7 strategies for attracting new customers to your retail store
In 2022, over 50 high street shops closed daily in the UK, which hasn’t come as welcome news to brick-and-mortar businesses. With the rise of online retail and an increasing number of next-day (and even same-day) delivery services, it’s no wonder that physical shop owners are a little worried.
Fortunately, though, there’s still plenty of hope left for your business. With the help of our expert strategies, you can draw more customers into your shop, increase your sales, and shine the spotlight on your brand.
1. Focus on Your Reviews
9 out of 10 UK shoppers check reviews before they buy from a business, both online and in-store. As a physical shop, positive online reviews (such as through Google My Business, which we’ll talk more about next) can drastically sway consumer decisions.
For example, a potential client looking for a clothes shop might find a few options locally. If one has 4 3-star reviews and the other has a whole heap of glowing customer feedback and a multitude of 5-star ratings, which do you think they’re going to choose?
In terms of strategy, we recommend encouraging user feedback with an incentive. That could be, for example, offering a discount when a client can prove they’ve left a review for your shop.
It’s also wise to bring in the help of a digital tool, for example, Magic, which encourages clients to give feedback via automatic review requests. Connecting with popular review websites including Google, TrustPilot, and Facebook, their software makes it easy to collect and organise positive reviews, helping you entice customers in-store by outshining the competition.
2. Add Yourself to Google My Business
Google My Business is a must for any physical shop that’s looking to gain more customers. So many consumers now use Google Maps to find what they’re looking for, and if you’re not on Google My Business, you’re not going to show up!
Google My Business comes with a wide range of perks alongside being visible on maps, including:
- Pushing you to the top of localised search results (e.g. book shop near me)
- Enabling easy customer reviews
- Improving your search ranking and online visibility
The easy-to-use tool also provides potential customers with a lot of useful information like your shop address, opening times, and images of your location. It’s completely free to use, as well, making it a no-brainer.
3. Create In-Store Only Promotions
If you’re trying to drive up footfall in your shop to compliment your online sales, try in-store-only promotions. A 10% discount on selected products bought in-store, for example, is a great way to get customers through your door.
Once they’re in, your visual merchandising should encourage them to browse more products, get a feel for your brand, and hopefully create some strong connections.
4. The Power of Good Looks
A beautiful shop is one that people want to shop in, it’s as simple as that! If you think your shopfront is looking a little bland, it’s time to give it a glow-up. Some easy ways to quickly improve the appearance of your shop include:
- Applying a fresh coat of paint in an on-brand colour
- Removing any old signage
- Replacing any plastic signage with higher-quality products
Be sure to place some popular items in your window, too, that’ll entice people to come inside.
In terms of decor, if you haven’t got a keen eye for design, look for inspiration in the shop windows around you or on websites like Pinterest and Instagram. If you’re still struggling, it might be time to call in the help of a professional visual merchandiser to give your shop a makeover.
Remember, your shop front is like your book cover, and despite the very popular saying, people will judge you on it.
5. Price Match to Online Shops
One of the appeals of online shopping is that it’s easy to find the cheapest version of a product. With around two-thirds of UK consumers rating cost as the most crucial purchasing factor, that’s not something you’re going to want to ignore.
But as a physical shop, how are you meant to compete? We advise that you start price-matching products to popular online shops, giving you a fighting chance of converting an online audience to brick-and-mortar shoppers. Seasonal discounts will help you increase footfall for popular times of the year, like Christmas, too, and be open to stocking a wide range of products at different price points.
6. Enable Click and Collect Services
If you own a physical shop, don’t miss out on the benefits of an online presence. Even if you don’t offer delivery, you can increase in-store footfall by setting up a click-and-collect service, allowing customers to browse your inventory online, pay for their purchases, and then pick up their pre-packed package from your shop.
Once they’re through your door, you have the potential to tempt them with visual merchandising, and they may be more inclined to come back for in-person shopping.
7. Market to Existing Customers
Your existing customer pool is where you want to focus a lot of your marketing. Gaining a new customer costs around 5 times more than keeping hold of an existing one, so it’s those people who already shop with you that you want to encourage to come in-store.
Try marketing promotions you’re running in your shop, offering personalised discounts, or simply giving updates on new-in products. Send this message out to your existing client base via email or SMS, and use social media platforms to hype up in-store shopping.
Attracting new customers to your retail store isn’t always easy in the digital age. But, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible! Maybe even try visiting a retail conference to pick up some more tips! Hopefully, these tips have given you plenty of ideas to up your marketing and encourage your audience to head on in, giving your brick-and-mortar business a healthy boost.
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