10 Tips to Drive Store Traffic

Follow these 10 tips to generate more store traffic — and increase sales.

10 Tips to Drive Store Traffic

Success in retail is a numbers game. The more people who walk through your door, the more chances you have to sell products and services. But with consumers able to find, learn about and even purchase new products online, boosting your store traffic takes planning and effort.

If you want to boost your sales numbers, then check out the following 10 ways to entice people to walk through your doors.


1. Get a Customer’s Attention

This tip is best for shops in busy areas, such as strip malls, where shoppers are walking or driving past on their way to other businesses.

You can learn a lot by sitting in your parking lot and watching the front of your shop. Do people walk right on by without even glancing in the window? What are the demographics of the people who do walk inside your shop? If older people take a second glance and younger people don’t, you might want to adjust your signage or window display to see if that helps attract a different set of shoppers.

Looking in from the outside also helps you get a good look at your window display. Creating an engaging window display can make a big difference in the number of people who decide to enter your shop.


2. Provide Purchasing Attractions

Running a sale or promotion is a great way to attract customers. If your goal is to bring lots of people through your doors, you may identify some effective loss leaders to promote.

If you’re interested in bringing previous customers back to your store, you may try a more targeted approach. Make full use of your email list and your social media channels to promote your sale to existing customers. If you can segment your customers, you can create customer groups and appeal to a particular group with a specific promotion tailored to their needs and preferences. 

To make the most of a sale, first ensure that you’re not discounting yourself out of a profit by establishing and staying within acceptable profit margin ranges. Second, place all discounted items at the back of the store so that customers have to walk past all your beautifully merchandized full-priced items first.


3. Offer Discounts to Specific Groups

Does your shop offer a military discount? What about a discount for members of law enforcement? You might also consider offering senior citizen discounts, and retailers near colleges can benefit from offering a student discount. 

These targeted discounts are great for creating goodwill with members of these groups. Even better, these discounts can earn you some free advertising. Representatives of these groups often compile lists of local businesses that offer discounts, so your shop could be listed on a campus bulletin board for bored college students to see.


4. Offer a Referral Fee

Turn your customers into spokespeople for your business by offering a referral fee for service or range time. Let your customers know that you’ll give them a small incentive — like a dollar amount off of a future service bill or free/discounted range time — for telling their friends about your shop. Word-of-mouth marketing not only helps you bring in new customers, but the incentive might also be enough for your existing customers to make an extra trip to your shop.


5. Start a Loyalty Program

Loyalty programs are an excellent way to create repeat customers. You might base your loyalty program on dollars spent, so customers get a gift certificate for a certain amount once they spend a predetermined dollar amount. You could also use this in your range: Book 10 hours of range time and get an hour free.

For your loyalty program, you could use something as simple as a punch card. But if you want to make this program work for you, consider creating a free membership program for customers to sign up. Membership programs provide the bonus of being able to collect names, email addresses and contact information for customers likely to return.


6. Hold Events

Get your range working harder for you by hosting leagues, tournaments and other events that bring people into your shop. Youth tournaments are an especially good way to attract a broad audience as people don’t like to miss their kids’ events, and they have a good chance of introducing new people to the sport.


7. Promote Your Business at Local Events

Even in my small town of just 5,000 people, stores that offer kids’ activities find it profitable to rent booths at the county fair and similar events. Local dance studios, dojos, art teachers and youth sports teams get a lot of exposure at these events. Businesses give out free candy or small promotional items like can koozies or pencils, along with brochures or postcards about your services to get noticed.

If you offer lessons or programs for kids, these types of events make for an ideal venue for getting the word out.


8. Host Seminars

Many small retailers have created a loyal following by offering educational opportunities through a seminar series. The possibilities are endless. You could offer seminars on various aspects of bowhunting, field dressing, survival skills or bow maintenance.

Even better, a seminar series doesn’t have to cost you very much. Many experts are willing to speak for free in exchange for the opportunity to promote their books, podcasts or other platforms at some point during their seminar.

9. Use Groupon or Other Daily Deal Services

Last year, I spoke with several retailers regarding their use of Groupon for an article posted on the ATA’s website. I was surprised to find that 1) very few Groupon customers ended up becoming repeat customers, and 2) the retailers I spoke with still found Groupon very much worth using.

Although Groupon users might not translate into a new wave of regulars for your shop, they still add to your bottom line with minimal effort on your part. Many shops successfully offer a Groupon deal that includes range time, equipment rental and basic range safety instruction. This type of coupon is ideal for people looking for something new or fun to do as a family, for a date night or while in a new area and allows you to get your shop in front of a new group of people.


10. Support Your Community

Becoming involved in your community provides additional promotional opportunities and creates goodwill for your business.

You could make your range available for fundraisers for local families going through a tough time, such as families with a parent undergoing cancer treatment or who have lost their homes to a fire. Proceeds from the event will go to benefit the family in question. It may not be an immediate moneymaker, but that’s not the point in these situations. You’re doing something good for someone in your community, and you’ll benefit from the increased exposure.

You can also get involved by following local sports teams, such a high school or youth teams, and developing tie-in promotions. If your local high school football team is playing in a big game, you could offer a game day promotion. Also, look for opportunities to support youth athletics through advertising. Some high schools sell or give out programs for upcoming games that include advertisements for local businesses.

You can also develop cross-promotions by working with other local businesses.

Whatever you choose to do to support your community, promote your event or involvement on your social media channels. If you are involved in a newsworthy cause, make sure you alert your local media to increase potential coverage.


Sidebar: Make the Most of Increased Traffic

Once you have people in your shop, make the most of each opportunity by stocking impulse buys and focusing on opportunities to cross-sell or upsell.

If you’re going to have people in your shop attending seminars or watching a tournament, then selling bottled drinks and snack items like chips and candy bars is a great way to make extra money on top of your typical sales. In the Archery Business University 2017 issue, Kelly Branch of Spyderweb Targets recommended making products such as armguards and quivers visible in your range to encourage impulse buys.

If you’re holding a sale or promotion, think of full-priced items that complement your sales items and stock those nearby, so they’re visible to your customers. You should also make sure you point out complementary products when your customers buy something from you. Upselling might be a tactic that boosts your sales, but it also benefits customers as it can save them an extra trip.


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