Despite the many hardships COVID-19 brought for many, the months following the outbreak brought a lot of financial success for many retail stores. With consumers unable to travel, attend concerts or sporting events, or even get together with friends, they looked to shopping experiences as a way to spend their money and cope with the world around them.
But with the pandemic becoming less and less of a threat, travel opening back up, and the world largely returning to its old habits, retailers aren't seeing the volume of foot traffic they were before.
For retail store owners looking for ways to get their foot traffic levels back up again, this article is for you. We'll cover why tracking customer traffic data is so important for retailers, how clienteling can help make it easier, and share a few tips on how to spark foot traffic increases at your retail store.
What is customer foot traffic?
Customer foot traffic, or retail foot traffic, refers to the amount of people retail businesses have coming into their store over a period of time. Keep in mind that foot traffic only considers customers visiting a physical location, not online shoppers visiting a website or social media shop.
Why should retailers track customer foot traffic?
Monitoring customer traffic in retail is crucial in understanding both the internal and external factors influencing the flow of visitors at your store.
Below are just a few reasons business owners should keep a close eye on retail foot traffic:
- Plan how to staff your store: By monitoring foot traffic, you can identify the times of day that are busiest at your store. That way you'll know when you need additional sales reps on the floor or when you need less during your slow times.
- Better track your sales conversions: If you notice you're getting a lot of people in your store, but not a lot of new customers, this traffic pattern may point to poor sales conversion rates. This can help you learn how to better train your sales team to make the most of each customer interaction.
- Find patterns in consumer behavior: Keeping a close eye on foot traffic helps you notice foot traffic patterns and other trends in consumer behavior. For example, a jeweler may get more customers during the spring and summer months for the wedding season.
Why clienteling is the best way for retailers to track foot traffic
If you're looking for ways to pay closer attention to your customer traffic, as well as notice patterns among your target audience, clienteling is a great place to start.
Clienteling is a retail strategy where sales associates work to build long-term relationships with customers, converting one-time visitors into regular clients.
It involves things like keeping track of who comes into your store, taking good notes on customer interactions, and noting customer preferences so you can follow up later with a personalized offer.
Creating a more personal relationship with all that foot traffic that walks in builds customer loyalty, increases sales for the day, and provides opportunity for repeat business.
If you're new to clienteling, a client management software like Clientbook can go a long way in ensuring a smooth transition for you and your team. It automates the more time-consuming tasks, so you never miss a client follow-up.
How do you increase customer foot traffic?
Now that we've covered why tracking your customer traffic flow is so important, and how clienteling can help, let's talk about how you can facilitate an increase in foot traffic and grow your business.
First off, one of the best ways to encourage additional foot traffic at your store is by treating every shopper who comes into your physical location like a VIP. Personalization is a key factor here.
Today's shoppers increasingly expect personalized customer experiences from companies. In a survey of nearly 10,000 global consumers, Marigold's 2023 Consumer Trends Index Report found that 79% of consumers stated that they like recommendations based on past purchases and 49% get frustrated when they receive irrelevant content or offers.
That's a high percentage of shoppers to disappoint if you're not providing personalized experiences. And it doesn't have to be difficult, especially if you have clienteling software on your side. With a tool like Clientbook, you can set up reminders to follow up with a customer after a purchase, reach out on a client's birthday, or even text them with a personalized recommendation based on their past purchase.
Next, don't wait for customers to come into your store on their own—reach out! Engaging with customers when they're not in your store is just as important as your interactions with them while they're with you at your physical location.
Reaching out with an email, posting on social media, or even sending a personal text message are all great ways to engage with your target market and invite customers back into your store.
It's also a great way to turn sales opportunities into actual sales. After all, not every shopper who visits your store will leave having made a purchase. Through email marketing campaigns, smart social media strategy, and other relevant offers, you can remind them about their visit and encourage them to make a purchase with you soon.
Finally, it's critical to be present in your buyers' lives. With so many external factors influencing consumers’ lives and vying for their time—not to mention the appeal of online shopping—getting a potential customer through your door will require you to be on the channels they're already on.
For example, as a fashion retailer with a younger customer base, you'll want to be present on the social media channels and groups they're following. Or, as a jeweler, you may want buyers to find your brand in the bridal magazines they're reading.
In short, wherever your customer is, you should be too.
While many retailers enjoyed higher amounts of foot traffic following the pandemic, getting more customers into your physical location is now a bigger challenge. This is especially true when today's consumers have such easy access to so many brands online.
By actively clienteling, creating personalized shopping experiences, and utilizing a tool like Clientbook, you don't have to wish your sales opportunities goodbye. Following the tips in this article will help you see an increase in foot traffic levels again and earn a loyal customer base.
If you're ready to see how Clientbook can help you boost your customer traffic flow and foster customer loyalty, book a demo today.