Category Name

How to Increase Customer Footfall In-store After COVID-19

How we shop has changed drastically over the past year. Now, with phased re-openings, limited capacity for social distancing and strict hygiene measures, COVID-19 has created a new trading landscape for the retail industry to navigate.

Shoppers are enthusiastic to re-enter brick and mortar stores and return to some kind of normality, and while the retail industry has had to maneuver through these unprecedented changes, the desire to return to normal is an opportunity for the industry to capitalize on. 2021’s reopening has the potential to bring even more shoppers through your doors than ever before. 

To help take advantage of this unique situation, we’ve compiled 5 top strategies of how to encourage your customers to return from online back to in-store.

1. Use Nostalgia and Emotion to Boost In-store Visits

Nostalgia is a powerful tool to use in marketing campaigns. It can transport us to a simpler, safer time, giving us feelings of comfort and trust and reducing feelings of loneliness. Using nostalgia gives you the opportunity to associate your business with something your customers already love. In fact, studies show that when you leverage nostalgia correctly, it can increase your customers' usual spending. 

Now is a great point in time to remind your shoppers that you're still here for them

When we look back, we tend to view things through rose-tinted glasses. Life just seemed better "back then" and we want to return to that time. But now is a great point in time to remind your shoppers that you’re still here for them and that you’re a trustworthy, safe space they can return to after the Pandemic.

Consider your demographic and find a story in your brand history that connects with your audience. Did you open up in their childhood? Is there a popular discontinued product you could bring back? Or could you reuse some classic packaging or store signage that connects them with their past? With emotion playing a huge part in most of our purchases, a little research into your audience will go a long way. Understanding what makes your audience tick is a sure way to connect with them on an emotional, authentic level, and it will help to develop a longstanding relationship that keeps them returning.

2. Use Social Media to Communicate What’s Happening In-store

Yes, your customers are still here and using online shopping more than ever. Adobe reports that online purchases for daily needs surged during 2020: E-commerce received a $183 billion boost for a grand total of $844 billion online. Purchases through social media also had a pandemic-driven boom, growing by 35% and climbing to $36 billion in U.S. sales this year alone, according to a recent report by eMarketer. 

With such a vast and captive audience across many established platforms, why not inform your followers of what you’re doing in-store and drive that audience back into your retail space? Advise of the safety measures put in place so they feel comfortable enough to return. Perhaps offer bookable time slots to shop, or just let them know you’re back open and would love to see them. Some of your regular shoppers will have missed the social aspect of visiting a retailer they know. Having a friendly chat with staff could encourage customers back into your physical store because of that important human connection that online shopping can’t provide.

Now could also be a great time to announce some in-store events such as live Q&A sessions with product experts, demo testing with the latest gadgets, or the eternally popular free samples. With these in mind, starting an online dialog with your consumers about what they’d enjoy seeing in-store, perhaps even voting on window display ideas or updated branding options, can help your customers feel connected, involved and invested enough to want to make that in-store visit. While social media can be a time-consuming aspect of marketing, it’s a critical one for staying engaged with your consumers.

3. Reconnect With Existing Customers and Personalize!

Gaining new customers is always appealing, but you’ll find it a lot easier to reengage with the patrons you already have.

Using existing data on your customers can help you personalize their shopping experience and make them feel like they’re an exclusive member of your clientele. 

Perhaps a customer has a special occasion coming up, such as a birthday, or they’ve been a customer of yours for a significant number of years. Use this information to advise them of a discount or gift for when they next make an in-store purchase. If you have insight into their historical buys, email them offers related to their favorite products, or suggestions of products they might like. Let them know when their frequently purchased brand is back in stock or if you’re selling a favored product at a discount. If you have a rewards scheme for customer loyalty, remind them how many loyalty points they have or what vouchers they can use in-store. 

Existing customers are not just easier to convert, they are also a great resource to let you know how you’re doing. Use them as a touchpoint for suggestions. Send out a brief online survey to gain insight on what makes them visit in person, and then try to capitalize on your findings. If you can make your existing customer base feel important by personalizing their shopping experience, you can expect to see much higher customer satisfaction rates and an increase in sales conversions in-store.

4. Make Visiting Your Retail Space an Experience

If your store is just selling physical products, you might be missing a trick. Given that consumers can order globally from the ease of their phone at any time of day, you may need to consider what else you could do to attract visitors. 

What’s missing from online purchasing is the experience of entering an exciting space, making it an event and escaping from our daily lives to somewhere new and interesting. By making your retail space somewhere to go, see and be, you give your clientele the opportunity to have fun, try new things and get excited about coming to visit your store.

If events are right for your space, then knowing your target audience will help you decide what type of events to run. However, options such as classes related to what you’re selling, services in relation to your products, regular talks and exclusive late-night shopping hours could entice even more customers to make that trip. 

The ability to deliver experiences that people can’t get on their phones is a valuable asset, and encouraging sharing and tagging on social media will help you create a buzz and galvanize interest in your future events.

5. Track Your Campaigns to Determine What’s Working and What You Need to Work On

All of these popular strategies can be time-consuming and costly to implement, Therefore finding a way to track the ROI (return on investment) they’re producing is crucial to increasing your customer footfall. Measuring how your digital advertisements have converted and what demographic they’re attracting is critical to making decisions for your business — from what your next store event should be to which ad campaign to run. 

Measuring how your digital advertisements have converted and what demographic they’re attracting is critical to making decisions for your business

Discovering how many visitors you receive and the most popular divisions in-store can produce powerful knowledge for your layout, window display, and signage. Check out KnowYourShopper to gain a deeper knowledge of who your shoppers really are.

This can place a spotlight on your specific audience to help you create highly targeted, effective ads. You can re-target shoppers who have looked at products in-store and encourage a purchase. You can survey the competition and find out how you’re positioned among them. With insights such as age, gender, ethnicity and income, this powerful tool will enable you to understand who your customer is, which will lead you to even more store visits and more return on investment.

Recommended
Category Name
How to Negotiate Your In-Store Product Placement
Read more
Category Name
Retail Aware Partners With Raydiant to Bring Holistic Solution Around Shopper Insights to Brands and Retailers
Read more
Category Name
Retail Aware Raises More Than $1 Million
Read more

Subscribe to the Retail Growth Guide

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Want the Customer Footfall Workbook? Download here!

By clicking submit you agree to processing your personal data by Retailaware for the purpose of processing your request.

/ /a hidden form field will submit on submission
insertpageurl
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Download
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

By clicking submit you agree to processing your personal data by Retailaware for the purpose of processing your request.

Other articles you may also like

No items found.

Subscribe to the
Retail Growth Guide

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

By clicking submit you agree to processing your personal data by Retailaware for the purpose of processing your request.