Well, anyone on Planet Earth is vulnerable to COVID-19. Arguably, the moment celebrities posted to have been infected could be an eye-opener for everyone. When legendary Academy-award-winner actor Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson told their fans they had gotten coronavirus it was a reality check. For many, that was the confirmation they needed that the virus indeed existed. And from that point on, so many people took wearing face masks and social distancing more seriously. The sad reality, however, for anyone operating a brick-and-mortar store is the sharp decline in foot traffic.
Online shopping is now “the” way for many people. It’s safe, and you won’t need to sweat to get products at your door. Small wonder Amazon has grown by leaps and bounds as the pandemic pummeled America. Physical stores are indeed taking a beating. A study showed about 21% of consumers were wary of going to a retail store for fear of the virus. Thankfully, there’s a silver lining in this dark cloud. Giving your store a timely makeover and your business strategy a needed adjustment may prove to be just the solution you need to come out on top.
Expand Your Marketing Efforts
If you are bent on sticking to the old rules and ideas, then you are in for a rude shock. In times like this, those that adapt fast survive; those that don’t, flounder. As this is no ordinary time, getting people to come to your store would take a more conscious effort than usual. And one good strategy is going digital.
You may be wondering, isn’t going digital going to reduce the number of customers that come into the store? No, not really. The online space can increase awareness of your physical store. Going digital isn’t just about selling your products online. That, of course, is a good idea that could come with a hefty price tag.
Instead, focus on the resources available to you right now. When it comes to increasing foot traffic, the key is to engage more with your customers. Create a community for your customers that would make them feel more served. This fosters brand loyalty to your small business.
You could start with a website if you got cash upfront. But if you want to stretch your precious dollars, explore social marketing instead. You can come up with a Facebook page, for instance, and start to engage with your customers online. It’s free and best of all you do the marketing yourself. Many businesses today have explored social media to the fullest to get more foot traffic and more business.
The idea is to be there for your customers in this time of need. And social media marketing is a potent tool to do just that. Additionally, explore other areas where you can do more marketing. Reach out via phone calls and text messages to existing customers. Such phone calls can be a way to connect with VIP customers that you haven’t seen around for a while.
You may not know it, but text messaging has performed well as a marketing tool for established brands during COVID-19 times. Jack in the Box is just one of the many brands that have exploited texting to the hilt. Unlike emails, text messaging is less cluttered and therefore, more effective.
Creativity is Key
These days, you have to be as creative as can be. You can’t let your physical store go down under right? So it would be best if you made it shine, more than the competition. And your creative juices should bid you well.
To start, increase your curb appeal. Get your act together. Nobody wants to shop in a store with peeled painting and dirty windows. If you long for quality, you might have to spend some. Professional window cleaning services not only have the expertise to make your store window shine, but they also have the right tools to make it happen.
Next, you need to do those window displays. A witty message should stir ample curiosity to invite people in. Suppose you opt for simple, unattractive signage that’s shooting yourself in the leg. To add to the mix, post these window displays to your social media accounts. Share as much as you can.
Then make sure your people are as welcoming as can be. A shy associate won’t do your store any good. Get someone with a warm sunny personality. Or better yet, you can have him dress up for the season: A Santa Claus for Christmas.
There are many creative ideas that you can try out. So long as you put your mind to it, it would be best if you were closer to your goal more than you think. It’s like putting honey to attract ants. You know it’s only a matter of time for the traffic to start rumbling in.