, you’ll also want to take a look at the place outside of your business, and considering putting a small outdoor sign. You’ll have seen them outside places like coffee shops and bars, but they work with all stores.
They’re especially useful if your business isn’t prominent in the street or is located slightly back from the road. The type of sign you have will depend on your business.
If you’re offering serious services, then a professional sign that details what you do will be appropriate. If it’s something more relaxed, then a fun sign will be the way to go -- people will always appreciate a clever pun.
You want to get people into your store because they want to check out all the awesome products that you have, but if they don’t know what you’ve got in there, then why would they pass through the door?
Instead, you can look at getting people into your store under other pretenses. For example, by hosting events. This is something that many businesses don’t do enough of. There’ll always be something you can do that’s built around your business.
If you’re a clothes store, then you could launch your new range of clothing with a wine and appetisers evenings. If you’re a bookstore, you could host literary evenings. These aren’t just ways to market your business -- they’re also fun.
How much is that doggy in the window, goes the famous song. If someone was nearly convinced to take on a responsibility as huge as a pet when they walked past a store, then window shopping really is powerful.
So you’ll want to take a look at your window, and make sure that you’re giving people an incentive to stop, look, and consider making a purchase. Don’t just throw any old items in there -- make your display beautiful, inspiring, and all-around a reflection of the inside of your store. You should change it regularly, so that it doesn’t ever become too tired/stale.
People are always going to be drawn to savings. It’s hardwired into our brains. From time to time you’ll need to clear out the old stock to make space for the new, which gives you an awesome opportunity to get people into your store.
If you’re going to host a sale, then make sure that you’re promoting it well -- there’s nothing wrong with a large, red, floor-to-ceiling poster with the word SALE written across.
The customer might buy something in your sale, or they might not -- but they’ll surely enter your shop, and then may return in the future. It’s a way to expose more people to your goods, essentially, and it also serves a broader purpose for your business, since you need to get rid of that excess stock one way or another.
The other businesses on the street are not your competitors; you’re all on the same team. As such, it’s recommended that you look at ways to work together to bring more people into the area. One way to do this is to host a community day event.
If you can get approval from the local council, you could even look at closing off the street to traffic for the day. But what does this look like, exactly? Well, you could have food trucks, entertainment, and extended opening hours for all the businesses. It’s a way to bring some life to the area. You’ll draw a lot of people to the area, and thus to your store.
Another way to get people into your store is to have a rebranding. This works on a couple of levels -- first, it’ll feel like a new store in the area, which people always want to check out.
Think of any time a pub has a refit: people always want to look and see what it’s like. You’ll also have an opportunity to host a relaunch event, which will get your business on the radar of people in the community.
Clean and Tidy
It sounds simple, but it really is worthwhile making sure that the outside of your store is clean, tidy, and all-around presentable. People will be more inclined to visit a shop that is, first, clean, but it’s more than that.
It shows that the store owners care about the presentation of their business, which is usually a good sign that the inside is going to be just as well looked after. To go the extra mile, look at adding decorations such as fairy lights and plants outside your store.