By Kristi Anderson, Chief Marketing Officer, Scanalytics Inc.
It’s no secret that brick-and-mortar stores are not experiencing the same perusing traffic they were once afforded before the ecommerce era struck the industry by storm. But a common misconception is that in-store sales are trending downward, when in fact, ecommerce sales as a percent of retail sales have grown less than 3% in the last 5 years. The obstacle retailers face is getting customers in the door, and down their aisles. Consumers no longer have to circle a mall three times to find everything they need, and instead, and are able to conduct all of their research from the palm of their hands before stepping foot in a store.
So how effective are you at drawing traffic into your business? Unlike your digital activities, this performance can be more challenging to measure without knowing what to look for. Here are three marketing tips to drive more traffic and increase sales in your store:
Capturing Walk-By Traffic
Physical stores have a highly valuable promotional tool in their real estate alone. It’s important for retailers to understand their neighborhoods almost to the extent they understand their own markets. What types of businesses surround your store and who are their customers? Say you own a bike store and you’re located next to a Babies”R”Us. The neighboring store is attracting families with small children, and you also happen to sell youth bikes. While this might not be your highest selling product, your target market is young adults between ages 25-34. The average family with children is over 57% likely to have more than one, so while they won’t be buying a bicycle for a newborn this year, it’s very likely that they have an older child that would really pull at their sleeves to check out the shiny new bike next door.
An outdoor display arrangement to drive traffic from their store might include a family of four bicycle set with the smallest bike positioned closest to your neighbors entrance. Additionally, consider an outside sign with an image of a happy family on a bike trip to relate to their parents who are always looking for opportunities to spend more time together as a family.
In-Store Conversion Rate
Electronic point of sale (POS) technologies have been around for decades and the most heavily relied upon indicator of store performance. What many retailers lack though is the other side of the picture, how many shoppers visited my store without making a purchase? You might be running 100 transactions each day, but if that’s only half of the people that came into your store, you’re missing out on twice the revenue that could be generated from your most qualified prospects! The consumer is already in your store and has identified a need that you fill, what’s causing them to leave empty-handed? How can you persuade them in the critical decision-making moment to spend their money here instead of continuing their search?
Orchestrating the Impulse Buy
Two of the most significant benefits in-store shopping has over online is that you get to interact with the product before purchasing and take it home with you after. We would all be a lot richer if we could put up the blinders, but 84% of consumers are guilty of buying products on impulse. The consumer arrived at your store with a purchase in mind, and your objective is to expose them to simultaneously demanded goods along their path-to-purchase and compel them to execute that decision here and now. Is your floor plan laid out in a fashion to trigger this behavior?
Your visitors do not want to walk down every aisle, nor have your inventory log stored to their memory. It’s up to you to discover which products, complementary or not, have the opportunity the end up in the same basket. This cannot be determined through POS transactions alone, you need to understand what products were displayed and considered throughout the customer’s journey.
These three marketing tips will help you take advantage of both your brick-and-mortar presence and customer traffic to increase sales in your stores. Check back in for Part 2 which will outline the strategy to start capturing and benchmarking daily performance by traffic, and how to run in-store campaigns to identify the optimal methods for converting shoppers into customers.