Driving In-Store Traffic

Guest Blog

Despite the incredible growth of eCommerce over the last few years, Brick and Mortar still remain the life-blood of retail. It’s no surprise that eCommerce powerhouses like Amazon, Warby Parker, Mizzen and Main, and Chubbies are opening brick and mortar locations. It creates a new opportunity for people to engage your brand and for you to get to know your customer on a completely different level.

One of the things we hear about often is the concern that a brick and mortar location will hurt online sales (and vice versa). Especially if most of your sales are regional, that’s not a crazy thought. What we have found is that your physical store should help your eCommerce sales and your eCommerce sales can help your in-store sales.

I’d love to offer you three quick strategies to use your online presence to drive in-store traffic and increase sales.

Offer in-store pickup to the local shopper
By offering “by online and pickup in-store”, you give your customers that chance to make an easy purchase from their home and make a quick visit to the store to pick up their merchandise. This is where having an integrated in-store and online inventory is crucial.

What we love about this option is that you get an instant chance to upsell your customer. Consider trying this: In your order confirmation email, offer a small discount that your customer can use only when they pick up their item. For example: “Thank you for shopping with us. Your order is now ready for pickup.

As a special thank you, you can get 10% off your entire purchase (except new arrivals). This offer must be used when you pick up your items”

If you want to nerd out and take it a step further, you can use related items in your email to suggest things they could try on when they visit you.

At the end of the day, we are after increasing their ticket size and encouraging them to look at much more than the one or two things they actually purchased. Additionally, we’re creating an in-store shopper out of someone who was online only.

Use email marketing to target local shoppers
As old school as it may seem, email marketing is still one of the most effective strategies for marketing your business, particularly to a local audience.

Consider setting up a local marketing segment within MailChimp (or whatever other tool you use) that is for people within certain zip codes so you can offer in-store exclusives and reasons to physically come in the store.

Some great exclusives to offer:

  • First look at markdowns: Rather than marking merchandise down every day or few days, consider doing it weekly or bi-weekly and offering your local audience the chance to shop the newest markdowns before the prices change online. This helps you clear it out faster and helps reduce the amount of markdown orders you’ll need to fulfill online.
  • Next, look at the newest merchandise: If you don’t already have set release schedules (once a week rather than as soon as it gets in), I highly recommend it. If you do this, consider doing your Facebook Live showing your new merch and having first-look shopping with your local audience. This allows your newest merchandise the create a reason to party and will let your marketing list grow significantly.
  • Events: Throwing parties in your store is an amazing way to drive in-store traffic. Whether this is tied to a huge clearance sale or the launch of a season, this helps you connect to the community and, most importantly, gives you the opportunity to sell to your local audience in person.

Use Facebook Ads to drive in-store traffic
First off, installing Facebook Pixel is a great place to start. If you haven’t done that yet, you can learn how to here. Pixel lets us see how our visitors interact with our site and re-engage them through ads in Facebook’s network. With Facebook being such an important part of eCommerce, this is a no-brainer.

The easiest way to use Facebook Ads (and Pixel) to drive traffic in-store is through targeting your ideal client within a certain perimeter of your store with news of new merchandise and in-store events.

To take this a step further, you can use your Facebook Pixel audience and create what Facebook calls a “Lookalike audience”. Essentially, this is group of people with similar interest and traits to others that have visited your site. By creating a lookalike audience and targeting local, we make sure we are targeting the right customers in the right area.

For more on this, check out a deeper dive into Facebook marketing or the Training Library in the member’s section of the boutique hub.

Final Thoughts
I realize all of these may not be doable today but what is important is that you are using any of these strategies, we are confident your eCommerce business can drive traffic to your storefront. The idea that they can hurt one another does not have to be true at all, they are all sales channels of the same business designed to give customers numerous ways to interact with you… but what better way than an in-store event with a mimosa in hand?

BIO
Josh Orr is a retail consultant with Streamline Retail. Josh and his team focus on helping retailers by implementing the right tools and processes (POS), growing their online business (eCommerce design), and planning for what’s ahead (Inventory Planning), and support all the technology that ties it together. He also loves Houston Mexican food and really wants boot cut jeans to come back in style.

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