If you own a small business, you understand how difficult it can be to bring customers in. You might have amazing products or services, but sometimes more is needed. If you want to increase traffic flow into your store, here are some strategies to help.
Get Involved in Your Community
One of the best ways to let people know you’re open for business is to get involved in your community. Join the Chamber of Commerce, sponsor a Little League team, or participate in a local fair or festival. Getting your name out there will help attract new customers who might have yet to learn about you.
Collaboration is Key
Getting involved in the community also means working with other local businesses. See if you can partner with a complimentary business to offer joint promotions or discounts. For example, a pet store could team up with a groomer to offer a discount on grooming services when customers buy pet food. This is a great way to bring in new customers and build relationships with other business owners.
Offer Promotions and Discounts
Everyone loves a good deal, so offer occasional promotions and discounts to lure people in. You could offer a percentage off their purchase, buy one get one free deal, or even just a gift with purchase. Make sure to advertise your specials prominently so people passing by will see them and be enticed to come in.
Inform Customers Through Social Media
Social media is a powerful marketing tool that can help you reach a large audience quickly and easily. Use these platforms to offer discounts, coupons, or special deals. You can also use social media to inform people about upcoming events or sales. Ensure your website and social media platforms are up-to-date and informative so people can get the best deal possible.
Make Your Store Easy to Find
If potential customers can find your store, they can shop there. Ensure your store’s address and phone number are visible from the street. You should also have signs pointing the way if you’re located in a mall or strip plaza with multiple businesses. Good way-finding signage will make it easy for customers to find you—and once they’re inside, they’ll be more likely to stay awhile and spend money.
Create an Inviting Environment
First impressions are important, so make sure the outside of your store is clean and well-maintained. Put out a few planters with bright flowers or greenery to add curb appeal, and ensure the windows are clean so passersby can see inside. Once inside, keep things neat—no one wants to shop in a cluttered mess—and play some relaxing music in the background to help customers feel comfortable while they browse.
Get Your Creative Juice Flowing
Be creative with your store signage, too. You can place customized laser-cut signage for every aisle to make it easy for customers to find what they need. Or, use vinyl wall decals or window clings to add personality—make sure your graphics are high-quality and on-brand. You can also use creative packaging to make your products more eye-catching on the shelves.
Train Your Staff to be Friendly and Helpful
Your employees are the face of your business, so it’s important to have friendly and accommodating staff. They should be able to answer questions about your products and services and be happy to help customers find what they’re looking for. Employees should also be able to upsell and cross-sell products to increase customer spending.
Train Them Well
Your staff should know your products and services inside and out. They should be able to answer questions about features, benefits, and pricing. Employees should also be familiar with your store layout to easily help customers find their needs. Cross-training employees in different departments will also make things run more smoothly if someone calls in sick or is on vacation.
Have Enough Cash on Hand
Nothing crushes a sale like being told that the store doesn’t have enough cash to change a customer’s large bill. Avoid this situation by ensuring there’s always plenty of cash available at registers. This also includes having enough smaller bills available for purchases under $20, as many people prefer to use something other than credit cards for small transactions.
Accept Credit Cards
Many people no longer carry cash, and even those who do may need more for a large purchase. You can apply for a merchant account through your bank or another financial institution. Several mobile credit card processors allow you to use a smartphone or tablet to accept credit card payments. Using credit cards can also help you track your sales and inventory levels, as most merchant accounts come with software that integrates with POS systems.
Watch Your Business Thrive!
If you’re finding it difficult to bring customers into your store, don’t worry—you’re not alone. However, by implementing these tips, you can see a significant increase in foot traffic and sales. Ready to get started? Put these ideas into action now and watch your business grow!