How to Increase Foot Traffic in a Retail Store

In bricks-and-mortar retail, generating foot traffic is an essential component of your sales strategy. While ecommerce is still a large portion of the retail market, consumers still crave the ability to see, touch, taste and try products before committing to a purchase. So, why is foot traffic in retail important? 

Put simply, more people through your doors means more opportunities for sales and customer engagement, which then leads to higher revenues. If you’re looking for some strategies to get people off the sidewalk and into your shop, take a look at our tips on how to increase foot traffic in a retail store.

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Love your loyal shoppers

Your foot traffic strategy shouldn’t rest on just getting new people into your store. It’s vital to focus on getting your existing customers to come back — which is where loyalty programs and incentives come in. Providing special deals for repeat customers truly fosters a sense of appreciation. You can also implement a referral program so that your regulars get discounts for bringing new business into your store. This chain of respect keeps fresh faces coming in and learning about what you do.

First impressions count

One of the biggest battles in on-site retail is getting people to notice you, especially if they are walking past with no specific intention to shop. This is why capturing attention as early as possible is crucial. Investing in quality branded signage lets potential customers know straight-up what your store is about. Putting sandwich board signs on the street level outside your store is also a great way to draw attention — you can advertise specials, get creative with witty sayings,

Get superstar staff

Customer retention is just as important as customer acquisition — if you have a loyal base of happy shoppers, they will tell their friends and keep coming back to you. One of the best ways to ensure an unparalleled customer experience is by investing in quality staff and treating them well. Your staff should be thoughtful, attentive and knowledgeable, which will ultimately impress even the fussiest shoppers. In turn, provide your employees with great working conditions and potentially even bonus incentives for sales targets — customers will notice that you retain the same happy staff and know that your store is a fantastic place to be.

Strike a pose

In the age of Instagram and TikTok, younger shoppers in particular are drawn to retail spaces that have photo-worthy aesthetics. If you can provide a space or some features for people to get the perfect shot, your store can become a destination in its own right. Things like colour-coordinated fit-outs, large ornate mirrors, funky neon signage with clever captions, and lots of lush greenery are bound to draw millennial and Gen Z shoppers into your space.

Hey, good lookin’

It’s not enough to just have an alluring shop front — you need to put effort into keeping your store neat, organised and easy to navigate. Keep your entry clear, uncluttered and welcoming to entice people in, then make sure that your aisles and displays are set out in a logical flow that doesn’t obstruct natural foot traffic. Make sure that your shop layout suits your retail offering — there are different structures that are designed to work best according to what you sell.

Offer in-store experiences

While virtual classes and Zoom drinks may have been all the rage at the height of the pandemic, consumers are thrilled to be able to experience real-life interaction again. One way you can capitalise on this is by providing in-store experiences that can’t be replicated online. Things like exclusive shopping nights with snacks and discounts, in-house product launches or sneak peeks for exciting new products, runway fashion shows or even specialised workshops are all big drawcards depending on your goods and services. Market these events on your digital channels and people will flock!

Don’t ignore digital

One of the most valuable tools for getting foot traffic coming into your retail store is digital marketing. This is one case where a little bit of money and effort can go a long way, especially with major search engines and social media platforms. You need to make sure you utilise digital advertising properly and with maximum ROI. There are plenty of local advertising solutions on most ad networks and particularly on Google. Use geotargeting so that people who are searching for your product and are in the area  can easily find your store. Not confident setting these ads up yourself? Invest in some help from a digital agency — it will pay off.

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