10 ways to attract customers into your shop
You will learn
- What are the best forms of marketing to attract customers
- What information your website needs to contain to bring customers into your store
- The importance of window displays
How do you attract customers in to your shop? Having a high-street presence can be great, but it comes with its own set of problems aside from paying the rent, bills and staff.
Location, location, location – it is not just about your home postcode, but where you sell from too. Is there a demand for your products in the area where your shop is located? Assuming so, and that you will be marketing locally/regionally, then driving people to your shop clearly relies on people being able to find you.
You need people to be able to find you, so putting signage outside of your shop is essential. If you are hidden away down a side street or on a business park, then see if you can put a sign on the main street or at the entrance to the business park. If your customers cannot find you, then you have no chance of making the sale. Take a look at our tips for outdoor marketing here.
2. Window Display
Your windows need to be dressed for success. Make sure that people can see what you sell and are not left wondering exactly what they are likely to find inside. Your window display should be on brand, and tempt people to come in… or in the case of people who see your display when you are closed, tempt them to come back.
It may seem obvious, but having a website even when you have a physical presence is essential. Many people will find you via your online site before visiting your shop. Ensure it tempts people to visit you – and of course include information on how to find you. Your site must be mobile enabled, and if at all possible, the mobile landing page should be your location and contact details.
Get your free How's Business guide to creating a website here.
Alongside the "how to find us" page on your website should be information on where to park – especially if it is difficult to park outside your shop. People do not mind walking a bit to get to a shop if they are prepared for it, or know where they can park. However, many people turn up with the expectation of being able to park outside, cannot, and then do not know where to go, and so leave. Another lost sale.
5. Local affiliates
Team up with other local businesses who have the same customer base as yourself and cross-promote your shop. Coffee shops, hairdressers, shoe shops – all manner of retail outlets are open to this kind of promotion.
Check out our events page to see what local networking events you can meet other business owners at.
6. Trade Associations/Chamber
Many towns and some villages have retail forums for local businesses or a town chamber – get involved!
7. Advertising & Promotion
Local radio can be a brilliant medium for reaching people in the local area and driving traffic to your shop. Do not forget to research local advertising opportunities in local newspapers, parish magazines and using door to door leafleting either through royal mail, other distributors or by doing this yourself. Whichever course of promotion you choose, remember to think about who your customers are, and which medium they are likely to respond to.
Take a look at our tips for marketing your business locally here.
Get involved in the community to build empathetic relationships by supporting things like the local cricket club or running competitions for people in the area. Ensure that you use this to build a press release or blog story to maximise the reach of your PR efforts.
Check out our advice for creating free publicity here.
Ensure that your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is working for your website. More and more people are using the near me search in Google so you need to claim your business. Things like social media can contribute to your SEO and can also be targeted to reach a local audience – do not dismiss digital channels just because you want people to arrive at a physical destination.
Read through our top tips for SEO here.
10. The in-store experience!
Do not forget that you will want your customers to come back, and to recommend you to their friends and neighbours. Make sure that you deliver a service that delights all of your customers, in order to maximise this opportunity. Have music playing in the background to encourage people to stay longer, and make sure you have got enough stock to interest customers without it becoming overwhelming or cluttering up the walking space.
One final word, measurement: do not forget to ask people who do visit your shop how they found out about you – this will help with the creation and development of your marketing plans for future months and years.