As a retailer today, you're battling with online giants like Amazon for customers. Rather than trying to beat them at their own price-slashing game, it's time to think beyond that. What does your brick-and-mortar store offer customers that they can't find anywhere else? Here are three of the best ways to increase foot traffic in your store.
1. PUT THE EXPERIENCE FIRST
First, think about the movie theater. Since many people now have large TVs at home and comfier couches, traditional movie theaters began losing the crowds they once enjoyed. What was the purpose of leaving home to pay money if Netflix and binge was an option?
Consider the movie theater chains that are bringing in customers now. Alamo Drafthouse sells hand-delivered milkshakes and cocktails to moviegoers in plush, reclining seats. Others host midnight showings for the most popular movies so fans can dress up and cheer on their favorite characters. Successful movie theaters are shaping experiences for their customers beyond what they can get at home.
Retailers should take note.
For online stores, price and a good website are your only major differentiators. However, as a brick-and-mortar retail space, you can offer so much more. To increase foot traffic in your store, consider creating fun experiences for your customers by:
- Supporting local artists by selling their creations in-store
- Inviting those same artists into your store for demonstrations or other small events
- Selling locally-sourced and made products to aid that local mindset
- Bringing local charities in for fundraisers
- Hosting book or cookbook clubs with discounts for members
- Inviting loyal customers in for sneak-peeks before a product launch
- Offering additional in-store discounts on scheduled days
- Serving free coffee, snacks, or cocktails during happy hours or Friday nights
- Asking local musicians to perform at the store
2. PROVIDE SEAMLESS OMNICHANNEL RETAIL OPTIONS
If you sell online as well as in-store, make the process seamless for your customers.
- Handling online returns in store for convenience
- Transferring any rewards program points to both online and in-person sales
- Creating personalized recommendations based on in-person and online purchases
3. CREATE BEAUTIFUL AND INVITING SPACES
For younger shoppers who consider shopping a social experience, draw them in with interactive or deeply beautiful window displays. You can create your own window displays with just a bit of creativity and an eye for design. Shopify's blog lays out some best practices for putting together window designs.
At Beatriz Ball, we recommend including highly-tactile and interesting pieces in these window displays. These are items that blow shoppers away and can't truly be appreciated online, whether because of their size or finish. Pieces that epitomize this include the Garden Banana Leaf Platter, the SOHO Artemis Centerpiece, or the giant SOHO Berlin Tray.
After the window display pulls them in, encourage shoppers to stay awhile with open-space store layouts that encourage shoppers to touch and engage with products—something they can't do online.
GET THEM IN THE DOOR
At the end of the day, getting customers in the door is your first and most important step towards a sales conversion. Give them something they can't find online—an in-person experience, connection with their local community, or the ability to touch and hold pieces—and you'll ensure they keep coming back.