In the lead up to Christmas, most retailers will be asking themselves “How do I attract customers and increase foot traffic to my store?”
There are three key ways to attract customers to the store:
- Visual merchandising (the display of products in your store)
- Local promotions and advertising
- Publicity (mostly managed by head office or store owner)
Not all of these strategies have to drain you of cash and time. Visual merchandising and local promotions are cost effective and easy methods to attract customers.
Let’s consider visual merchandising and what you can do to attract customers. The most obvious and simple answer is to make a change to the displays in your store – to the window, entrance and hot spots. Customers who walk past your store will often become “store blind” unless there is something new that stands out. Doing something different makes your store interesting.
Use signage and products to “tell a story” around one of your Christmas promotions. It’s important to sell a package or tell a story in your display to maximise cross sell opportunities. A story will also help the customer picture themselves in that scenario and how the products can be used.
In terms of local promotions, Christmas is a good excuse for running in-store events and activities. In November I was invited to a VIP event for a homewares retailer where we were given champagne as we browsed through the store. This strategy encouraged loyal customers to return to the store and spend a longer time browsing.
You don’t need an extravagant event to pull in new customers; something small with an appealing offer will do just fine.
When considering local promotion activities, don’t just think about how to attract new customers, but focus on the loyal customers you already have. Utilise your customer database to communicate a unique offer that is different to all other retailers. At Christmas your competitors aren’t just the retailers who sell similar products to you, but every other retailer in the centre and area.