If you are a retail store owner, you probably know this. Having a store and running it successfully are completely different.
There is no right way to do it. What works for some other retail store owner may not work for you.
However, there are a few things that you could do to increase footfall at your store(s). Following are 15 tips that might help you achieve this:
1. Tie-up with local businesses
Instead of looking at every fellow store owner from a competitive eye, consider partnering with some. They can help direct customers to your store.
For eg : If you are a selling curtains, cushion covers or wallpapers you may consider asking the local furniture store to keep your leaflets on their counters. This will increase awareness about your shop and initiate crossing over of customers.
2. Maintain cleanliness
Keep the front area / porch of your store clean and uncluttered. A well maintained store gives the impression that you keep care of your customers and pay attention to detail.
3. Frequently change displays on dummies
Changing displays more often is a must-do for every retail outlet. Showing off the new collections in style helps attract more customers. It gives your customer the impression that you are up to date with everything that is new in the market.
4. Mention offers at the entrance
Even if it is on selected products, put your 'flat 40% off on children's apparel" on the front glass doors of your store. Use standies and flexes if needed. It attracts attention of the passersby.
5. Arrange for outdoor demonstrations
If there is a product which you can demonstrate outside the store go for the demonstration. It will generate curiosity among potential consumers.
For e.g. If you are launching a new flavor of coffee, you can put up a free coffee stall outside the store. People love free stuff. And they also like to know why a crowd has gathered at a place.
6. Design your shop better
Make your outlet look appealing from outside. There are libraries and book stores which have made themselves look like giant stack of books. Definitely an eye catcher!
7. Look more approachable
Keep glass doors so that passersby get to see what's going on inside. If they see more shoppers, they may want to drop in too. An open door is also more welcoming than a closed one.
8. Don't be reclusive
Most retail outlets are on main roads. However, if you are not fortunate enough then make sure your potential customers find you easily. Put up clear directions on the main road leading to your shop.
Also, instead of just putting up a board with an arrow, you can have small pictures / cut outs of your products attached there to build interest among the approaching customers.
9. Loyalty schemes for frequent customers
Even a 2% extra discount often makes a customer shop more. Introducing frequent offers on the loyalty cards could be an incentive for your frequent shoppers to drop in more. It could also generate word-of-mouth.
10. Arrange competitions at your store
For e.g. If you sell music equipment, you can have music competitions arranged at your store and give away your products as prizes. Many new customers may visit your store during the competition. It could be a good brand building exercise as well.
11. Build a nursery
If you deal in products/services for female customers, having a nursery where kids can play and be taken care of, can make you a favorite among women. They will find your store a very convenient place to shop. Make sure you hire efficient nannies to take care of the kinds and ensure their security.
12. Organize Learning Workshops & Sessions
You can organize workshops / sessions for activities which your target audience enjoys doing. For e.g. Book readings by famous authors at bookstores, free grooming and styling sessions by apparel shops etc. Certain Mobile Shops have a lounge where users can download apps and transfer data for free.
13. Hire good salesmen / train your employees well
The number of stores having incompetent salesmen is staggeringly high. They are either too mellow or too pushy. Have good salesmen. They get talked about.
Train them well to talk about new products and best offers. If you customers are treated well, they would always want to come back.
14. Display alternate payment modes on the front door
if you accept payment options like Sodexo vouchers, mention them on your front door. This idea works well especially for restaurants and eateries. Even when customers do not have their cash / card, they can drop in.
15. Give a befitting look
If you selling high end products, create a look which gives a premium feeling to the place. Space out the products and avoid stacking them one over the other unless absolutely necessary. If the salesman has to manually display every product, the customer may feel tired.
Bonus tip: A good POS retail management software can make it easy for you to manage the above. Check out FusionRetail by RanceLab; a comprehensive software that may eliminate your billing delays and improve customer experience.