Increase Foot Traffic To Your Local Store
As you develop an effective marketing strategy for your store, don’t overlook one of your most important target markets: Pedestrians. People walking by your shop can become some of your best customers: The trick is getting them in the door.
An effective sign strategy not only increases traffic to your local store, signs are also incredibly cost-effective, often costing far less than print advertising or direct mail campaigns. Even if passers-by don’t make a purchase on their first visit to your shop, getting them in the door makes them aware of your business and what it offers.
1. Place Your Sign Where People Can See It
If pedestrians keep passing by your store, it’s important to figure out why. One reason may be signage: Busy pedestrians are looking ahead when they walk, and without something to distract them, they’ll likely ignore your business. Develop a sign strategy that attracts attention and persuades folks to pay you a visit:
- If permitted by local ordinances, sidewalk signs are probably the best way to get the attention of local pedestrians. Unlike window or storefront signs, sidewalk signs are disruptors: Pedestrians don’t have to do anything in particular (like turn their head toward your store) to view the sign.
- Do you park your car in front of your store or in a nearby parking lot that has a lot of street visibility? Consider a car wrap that promotes your store. Just make sure that the branding on the car wrap is consistent with the rest of your store’s signage: Matching logos and colors trigger recognition in pedestrians, inspiring them to visit your business.
- Is your building recessed from the sidewalk? If so, getting a sign on or near the sidewalk is crucial. Sidewalk signs are best, but a large sign on a post or nearby fencing works.
- Look across the street from your building. If there is some kind of public space: A road, park or parking lot, many people end up looking straight at your store each day. In such cases, invest in window decals and above-the-door signs to attract attention.
2. Use Signs to Promote Sales and Specials
Signs, window decals and banners that promote sales and specials are great for attracting customers to your store. When designing your signs, be specific about what kind of deals you are offering, such as:
- Seasonal close-outs.
- Flat discounts (i.e. 20% off)
- Buy one, get one offers
- Freebies, such as a gift with purchase
- Announcement of new merchandise
- Announcement of contests or drawings
3. Use Signs to Promote Special Events
Does your sign sponsor events, such as food/wine tastings, classes, health screenings, or book signings? Use signs in advance of the event to get passers-by to come into your shop for more information or to sign up. If your event is open to walk-ins, you may want to get a separate sign for the day of the event, encouraging pedestrians to come in and join the fun.
Here are some things to include in an event sign:
- Name of the event
- Type of event
- Name of any featured presenters
- Date and time of event
- Cost (if any) and information on how to buy tickets or RSVP.
4. Encourage Non-Visitors to Return
Not all pedestrians have time to stop in your store, but that doesn’t mean that these folks aren’t curious about what’s inside. State your business hours on a sign or window decal so that passers-by know when they can come back for a visit. Signage should also include your URL so that pedestrians can visit your website.