The retail landscape has changed dramatically this year. When COVID-19 first hit, retail stores closed their doors and consumers were advised to stay home causing retail sales to significantly drop. This drastic change to brick-and-mortar sales emphasized the need for retailers to be able to pivot and ensure they stay relevant, even when retail foot traffic numbers are low.
In response, retailers have had to re-assess their business, amend their current processes and find new marketing and sales solutions to generate revenue in times of social distancing.
If you run a retail business and find that limited foot traffic to malls and slowing in-store sales is affecting your store, you may want to consider looking at your retail space differently. Keep reading to learn how you can make sure your retail store is generating revenue, even from afar.
Promote online offers with storefront signage
In April, retail sales dropped by a record 16.4%. Declining store visitors and temporary store closures has affected sales rates for retailers, especially brick-and-mortar stores. While your retail store may not be getting as many visitors passing through the doors as usual, you can still optimize on your prominent location.
Storefront signage offers the opportunity to reach a wider audience for free. You can use digital signage to engage with people as they are passing by your retail store. This will enable you to increase your store exposure, build brand awareness and connect with more people outside of your existing customer base.
You can use storefront digital signage to highlight online offers. Digital signage solutions are easy-to-manage, allowing you to use them for various purposes. You can upload interactive, visual content to promote your online promotions. This could be in the form of video, static image, or as a carousel that cycles through various visual content.
You could use storefront signage to promote a singular online offer, or to highlight various product discounts, seasonal offers, or to promote a unique discount code for passersby. Using a unique discount code for people who see your storefront signage will allow you to test the success of your digital signage offer. You can then use this data to make relevant changes to improve the performance of your digital signage adverts.
Use retail stores for social media shoots
If you have temporarily closed your retail store, you can still make use of the space for other areas of your business.
Global online consumption has soared in 2020. Within this research, 48% of consumers were found to have increased the amount of time they spend on social media. With people spending more time online, and in particular on social media, it’s important for your brand to be active online.
Your retail store makes the perfect backdrop for a social media photoshoot. You could use your retail space to create social media content that engages your audience and helps you stand out against competitors in the market.
Social media content that you could create at your retail store include:
- Virtual shopping advice – highlighting new products and current trends
- Informing consumers of your current retail procedure – showcase your opening hours, health and safety processes, and how consumers can shop with you
- Brand photoshoots – use your retail space as a photoshoot location for upcoming social media posts
- Behind-the-scenes – Show customers what a “day in the life” of your business could look like
- Online promotions – inform your audience of upcoming promotions and offers
By using your retail store as a space to create social media campaigns, you can ensure your store remains at the fore-front of customers’ minds. You can also make sure that you are reaching your audience at the place where they are currently spending the most time.
Implement a curbside pick-up process
Curbside pick-up isn’t a new technology but it’s uptake has certainly increased during the pandemic. The Coronavirus pandemic resulted in a dramatic drop in retail store visitor numbers. Consumers did not feel comfortable visiting busy retail spaces or conducting their usual shopping habits in-store. This has led to retail stores needing to develop innovative processes to meet customer needs.
Allowing customers to place an order online and pick-up in store can put their feelings at ease about being in the retail environment by streamlining the shopping experience and minimizing contact. Many retailers have now adopted curbside pick-ups at their retail store in a bid to re-engage customers and increase sales rates.
You can also use digital signage as a way to implement contact-free curbside pick-up at your retail store. You can use digital signage to highlight pick-up areas within your store. Alternatively, you can implement an interactive digital signage solution that allows customers to pick up their online orders using curbside collection software. This will turn your digital signage into a curbside pick-up kiosk where customers can enter their order details and seamlessly collect their online orders in-store.
Consider mobile ordering
Another way to ensure your retail store continues to generate revenue despite low visitor numbers is by implementing a mobile ordering system. If your store stock is sitting dormant, considering mobile ordering could be a viable way to shift stock and increase your in-store sales.
Mobile ordering is a great sales solution for brick-and-mortar retail stores who do not currently have an online website. Implementing a mobile ordering process will allow customers to continue to shop with you.
To create a safe shopping experience for customers, you can also allow customers to choose whether they would like to click-and-collect their mobile order or if they would prefer their order to be delivered to them. This will create a seamless shopping experience for customers who want to shop but do not want to visit the store or place an order online.
Retarget people with online adverts
Finally, you cannot avoid the power of online advertising. Through online advertising platforms, such as Facebook Ads Manager, you can make sure you are reaching retail visitors (or passersby) even from afar.
By using location-based targeting, you can implement Facebook Ads that target people who are near to your retail store. Alternatively, Facebook are beta-testing a new feature that allows retailers with more than 10 stores to target store visitors with social media adverts. Other methods of re-targeting previous customers include targeting email marketing subscribers. All of these retargeting methods will help you to connect with previous customers and encourage them to shop with you online.
In summary, it is currently a challenging time for brick-and-mortar retail stores. However, by implementing innovative processes and procedures, you can make sure your store is still generating revenue even when retail foot-traffic is low.