Have you heard the news: email is dying, computers are becoming extinct, and brick-and-mortar retail stores are dying a horrible death? Of course, the reality is way different than the predicted doomsday in the retail sector. Though e-commerce is a giant, customers prefer purchasing from a physical store. The ability to touch, feel, and see the products are the driving factors behind the success of physical retail stores. But how do you attract customers to your store? Here are a few ingenious tips and tricks to do just that. Most of these are down your nose and are often overlooked.
Store Layout – The first impression is the last one
An effective and well-designed store layout helps in keeping customers in the retail store for longer. The very first thing a customer notices on stepping in the store is the ‘decompression zone’ or the ‘threshold area’, which is five to twenty feet of space depending on the size of the store. It’s a crucial space because your customers make a transition from the outside world to your retail world. At this point, customers make a pre-notion regarding the cost and quality of the products.
Because customers are in the transition mode, there is no point in keeping products at this juncture. Your customers are more likely to miss products, signboards, and even shopping carts placed at the threshold area. The customer next moves to the right because, according to a study, people subconsciously turn right upon entering the store. In this section, place a product that will help in creating a lasting first impression. Lastly, with all the energy you have spent on accurately merchandising the product, it’s essential that customers stay longer in your retail store as it encourages more sales.
Create speed bumps that force the customer to slow down. Speed bumps can be anything from signboards or display of an ongoing sale. Undoubtedly, the screen will result in impulse purchases, thereby increasing the overall sales.
Customer service – Hitting the right notes
Having excellent customer service can be the difference between failing and thriving, and it can become intimidating because it’s impossible to satisfy every customer. Excellent customer service begins with listening to the concerns of the customer and rewarding the loyal ones.
According to research, a company giving due importance to referral programs witness more repeats business. Therefore, it’s imperative to treat all the customers equal irrespective of their sales amount.
A retail store with a strong referral network is likely to bring down the overall cost of customer acquisition (CAC) because for acquiring these customers, the retail store will spend zero money. Over time these ‘free customers’ will reduce the CAC, so offer excellent customer service to strengthen the customer network and encourage referral programs.
Create your holiday – What is the hype?
While most retailers celebrate the national holidays such as Christmas and New Year, consumers are indifferent towards the reason for celebration. The tech-savvy and digital customer loves the excitement and will not wait for the holiday season to commence.
Pique the curiosity of the customers by arranging activities such as a mini-fashion show in the store, dressing the mannequin fastest, or any other event which will draw the attention of the crowd. For example, a clothing retail store can offer a discount to men on International Men’s Day. Furthermore, a store void of activities could turn away the prospective customer.
Online presence – More of a necessity
In the age of digital media and e-commerce, consumers don’t prefer buying from a retail store without an online presence. Due to this reason, 83% of global retailers have a mobile-optimized website with purchase capabilities. But, how will online presence increase the footfall in the brick-and-mortar store?
Allow your customers to order online and pick up from the store. It may increase their cart value because impulsive buying is synonymous with retail stores and not online. When a customer gets a chance to feel, touch, and experience the product physically, they’re more likely to spend more money.
Beyond the free pick-up in the store, you can incentivize the consumer by offering a discount when they come for pick up. Customers will appreciate the move and give your employees a chance to enhance their in-store experience, which will lead to a loyal base of customers.
Localization – the way ahead
As per a survey, consumers find out about a retail store in their neighborhood for the first time using online search. This means that the retail store should leave no stone unturned to appear in the local online searches.
More than 70% of the customers prefer to buy from the brick-and-mortar store of Amazon versus amazon.com. Optimizing the website for local searches will increase the business and help attract local customers to the store. You can ensure top ranking in local searches by practicing the following:
- Connect with local bloggers requesting them to write about your business
- Getting featured in local directories
- Correct details on the Google My Business page
- Asking customers to leave positive reviews about their product
- Responding to both negative and positive criticism
Retail store is nowhere dead – it’s merely changing
Changing with time is the concept which dates back to the remarkable survival of the fittest theory of Darwin. And, the retail store is no different. Your retail store needs to adapt an omnichannel approach and create buzz to stay in the competition. While you may not implement all the five actionable strategies, but don’t let that demotivate you.
Successful retail chain owners don’t sit idle, hoping for a miracle to increase the footfall of customers – you need to take charge.