15 simple ways to attract customers to your shop

The most frequently asked question right now, I think. “How do I attract customers to my shop?” Well, it takes a lot more effort these days to drag that consumer off the sofa and entice them to visit your shop.

In any case, sitting still yourself is not an option. You have to get to work. Try out what works for your shop. Actively work on attracting customers. To start (or expand) your action plan, I give you 15 ways to attract more customers to your shop.

1. Create an eye-catching shop window

Those people walking down the high street anyway? Small effort to get those shoppers inside. They are just a few steps away from your shop.

But then your window has to invite them to visit. Make sure your window stands out. In terms of colour, theme or structure, for example.

And change your window regularly. Because that shop where the same thing has been in the spotlight for 2 months? There probably won’t be much new there since the last visit. So shoppers just skip it.

2. Create interaction in your shop window

Another bonus tip to make your shop window stand out: create interaction in your window. Create a living shop window. A shop window with people. A window where something happens.

Put a musician or band in your shop window. Let customers record a video with a Valentine’s message for their loved one in your shop window. Organise a fashion show in your shop window.

Guaranteed to turn eyes. And more attention for your shop = more people stepping over the threshold.

3. Roll out the welcome mat

Literally so. Not only your shop window, but also your entrance should stand out. And this can be done perfectly well by placing a red welcome mat in front of your door. (Yellow, green or one with bright purple dots will also do. Go wild).

Any other ideas that make your entrance more striking are allowed. Draw a message or inspirational quote on the pavement with chalk. Use a flag, balloons, a large plant or some brightly coloured items from your range. Or a combination of all that.

4. Organise a promotion

Put some of your shop’s staff outside instead of inside.

Have them hand out samples of your products (you’re sure to have something suitable on the shelf, or approach a supplier to help you with this).

Or invite your customers to a particular service you offer. An eye measurement. Cleaning their shoes.

Keeping them waiting in your shop is an option. Getting out there yourself to bring those people in will probably earn you a lot more.

5. Organise an event

Teach your customers something new. Or make sure they have an extra fun time when they visit your shop. With an event, an activity, a workshop or anything else your brain comes up with.

Events create attention, give an extra reason to visit your shop and boost your sales. So start soon if you haven’t started yet (or expand if you have already started).

6. Get your fellow entrepreneurs involved

You can organise an event individually, but also with a number of like-minded entrepreneurs or the whole shopping centre. This way, you give another boost to the centre as a whole.

And no, maybe not everyone will want to cooperate (at least that’s what I often hear as a reason why these kinds of things don’t work out). But then you just organise it with the people who do want to participate. Because again: sitting still is not an option.

7. Partner with others

Are there other businesses your target audience already visits? Other shops, businesses, associations, schools? See if you can set up a collaboration with them.

Reserve a space on each other’s shop floor, promote each other in your newsletter or give away samples of your products via the other party. In this way, give your shop extra exposure and/or remind your customers that your shop is still worth a visit.

8. Send a newsletter

And that newsletter, that’s tip #8. When shops tell me they don’t get enough customers to their shop and they don’t have a newsletter, I always fall off my chair.

Because why don’t you communicate with your regular customers on a regular basis? I don’t understand that. After all, it is much easier to attract existing customers to your shop once more than to find new customers.

So haven’t you started a newsletter yet? Do it right now.

9. Make sure you are findable online

Being findable in the high street is not that difficult. But being findable online? Have you looked into that?

An awful lot of consumers start their search online these days. So make sure your shop has a presence there. Your customers are bound to find important and useful information on your website that will entice them to visit your shop.

So check how you rank in Google. Get your website optimised for certain searches. See if your website gives customers sufficient and attractive information. Information that makes them jump up from the sofa and draw them to your shop.

10. Use social media

Your customers also get ideas through social media. Can keep them updated on all the reasons why your shop is worth a visit.

A word of caution here though: don’t turn your Facebook timeline or tweets into a constant stream of product advertising. Social media is a two-way street. A place to engage with your customers online. And not to engage in a monologue about your products.

So engage. Maintain the relationship with your customers through these channels. And then occasionally post a product. Or promote your event. That’s how you use social media successfully.

11. Online advertising

Social media channels (and Google or some other sites) also offer useful ways to promote your shop to your existing customers or potential new customers.

Advantages over that traditional brochure? It can be much cheaper and you can advertise more specifically to certain target groups.

So worthwhile if you haven’t yet immersed yourself in online advertising.

12. Promote your shop through the press

Advertising online is an option, but promoting your shop through the press is also a good way to generate more attention for your shop.

Do you donate part of your sales to charity? Are you giving your shop a makeover? Are you organising an event? Have you won a prize?

All good reasons for the press to pay attention to your shop. You just have to inform them yourself.

13. Focus on customer service

If your customers have a great experience in your shop, they are bound to come back. And a little extra word-of-mouth advertising is then a nice bonus.

Start at the basics. Greet, address, smile an extra time. You’ll be surprised what little things like that get you. There is usually a lot to gain in those basics.

And for the more advanced: start exceeding your customers’ expectations. Need inspiration? Read the heartwarming customer service stories on Kooplust’s Inspiration blog.

14. Thank your customers

As I told you: it is easier to attract existing customers to your shop once more than to find new ones.

What do you do to thank your existing customers? To give them an extra special feeling that will make them come back again very soon?

Nothing….? (Not to worry, you are then among 99% of retailers in the Netherlands. So that means there is a huge opportunity to make a difference). Then take a quick look at this blog post from Kooplust with 13 ways to thank your customers. And start doing so today.

15. Capitalise on trends

What trends are emerging in retail? From product swapping, co-creation to shopper coaching, these are all opportunities to come up with new services or new events. Also check product reviews.

And tactically, of course, it is extremely smart to organise something that is currently of great interest to your customers. Sure enough, they will flock to your shop like bees to honey.

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