So how do you attract customers to your store? It’s a question that many of us ask, and it’s about time we get some answers. In order to survive in today’s society many stores have to get creative to draw their customers in. Be it through holiday advertising or a creative way to greet the customer, the goal should be: “Make an impression on the audience.”

Have you ever wondered how to bring more people to your business? Here are 7 brilliant ways to attract customers to your store and keep them coming back. Marketer Caron Beesley1 suggested these tips to increase the foot traffic to your store. Even though it is a long and difficult process, a good turnout is always worth the fight.

1. Get to Know Your Customers

This might sound a bit like common sense, but it’s an essential piece to the puzzle! Who walks by your store? Can you appeal to them with signs and product samples (or, even better, examples of how your products can be used) out on the sidewalk? Take a day to sit outside and watch who walks by1. Take note of the kind of people that pass. Do they window shop, or do they come at a certain time of day?

Find out exactly who you’re marketing to. Is your target an overworked mother trying to soothe her child’s fever or a man who’s set out to build a new deck for his house? Once you decide on your audience, appeal to them. How? “This could be as simple as using [the busiest] time to hand out coupons outside, offering bakery samples to passersby, or promoting your latest offers using sidewalk signage.1” Set up a good window display during a busy time of day, or perform an example of how one of your products works.

Use the time and place to your best advantage when drawing customers to your store.

2. Be Part of the Community

You know how some high schools deck their football teams out in school colors and have a lot of hype about the “upcoming battle?” It really gets the community going. It draws them in to participate in their home town and become emotionally involved with the local businesses that join in. Support the youth of today, and parents will support your business!

Boost your store’s reputation and appeal to the community by hosting a charity event, or relating a sale to the local team’s big game. Provide a free lunch to all students of the high school who stop by your store the day before their big game. Host a sale on that day. Hand out flyers that encourage school spirit. Dress up in school colors. Be creative and come up with ways to catch everyone’s attention. Heck, steal ideas from your favorite stores. Was there something that caught your eye? Try copying it.

If you don’t want to go with the school advertisement option, try supporting a local charity. Host a sale, dinner, or give away free drinks for a day. Donate a portion of your profits to the local charity to really get people talking about your store.

Don’t forget to advertise about your event through online and local means (such as social media) to draw in a bigger crowd.

3. Show Off a Bit

“Both retail and service-based businesses can generate a good deal of foot traffic by educating their customers about how to get more out of what they are buying.1” Set up a table on the sidewalk and give a demo about how to use one of your items. If there’s a little secret to make your product work well, show it off!

If you want to really get fancy, do a presentation during a sale. Put a sign up near your table to advertise for your sale, and then answer questions as you demonstrate the usefulness of the item.

Examples of how to show off your stuff:

  • Flower arranging class for florists
  • House-staging workshop for realtors
  • Drawing workshop for craft suppliers
  • DIY project for hardware suppliers
  • Sport lesson for sports suppliers

Be creative! Shoppers love unique presentations that show them how useful your product is. Don’t forget to advertise the workshop online in order to bring in bigger crowds. Don’t be afraid to show off to attract more customers to your store.

4. Make Some Changes

“It’s always refreshing when a store or restaurant you’ve frequented for some time starts doing something new1.” Doing something new makes your store interesting. When a restaurant adds in a new drink to their menu over the summer, it attracts a new crowd. Appeal to your loyal customers as well as new ones by making some changes in your store with a new type of discount, a shiny new item, or an addition to your list of services.

Have you ever considered a seasonal sale or item? Making an item a rarity helps promote it all the more. “Making something available for a limited period of time can be attention-grabbing1.” Think of how certain coffee flavor are only available throughout Christmastime, or how some foods are only available in the spring. These items aren’t necessarily novelty, but they are more special because of their rarity.

Tell your customers about your sale or novelty item through social media and advertise to draw a bigger crowd.

5. Treat Your Customers like Royalty

Big box stores lose their customer service aspects. One of the biggest reasons customers enjoy mom and pop stores is because of their close relationships and friendliness. The best thing you can give a customer is a smile and kind word. Help everyone as best you can. Give customers quick resolutions and a good attitude, and they will grow attached to your employees and store.

Be a friend to your customers first, and let the sale follow the trust and happiness that you inspire. It’s through those personal relationships that you will attract customers to your store. After all, no one wants to be treated like a name on the customer list. They want that friendship that comes with small businesses.

6. Use a Loyalty Program

A good rewards program is an excellent way to market to your current audience and attract new customers. Not only does it make customers feel like part of an exclusive group, but it gives them an opportunity to save money. As stated above, customers love to be treated as friend and valued parts of the community. Appeal their sense of belonging by giving them a customer rewards program.

7. Keep Talking to Them

Even if your customers are as loyal as puppies, you have to remind them to come back. Staying in someone’s mind is merely a matter of shooting out an email campaign, newsletter, or ad to catch their attention. Your new features or products might be a good excuse to talk to your customers, but what’s missing from a lot of advertising is the personal touch. Don’t forget to address their pain points and how you can help them. Tell them bluntly how your new product can make their job easier, or what it can do for them. That’s exactly what people are looking for – and it’s so truthful, it’s hard to ignore.

There biggest chance of getting your advertisements to your crowd is through email. Encourage people to sign up for your emails when they come in to the store, or when you host an event. The more emails you have, the more access there is to your crowd. Host “a free giveaway in exchange for an email address1” to get quick results and leave an impression.

Those email addresses are precious! Use them to tell your customers about updates, new products, improved services, and events that you’re hosting. Keep in touch with your customers to prove that you enjoy hearing from them, and they will feel more valued.

Attract More Customers with a Personal Touch

Being creative and unique can attract customers to your store like a pile of warm laundry attracts house pets. Keep your customers just as happy as those furry critters by offering ways to be part of their community, and by giving them a reason to return.  Signs and online advertising are big pieces of the advertising process, and should be used to their fullest potential.

Make impressions and attract customers to your store by appealing to them personally. Fight for and pursue relationships, and you will find loyal clients returning again and again.

Have you ever used a unique way to attract customers to your store? Tell us in the comments below! We’d love to discuss what works.

Inspired by: 1Beesley, Caron