When you open a bricks and mortar store, you’re often forced to make a decision between a store with less foot traffic, but low rent, or the store with more foot traffic, and higher overheads.
With each of these choices, comes a tradeoff. The lower rent means that you can invest more money into stock, advertising and staff and grow your business at a steady pace. The higher rent option puts you in a position of having to achieve a higher turnover of products and sales, in order to stay afloat.
One of our Bringing Business to Retail community members, Jesse, opted for the lower foot traffic-lower rent store. She says “we’re on a shoe-sting budget, have great word of mouth and a good Facebook presence, but we’re not in a good foot traffic location and need to inexpensively figure out how to reach grandparents who may not be wired as well as moms of 10& under”.
So what low-cost strategies can Jesse and other low-foot traffic store owners implement, to bring those customers in?
First off, I have to say, don’t under-estimate grandparents, when it comes to the power of facebook. According to iStrategyLabs’ 2014 Facebook demographics report, Facebook’s fastest growing age demographic is people over the age of 55. Also, a PEW Research report on social media found that 56 percent of Internet users ages 65 and older now use Facebook, up from 45 percent in 2013*
If you already have a great Facebook presence, capitalise on that, and use highly targeted facebook ads to reach those grandparents.
Getting people in your door, is the hardest part of the sales process, so if you don’t have a lot of passers-by to draw in via your store windows, then you need to think a little outside-the-box.
If you’ve got great word of mouth referrals, then ramp up a campaign to capitalise on your great reputation. Think about how you can incentivise your existing customers, in order to get them to tell their friends and family about you.
And, if you’re a bricks and mortar shopfront, you have the advantage of being able to meet and chat with your customers on a daily basis. Team up with other local businesses, where you know those grandparents are shopping at, and work out a campaign that allows you to share or refer your current customers, to the other person’s store.
And when it comes to getting customers into an out-of-the-way store, my favourite is to host live events. If Jesse wants to go after grandparents, think about what their interests and hobbies are, and then put on an event to bring them in. For the price of some tea, coffee and biscuits, you’ll get to feature all that your store has to offer, to the exact demographic you want to draw in.
The truth is, if you choose to go with the lower overhead store, you need to set aside a percentage of that money you’ve saved, towards a strong, consistent marketing strategy. You need to have a plan in place, that is constantly topping up that sales funnel that we talked about in last week’s episode.
I’ve had both the store with high foot traffic and high overheads, and the low foot traffic and low overheads. And each store can utilise different strategies to bring in more customers. If you would like to get access to proven strategies that will bring more customers into your store, either on or offline, check out my 21 Day Boutique Bootcamp. Inside, you’ll find 21 low or no cost ways, to bring more customers into your store.
Until next week