Customer Experience

Feet through the door: Driving foot traffic into your business

Nina Hendy
Smarter Writer

Nina Hendy is an Australian business journalist writing about marketing, entrepreneurs, startups, money and finance

Nina Hendy
Smarter Writer

Nina Hendy is an Australian business journalist writing about marketing, entrepreneurs, startups, money and finance

Bricks and mortar stores are waging a battle against the rising number of online sales. So how do you drive foot traffic?

Innovative tools that can help drive foot traffic into your business are paramount given how competitive the retail sector is, particularly with the rise of online shopping.

There are lots of tools and tricks at your disposal to help bring inquisitive customers in your front door – the key is knowing which ones will work for your business.

Feet crossing road

Make something affordable

Harvey Norman revolutionised the concept of driving foot traffic into its stores when the national retailer introduced photo printing kiosks that charge just .15c a print.

The clever move was implemented purely to bring customers armed with their wallets through the front door after sales began slowing during the global financial crisis, which had resulted in store closures.

Overnight, Harvey Norman became the cheapest retailer to offer quality photo prints in the market, disrupting an entire industry in the process. And while the offering doesn’t add to the bottom line for the national retailer, it’s a move that continues to drive foot traffic to this day. So ask yourself if you can discount one product, and make profit on add-on sales.

Encourage dwelling

Other businesses have introduced free Wi-Fi, which works well if you want customers to dwell, especially in businesses like cafes or book stores. For Telstra customers, this can be as easy as joining its national Wi-Fi network, which gives your customers Wi-Fi without driving up your data costs. Mobile phone charge stations, like these ones, could drive foot traffic into your store and increase dwell-time.

But which tactic is right for you?

It depends on your industry and your offering, whether you’re offering a product or service, and where you’re physically located.

Regardless, driving traffic should be a key consideration for anyone in business, says The Retail Doctor, Brian Walker, based in Sydney.

“You’ve got to think about how to be interconnected in your business, such as click and collect, and the best ways to bring customers into your store.

Walker keeps track of retail trends both across Australia and overseas, with regular junkets around the world.

“Stores need a far more integrated offering than we’ve seen before, which incorporates your online and physical presence seamlessly, uses social media effectively and includes a database of customers that you can tap into for targeted marketing purposes,” Walker says.  Introducing alternative payment methods could be the drawcard.

Walker adds that cash is a diminishing commodity, with smartphones fast becoming a banking transactional terminal. As such, we can expect to see a mobile phone for swipe payments sitting on counters in the place of a cash register, Walker says.

“Cash registers will start to fade in Australian stores. It’s already occurring when you book Qantas flights, with your phone becoming your ticket to be scanned as you board. Mobile phones are fast becoming an access point to our lifestyle, and businesses need to get up to speed.”

Looking for alternative ways to bring people through the door?

Telstra is piloting its Telstra Treats program in Sydney and Melbourne. See more here.

Find out more

Image shows two people using free Wi-Fi in a café.
Tech Solutions
Tech Solutions
Be my guest: How guest Wi-Fi services benefit small businesses as well as customers

While ordering a coffee or taking a break while shopping, many customers will take advantage of free Wi-Fi. However, there are many ways small businesses can also benefit by pr...

Example of some of the analysis featured in the Business Benchmark Report.
Success Stories
Success Stories
How does your business compare? Find out with a tailored benchmarking report

Every 2018 Telstra Business Awards entrant receives a custom benchmarking report packed with tailored business analysis relative to other small businesses, plus clear advice on...

Violet Roumeliotis, 2017 Telstra Business Woman of the Year.
Success Stories
Success Stories
Press for progress: Business Woman of the Year helps families find their feet

Violet Roumeliotis, Telstra Australian Business Woman of the Year 2017, shares her experiences as a migrant and woman helping to improve people's lives. As told to Stuart Ridle...

Jen Geale, Mountain Bikes Direct
Success Stories
Success Stories
Being digital-only gives Mountain Bikes Direct the competitive advantage

Since launching online in 2012, Mountain Bikes Direct has supplied customers Australia-wide with specialist mountain bike equipment. Co-founder Jen Geale says e-commerce made i...