Now, in 2020, there are over 20 million e-commerce businesses populating the industry. That’s why, even if you operate from a physical store or business location, it is vital for your business to be discoverable online to compete with these online retailers and increase foot traffic to your stores. So, first things first, you need a website. But what next? How do you convert those website visitors to foot traffic and consumers?
Here are some suggestions to increase foot traffic to your stores:
- Most important of all is claiming and optimizing your business listings for local and hyperlocal search. Whether you only have one store, or hundreds, it is essential to claim your business listings online so that your business is listed on search engines like Google and Bing, social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook and business listing review sites, for example, Yelp. If you don’t do this, it will be very difficult for people to discover your business online. This would be limiting a potential source of foot traffic. These listings should contain your Name, Address, Phone Number and a link to your Website – your NAPW. Including this information on your listings, and ensuring it is accurate, will allow potential customers quick access to calling your business, grabbing directions or learning your opening times. Vicinus, our hyperlocal marketing platform, can help you with this and to manage your online discoverability.
- Create SEO-Friendly location pages on your business website for multi-location businesses. Once again, Vicinus, our hyperlocal marketing platform, can assist you with this task. By having a store locator page and individual location pages, website visitors can find the business information for specific locations. This will increase foot traffic because it enhances the probability of converting your site visits into physical transactions. Optimising location pages is important to gain customer trust, rank higher and drive more foot traffic.
- Have frequent in-store offers and promotions and post these online. When a customer orders something online without seeing it physically, they are more likely to return the item because they have not had a chance to see it in person, to try it on or to feel or touch it. Therefore, physical stores have a big advantage here. To encourage and increase foot traffic, post in-store only offers and promotions on your business website, business listing platforms and social media. Doing this for multi-location businesses, however, can be a laborious task and individual posting can lead to inconsistency and inaccuracy. Vicinus has an offer automation feature to allow you to manage and auto-trigger offers and promotions across platforms. Within Vicinus, you can also auto-schedule events and alerts for your business – see how this can be useful below.
- Host in-store events and again, post these online. Have sales, sampling events, workshops etc to attract customers to your stores physical locations and increase foot traffic. Posting these events online will spread the news and incite customers to swing by and check your store out.
- Target your online advertising and marketing. Make sure when placing digital ads and optimizing your business website, you are targeting local and hyperlocal keywords so that if a customer performs a ‘near me’ search, your business is likely to show up. Customers performing these types of searches are far more likely to visit your store.
- If you can, ease the customer’s shopping experience by offering click and collect services or post-visit delivery. Although this might only work for some businesses and not all businesses may be able to offer such services, methods of easing the customer shopping experience will increase the likelihood that customers will return to your store and that your store will be recommended to others. Click and Collect services are a great way to get more people through the door and provide them with an easy and convenient customer experience. Likewise, offering to deliver a customer’s purchased goods to their home is another great way to get returning customers and recommendations.
Now, here are a few quick-fire ideas:
- Extend your opening hours so that your stores are open longer hours than competitors and surrounding businesses.
- Check you are offering good deals and prices for the products you are selling.
- Increase and improve the variety and quality of the services or products you offer.
- Try to provide the customer with everything they need so they do not need to go to visit more than one store.
- Ensure any USPs for your products and services are clear online.
- See if you can provide the customer with extra support by getting a certain product in stock for them or offering to get in contact with them when the product they want is in stock.
- Try to limit store queuing times.
- Ensure all your staff are friendly, polite and trained with expertise.
- Make the in-store experience enjoyable for the customer. Have seating, a clear and appealing layout, maybe even refreshments!
- Provide an easy return and exchange experience.
Those were all our ideas to increase foot traffic to your stores!
Please get in touch with the Vicinus team or check out our website to find out more about how Vicinus can help you increase foot traffic to your stores with hyperlocal marketing strategies.