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How to increase foot traffic post Covid-19

August 7, 2020

In the post-Covid world, online sales have skyrocketed while in-store sales have taken a nosedive. However, as our lives return to some kind of normal, so will shopping habits. According to Retail Insider, shoppers will still want to shop in-store even after the pandemic. 

Recent studies show that shoppers still enjoy in-store experiences for a number of reasons. Shopping in a physical store lets shoppers get a better sense of the products – they can try items on to make sure it’s a good fit, and they can see size, textures, and colors more clearly than from a photograph online. Most importantly though, shoppers enjoy the experience of shopping in-store. Shopping in a physical store is an event, and often a social experience for your shoppers. Focusing on making a special experience in your store is what will increase foot traffic in your retail store.

Obviously, our cultural climate has changed very quickly, and it can be challenging to make a great in-store experience when you’re bound by safety measures. But with a little bit of creativity, we can make a one of a kind experience for your shoppers while still maintaining their safety, and increase foot traffic in your retail shop. 

Focus on the individual experience of the customer.

Because experience and customer service are vital to in-store shopping, it’s time to create a magical experience for every single one of your customers.

One way to do this is to make shopping available by appointment only. If you have a small retail space, or if perhaps your services require more in-depth customer care, making your retail shop appointment only is a great option. Promote the safety of single appointments, and promote the exclusivity of it to make it feel a little more special. During your customer’s appointments, you can really go the extra mile to make sure they have an excellent experience. 

While having only one customer at a time may seem counterintuitive to increasing foot traffic in your shop, if it’s a successful strategy, you’ll have appointments through the rough. Additionally, shoppers who make appointments are often more valuable than traffic in your store, because they’re much more likely to make a purchase over shoppers who simply stroll in to browse.

But even without the ‘appointment only’ approach, having a limited number of customers in your store at once gives you the advantage of giving better customer service. Instead of trying to tend to a line up of customers at once, you can instead narrow your focus and tend to the needs of every single customer. Train your staff to go the extra mile – ask your customers if they’d like to hang up their coats, or if they’d like to leave their bags behind the counter for extra comfort. Offer them water, or a cup of coffee. Bring the checkout to your customer with a mobile pos for a quick and convenient shopping experience. Customer notes on your POS can help you keep track of your regular customers and get to know them a little better, so giving them a great experience and making them feel at home is easier for you and your staff. 

Make your store look as inviting as possible.

If you want to increase foot traffic, it is essential that your shop is welcoming to your shoppers. With so much hesitancy surrounding public spaces, it is vital to make your customers feel comfortable enough to want to come inside. Here are some tips to make your shop stand out:

  • Revamp your window displays to increase foot traffic. If your store is located somewhere with a lot of foot traffic, make your store look as inviting as possible with a stunning window display. The storefront is the shopper’s first impression of your shop, and often can dictate whether they decide to come in or not. Head to pinterest to get some inspiration!

  • Keep the front door open. An open door is a visual invitation that will make more passersbys stop in. It removes the work of having to open the door – hardly any work at all, but if a shopper can simply stroll into your store, they’re more likely to do it. 

  • Set up sidewalk displays. If you can, move some of your displays outside. Having a clothing rack or a table of products out on the sidewalk is an excellent way to catch people’s attention. It will get them browsing your merchandise before they’ve even walked in the door, and will encourage them to go explore inside your store.

  • Don’t forget the importance of signage. If you’re having a big promotion to get rid of that old stock, put a sign in your window instead of just telling shoppers when they come into the store. Sidewalk signs are a great way to inform incoming pedestrians about your store! 

  • Likewise, signs displaying your safety measures is important for enforcing the safety of others and to let your shoppers know that you take safety seriously. Shoppers are more likely to come in if they feel their safety is a priority. If you have a hand sanitizing station inside, or if you’re giving away free masks, let shoppers know with a sign on the door. 

Make it safe.

Even as we return to some kind of normalcy, shoppers may still have some reservations about being inside a retail store. We cover a lot of how to make your store safe in this article. To increase foot traffic post-covid19, you have to ensure your customers are safe and make sure they know everything you’re doing to keep them safe.

  •  Clearing more space in your store so shoppers have more room to move around (this might mean having less displays in your store – or finding more efficient ways to display your products) is vital, especially if you have a small shop. 

  • Use signage to direct your customers in the right direction if you have single lane walkways, and to inform everyone in your store about the safety measures you’ve implemented. Not only does it enforce the rules more effectively, but your customers will feel more at ease knowing you’re taking steps to make them safe.

  • Have a hand sanitizing station at your store entrance, and at the checkout. Ask shoppers to sanitize their hands before entering the store, and train your staff to sanitize their hands after every checkout. Your shoppers will appreciate the effort.

  • If you require masks inside your shop, give them out for free if you can. This way, no one will be turned away for not having a mask and you won’t miss out on any sales.

Don’t neglect your online presence.

Just because your brick and mortar store is open again, you shouldn’t forget about your online presence. People are still going to do the majority of their non-essential shopping online, so keep your online store updated and looking good. Here’s a guide on how to improve your online store, and here’s how you can boost online sales.If you don’t already have an online store, getting started is easy!

Post about your brick and mortar store on your social media to persuade shoppers to go there. Let them know what they’re missing out on!  Taking a fun video of your staff, or taking a beautiful photograph of one of your product displays, will go a long way in persuading your followers to pay you a visit. Staying active on social media is important for online sales, too, so don’t forget to remind your customers that they can shop online as well.

Most shoppers will still check out a store online before heading into the real thing, so it’s essential to keep people updated about what’s going on with your business. Make sure your hours are updated on every platform (Facebook, Google, your online store), and post about all of your safety measures (for example, if shoppers are required to wear a mask in your store, if there’s only a limited number allowed in at once, etc). If shoppers know what to expect when visiting your store, they won’t miss your opening hours, or be turned away for not having a mask. 


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