There’s much to love about running your own store. You’re able to curate items for sale, design a space that you love, and share something positive with your local community. There are, however, challenges, ones that need to be overcome if you’re going to find success. The number one obstacle that shop owners face isn’t getting people interested in buying their goods; it’s getting them into the store so that they can see the products that are for sale. The more people you have walking through your shop door, the more chance you have of making a sale. It’s that simple. But how can you do this? We take a look at a few tried and tested methods below.
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You’ll find it much easier to get people into your shop if you have an enviable location that commonly receives a lot of foot and car traffic. If you’re currently in the planning stages for your business, then don’t just focus on the actual building that you may lease. The location should be given joint top-billing on the priority list. If you already lease a space but know deep down that the space is a little too far out of the way, then you could consider changing to be a better area. It’s just so much easier to get people off the street if you’re in an area where people are regularly walking and spending time.
A lot of people research a store before they visit it in person. So when you Google your business name, what do you see? If there’s not all that much information, then people are unlikely to go out of their way to visit you. On the other hand, if you have a Google Maps listing, one that shows precisely where you’re located (and which can direct users on how to get there) and your opening hours, then people will be confident that they’ll find the store they’re expecting when they’re there. Adding a few photos of your business can also inspire people. People can be a little disappointed if they arrive at a shop and it’s not what they were expecting. Essentially, it’s all about putting as much information as possible online, so that people can know all they need to know before getting in the car.
Plenty of Parking
The aim isn’t just to get people into your store one time, of course. You’re trying to build repeat customers, people who will always think of visiting you. In order to do this, you’ll want to make things as convenient as possible. One thing that some shop owners overlook is how convenient it is for people to access their store. For example, is there plenty of parking available? People will put up with a bit of a walk when they’re visiting your store for the first time, but they may adopt a mentality of “we could go, but parking is impossible” in the future. If you can’t have parking available right in front of your store, it’s recommended to put a sign that’ll tell your visitors where the nearest parking lot is located.
A Worthwhile Trip
People value their time immensely, and they don’t want to waste it! That is in part why people opt to buy things online. It takes a lot longer for the product to be in their hands, but at least they know they won’t visit a store only to find that the item is sold out. Fortunately, there’s a clever solution to this problem. You can make the most of cloud POS for multi-store retailers that can drive more foot traffic in store, as it’ll show your customers which products have in-store when they look online. If they know that you have the item that they’re looking for, then they’ll come and visit you, since it’s more convenient than ordering from an online store.
There will be some people who don’t know anything about your store, but who you hope will step in and have a look around at what you have to offer. They won’t do this, however, if the outside of your store looks damage or all-around low-quality. They do say that you should start as you mean to go on. So take a look at the exterior of your business; what would you think of your store if you saw it? If you have broken signs, or it’s dirty, then the impression won’t be all that positive. Be sure to stay on top of the cleanliness and appearance of the outside of your building — it really can make a difference.
Another way to draw people in off the streets is to advertise the kinds of products you’re selling in your window. Window shopping has been around for decades, purely because it works! Look at putting together an attractive display that showcases the range of items available in your store. You’ll also want to make a habit of changing your display every month or so, to keep things fresh. People will end up just walking by if they know it’s a store that doesn’t change all that often.
One great way to get people into your store is to look at hosting events inside your premises. The type of event you host will depend on the type of business you have, but could include demonstrations, performances, social gatherings, and so on. You’ll attract a whole host of people who perhaps didn’t even know that you were there — and while they’re in your store, they’ll have a chance to look at all the products that you have on offer.
Don’t forget: everyone loves a deal! Don’t keep your promotional offers to yourself, or tucked away in a corner of your store — put them on a sign outside your store. It’ll always get people in off the street, and who knows, once they’re inside, then they might just buy a lot more than just the items that are on sale, too.