When you move offline from the internet and into a brick-and-mortar store, your quest for customers changes. You’re going to notice pretty quickly whether people are coming in and looking around before leaving uninterested. This is going to be slightly painful to watch, but it also gives you a chance to ask people directly whether you have what they need. It also means that you can make necessary changes in the moment, take on board live feedback and do more to bring people to your shop. You need high revenues to be able to keep your business afloat, pay your staff and introduce new products to your store. The more people that you have coming in to your business, the more you can sell. The key is in your appeal.
The way that you market your business is going to depend on what you sell and who you are aiming for. If you are selling baby clothes, for example, you’re going to need to appeal to families, and this should begin on the day that you open your shop. Drawing large crowds has to be your starting point for the day that you open. It needs to be a big event, because your opening moment is going to define how well your marketing strategy has done so far. You’ll have (hopefully) spent a few weeks building up your business on social media, local press such as radio, newspapers and even television if you have the budget, flyers through letterboxes and posters in the local area. This build up to your opening day should have been happening for a few months already, so that on the day in question you have a queue down the street with people wanting to come in and have a look around. You owe it to your hard work and your business to make your opening day very much a family day.
It doesn’t matter whether you are appealing to families, either, with your business idea. Let’s say you are selling shoes; parents aren’t just parents, they’re people and they have jobs and social lives – high heeled boots and beautiful leather shoes are going to be needed regardless. Making your opening day geared toward families just means that you can appeal to the kids, impressing the parents, while they get a chance to see what you are selling. Generating excitement in the community before the big day has to be your priority, and with the ideas below, you’re going to get that buzz in the bag.
Spruce It Up!
Your store front – from the front step to the windows to the space on the sidewalk outside – has to be clean and clear of rubbish. Repaint the wooden frames around the doors and windows and weather-proof them so that even in the wind and rain, your shop looks lovely. There’s no store in town that will give customers the signal to come right in if the windows are streaked and dirty, so either call in professionals to give them a proper clean or check out this formula for doing it yourself. Go outside of your own shop and assess it as if you were the customer. Think about what you would want to see and go from there. For your big day, lay out a red carpet for your customers; make them feel like rock stars when they come in, and give your store front a way to stand out.
This is going to depend on where your store is located but think about parking. Do you have car shades for parking areas outside your store? If you don’t yet, you should. Your area may be one that really heats up over the summer months and being in an exposed car park with constant sunshine beating down can make for an uncomfortably hot car – especially if you are selling food to people. Parents will thank you for the thought, purely because their children won’t find it too hot to get into their car seats! Thinking ahead like that is a good way to take care of your customers, and they’ll appreciate the extra mile that you’ve gone to.
Mothers and fathers who love to shop can find it a drag to bring their children around the shops with them. Children get bored easily, it’s a known fact, and sometimes, shopping can be stressful on the parents trying to wrangle their kids. If you’re looking to appeal to the family masses, think about laying on some entertainment. Bringing in face painters and those who can create balloon animals is a good way to distract the children while telling their parents all about what you do, what you want to achieve and ask them any feedback that they may have.
Freebies & Swag Bags
It’s not exactly a secret, but everyone loves a freebie. Being given a swag bag full of information and little freebies from your business is a good way to see whether people would be interested in what you have and whether they would come back. Make your swag bags family friendly, with discount vouchers and coupons for both your products and local attractions. Even if you draw the crowds because of the freebies, you’re still bringing enough people who will also tell their friends and family about you. This alone can increase foot traffic!
Busy Bees Sell Many Things
Your staff are going to have a huge impact on the people outside the windows. Stores with large bay windows are always going to be peeped into as people pass; it’s a habit that everyone has! The way that your staff behave in full view of the public is going to have a direct effect on whether people walk in or not. If your staff look bored, then people will keep on walking and not bother popping in. on the opening day of your business, you want your staff busy, happy, smiling and bustling. If people see a new business bustling, they’ll be interested and want to come in and have a look.
Don’t Abandon Your E-Shop
Having a store in public is going to be brilliant for families when out and about; they can easily nip in and get what they want. However, there’s no way that your store will be only appealing in the street. Make sure that you keep your ecommerce shop open after your high street store opens. You won’t believe the number of parents who will online shop during a night feed. People will also use your online shop as a type of catalogue before coming into your shop and trying things on or looking around. Make sure that you offer an ‘in-store’ discount if they buy from your shop rather than online; it’ll increase your foot traffic. While you’re there, you could also offer a click and collect service for your shop. It’ll mean that busy families can just pick up what they’ve already purchased instead of having to come in and browse with kids running around their feet.
Build A Kid’s Corner
Children coming into your store with parents could get bored easily, especially if your store isn’t all bright colours and eye-level toys. Think about how you can appeal to the kids as well as the parents, so that parents don’t feel like they have to rush their shopping experience. Add a bookcase with some kids’ bestsellers, a small table and chairs and some colouring pages and crayons – do this on a bright rug. Think about putting it in the centre of the store and all your products on shelves around it. It allows your visitors the chance to browse while keeping an eye on the children – everyone is happy!
When it comes to your store opening, you need to think outside the box. Appealing to families is a smart idea, one that is going to have people raving about you all over social media sites, with people sending their friends and their children to your store. Your business needs good footfall to be able to generate the profit that you hope to achieve. It’s all about hitting your targets, and if clever marketing can get you there, why not grab it with both hands?