16 Ways to Draw Foot Traffic to Your Brick-and-Mortar Store

16 Ways to Increase Foot Traffic to Your Brick-and-Mortar Store

In a digital-first world, buying and ordering items online has become a go-to shopping method for many consumers. This means that companies with brick-and-mortar locations must get clever with their marketing strategies in order to entice customers to stop by their stores or businesses. That’s why we asked 16 members of Young Entrepreneur Council to weigh in on the following question:

“What is your top recommendation for drawing foot traffic to a store location, and why does it work?”

How to Increase Foot Traffic

Here’s what YEC community members had to say about increasing foot traffic:

1. Offer In-Store Pick Up

“Rather than trying to fight with online traffic to increase foot traffic, use your online presence to your advantage. For example, create a website that acts as a catalog that allows people to browse and have the option to pick up an order in-store. Not only does having an online presence give you more reach to generate sales, it also can increase foot traffic.” ~ Shu Saito, Godai

2. Promote In-Store-Only Deals

“A good way to encourage shoppers to walk into your brick-and-mortar store is by offering deals and promotions exclusively for them. Those who shop inside the store get to enjoy a special offer that others don’t, which makes them feel special and persuades them to shop with you.” ~ Jared Atchison, WPForms

3. Leverage Geolocation Tools

“Using geolocation to encourage people in the area to come in for planned promotions or a special event helps encourage that impulse shopping, and catches people who might have been considering stopping by your store.” ~ Angela Ruth, Calendar

4. Amp Up Your Social Media Channels

“You can use social media to encourage your customers to walk into your store to shop. Whether it’s enticing graphics, offers or new products, you can use social media to persuade your audience that visiting your location is worth their time and money. Since everyone hangs out on social media anyway, it’s a fun way to get their attention and lure them in.” ~ Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster

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5. Increase Curb Appeal

“Customers are enticed to enter a business that looks appealing. We become curious about what they may sell inside, so we pop in. Create curb and store appeal and you will likely attract visitors you otherwise would not have gotten.” ~ Rana Gujral, Behavioral Signals

6. Offer Samples or Demonstrations

“Depending on your industry, you should consider giving out free samples or having live demonstrations at the front of your store. If you’re in the restaurant business, you can offer samples at the door and entice curious consumers. Demonstrations are great when you offer a service or a premium-priced product. Everyone wants to see a $1,200 vacuum cleaner in action, right?” ~ Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner

7. Create an Email Marketing Campaign

“When businesses want to draw more foot traffic to a store location, they often only think of offline marketing. But, email marketing is a great way to drive foot traffic to your store location too. With your email marketing campaigns, you can promote in-store sales to bring your subscribers to your business. Just remember to segment your email list by location so the right people get your message.” ~ Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

8. Encourage In-Store Pickup

“If you want to get feet in the door, encourage your online customers to pick up their product in-store. Doing so allows them to see more of what you do and tempt them to spend more. It also gives you the opportunity to gain new customers when those picking up their purchase bring along a friend or family member.” ~ Zach Binder, Bell + Ivy

9. Add Extra Value With In-Store Services

“The primary value of online stores is convenience. You need to figure out a way to add additional value in your brick-and-mortar location, that cannot be delivered online. A great example would be clothing stores that offer free tailoring services in-store or a style consultant. A contact lens store with a free, in-house eye doctor. Make it worth their commute.” ~ Karl Kangur, Above House

10. Hold a Prize Giveaway

“Doing a prize giveaway is the best way to drive new customers to a retail location. Share the details of the giveaway on the radio and via social media for at least a week in advance. The day of the contest, make sure to have an employee out in front of the store with a sign about the giveaway. Make sure to capture the customer’s data as part of the entry form. This way you can follow up with them.” ~ Ben Walker, Transcription Outsourcing, LLC

11. Focus on ‘Near Me’ Search Engine Optimization

“Optimize your websites for Google Maps. Over half of mobile searches are local, “near me” searches, which are also the fastest-growing keywords, and Google favorites their local maps/Google My Business. Google Ads now offer “online ad to offline foot traffic” tracking so you have a metric for store visits. If you do not have an ad budget, you should also optimize Yelp and Trip Advisor.” ~ Matthew Capala, Alphametic

12. Run Targeted Facebook Ads

“Using lookalike audiences and interest-based targeting within a reasonable radius of your store locations, you’ll be able to promote your business to qualified local customers. Most other marketing methods end up reaching the wrong type of consumer. Instead, you can leverage Facebook to deliver more focused and cost-efficient ads.” ~ Firas Kittaneh, Zoma

13. Change Your Signage

“A great way to attract foot traffic is to change your signage on a regular basis. This change is what attracts people to the store. Just this simple change can be the difference between someone seeing your store, or not, and if they can’t see it then they definitely won’t walk in. For stores with traffic that is often the same people walking by this is even more crucial as you want to create.” ~ Baruch Labunski, Rank Secure

14. Advertise on Local Radio

“A great opportunity to improve foot traffic to your physical business location is to advertise on a local radio station. Tons of people in the area will hear your ad while commuting or sitting in traffic; you can benefit from this captive audience by also including a radio-specific deal or offer.” ~ Bryce Welker, The Big 4 Accounting Firms

15. Position Your Store as a Community Gathering Place

“A great way to draw traffic to your store is to create a destination for like-minded people to connect. Utilize social media to gather insight into your target demographic and draw them in through a planned event or promotion. Be it a monthly giveaway on a specific day or screening of a new product, advertise on the platform they engage most and deliver an unforgettable experience.” ~ Elisabeth Swardstrom, PixelFish

16. Leverage the Power of Mobile

“Mobile phones have become ubiquitous and leveraging online strategy through a mobile app to boost footfalls at the store location can be a successful strategy. There are many ways by which you can incorporate mobile in your offline strategy. Utilize geolocation, and send out push notifications about offers or events at the store location to drive traffic and potential customers to the store.” ~ Rahul Varshneya, CurveBreak

Image: Depositphotos.com

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The Young Entrepreneur Council The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

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  1. You need to choose a location where a lot of people pass by. Then try to see if you can pay for the lease enough for you to stil make money in the end.