If you run a retail business, you will know that one of your significant areas of concern is always your footfall. The measurement of the number of people who walks through your door is a considerable test of your performance.
Added to that, how you covert that footfall into sales is also crucial when it comes to making sales.
But when your footfall is not present in the volumes that you need, it can send shockwaves through your business strategy. If you are running a brick and mortar business, you need people through your doors to succeed.
Getting people in your shop should be a primary concern, and then once inside you need to turn your footfall into sales using great customer service, and silent service such as merchandising and making commercial buying decisions.
#1 What Are The Factors That Affect Footfall?
Every business is different. However, there are generally the same issues that may face them all. Getting people in through the door can depend on many factors, some of which are out of your control, and some of which are very much down to you to manage.
The areas that may not be in your control will relate to the economy and broader issues in your locale that you cannot prevent. A downturn in the marketplace, such as the banking crisis in the late noughties can really hit your footfall hard.
If people have not got the money to spend, then they are less likely to venture out to the shops. If the government is running a policy of austerity for example, or there are political worries affecting the whole country, this can have a knock-on consumer confidence, and people may be inclined to hold onto their money.
If wages have not risen in line with the cost of living and inflation, this too can cause a detrimental effect on people’s willingness to go out and shop.
Other external factors that may be out of control may include development works that are happening near to your store. If there are roadworks that cause access issues, this can put people off visiting. There may be a new shopping centre that has opened up that is taking away your customers, or it could be that people are shopping online more.
There are things that are firmly in your control, though. Customer’s perception of your business is a critical area. If people don’t know what you are selling, or the store does not look welcoming, then they may not come in. If your business has a bad reputation for selling poor quality items, or for providing rude, ignorant, or pushy customer service, this can drive people away.
These are areas that you should be addressing continually, and you need to work hard to change people’s viewpoint.
#2 Having The Right Signage Helps
If you want people to know who you are and what you are about, signage is a great way of attracting passing footfall into your store.
Think about creating a logo that gives an indication of what your business sells, and make sure it is clear and stands out. Gemini letters are a simple and effective plastic signage solution that may create a great visual appeal for your business.
Get your logo designed by a professional graphic designer. Think about showing it to some people who can give you an honest opinion on whether it says what you need it to say.
Avoid getting this advice from friends and family who may just tell you that they like it to keep you happy.
#3 Marketing Your Business Locally
Your retail business needs a local marketing strategy. You need to engage with other retailers and any local shopping centres or retail consortiums to discuss ways that you can work together to attract footfall.
It is in everybody’s best interests to bring people to the area, so working together can mean you will be able to pool your resources.
You need to have an online presence that is strong enough that when someone is searching for relevant terms in your area, then your business is recommended.
Ensure your company is listed with Google and is showing up on Maps. The more information Google has on your business, the better. Try and ensure you have provided every detail that a customer may need to know.
There are plenty of other online listing sites that you should look at getting your business onto. The more you are listed, the better the chance of getting found.
#4 Social Media Is A Must
If you want to succeed in any business these days, you need to have a strong social media presence. Creating a great Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter page will mean that your customers can find you much easier.
You can use it to highlight great offers that you have in store and even provide some special discounts to followers.
You will need a strategy to build up your following, and once you have a good profile, you will need to work to maintain it. Post daily.
You can choose to share items that are of interest to your customers that may not be promoting your business or products. This can be great for creating organic growth as these are the types of posts that are likely to get shared.
#5 How To Deal With The Unavoidable Factors That Hinder Footfall
There are obviously things that you cannot change. You don’t run the country, so you can’t fix the economy. Getting stressed and upset at the economic forecasts on the news every day will not help you.
You need a plan for bringing people through your doors in spite of these factors.
Think about creating some great offers that will attract people in. If you can get people who are reticent to spend into your shop, then that is half the battle.
Having a strong marketing strategy that attempts to combat negativity in the economy is vital if you want to succeed.