A year and a half into the pandemic, we all know that COVID-19 has led to dramatic changes in the retail landscape and has altered consumer expectations. Many retail stores have had to shut their doors or lack in-store experience due to a shortage of merchandise or staff. Customers have also grown more accustomed to shopping online over the past year, making it even harder to get them to come in. Even so, a little effort to get customers back into your store can go a long way, especially since a sizable 82% of Millennials still prefer in-store shopping to online. Consider these five strategies to attract customers and drive them to your shop.
Give guests a reason to visit.
One of the simplest ways to drive guests in-store is to give them a reason to visit with real benefits. Maybe that’s offering a special in-store discount. If that’s not possible for all guests, consider an initiative that rewards loyal customers for coming back, seeing as 62% of customers expect discounts or offers based on past purchases. You could also consider hosting local events that make the in-store experience more compelling or offer exclusive products and services in person that aren’t otherwise offered online.
Drive visits from your digital platform.
Even if you want your store to be your customers’ final destination, they’re likely going to find you online first. So make sure you have an updated website and active social media presence that will help keep you relevant and top of mind with customers. A digital presence that matches your in-store aesthetic will also help motivate people to visit to see more after getting a peek at what you have to offer online.
Invest in local SEO.
But to get those visits from your digital platforms, people need to be able to find you first. That’s where a strong local SEO presence will help. Given that 72% of consumers have been shown to visit a store within five miles when they did a local search online, it’s worthwhile to work with an SEO expert and invest in this area to make sure your site is optimized as it should be.
Focus on health and safety.
Given that we are still in the midst of a pandemic, it’s important to make sure your customers know you care about their health and safety. Clearly post or display the precautions your store is taking and what is expected of guests in-store. And if you do need to close due to illness or exposure to COVID-19, make sure to post your updated hours of operation on your website and social media pages so customers aren’t frustrated if they try to visit in person.
Leverage your employees.
And finally, be sure to utilize your employees to help boost your marketing efforts—a topic we wrote about in more detail here. Your employees are the people who can best advocate for your business and help spread the word through their networks. A few ideas to consider are allowing them to post guest blogs or updates from your store’s social media pages and encouraging them to share those posts to their own channels. Another area not to overlook is training. Making sure your employees are all on the same page and have the same solid understanding of your store can help them accurately reflect your brand’s values to customers and to their broader networks.
We hope these tools and tips can be used to help shore back up invaluable in-person traffic to your store. For more on how Push can help with your retail marketing efforts, contact us or here or call 407-841-2299.