Running a business comes with challenges, especially when resources are limited. When your business is a smaller brick and mortar company it can be tough to know which types of marketing to use to increase your customer footfall. So how do you lure new customers to your shop and persuade them to part with their hard-earned cash? Particularly customers who had no intention of entering your premises in the first place! We've rounded up ten easy types of marketing to get you started with increasing your customer footfall:
Shop windows are becoming increasingly valuable marketing assets. Your shop front is your own free, valuable advertising space and it should be utilised. You need to capture the attention of passers-by, for all the right reasons. Winning sales from people who would not otherwise know about your business, let alone visit your premises, will make a considerable increase in your profit. If people were heading to you anyway get them excited about stepping through your door. Increasingly customers are looking for an experience, not just a transaction. Head outside and take a look at your shop front from the pavement ...
If you don’t have the resources to give your business a total overhaul don’t worry, something as simple as leaving the door of your store open is one very simple type of marketing that can help to make you seem more approachable, and increase your customer footfall.
Stand outside or nearby and hand out flyers which promote your business. If you are slightly off the beaten track, or even just off the main road then why not get outside with a giant neon arrow? It will certainly grab attention and if you don’t fancy doing it yourself then you can always pay someone to do it for you. There is a young man who stands outside the Apple store on Glasgow's Buchanan Street with a sign promoting cheaper Apple repairs around the corner. Probably without intention they have now gained heaps of exposure on social media.
We appreciate that a neon arrow may not capture the brand of many businesses but there are various alternatives if you use your imagination (or search online). If you own a clothing boutique, why don’t you set up a rack with your most attractive items outside on a sunny day, compliment passers-by on their style as they are passing to grab their attention and engage them in conversation? Move onto the street to make the direct approach your own and adapt it to the needs of your business! It sure is a traditional type of marketing but you're not confined to four walls, don’t wait for shoppers to find you - get proactive!
Direct Marketing is uncomplicated and cost-effective. It can be as easy as dropping leaflets into all of the houses and offices within a few mile radius of your premises. You want to make sure that your leaflets are creative and eye-catching. If you can offer an incentive, even better!
Email campaigns are also a great type of marketing to get people through your door, and if you have the appropriate data they can be more effectively targeted. Email marketing is more applicable to existing customers if you have already gathered their contact details and permission to contact them. Hubspot state that 99% of consumers check their emails every day and note it's their most preferred way to hear from brands. Email marketing can be designed to lure them back in and increase spending, which brings us on to our next point...
The concept of loyalty programmes is simple and effective and a type of marketing that can often be overlooked. If you reward your repeat customers, they'll return and loyalty is created; repeat visits = increased profits. A phenomenal 80% of business’ profits come from loyal customers. Swipii provides a loyalty platform to local businesses giving them the chance to offer cashback to customers when they visit and spend in-store. It's completely seamless, requires no hardware or set up costs and is incredibly attractive to customers (both old and new). What's more, it's another opportunity to market your business, being featured on our map showing to users who are in your area. We want to help increase your customer footfall and this is a great way to do that!
The current pandemic is notoriously trying to local businesses, yet local businesses still make up a good piece of the pie. The reason for this comes down to two huge competitive advantages which are the personal touch and community spirit. Before the internet when high streets where booming community values and word of mouth drove customers from business to business and it still can. The high street is evolving and if it holds on to its old values it could blossom.
How often do you work with other local businesses? Of course, you can survive alone, but you could thrive if you team up! You can provide a friendly shopping environment that people still crave that the internet cannot provide.
Not all of your neighbours are competition, even if your businesses are very similar. Partnering with other business in your local area is a tatical type of marketing that can actually increase footfall and generate some great PR. It can also generate fantastic content for social media, especially the latest trend of going ‘live’.
Opportunities are endless; you can cross-promote products, hold collaborative events, recommend each other, team up to offer loyalty incentives. The first thing to do is identify potential partners. You're looking for partners who have a similar customer base but not offering the exact same products. Florist, jewellery and dress shops could collaborate on some wedding-themed activities. Cafes, bakers, greengrocers cake shops and off-licences could hold a street food fair. Sportswear shops can team up with gyms & health food shops. Lululemon is a high-end sports clothing brand with an attractive storefront in Glasgow city centre. They often team up with local gyms, yoga instructors and health food stores to hold collaborative events which are heavily promoted on social media. Their strongest local alliance is with Fly Functional Fitness and you will often find them on the street holding attention-grabbing fitness competitions such as FLY Tri and the Assault Bike challenge in Royal Exchange Square.
Have a little think about the businesses in your surrounding area and if there are ways in which you can work together! Pitch them the idea and then get collaborating!
In the modern world, an online presence is essential and often deemed a top tier type of marketing, at the very least your contact details have should be available for customers who are interested in your business. Creating an online presence will allow you to reach a wider audience and use different tactics to persuade consumers to visit your premises. Being active and creative in social media can gain your local business worldwide attention! Glasgow Salon ‘Blow’ went viral when they used Instagram to showcase their ‘glitter roots’ hairstyle which was quickly picked up by Miley Cyrus and featured in Vogue, Teen Vogue and other high fashion magazines.
The internet holds a wealth of free promotional platforms! You can create social media profiles like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter for free. That’s not to mention online review platforms like Yelp and TripAdvisor. Remember you don’t have to sell online to be online! Check out our tips on how to improve your TripAdvisor ranking.
Give passers access to your product or offering, let them taste, feel, see or demonstrate your product. This could be done outside your store or you could use some of the above-listed techniques to lure people through your door for an open evening with the added incentive of something for free. This type of marketing plays on the theory of reciprocity, the notion that by receiving something for free, individuals feel compelled to offer something in exchange - such as a purchase. (The Swipii loyalty app gives you the chance to give your customers cashback when they visit, which is definitely a fab incentive in our eyes!)
If you have the time and money to invest in a basic customer relationship management system (CRM) it will work wonders in driving customer footfall. By gathering data from your customers you can contact them directly and specifically and also measure trends over time. You could even try out online customer surveys to gain feedback and identify further opportunities for improvement. Zapier has pulled together their recommendations on the best CRM software for 2020 to help you start your search.
Why not go to town and use a combination of all of the above to have a mini-relaunch of your business to create some hype? Go to town on a budget, you might even gain some attention from the local press!
So you've increased customer footfall, why not check out our Business Owners Guide to Customer Acquisition to learn how you can measure the success of your efforts.
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