All I want for Christmas is…more foot traffic in my store!
What retailer can’t relate? No doubt, you can – so pat yourself on the back for reading this blog post as you’re in the right place to get started.
In this blog, I’m going to walk you through three ways you can drive more foot traffic into your store this holiday season.
How to drive more foot traffic
1. Re-engage the customers you already have
Here’s the thing: every retailer loves the idea of driving new customers to their store. Of course you do. But you shouldn’t ignore your regulars in a rush to get more feet in your store.
At its most basic, re-engaging your customers is based on a simple premise: asking them to do something you want them to do. You already have a relationship with them – and the better the relationship, the more likely they are to do what you ask.
People like simple instructions (you might be shaking your head right now thinking “nope”), but our brains are hardwired to conserve energy – and that includes making decisions. It’s actual science: people will choose the path of least resistance.
If you ask people to come into your store and give them a reason why, they’re more likely to do it. So after you snap a cute picture of your latest display and create a catchy caption to go along with it, end your post with “Stop in today” or “Come in and pick one up” or “Come see us and get all your stocking stuffers”.
It’s simple – but it doesn’t have to be rocket science. Sometimes seeing your store on their timeline is enough for a customer to realize that they haven’t stopped in for a while.
Pro-tip: For an added incentive to get them in-store, consider running a promotion targeting past customers. If you have a list of customers, you can upload it to Facebook to target them or use it to send emails. Try something along the lines of, “It’s been a little time since we’ve seen you in [store name]. We miss you – so here’s 10 percent off your next order when you come into the store.”
That way, you’re giving them clear direction as to what you want them to do next. Same goes if you have a mailing list: you can send a coupon in the mail and ask that they come into your store – perhaps tying it in with a holiday offer for even more foot traffic.
2. Run Facebook ads targeting locals
Facebook ads are some of (if not the) most cost-effective ways to advertise – but you have to be smart about the targeting. Facebook has many targeting options – from interests to demographics and behaviors.
If you’re familiar with Facebook ads, I suggest creating a Reach Ad coupled with the Get Directions CTA (call to action) – this CTA will literally give people directions right to your store.
The key thing to remember is to target locally and to be clear about why you want customers to come in-store.
If you haven’t used Facebook ads before, you’ll want to get familiar with the ad dashboard. I recommend testing ads too, instead of launching into a campaign. Facebook ads run on a bidding system, with other factors included, so the cost of any action (for example a click to a website or reaching people) will usually be more expensive around the holiday season – especially on big days in the lead up to Black Friday, Thanksgiving or Christmas.
Pro-tip: Make sure you set up the Facebook pixel on your site. This is a piece of code you copy onto your site that tracks data – for example, people who visited certain pages on your website. In Facebook’s ad dashboard, you can use this data to make super-effective retargeting ads.
Retargeting ads are used to target people who have been on your website or who have engaged with your ads before. You can also upload lists (though they need to be bigger than a certain size) of email addresses, for example, to Facebook and target them too.
Let’s say you own a bookstore and you have a list of 2,000 people who have subscribed to your newsletter. You can upload that list to Facebook and hit them with an ad about books that would make great stocking stuffers.
In another example, you could target site visitors who were on your website in the last month. You can set the location of the ad to within three miles of your store – so if they’re nearby, they might see your ad, and come in-store.
This works really well when paired with step one – so that you clearly tell them what you want them to do – i.e. a coffee shop advertising great coffee at lunchtime to past customers who are nearby.
3. Create a store tour video to get more foot traffic in-store
Video is a powerful tool for independent retailers.
I know you might be thinking, “how am I meant to create video?”
But here’s the thing: your customers aren’t expecting an Oscar-winning production. You’ll be surprise by what you can do with a cell phone and some practice.
A great way to get people into your store is to show them your wares on video – especially in the lead-up to the holidays when you have decorated or have new products in-store. It’s much more interesting than just posting a picture, or even an album of photos.
Start at the front door and greet people with, “Hi and welcome to my store! I’m so excited to show you what’s new for the holidays.” From there, you’ll walk through the store and showcase some of your best-sellers.
You don’t need a script, a fancy camera (smartphones are great) or perfect hair. You just need your personality to shine through – but have two or three talking points in mind so you stay on track. Above all else, make sure you practice so that you really lock it down. Your personality is so, so important here.
As for how long it should be: the answer is as long as it needs to be to get your point across and not a second longer. If you feel like you’re running out of things to say, your video is done.
You can apply the same basic idea to products – you can do unboxing videos, tutorials, and more.
In fact, do one today.
No excuses – take your phone, ask someone to film, practice, and get it done.
Your competitors aren’t waiting around to win more customers – so why are you?
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