Maintain an attractive storefront
People do judge books by their covers, and when passing a store that is new to them, most will decide whether or not to enter based on its appearance. Although you may not have total control over the storefront’s appearance (as a franchisee, or a mall resident), there are some simple ways to work with what you have. For instance, decorate with the seasons – you don’t have to go all out, but showing that you are excited about what the current season has to offer, and how that fits into your merchandise, will get potential customers excited about it as well.
Greet each customer
Although this seems like common sense, it happens less often than you think. Store owners and employees can get wrapped up in their work and forget to greet their customers, which leads to a customer awkwardly walking around the store, and the employee awkwardly wondering if they should approach them. Make it a habit to greet each customer the minute you hear the door open – something as simple as hello or good morning will make the customer feel acknowledged and at ease, and open up dialogue.
Increase the ambiance
Studies show that smell influences intent when visiting a store, and increasing the overall ambience of a store can also increase spending. According to the study, shoppers were more likely to buy in a scented store than an unscented one. While burning a mildly scented candle is one way to go, there are actually companies that perfect the scent for retail stores, based on the merchandise.
Create and update a Facebook page for your business, and actually use it! Interact with customers, ask them questions about what they’d like to see in stock, what items they want to see go. When people ask questions, respond and start a dialogue. It is disheartening to visit a Facebook page and see a lot of unanswered posts from customers. Offer Facebook only discounts, and start contests with your shoppers. Using Facebook regularly is one of the easiest ways you can build your customer base and spread the word about your store.
Offer discount days
An easy way to bring in repeat business is to offer discount days. Do you own a clothing boutique? Offer 10% off scarves every Wednesday. Coffee shop? Offer a medium coffee for the price of a small on Thursdays. Bakery? Muffins are bogo on Mondays. This is a simple and cost effective way to keep your customers looking forward to visiting your store on a regular basis.