At Clear, we’re very lucky to be less than a minute’s walk away from Shrewsbury’s bustling, picturesque town centre. We’d like to keep it that way.
As we all know, there’s increasing pressure on the UK’s highstreets today. From extortionate business rates and rents, to the reign of online purchases. The future of our favourite highstreet stores remains uncertain.
So, how can highstreet businesses improve footfall from optimising their online presence?
In case this isn’t obvious, the first step is to get online. This could be your own website, setting up a Google My Business Account or both. They work well together! An online presence in today’s digital world is vital to ensure your business’ success.
Whether ecommerce or not, this allows you to showcase your business (and brand) exactly how you want to. You can then reach customers from search, social, and other online traffic channels.
Being online is great – you can show off exactly what your business or shop offers.
For instance, if your store is a restaurant, showcase the great-looking (and hopefully tasting) food you have on offer! Provide menus online and call to actions to prompt the user to book a table with you.
The same goes for any other kind of outlet. If you own a clothing shop, start up an Instagram account and show the best outfits you have in stock. Push any promotions you have on offer – give users a reason to call in!
Online reviews are another great way of showing how good your store is. Providing great products or services usually results in good reviews. However, providing reminders and encouragement for reviews is always a good idea.
It’s all in the details
No-one wants to call into your shop and find you’re closed. To keep potential customers happy, provide as much information on your business as possible. Not open on a Sunday? Then make that clear.
Some of the crucial information needed online about your outlet will be:
- Opening hours
- Services/Products on offer
- Where they can find you
Location, location, location
As mentioned above, if you want to achieve a higher footfall, customers need to know exactly how and where they can find you.
Luckily, if you’ve set up your Google My Business account, Google should do most of the ‘leg work’ for you. You’ll be appearing on Google Maps, providing users with the ability to get directions to you.
If you have your own site, and/or social profiles, you could provide even further information about where you are. If you’re based down that dodgy looking alley, make the most of it! Provide the user with the trust and a reason to be happy going down that alley to find you.
Got your own site and Google My Business? Great! They work well together - get the map embedded on your contact page. Have Google Ads too? Google My Business lets you add location extensions so people can find you even more easily.
Provide online incentives to visit your store
The real question here is, can the highstreet benefit from ecommerce at all? Surprisingly, the answer is yes; and here’s how:
- Click & Collect services
In 2016, 72% of people in the UK used a click & collect service. By offering this service, you’ll get customers into your store and further your relationship with them. You might even have the opportunity to upsell.
- In-store returns
Another option is to offer in-store returns. It’s convenient and customers can receive a more personal response. You could also persuade them to swap the item for something else, instead of just offering a refund.
- Reserving and enquiring
As mentioned earlier, you don’t need a full ecommerce store to sell online. Instead, you could have a database, or even something as simple as an image gallery, and provide users the ability to reserve or enquire about your stock.
- Promoting in-store offers
Everyone loves a good deal. So why not advertise in-store exclusive promotions online? This could be anything from receiving a free pen with every in-store purchase, to promoting in-store events such as a book signing. Give customers reasons to visit your store over purchasing elsewhere online.
So now you know how an online presence can help your physical store, but this is just the beginning. Don’t even get us started on SEO!
If you own a highstreet business and are keen to improve your footfall, get in touch with us and will be able to assist in doing so. Let’s keep our highstreets thriving.
Want to know more? Get in touch :)