Increasing Foot Traffic – 7 Things Store Ops Can Do
Stores have always been accountable for most of the revenue for brick and mortar based retailers, making up to 90% of revenue for their brand. The recent events have caused stores to shut their doors for the interim and are reopening again. This time they are opening with lower capacity and foot traffic than before. In a scurry to pull their brand out of the red, store operations are feeling the weight. Increasing foot traffic and sales without pushing consumers past their comfort level can pose a challenge. Read on below to find 7 things you and your team can do to drive consumer demand to your store. Plus, find out what to do if they don’t feel comfortable coming in.
1. Focus on Your Local Listings
The mass jumps between store closings and reopenings have made it difficult for shoppers to stay up to date with whom is open and closed. Maintain full transparency by keeping your search engine listings up to date on search engines such as Google to keep shoppers in the loop. Avoid creating unpleasant experiences with customers showing up at your store listed as “open” when it is closed.
2. Use the Receipt
Recency is one of the three factors used to determine a shopper’s likelihood to buy. Use the moment after purchase to increase your odds of winning the next sale by building a relationship with them when they are highly engaged with your brand. If you are looking to drive sales immediately, put their closest store location front and center. If long-term loyalty is your goal, increase their brand affinity by allowing them to connect with your brand via videos, loyalty programs, and social channels. Learn how to capitalize on this moment after purchase.
3. Connect with the Local Community
In a shutdown world, shoppers’ need for connection has become a large priority. Since social distancing is required for the near distant future, retailers who drive connections will end up winning. Use your storefront to invite a local influencer or thought leader to speak, both in-person and virtually, can drive store visits to pick up relevant items.
4. Create Photo Opportunities
The number of channels that retailers have to manage can get overwhelming. This is why it is vital for retailers to encourage shoppers to create content and promote their brand on various channels. One way of doing so is to create unique photo ops in store. Encourage selfies of the merch they are trying on, or decorate walls with bright lighting and cool props that can be shared via social. This can increase a store’s local presence as a retail leader in their direct area and harness the power of word-of-mouth.
5. Harness BOPIS
While BOPIS isn’t new, the reliance on this channel to let shoppers reserve the items they need has increased, especially with longer-than-average ship times occurring. If you have the goal of increasing foot traffic, look towards your BOPIS system, since up to 69% of shoppers buy extra items while they are in store. Retailers can use this opportunity by encouraging buy-online, pickup-in-store via their digital channels to grab on to upsells.
6. Clearly Communicate Your In-Store Experience
The need for clear communication is at an all-time high. Shoppers are looking for transparency during this time to help them make decisions. Communicate on all channels what your new in-store experience requires, such as whether face masks are required. Communicate if there are new operation efforts in place, such as appointment slots, so they can follow and take advantage of them. Waiting outside for an hour in the summer with a mask on if they weren’t expecting to can be a frustrating experience for anyone. Especially if they see other shoppers bypass the line. This proactive step lets customers know if they can reserve a shopping appointment or if you are running at a decreased capacity level.
7. Add In-Store Services
In-store services give brick and mortar retailers a unique opportunity to boost their in-store traffic by excelling past eComm in an area that can offer the utmost personalization. Consider adding scheduled in-store consultations and matching services to drive traffic in-store. These experiences allow consumers to receive personalized service while minimizing returns from misinformed products.
Taking a Holistic View
While increasing foot traffic is vital for keeping stores open from a cost-efficiency standpoint, retailers need to take a holistic view of the customer in these trying times. Those that do will drive long-lasting relationships. Offering any tactic through an in-store only lens can push customers past their comfort level. This can cause them to feel that they must risk jeopardizing their health to shop with you. This can have lasting effects that create unrepairable relationships and drive them to your competitors. Avoid offering “in-store” only tactics such as discounts or limited edition products, which can cause customers to feel like they have to come in to store. You can also create relationships online for customers, so you’re increasing their comfort level. Some opportunities include booking virtual consultations with your staff and picking up their products curbside at their local store. The retailers who implement these strategies and the ones above will be those with long-term success amid this time of uncertainty.