During the holiday season, retailers see steady flows of customers through their doors. But, all too often, we experience a lull in business shortly after December 25th.
So, how do we keep patrons coming in through our not-so-busy seasons? Well, for one, it’s important we implement a series of old and new marketing tactics. We can’t just rely on the modern digital strategies we hear all about.
You can talk all day about how great you are on social media or your website. But, you’ve got to be able to back it up. Here are 7 ways how to attract customers to your retail business through curb appeal.
1. Creating a Window Display
Your window displays carry just as much power as a billboard on the highway. If they’re attractive, you’re sure to draw in passersby. If they’re dull and bland, you’re missing a golden opportunity.
There are some easy ways to sell your storefront through this opening. For example, let’s say it’s Valentine’s Day. Ordinarily, you’re inclined to throw all your cutesy romantic items upfront.
Instead, try creating a story hooked around a central theme that relates to the holiday. If you’re a hardware company, you can go with “how to mend a broken heart”. If you’re an apparel store, try “picking an outfit for the first date”.
Make sure your displays are neat, yet bold and colorful. Also, you’ll want to update every month or two to keep your designs fresh.
2. Lawn and Garden Maintenance
If you’re lucky enough to have green space near your storefront, you’ll want to take advantage. Flowers attract everyone and they’re great conversation pieces once someone comes inside.
Unfortunately, sidewalks surround many of our storefronts. But, that doesn’t mean there is little opportunity for landscaping. You should invest in large potted plants that match the season. Opt for geraniums in the summer and junipers in the winter.
Also, make sure you’re taking care of your lawn space. Overgrown grass and untrimmed trees aren’t just unappealing. They could also present legal issues (read more about that here).
3. Invest in a Monument Sign
Businesses that reside in a commercialized area should make use of monument signs. These outdoor structures designate the entrance of a building. They’re also a branding opportunity, as they show customers they’re in the right place.
There are several different options you can choose from. If you share a plaza space, you and other tenants can make use of a freestanding post and panel sign. Pylon signs are also a great choice, as they’re tall and eye-catching.
Digital displays are becoming more popular because they provide flexibility. You can change your message as needed to promote sales, new arrivals, upcoming events, and more.
4. Offer Refreshments
For many of us retailers, our level of foot traffic coincides with the weather and its conditions. Our slow days are often attributed to snowy roads or even frigid temperatures.
That’s why you want to make the most of each customer that walks through the door. Offering refreshments, such as coffee, hot chocolate, or pastries, entice shoppers to visit.
Promote through social channels to attract customers at home. Put signs out front (or edit your digital display!), for shoppers nearby to see.
This may not be a make-it or break-it factor for people when deciding to visit. But, it does carry a sense of goodwill, while putting you in the favorable opinion of your customers.
5. Start Online
Most of these strategies focus on how to promote to people passing by. But, in many cases, your curb appeal starts online, not in-person. The vast majority of shoppers turn to the web to find stores near our location.
You want to make the most of your online presence through social media and website optimization. Also, you must maintain attractive images of your store through digital platforms.
You can hire a photographer or stage a shoot on your own. Make sure your space is neat and tidy, and well-lit. Avoid shooting during a time of day that has too much sunlight. Also, follow the rule of thirds as a basic composition rule.
6. Act as a Customer
Give your store a walk-through and pretend to be a potential customer. If you’ve never visited before, what’s drawing your attention? What areas would you improve?
It’s hard to be objective in this situation, as we see our store every day. So, you may want to enlist the help of another employee or even a friend or family member. It’s best to go with someone who’s had little contact with the store, if possible.
Ask them to take notes on what looks “off”, and needs repaired, replaced, or cleaned. Also, ask if there’s anything that could enhance your store’s presentation when approaching.
7. Open Up
If the weather won’t destroy your display, open your windows for a more inclusive look. This makes both the interior and exterior of your store more appealing.
It’ll brighten up the store for shoppers who are already inside. We can all appreciate some fresh air and breeze on a warm summer day. Plus, those who are outside will notice more of the store as they’re passing by.
Play fun, upbeat music and make use of the natural lighting. Also, pull your flower displays closer to the window for an even fresher scent.
For Those Learning How to Attract Customers
No retailer looks forward to a slow business day, but you shouldn’t let them go to waste. Use this downtime to focus on duties you don’t have as much time for. Keep busy, whether that’s beautifying the store or catching up on administrative tasks.
If you’re wanting to learn more about how to attract customers, you’re in the right place. At Your Business offers advice to small business entrepreneurs across a wide variety of industries. We also have a directory to find businesses throughout your region.
Click here to read more about marketing trends in the retail industry.