Creating a unique experience can draw shoppers.
From boosting your curb appeal to offering refreshments, there are many ways you can draw shoppers to your brick-and-mortar store. — RyanJLane/Getty Images

Small business owners with a physical location are always looking for ways to drive more customers into their stores. Some of the best ways to increase foot traffic to your store involve differentiating yourself from your competitors and offering a unique in-store experience. Here are 10 of the best methods to do just that.

Utilize digital channels

If you want your retail store to be a success, you have to incorporate social media as a marketing strategy. Social media is a great way to build engagement with your customers and keep your store in their minds.

You can do this in a variety of ways — from showing behind-the-scenes photos and videos to hosting contests and giveaways. And don’t forget to regularly promoting your products: Studies show that 56% of customers who follow brands on social media do so because they want to browse through the company’s products.

Improve your curb appeal

One of the easiest ways to attract more customers to your store is by improving the curb appeal. Make sure customers can easily access your store and that the front entrance is well-landscaped.

Spruce up the front of your store with inviting and aesthetically pleasing decorations, such as brightly colored flower pots during the spring and summer months, or seasonal and festive decor during the fall and winter months.

Claim your Google Business listing

When it comes to driving local traffic to your store, Google can be a very effective tool. However, you need to claim your Google Business listing first. That way, your store will show up anytime a local customer searches for a business similar to yours.

Once you’ve verified your business, you can start encouraging your customers to leave reviews. This will give your business credibility and will help new customers find you.

Read More: [3 Things You Need to Know About Customer Reviews in 2019]

Offer discounts and rewards

Everyone loves a good discount, so offering a promotion for a limited time is a great way to encourage customers to visit your store. Share your promotion through email and social media, and let customers know they can redeem the discount in-store.

Encourage customers to buy gift cards

With the holidays quickly approaching, now is a great time to start encouraging your customers to purchase gift cards for friends and family. Gift cards are often given out around the holidays, and this is a great way to reach new potential customers who may have never heard of your store before.

Some of the best ways to increase foot traffic to your store involve differentiating yourself from your competitors.

Host an event

Offering special events can be a great way to encourage customers to stop by your store. For instance, if you sell workout clothes, why not host a free yoga class in-store? Lululemon does this frequently to incentivize customers to stop by one of their locations.

You can also partner with other local businesses to co-host events. The point is, find a way to make your store a fun and inviting place customers will be excited to visit.

Let customers buy online and pick up in-store

Most customers love online shopping but hate paying for shipping. A great way to remedy this is by giving customers the option to purchase items online, then pick them up in-store. One survey found that 57% of customers will utilize this service to avoid paying for shipping costs.

If you decide to offer this service, make it as frictionless as possible for your customers. Have the merchandise ready to go once they arrive and train your staff on how to handle the occasional return.

Provide USB chargers

If you want to earn some serious goodwill with your customers, start providing free phone charging stations inside your store. You can advertise this as a unique perk on social media and your website. You’ll be sure to make an impression the next time a customer enters your store with their battery under 10%.

Create an entertainment area for kids

If you run a store that caters to moms with small children, set up an entertainment area somewhere in your store. This doesn’t have to be elaborate; it could just be a table where kids can color. That way, parents can enjoy their shopping experience and will be more likely to return to your store.

Set up a comfortable lounge area

Finally, shopping can be tiring for many customers. If you want to stand out, consider setting up a comfortable lounge area for your customers where they can relax. And you can sweeten the deal by offering complimentary tea and coffee.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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Published January 15, 2020