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.

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