Our top 5 tips to get customers back in-store post-lockdown

Our top 5 tips to get customers back in-store post-lockdown

By Webmart

Post-Lockdown Retail

 

After a challenging year for retail, we’ve begun the exciting countdown to the high street reopening.

We’ve taken a look at some of our top tips and considerations when planning the re-opening of stores to encourage customers to venture out to visit you, all based on our knowledge and experience working with high street brands.

 

1. Consider your customers and their attitudes

 

Really, any choices made to persuade customers back onto the high street and into shops should have the customer’s feelings in mind.

As we approach the end of lockdown, everyone will have different attitudes towards how safe and comfortable they feel returning to a retail environment. With a pinch of generalisation, you might see customers fall into one of two categories:

Some will be keen to get back into shops, enjoying the novelty after such a long period of high-street closure. These customers will most likely return to the high street without any prompting. The challenge is in persuading them to visit your stores over another.

Others will not feel comfortable venturing out to the shops, even after they are told that they are safe to. These customers will need more encouragement to go to your stores, as they aren’t likely to be out browsing on the high street.

 

2. Offer a great incentive if customers go in-store

 

Incentives have been a key approach used after lockdowns throughout the pandemic. According to Statista, during 2020 58% of retailers offered discounts and promotions to encourage customers back to the shops post-lockdown worldwide.

Because it is a common tactic, you can’t not offer an incentive if you want them to spend time in your store – but you need to make it really compelling and advertise it well.

It needs to be exciting enough to encourage those who will already be on the high street to spend their time in your stores, as well as persuade those who may have reservations to venture out to visit you.

Some incentives will do better than others. We’ve seen customers of ours have exceptional interest and store visits by offering a free gift with a purchase via door drops, for example (more on those later).

Think about extending the incentive to click-and-collect. Bridging the gap between online and in-store encourages nervous customers back into the shop and offers an opportunity to cross-sell, but in a way that eases them into the process of being back on the high street. Make it clear that this offer is in-store or click-and-collect only on your website, otherwise you risk misleading (and upsetting) customers.

 

3. Get the word out

 

As soon as you’ve set a reopening date, tell everyone!

Particularly for the more confident shoppers, you want to create some excitement surrounding the reopening of your shop. Use posters and/or window displays in advance of your opening, making the date and new opening hours at the forefront, as well as any incentives you’re running.

You also should consider channels like door drop. Set a radius or make a note of the locations local to your stores you want to cover, and organise a door drop campaign to announce your reopening and the incentives offered.

Door drops are also a great opportunity to create awareness and let people know the exact measures you are taking to keep them safe whilst they shop.

And they are great for encouraging customers to make a purchase too, with 67% of recipients prompted to make a purchase because of receiving a door drop, according to MarketReach.

You also might look at doing a direct mail campaign if you have a membership or VIP scheme. That way you can hit your most loyal customers with a special and unique offer for them to encourage them to come in-store.

We recommend including a QR code or unique codes on any form of advertising you do, so anyone who comes into the store and takes advantage of the incentive can be attributed back.

 

4. Outside of the store

 

There’s plenty you can do from the front of your stores to draw customers in.

We recommend using window stickers by the entrance to outline safety measures you have in place – things like encouraging people to maintain a social distance not only urges good behaviour but relieves concerns of other shoppers.

Other items like bollard covers and A-signs are a great way of attracting the attention of passers-by who might otherwise walk straight past your shop.

Window stickers offer great visual interest and you can use those to highlight reopening dates, events and incentives for passers-by.

 

5. Offer an excellent in-store experience

 

If you can offer a pain-free and secure shopping experience, it will make all the difference for future visits and for word-of-mouth. Where people are not used to going into shops and might already be feeling hesitant, a confusing and stressful experience will put them off returning for much longer.

Try and make the inside layout as straightforward as you can. If you have a route planned to guide customers through the shop, or want to flag their attention to anything, floor vinyls are a good option. Make things like hand sanitiser locations obvious with floor vinyls or hanging signs.

And if you have any future events or incentives planned, consider some posters or signage somewhere in the store advertising this and the dates – give your customers a reason to return!

 

 

Considering all the potential customer attitudes should guide your plans for attracting customers in-store. Using exciting offers or other incentives to come back, then advertising those through door drops in the local areas to your stores ensures you reach all your customers.

With effective marketing outside of the store and a straightforward inside experience, you can give your customers the confidence and incentive to encourage them to return.

Webmart has vast experience and knowledge in helping our retail customers increase footfall in-store and advertise incentives. Get in touch today at enquiries@webmartuk.com and one of our marketing experts will be on the case.

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