Just because so much business these days is conducted online does not mean that brick and mortar stores are obsolete. On the contrary, these stores, which you often see in downtown areas, should form the community’s hub.
We go to a brick and mortar retail store if we need something faster than an online distributor to ship it. And, sometimes we go downtown simply to window shop and visit with other people.
What do these brick and mortar businesses need to do to increase the foot traffic through their doors, especially during a pandemic? That’s what we’ll consider here.
Increasing Foot Traffic to Brick and Mortar Stores
Since most people enjoy local stores when they actually go there, our goal here is to figure out what kinds of incentives are needed to accomplish this.
People might stop by to browse when they have other business to do nearby, but it’s hard to get them there otherwise.
Free PPE at the Entrance
Everyone loves a freebie, even if its purpose is fending off other people’s germs. Shop owners of brick and mortar stores who want to increase foot traffic need to have protective gear waiting there—and be ready to enforce its use.
If your store is too crowded, though, or if someone isn’t wearing a mask, many people will walk away and might not return. So, help them feel safe.
Also read: Finding Out How to Find Out: How Search Engines Work
In-Store Only Deals or Coupons
Online retailers like Sierra and Lands’ End that also have local retail stores have such massive quantities in their warehouses that people looking for a specific size or color prefer to order online. But often, they offer better deals in the local stores.
If your brick and mortar business also has an online presence, why not try making in-store only coupons available online? That way, shoppers will get the best of both worlds.
Local SEO focuses on optimizing a website so that it can be found easily in an online search. This type of SEO is aimed primarily at small businesses or franchises with face-to-face operations in local communities.
These are mainly brick and mortar businesses, ranging from restaurants to dental practices to beauty salons.
We believe the first step toward effective local SEO is signing on and verifying your business with Google My Business. You see these business listings in the righthand column of your search page.
There’s much more to local SEO than this, though. To learn more, check out this handy local SEO guide.
Readings, Signings, and Performances
Just like free product demos and giveaways, people will come into a local bookstore for a reading or signing by a well-known or local author. Also, restaurants and bars see a lot of foot traffic when a favorite local band performs there.
If it’s a good band and they’re playing outdoors, you won’t have to worry about increasing foot traffic. People will flock to your establishment to listen. Even if they don’t buy food or drink the first time, they’ll be back, probably with friends.
Don’t Just Drive Past
We all know that local brick and mortar stores have been struggling during the pandemic. We also know that people are tired of being cooped up at home. Gradually increasing foot traffic to local businesses makes sense for both parties.
The trick is first to make them feel safe and then to make the visit worth their time.
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