By Erica Houskeeper on August 25, 2020
You’re finally back in business and ready to welcome shoppers again. Now comes the tricky part: how do you encourage customers to return to your store? While it may sound obvious, it’s important to remember that communication is key.
Communicate to Customers
One crucial part of bringing customers back is letting them know that you are back in business. Once you have your reopening plans in place and establish operating hours and health and safety policies, you need to share that information far and wide.
You can post signage outside and inside your store, communicate to customers by email or SMS, and post updates on your social media channels. Be sure to also change your official business listings on services such as Google Maps, Yelp, and Foursquare that let people know you are operating and what your current hours are. Both Google and Yelp have also added COVID-19-specific features to help communicate your policies.
Keep Safety Top of Mind
Make sure customers know that you take safety measures—and their health—seriously. Place signage about social distancing, mask requirements, and store capacity limits in visible locations. Be sure to offer complimentary face masks to customers who enter the store without one, and place a bottle of hand sanitizer at the store’s entrance and exit.
Try to set aside an hour a day for seniors and immuno-compromised persons to show that you care about your customers’ health and well-being. You can also make sure your kindness is conveyed through your advertising and social media, as well.
Entice Customers Through Promotions
Once you’re open, one effective way to get customers into your store is by offering specials and promotions. Try a “buy one, get one free” special to move inventory, or a “spend $100 and get a free gift” promotion to increase ticket sizes. Figuring out the right offer will ultimately depend on your sales objectives.
Vend, a cloud-based point-of-sale and retail management software tool, makes it easy for merchants to run a variety of offers. Its built-in promotions feature helps you set up in-store discounts and sales, and its powerful reporting system lets you track how they perform. The promotions feature will let you set up offers on all or a few products in just a few simple clicks without the need for spreadsheets or manual uploads.
Let Customers Know What You Have in Stock
Show the public all of the wonderful products they can buy at your store. Send messages highlighting new arrivals or items that they would find useful.
If you can send existing customers product recommendations based on their purchase history, that’s even better. Marsello is a loyalty and marketing automation tool offered through Vend that makes it easy to create personalized campaigns. With Marsello, you can send targeted communications based on each customer’s behavior, purchase history, and brand interactions.
Don’t Forget About Customers Who Still Prefer to Shop Online
Not everyone is ready to venture out in brick-and-mortar stores yet, so it’s important to establish a tightly-integrated system that allows you to sell both online and offline.
Make sure your website is optimized for search. You can do that by publishing locally-relevant content, obtaining high-quality links, and optimizing your site’s headers, images, and meta-descriptions.
Also, connect your POS system to your eCommerce store so that your inventory, sales, and customer data are synced between the two systems. You can manage sales and orders from one platform and serve customers on all channels, without the hassle of inventory discrepancies or mismatched sales and customer records.
Remember, encouraging shoppers to return to your store takes time and effort. But communication and the right tools will help steer you toward success.