How To Increase Foot Traffic and Bring More Customers To Your Business

Whether you’re in the restaurant or retail business, one of the critical keys to success is bringing past customers back through your doors on a regular basis. There are any number of ways to do this, but one of the most effective ones is through the use of a loyalty program.

A loyalty program does a lot more than entice your customers to return; it also gives you unprecedented avenues by which to reward your customers based on their buying habits. One of the first things a loyalty program does is capture your customers’ contact information. This enables you to reach out to them – primarily by SMS or email – with offers for them to consider.

For instance, let’s say your inventory management software is telling you that you have a ton of a particular item or group of items in stock, and you want to move them. With a full-featured iPad POS system, this is as easy as a few taps and swipes, even if you’re halfway around the world from your shop. There are also other powerful platforms you can use to get your customers’ juices flowing.

Bring More Customers To Your Business

Increasing Foot Traffic Through SMS Offers

SMS messages are incredibly effective to get people in your door. They boast a 98% open rate and a 45% response rate, which blows every other marketing medium out of the water. Why so high? It’s primarily because most people will see your offer just by glancing at their phone. And since 90% of text messages are read in the first two minutes, you can at least be assured that the vast majority of your target audience will actually view your offer.

So, if your retail POS system is telling you that you have a glut of certain items, a quick SMS blast with a tempting offer could change that in a hurry. Similarly, you can use a restaurant POS system to send a solicitation that will see your place filling with eager diners or drinkers in a matter of minutes. The best part? If your system has this capability built in, you won’t pay a penny for this advertising. That’s an ROI that can’t be beat. This works best for offers on items with which your recipients are already familiar; things they don’t need to see a photo of to know they want to purchase.

However, you’ve got to tread with care when sending text offers. Since your prospect will get an audible alert each time you send one, their tolerance for spurious messages is relatively low. If you go to the well too many times, you’re likely to cause your audience to unsubscribe in droves; and once they do, it’s exceedingly difficult to get them to sign up again. Worse, they may spread word online that you’re too aggressive with messages, which may preclude others from signing up or even patronizing your business. But if you keep your offers relatively few and far between, you can significantly increase your sales with little or no outlay.

Engaging Fans with Instagram

If you sell items such as apparel, art, home goods, furniture and the like, you really need to show people a picture or three to convey to them why they ought to be interested. For this, there’s no better venue than the photo-centric Instagram. Not only can you use it to keep followers in the loop; you can also wow shoppers who may never have heard of your store.

If you’ve got a significant following, you can bring in some traffic to your website or brick-and-mortar location with just a post or two. While you won’t get the quick response that you would with a text, a quality photo can be a powerful motivator.

If you don’t have a huge following, you can create a photo ad with the goal of not only attracting newcomers to your shop but also to your Instagram feed. Areas like apparel can be competitive on Instagram, so Your financial resources will largely dictate how doggedly you can pursue this avenue.

Email Newsletters and Blasts

Free or costing a penny or so to send and with 20% open rates from trusted senders, email is also a marketing medium that you should not overlook. If you put together some useful content for a weekly or biweekly newsletter, you can look forward to higher open rates and social media engagement. Add an offer or two to these newsletters, and you’ll likely bring in a bevy of customers.

If you’ve got a more urgent offer, it takes just seconds to put together a quick email blast. Indicate in the subject that this email is time sensitive, and peoples’ curiosity and yearning for that irresistible offer will do the rest. But as with SMS blasts, overusing these urgent-sounding emails can lead to un-subscriptions and a hit to your reputation.

As a store or restaurant owner, you’ve got a host of powerful marketing options at your fingertips that don’t cost much if anything to utilize. It’s even easier if one or more of these are built into your POS system. Take care when crafting your offer and reap the rewards. Happy selling!

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