The rallying cry for small business owners over the past decade has been Online! Online! Online! Which is great, but how can you convert your website traffic into customers who will walk through the doors of your brick-and-mortar location? We have some ideas:
Host special events. The ideas for this are endless. If you’re a barbeque restaurant, host a class on how to smoke a pork shoulder. Sell lawnmowers? Host a turf expert Q&A about how to maintain a professional-looking lawn. A dance studio could host a free recital for three- and four-year-olds that might be interested in taking lessons.
These types of events are also great content for your newsletter, social media channels and local news outlets. Reach out to other local businesses to see if they’d be willing to promote your event.
Do something newsworthy. Cut through the clutter of the 24-hour news cycle and do something heartwarming or unique to get your business’s name out there. From donating a percentage of your daily sales to a local charity (for in store purchases only) to hosting a radio station broadcast for the day, you need to grab your customers’ attention to get them to come to your location.
Put yourself on the map. Statistics say four out of five consumers use smartphones to shop, so you’ll want to make sure it’s easy for people to find you on their phones. You’ll want to make sure you include a map on your website and make sure other websites like Yelp have your current location and latest contact information so shoppers can find you.
Add a new face. If you own a local art supply store you might consider subletting part of your store’s floor space to a local artist that wants to display his/her work. Have the artist promote the relationship on social media and other outlets where his/her fans go for news about the artist – it’s a good way to get fresh faces through your doors. And if the partnership doesn’t have the desired effect, you can always move on and find a new artist.
In-store sale. It may seem hokey, but saving money is something everyone likes to do. But we’re not talking about an “everything must go” sale, we’re talking about data mining your customer database and sending them an invitation to an upcoming in-store event they can share with family and friends.
We hope these ideas will help you get more customers coming through your doors for months and years to come. Just remember, once the customer is there face-to-face, it’s up to you to keep them coming back.