Articles for Retailers - Kizer & Bender

Generate Foot Traffic Without Breaking the Bank

by Rich Kizer & Georganne Bender

Today, you compete in a tough environment where every retailer – brick and mortar and online – is chasing each other’s customers. Customers, on the other hand, are trying to find the best shopping fit for what they want to buy. It’s impossible to be as profitable as you need to be if you try to outspend your competition, so what’s the answer?

If you want to keep your current customers close AND build word of mouth, the number one thing that attracts new customers to your store, ask yourself this question: What could you do, that no other retailer you compete with does, to thrill your customers? Think about what would excite you if you were a customer shopping in your store. And then make it a point to ask customers our BIG Question: “What ONE thing could we do to  ___________?” (you fill in the blank)

Try, “What ONE thing could we do to improve our customer service?” or “What ONE service could we add to make it more convenient to shop here?” or “What ONE in-store event could host that you would like to attend?”

Speaking of in-store events, they are another inexpensive way to attract new customers. Events make you stand out from your competitors! You can run a 20-percent off sale, but that’s not going to get people up off the couch because every retailer does that. But if you run that same 20-percent off sale and add in a costume contest for pets, with a portion of the day’s sales going to a local animal shelter, you’re going to have fun in the store. And you are going to attract new customers and sell them something while they are there.

There are many ways to build foot traffic and not spend a lot of money:

First Impressions
Create a display in your front window that’s guaranteed to attract attention. Use props, signing, or something that moves. Maybe even put a happy artist doing her thing in the window

Offer Coupons
Studies show that 96% of consumers use coupons, 81% of consumers use coupons regularly, and 85% of consumers look for coupons prior to visiting a retailer. If you have a store full of customers, bounce ‘em back! Give each one a Bounce Back Coupon that can’t be redeemed until the next week.

Send Email Often
Send email blasts on a regular basis, at least every 15 days. Remember to use more photos – BIG photos – and less copy to capture the reader’s attention in 20 seconds or less. Make the photos clickable links that take the reader back to your website.

Encourage the Conversation on Social Medias
Facebook and Instagram are perfect marketing vehicles for to help you get the word out about your store or event. If you want to attract a younger customer you may want to experiment with SnapChat as well. The trick with social medias is to post it at least once a day, every day, and answer every comment followers make.

Facebook offers lots of free opportunities to attract customers, including Facebook Offers, Facebook Live, contests, and polls. The Facebook Events option even allows you to post information about your own in-store events for free, and invite your followers to check it out. You’ll want to back up all of your efforts on Facebook by spending at least $2.00 a day in Facebook ads. There are plenty of things you can do that are no cost or low cost to build foot traffic and increase your store’s visibility – but it does take effort. Hold a brainstorming session with your team and talk about things you can do to right now attract shoppers!

Rich Kizer & Georganne Bender are professional speakers, retail strategists, authors and consultants whose client list reads like a “Who’s Who” in business. Companies internationally depend upon them for timely advice on consumers and the changing retail market place. KIZER & BENDER’s observations are widely featured in national newspapers, national and international industry and consumer publications, and on radio and television programs across the U.S. You can learn more at