One of the primary goals of any retail store—large or small—is to attract and retain customers. Only with a steady flow of customers will you be able to sustain and grow your business.
Whether you’re just opening a new boutique or you’ve been up and running for a while, there’s a lot you can do to refine your marketing strategies and attract new customers to your store.
7 Ways to Drive Foot Traffic to Your Boutique
1. Make Sure Your Storefront is Attractive & Inviting
When you are trying to attract customers and get more foot traffic, you need to pay special attention to your boutique’s exterior appearance.
According to The Retail Doctor, one of the most successful restaurants in California shells out loads of money on the landscaping around their restaurant instead of investing heavily in ads. Plants bloom pretty much all year round in nearly every spare patch of ground. That’s because the restaurant owner knows the profusion of flowers gracing the establishment will attract the eyes of customers and perpetually advertise their location in town.
What does the exterior of your boutique look like? Take the time to examine your store from the outside to identify areas that need maintenance and updates. But don’t stop there! If you want to make a good impression on potential customers, it’s important to keep the interior of your store clean and tidy, too, with attractive displays and a well-organized, welcoming environment.
If your store is already well maintained, consider adding a little extra something curbside. For example, a specialty coffee shop might put out a sign asking passers-by how their day is going and inviting them in for a free warm beverage, or a clothing boutique could set up an interesting antique display outside their shop featuring some vintage hats, dresses, and other enticing pieces.
Essentially, when you’re trying to get more foot traffic in the door of your boutique, you need to offer passers-by a compelling reason to stop and cross your threshold.
2. Maintain an Online Presence
“In the digital age, it is absolutely essential for your business to have an online presence,” says Crysalis Communications. “Whether it’s a website, an e-commerce platform, a social media page or a combination of all three, getting your company online will reap major benefits.”
“Even if your company does not conduct business online, customers and potential customers are expecting to see you online. If they don’t see you there, you could be losing out on the opportunity to increase your customer base and get the word out about your business.”
Source: Crysalis Communications
Maintain your online presence by regularly updating your boutique’s website and social media posts. When you post interesting content, imagery, and exclusive deals, you’ll connect with your customers in the moments that matter and build a loyal following.
3. Determine Your Niche
A niche, according to the Oxford Dictionary, is “a specialized segment of the market for a particular kind of product or service.”
For example, Kate Hudson’s clothing business Fabletics was created for women and moms who want active, yet stylish sportswear at affordable prices. This is clearly stated in the company’s mission statement and in the marketing copy.
Set yourself apart from big retailers and local competitors by finding a niche that only you can fill.
4. Take Advantage of Email Marketing
“Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to reach and engage your audience,” says Lyfe Marketing.
In fact, more than 3.7 billion people worldwide use email (almost 54% of the world’s population). Additionally, 92% of adults in the United States use email, and 61% of these email users are checking and sending emails daily.
As you can see, email marketing presents a great opportunity for businesses of all sizes to reach their target market, no matter what their audience looks like.
By adding email marketing to your digital marketing strategy, you can engage more people with relevant messages, including industry trends, new product information, and special offers.
5. Network at Community Events
The great thing about networking is, it’s free (depending on the events you attend). Furthermore, if you choose the right events, you’ll be associating with like-minded individuals, industry leaders, and possible collaborators you can work with in the future.
Supporting charity events and local nonprofits can also help you connect with customers on a deeper level. People love doing business with companies that share their values.
Donating products for fundraising raffles, auctions, and contests is another great way to raise awareness for your boutique.
6. Publicize Locally
Get the editor of a regional or local magazine to run a feature story on you and your business. This will give you the opportunity to describe the unique merchandise you carry and discuss your community involvement.
You can increase your chances of getting a feature by providing an interesting angle. For example, if you recently overcame a huge challenge to open your own store or you left a thriving career to start your own boutique, this provides the writer with a reason to justify writing a story about your store.
7. Host Special Events
Hosting an event at your boutique will help you engage consumers in a fun atmosphere and build relationships with potential and existing customers.
Partnering with local artists, industry experts, and like-minded organizations to provide something unique will draw people to your store and give you opportunities to cultivate a new fan-base from your audience, as well as network with individuals and businesses in your community. You can generate interest for these events by including incentives in your emails and promotional materials.
If you want to get more people through your doors, offer educational or entertaining experiences that consumers can’t find anywhere else online or at other shops.
Evaluate your boutique to identify areas that need improvement, then invest in things that will make shopping with you enjoyable and memorable.
And remember…while getting foot traffic through your door is essential for increasing customer engagement and sales, it’s only the first step. Providing exceptional service and awesome shopping experiences are what will keep people coming back.
“A business absolutely devoted to service will have one worry about profits. They will be embarrassingly large.”
~ Henry Ford
If you don’t know where to start, use the 7 suggestions above to make your boutique stand out from the rest and drive foot traffic that will increase your sales and sustain your business for years to come.
Want to grow your boutique by 70%+ each year? Learn how Minky Couture is doing it!
Also published on Medium.