Four ways to drive and attract in-store traffic

  • Opinion
  • June 26, 2015
  • Vend
Four ways to drive and attract in-store traffic

It’s no secret that foot-fall has slowed over the last few years and driving customers in-store is becoming more challenging. In addition to competing with other retail stores, online retailers are increasingly gaining market share and shifting shoppers’ focus off the high street.

Kevin Graff, Founder and President of Graff Retail, has over 25 years experience in improving retail business performance. Alongside Author and Vend Retail Expert Francesca Nicasio, Kevin shares his insights on creating a steady flow of visitors to your store, to improve sales and foot traffic.

Update and upgrade your storefront

According Kevin Graff, one of the first things retailers can do to start increasing foot traffic is to improve their store front displays and windows. “Make your store look like it’s worth coming into,” he says. 

Keep your window displays fresh by updating them at least twice a month (and every week during the Christmas shopping season) so consumers always have something new to look at when they pass by your store.

You can also make your displays more compelling through storytelling. Francesca Nicasio says that one way to do this is to incorporate narratives into your displays.

“Make sure your fixtures are doing something more than simply showcasing your products. For instance, instead of just putting up mannequins wearing your merchandise, throw in some props or a nice backdrop for additional context. Use those fixtures to tell stories.”

Bonus points if you could make those displays sharable. Apparel retailer Anthropolgie, for example, encourages customers to snap photos of their displays and share them via social media using the hashtag #AnthroWindows.

Get social

Kevin adds that a “non-stop social marketing approach is essential” to increasing foot traffic and sales, so see to it that you’re constantly keeping people posted over social media.

There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to publishing on social networks, so it’s best to see what works best for your store and audience. “Start by figuring out the top social networks you should be participating in, then determine the best types of content to publish on each site or app,” advises Francesca.

You can also check out what similar retailers in your industry are doing. Visit the social accounts of your competitors, see what’s working for them (and what isn’t) then refine your social media strategy accordingly.

Encourage repeat visits with your in-store experience

“Better service and shopping experiences get customers coming back more often,” says Graff, which is why retailers should continuously find ways to step up their in-store strategies.

There are plenty of ways to accomplish this. One is to give your staff additional training in customer service and sales so they’re the best they can be. As Kevin puts it, “you could sell 5 to 15% more just by getting your staff to wait on customers and being more effective at selling to them.”

Francesca adds that you can improve the in-store experience by offering additional services, such as in-store pickup. In addition to increasing foot traffic, doing so can also increase sales. A recent study has found that “about a third of shoppers would prefer to have an item delivered to a location other than their home, up from 26% last year, and many of those are choosing to pick up their orders in stores.” What’s more, around 50% of respondents have opted for in-store pick up, and 45% of them made additional purchases during their visit.

Boosting the physical retail experience can also be done through events, such as meet-ups, shows, or classes, so try to organise in-store functions and give your customers the opportunity to learn, mingle, and have fun.

The bottom line is, improving the in-store experience is about offering something people can’t find online or anywhere else. Whether it’s the convenience of getting their hands on their purchases sooner rather than later, or experiencing unparalleled customer service that ecommerce can’t match, you need to ensure that the experiences that customers find at your store are not just satisfying, but compelling enough to keep them coming back.

Stay on the radar of your existing customers

While finding new customers is something that should always be on your to-do list, don’t forget that taking care of existing customers is just as (if not more) important - especially when it comes to driving foot traffic.

The good news is, enticing existing customers to come back is easier than getting people to shop with you for the first time, so re-engaging your current customer base shouldn’t be an uphill battle. You just have to figure out the most effective way to connect with them.

Kevin suggests “picking up the phone and calling your best customers,” to get them into your store. Or consider sending out emails to your subscribers inviting them to re-visit your shop. For some retailers, sending out text messages has proven to be an effective tactic. Whatever you decide, see to it that you’re communicating with shoppers using a medium that they actually like.

Also be sure to personalise how you engage with customers. Take note of their tastes and purchase history, so whether you’re communicating via phone, SMS, or email, you can reconnect with them in the most relevant way. 

Take for instance, Bal Harbour Boutique in the UK, which sends shoppers text messages if they’re carrying new items that they might appreciate. Dena Stemmer, owner of the boutique told the Vend blog, “we know the taste of our customers and text them when something comes into the store that we think they’ll like.”

