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8 Ways Your Website Can Help You Drive Foot Traffic

8 Ways Your Website Can Help You Drive Foot Traffic

It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that your website is an invaluable marketing tool for your business.

After all, the first thing people do when they want to learn about a brand or its products is to type their query into their search engine of choice, right?

Well, your website helps you connect to those Internet users and gives you a place to showcase your products and services. So if you want to turn online browsers into in-store foot traffic, here are 8 suggestions to make it happen:

1. Promote New Arrivals – Our hyper-connected world has resulted in the phenomenon known as FOMO, or Fear of Missing Out. You can use this to your advantage, by updating the banner image on your website’s homepage to showcase your newest arrivals and make those products available for in-store purchase only.

You can also advertise a limited time promotional price for your new arrivals to create a sense of urgency. According to ThriveHive, customers whose purchase power is limited, either by time or inventory, feel a more pressing need to buy when it comes to your product.

And don’t forget about your loyal customers! They’re a key part of promoting your product because they’re the most likely to buy it first. Offer your best customers an exclusive preview of your new product with a private, pre-launch party, or a special invitation to test out your latest service. Exclusive offers extended to loyal customers makes them feel special and keeps them coming back.

2. Offer Printable Coupons – Another way to increase your foot traffic is to add highly-visible and printable coupons on your website that users can redeem for their next in-store purchase.

“Coupons have a built-in visual appeal and an innate call to action. A coupon with a limited time offer adds a sense of urgency in a customer’s mind,” says Wishpond.

The key is to use coupons strategically. If you use coupons all the time, customers will come to expect them all the time. Used too frequently, coupons can really hurt your profit margins.

3. Host In-store Events – Whether you run a large music store or a small clothing boutique, hosting in-store events will help you get customers through your door.

The benefits of hosting in-store events include the following:

  • Builds brand and product awareness
  • Presents an opportunity to promote new products or sell off old inventory
  • Helps you initiate sales during the event
  • Gets you press/media attention
  • Builds customer loyalty
  • Helps you collect customer data and feedback
  • Encourages people to come back and shop with you again
  • Builds a sense of community

Use your website to promote your in-store events, and throw out some teasers about what people will miss if they skip the event.

4. Tout the Benefits of Your In-store Shopping Experience – With online shopping, consumers can’t “emotionally connect” to your store or your merchandise. But when they visit in person, you can capture and focus their attention with compelling displays that help them visualize how certain products work together. Plus, they’ll be able to touch, hold, and try on items of interest.

Use your website to inform visitors that for the full shopping experience, they need to pay a personal visit to your store. Entice them with news of a free beverage bar and/or refreshments, personal style consultants, free product demos, local celebrities, etc.

By creating sensory experiences, your brick and mortar store can help persuade customers to stick around for a while and entice them to make a purchase.

5. Push Online to Offline Spending – “If brick and mortar stores want to survive the ongoing shift to an ecommerce-based economy, they need to invest in ways of optimizing their online experience,” says Entrepreneur.

The internet will continue to grow as a vehicle for effective marketing and retailers that want to survive are using it, points out Entrepreneur.

Leverage online marketing to maximize your offline sales by running a promotion on your website that allows any customer who purchases online to get a special discount or free gift when they make their next in-store purchase.

6. Announce Special Sales – Since you already have a website, you’ve got the online real estate available for advertising your in-store sales.

And with 82% of smartphone users consulting their phones on purchases they are about to make in-store, your website’s a great tool to get the word out about your offline sales events. 

7. Inform Consumers of In-store Pick-up Options –  According to Invesp, 38% of retailers say that BOPIS (buy online pick up in-store) was a key factor in bringing more shoppers into their stores.

The great thing is, once these shoppers are in your store, they’re more likely to make more purchases. In fact, Invesp discovered that 49% of shoppers made additional purchases while picking up their items in-store.

8. Post Photos of Your Store – You can tell people how great your store is until you’re blue in the face, but sometimes telling just doesn’t hold a candle to showing.

Give people a genuine look at what it’s like to visit your store by posting behind the scenes photos that show everything from employee camaraderie to special store events, charity projects and product demos.

This “peek behind the curtains” will make your company more personable and can have an enticing effect on potential customers. Add to this photos snapped by shoppers in your store or attending your events and they’ll resonate with people even more. That’s because consumer-generated content is more trusted than brand content.

Conclusion

As a retailer, you know that foot traffic is one of the most important factors in running a successful brick-and-mortar store because of the potential for customer engagement and making sales.

And since most people will be consulting their smartphones to look for brand and product information as the first step in their customer journey, it makes sense to use your website to drive traffic to your brick and mortar store.

Use the 8 tips above to turn your website into an effective marketing tool for your offline business!

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About The Author

Sherene Funk

Sherene Funk is the author of the contemporary romance Autumn in Your Arms and two small business e-books. She is a voracious reader who owns more books than she can ever read in this lifetime. A graduate of Brigham Young University, she worked in advertising for many years before moving to her current writing position at Rain Retail Software. She researches non-stop to see what successful retailers do and loves to share what she learns with small business owners.

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