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Boost New Customer Traffic In-Store and Online

You cannot control business conditions, but what you can control is how you approach your business. Build your business one client at a time, one interaction at a time. Here are a few easy-to-follow tips on how best to attract more new customers and boost traffic flow in your store.

New customers are the group hardest to connect with and cost the most money to get into your store for the first time. But how do you get those brand new customers into your stores?

New Customers and Your Bricks and Mortar Store:

  1. Great store fronts. Fresh, clean, attractive and updated is what retailers should strive for. This speaks volumes to a new customer and says, “Check me out, I am a professional retailer and it’s worth taking your time to come in right now.”
  2. Your store name on your store sign. If it’s not specific enough to tell customers what you actually sell put a tagline under the sign. Be specific. Do not assume a new customer knows what you sell.
  3. Attractive window displays. Your window display treatments can further clinch the deal to make a new customer come into your store. Change your windows several times a month making them match the season and/or your promotional activity.
  4. Easy parking. This is a very overlooked convenience. Make it easy for a new customer to park their car and drop in.
  5. Customer service oriented staff. Friendly staff go a very long way to impress new customers. Train this point until it becomes second nature. After all, you can’t be on the floor all the time.
  6. Product customers want. Have you checked lately by asking your customers if they are happy with your product mix? Is there something they would like to see added?
  7. A well-laid out store. Impressions are quickly made. No surprise here. The first 10 feet should say “welcome.” Do this by having a clear space for the customer to step into. This is called the landing area—no clutter here.
  8. Great energy in the store. This comes alive through your staff and also the colors, smells, sights and sounds that affect the customer.
  9. A memorable experience. This starts when a customer first walks in and stays with them through to the end of the sale and with them after they leave. Make this happen, make this good.
  10. Thank customers for coming in. They could have chosen to go somewhere else. Saying thank you in retail today is not a common happening, so customers will not forget that you appreciated the choice they made by shopping with you. Remember it’s about the relationship you create with customers.
  11. Start a referral program. The goal of the program is to reward your already-passionate customers to become advocates within their social networks. To encourage sharing, reward the referrer and also reward the friends who will try out your store as a result of the referral! With each successful referral, award a $10 reward for both the referrer and the friend. What would you pay to have a new customer walk in the door? $10 is nothing in the big scheme of things.
  12. Work with other businesses in your area in partnership to send new customers to each other’s stores.

New Customers and the Internet:

  1. Websites: You need effective sites with a strong and clear message, easy navigation and good content.
  2. Blog: Writing a blog will drive traffic to your website, position your brand as an industry leader and help you develop better customer relationships.
  3. Create a strong online community: Use social media sites like Twitter and Google+ with social networking sites like Facebook and Pinterest to share links to your content.
  4. Affiliate with other businesses: Place contact info on their website and in turn post their links on yours.
  5. Ask you current customers to pass on your eBlasts and websites to their friends.

Final Note: Stop working IN your business and start working ON it. Lots to do. Use what I have shared with you as a checklist and get going. These tips and my approach to your question will have more customers coming in thru your doors and sales going up.

I guarantee it.

About Bill Lee

Bill Lee
Bill Lee has been President and CEO of NRHA since 2008. Bill has held various positions during his 18 years with the organization, including Director of Marketing, Vice President of Creative Services and Publisher of Hardware Retailing magazine. As president, Bill helps guide NRHA in its mission to help hardware stores, home centers and lumberyards become better, more profitable retailers. NRHA fulfills this mission by providing retail training, communications, market research and networking opportunities for the independent home improvement market.

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