If you’re looking for more insights on increasing in-store traffic and sales, Kevin Graff will be hosting Vend’s upcoming Retail Success webinar - 21 Proven Tactics to Increase Sales in Your Retail Store. Tune in on the 30th June to learn about the tools and techniques that will help to improve your store’s bottom-line. It’s free for anyone to attend, simply register your interest here

​ ​

This is a community discussion forum. Comment is free but please respect our rules:

  1. Don’t be abusive or use sweary type words
  2. Don’t break the law: libel, slander and defamatory comments are forbidden
  3. Don’t resort to name-calling, mean-spiritedness, or slagging off
  4. Don’t pretend to be someone else.

If we find you doing these things, your comments will be edited without recourse and you may be asked to go away and reconsider your actions.
We respect the right to free speech and anonymous comments. Don’t abuse the privilege.


Sharesies investment platform joins the NZX

  • News
  • June 25, 2019
  • Courtney Devereux
Sharesies investment platform joins the NZX

Investment growth platform Sharesies has had a busy year in 2019, becoming B Corp certified earlier in April, and now has become an NZX participant starting this July.

Read more

Capitalise on today and invest in tomorrow at the Retail NZ Summit and SME Forum

New Zealand’s leading retail trade organization, Retail NZ, works year-round to assist its members with retail advice, benefits, industry intel and education. This July it’s ...


Ambiente: A window on the world

Global forces like Brexit and climate change are affecting trade worldwide. Sarah Dunn consults the Ambiente trade fair in Germany for evidence of how this ...


Social scoreboard

Zavy and The Register have worked together to create a scoreboard that compares how the top 25 traditional media advertising spenders in New Zealand have performed on social media over the past 30 days, updated in real time.

Regional rollercoaster
What does retail look like in 2019 for ...
Concept to closet
Business coverage of New Zealand Fashion Week.
Town centres
A positive retail environment over the past 12 ...
Amazon Arrival
Keeping up with all things Amazon as it ...
The Retail Yearbook 2017
As we battle our way through the busiest ...
Hospitality enhancing retail
Some think food and integrated hospitality offerings will ...
The future is bright
We spoke with four retailers in their twenties ...
Spotlight on signage
At first glance, the humble in-store sign might ...
Red Awards 2016
The Red Awards for retail interior design celebrate ...
Auckland Unitary Plan
Auckland is changing. The Unitary Plan will decide ...
How to open a store
Sarah Dunn considers what it would take to ...
All things to all people
Kiwi retailers share their omnichannel strategies.
Rising stars
Retail's top young achievers.
Delivering on your promises
The sale isn't over until your item is ...
Retail in heartland New Zealand
Retailers keep the regions pumping, but how strong ...
Women in retail help one another. We spoke ...
The changing face of retail
Shifting demographics are creating big changes in New ...
The retail yearbook
With the help of experts in the retail ...
Retail rogues
We put the spotlight on staff training. Jai ...
Here come the giants
Topshop has arrived in Auckland’s CBD, David Jones ...
From retail to e-tail
Ecommerce has become part of the way mainstream ...
Window shopping: A spotlight on social media
Sarah Dunn and Elly Strang look at how ...
Loyalty in the digital age
How are retailers maintaining loyalty? Sarah Dunn, Elly ...
The Innovators | In partnership with Spark Business
Technology is rapidly changing the retail industry as ...

Sephora beauty bus to tour New Zealand ahead of store launch

  • News
  • June 24, 2019
  • Emily Bell
Sephora beauty bus to tour New Zealand ahead of store launch

If you hadn’t already heard, global beauty giant Sephora is coming to Auckland this July. Founded in France by Dominique Mandonnaud in 1970 and owned by luxury goods group LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitto, Sephora has since become a leading beauty pioneer, community and trailblazer in the industry, to say the least.

Read more

Pottery Barn hits the New Zealand market through Ballantynes

  • News
  • June 21, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
Pottery Barn hits the New Zealand market through Ballantynes

Heritage Canterbury department store Ballantynes is introducing the US brands Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids and West Elm to the Kiwi market through a New Zealand exclusive partnership with Williams-Sonoma.

Read more

Global recognition for instore innovation

  • Design
  • June 20, 2019
  • Courtney Devereux
Global recognition for instore innovation

The Global Innovation Awards (GIA) program was created by the IHA and International Home + Housewares Show to foster innovation and excellence in home and housewares retailing throughout the world. This year saw 30 national winners from 29 countries. The competition is structured on a two-tier level, evaluating national and global retailers across the following metrics: Overall mission statement, vision and strategy, store design and layout, visual merchandising, displays and window displays, marketing, advertising and promotions, customer service and staff training, innovation.

Read more
Next page
Results for
About us.

The Register provides essential industry news and intelligence, updated daily. And the digital newsletter delivers the latest news to your inbox twice a week — for free!

©2009–2015 Tangible Media. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy policy.

The Register

Content marketing/advertising? Email or call 022 639 3004

View Media Kit