In a sea of smartphones, tablets, and laptops it can be difficult for a brick-and-mortar bookseller to lure people away from their screens and into a physical store. Many independent bookstores feel that they can no longer compete with online giants such as Amazon. However, a recent study by Google found that 93% of commerce is still taking place in-store. The customers are there, it’s simply a matter of finding ways to draw them into your store.
Below are 7 ways in which your bookstore can increase and improve in-store traffic:
Keep In Touch With Customers
Keeping in touch with your customers is key when trying to attract return customers. Update your social media accounts regularly with information about what’s going on in the store, new stock arrivals and helpful recommendations. This will keep your bookstore fresh in the customer’s mind and prompt them to visit your store when they need to make their next purchase.
Create a mailing list and use it to reach out to your customers on a personal level. Make sure that your subject line is engaging and will prompt them to continue reading.
Lure Passing Shoppers With Eye-Catching Displays
That old saying ‘never judge a book by it’s cover’ doesn’t really apply when it comes to your store’s appearance. An eye-catching exterior can have a huge impact on a customer’s impression of your store. An attractive window display will invite people in, instill curiosity and encourage impulse sales. Give the walls a fresh coat of paint, polish up your storefront sign and you’ll start to see footfall increase.
Happy Employees = Happy Customers
You’ve probably visited a store at some point where the member of staff was rude or uninterested in helping you with your purchase. Experiences like this can leave a bad impression and completely change a customer’s opinion of your store.
Building a relationship with your employees and making them feel valued will have a very positive impact on their interactions with customers. Make your staff feel good and they’ll transfer this feeling over to your customers.
Get Found On Google
For most bookstores, even if someone 50 yards away is searching for a product they have in stock, the search results look like this:
Pointy helps solve this problem. As soon as you plug a Pointy box in, we’ll build a page online with all your products. This means that, for local searches, the results will look more like this result from our client, Books Inc.:
This ensures that people who are searching for your products nearby can find them, and drives them directly to your store from these searches.
Service With A Smile
One major advantage that brick-and-mortar bookstores have over online retailers is their ability to build personal relationships with their customers. Little touches like remembering people’s names and giving helpful recommendations on purchases will make your customers feel valued and encourage repeat visits.
Appear Online, Sell Offline
With people spending so much of their time online it’s crucial for your bookstore to have a robust web presence. Having a live catalog of your in-stock products online not only helps drive new customers to your store but also lets your existing customers check what you have in stock, prompting them to return to your store. Books Inc., the world’s oldest independent bookstore chain, use Pointy to bring their catalogues online. You can check out one of their stores on Pointy here.
Design Your Store For Sales
Take some time to analyse the path that most customers take when they enter your store and organise your layout to suit this. Use lighting and creative displays to attract customers and encourage impulse sales. Make it easier for customers to find what they are looking for by using clear signage throughout the store. Ensure that the price is displayed prominently on each item – if a customer doesn’t see price they often assume that the product is out of their price range.
Pointy is a little box that you plug into your scanner that automatically builds an online store of all your products. Click here to learn more about how your store can use Pointy to drive more customers and get found online.