While the grocery industry has become increasingly digital, your physical store is just as important as your e-commerce one. It may seem difficult to find ways to increase foot traffic in today’s digital world, but it’s not as hard as you think.
To get customers to visit your brick-and-mortar store, you need to communicate with them and let them know what they’ll gain by visiting your store. There are a lot of ways to accomplish this, but here are nine tips we’ve found most effective for driving foot traffic to your grocery store.
1. Measure Foot Traffic
To know whether you’re increasing your traffic, you need a way to measure it. Most stores use people counters, though there is also mobile tracking technology and video surveillance.
2. Maintain Your Store’s Appearance
No matter where your store is located, if it looks dilapidated and uncared for, customers won’t want to visit. Make sure that your store has a clean, well-kept appearance. Your customers should want to come inside, and you might even draw in some passers-by, too, if your store is appealing enough.
Have an employee sweep the walkway directly in front of your store often, and if you have a parking lot, try to keep it relatively clean of debris and litter. While it may be difficult, it shows your customers that you care and take pride in your store.
Additionally, an employee should clean windows and doors every day. Windows get dirty fast, especially those on doors. Smudge-free glass is a small detail that goes a long way in the minds of customers.
Every once in a while, you should have someone clean the outside of the building. If you have shrubbery or greenery outside your building, make sure that it’s well-cared for, too.
Routinely check your outside paint for peeling and fading and address issues you see as soon as possible. Your store’s sign is also important. Ensure that, if it has lighting, the lights are working properly, and check that it looks clean.
3. Have Advertisements Outside Your Store
A great way to bring in foot traffic is to have advertisements just outside your store. These could be sandwich boards or posters about promotions.
Many small businesses have gone viral online for witty chalkboards meant to draw customers in. If you’re creative, you may want to try this method. If not, there’s no harm in sticking with the tried-and-true promotion advertisements.
However you advertise, make sure that it is appealing and eye-catching. You want people passing by your store to see it and stop in.
4. Emphasize Customer Service
One of the biggest draws for in-person shopping is customer service. Customers like to interact with other people, and the better your employees are at customer service, the happier your customers will be.
If you are in a smaller area, you may also be able to personalize customers’ shopping experience. Encourage your employees to greet customers they recognize by name and deliver a more personal experience.
The key to great customer service is happy employees. Workers that love their jobs and their work will impart that positive association onto the customer.
Make sure you create a positive and supportive environment for your employees. You want them to enjoy helping customers and supporting your store.
5. Establish an Online Presence
While it may sound counterintuitive, having an online presence can be incredibly helpful in bringing in customers. You want people that are interested in your store to have access to accurate information about your store.
A great way to do so is to claim business pages for your store. Head to sites like Google My Business and Yelp to claim your store’s pages and make sure that all the information there is accurate and up to date.
You should have your website as well. For all of these sites, whether it’s your own or Google, check that your store’s name, address, phone number, and hours are included.
Social media is another great way for you to communicate with customers. Customers can ask you questions or deliver feedback directly to you, letting you address it as soon as possible.
6. Utilize Social Media Ads
Most social media platforms offer targeted advertising. You can focus your advertising on people in your area that can visit your store. Instead of spending money on marketing to people that can’t shop at your store, you can reach people in your geographic area.
“Spend your money on customers that can shop at your store. Grocers often overlook targeted ads, but they’re one of the best ways for store owners to bring in local customers,” says George Goodwin, marketing director for IT Retail and third-generation grocer.
7. Use Emails
Email marketing and newsletters are excellent ways to let your customers know about upcoming promotions or events. You can emphasize the perks of showing up in-store, whether that’s a special promotion or an event and share your appreciation for your customers.
8. Reward Customer Loyalty
If you don’t already have a customer loyalty program, you need to start one. It’s one of the best ways to encourage customers to keep coming back to your store. A smile goes a long way, also knowing your customer’s name. “One thing we started at my family store is 4 keys; 1. Hi with a smile, 2. How are you today, 3. can I help you find anything, 4. Have a nice day.”
IT Retail has an excellent customer loyalty program you can use to engage with customers and create custom rewards. Make your customers feel valued and appreciated by rewarding them for shopping at your store.
9. Have Other Reasons to Visit
One of the most successful tactics for encouraging in-person shopping is having other reasons for customers to visit your store. You can host events or offer additional services that bring people in.
Some stores host classes at their stores, which is especially effective for specialty shops. For example, stores with a focus on baking supplies can offer baking classes that could include a promotion for those who attend.
Another option is having a hot food station or deli counter. Foodservice brings customers in, and while they’re there, they are more likely to shop for other items.
- Driving foot traffic is incredibly important for brick-and-mortar stores.
- To figure out how much traffic you currently have and see how it increases, you need an effective method of tracking in-person customers.
- Make sure your store’s facade appears physically appealing and well-kept.
- Have physical advertisements outside your store to draw in passers-by.
- Emphasize personal customer service to your employees as it’s one of the biggest draws for in-person shoppers.
- Establish an online presence on social media and popular business sites.
- Use targeted social media ads to reach people in your area.
- Communicate directly with customers through email marketing and newsletters.
- Reward customer loyalty with memberships and reward programs.
- Have other reasons for customers to visit your stores, such as classes, events, or food service.
Finding ways to bring in more customers to your physical store may seem challenging, but there are many ways for you to do so effectively. You have to communicate with your customers and have reasons for them to visit your store this will increase foot traffic into your market.
For more help with grocery store marketing, contact George Goodwin a 3rd generation grocer.
If you’d like to see how well your store could function with IT Retail’s POS solution, sign up for a free demo today.