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How to bring more customers into your shop

2 January 2018 Small Business Advice

Getting customers through the door of your shop, bar, or restaurant has never been more competitive. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to enhance your in-store experience and use data and technology to your advantage, to increase footfall and engagement.

We’ve outlined 8 easy and inventive ways to encourage more customers to walk through your front door, so you can give your business a boost and reap the rewards of being busy.

  1. Do a spot of housekeeping

Before you design a new strategy to increase footfall, make sure your business actually looks deserving of it. Take stock of everything that’s not working for your store, and be honest about it. Perhaps it’s time to discontinue a line of products that’s not shifting units, or maybe your opening hours need to be revised.

You should also make sure you’re able to accommodate new customers – it could a be that you need more staff to deliver a slicker service, or a better way to lay out your space. Make your store feel comfortable and welcoming, so you get that first impression right.

  1. Get mobile friendly

Mobile web browsing overtook desktop for the first time back in 2016, and that figure only looks set to continue. Beyond complementing your in-store experience, your website needs to work well on mobile devices.

If you don’t currently have a website, set one up using a platform such as WordPress or Wix. Alternatively, you can enlist the help of a web developer to build a site for you. Make sure it’s user-friendly for your customers and easy for you to add and amend content. For more tips, explore how to drive traffic to your new site.

  1. Maximise your EPoS System

Last year, debit cards officially became the most popular way to pay for goods and services, according to the British Retail Consortium. And a great EPoS system can do so much more than speed up your processes, integrate accounts, and boost customer satisfaction levels – it can also be used as a powerful marketing tool.

Having insight on your customers’ spending habits gives you an advantage when it comes to marketing. You can see what they are buying, when they are shopping, and how long they are spending in your store. From here, you can look for upselling opportunities and create targeted offers that are more likely to strike a chord with your customers.

  1. Incentivised in-store surveys

In-store surveys can help you to better understand your customers and help you develop a strategy to optimise the in-store experience. Make your survey short and snappy, but try to cover as much ground as possible. Consider asking:

  • What prompted their current visit?
  • What do they like about your store and how can it be improved?
  • What’s their perception of your brand?
  • Where else do they shop for similar products?
  • How do they rate your service?
  • Which products do they want to be informed about?

Consider using a tablet or your EPoS till system to record the data, and don’t forget to ask for permission to email them with special offers and discounts.

  1. Social media management software

Data is one of the most valuable assets a brand can have, and how you use the data you’ve collected is crucial. Combining this knowledge with clever use of social media can allow you to achieve impressive results.

Software such as Buffer can streamline your social media publishing calendar, allowing you to schedule posts remotely across a variety of channels at a time when they’re likely to have the most impact. Easily accessed via an app on your smartphone, it also minimises time spent publishing posts, allowing you to focus your attention elsewhere.

  1. Schedule offers and deals

Create a calendar for targeted offers and deals, ensuring that each one is aimed at specific groups of customers who are most likely to respond. These offers can be distributed across social channels such as Facebook or Instagram, as well as via email marketing.

Email offers should be personalised but tasteful. Be careful not to overdo it – nobody wants to be bombarded with a constant stream of messages. Consider giving customers an incentive to encourage footfall, such as an in-store discount if they sign up to your newsletter.

  1. Facebook paid promotion

Facebook decreased the organic reach of business pages some years ago, which means that you may want to consider paid promotion. Whether you opt to ‘Boost’ your post or ‘Promote your post’ depends on your budget and what you want to achieve. The key is to have a clear goal in mind.

  • Boosting your post: This can be a good option if you want to reach the people (and their friends) who already follow your page. You can also opt to target specific groups of people, using age, sex, and location, as well as up to 10 different interests.
  • Promoting your post: If you have a very specific group you’d like to reach, promoting your post could be a better option as you have more choice when it comes to targeting, pricing, and bidding.

You can also carry out of A/B testing by running two slightly different ads to see which one yields the best results. Track the success of all posts using Ads Manager to see how many people have engaged with the ad.

  1. Get creative instore

Attract people to your store and to keep them in for longer by offering something they can’t get online or in a rival store. This could be a tasting session, a free personal shopper service, or something even more creative such as a virtual reality experience or live music performance.

The possibilities here are endless. Think of something that showcases your brand identity and your USP, so customers can’t resist coming back.

Having a deeper understanding of your target audience and using data to your advantage allows you to encourage more customers to come into your shop. With technology and a little creativity, you can make your store stand out from the crowd and create unique and memorable experiences that will leave a lasting impression.

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