4 Ways To Increase Customer Walk-Ins

Posted December 14, 2021

Young couple standing outside of store looking at display window.

Want to increase in-store traffic? As winter approaches, you might think the majority of customers are planning to “stay in” until the ground thaws in March. But you’ll be happy to know that most patrons are looking for a reason to stop in and explore what’s new in the neighborhood.

We’ve said it before, and the fact still remains: customers are always hungry for new experiences. That means, as retailers, we cannot solely focus on selling goods to draw people in. 

Instead, we need to direct our attention to creating unique experiences that encourage patrons to stay a while to explore, interact with our products, and share their stories with others.

How to Increase Walk-In Customers

One way to harness your customers’ attention and convince them to venture out and into your retail store is to transform your location into a destination. 

Below we’ve listed four easy, yet effective ways to do this. The benefits of these strategies are three-fold:

  • They will help you increase foot traffic
  • They are easy to measure and track success
  • They will help you build meaningful connections with customers. This way they keep coming back and engaging with your brand—both online and in store. 

Ready to get started?

In-Store Events

Help your customers plan their weekend, or girl’s night out, with a fun in-store event. These can range from VIP exclusive events that pair shopping with complementary finger foods and drinks to group classes, such as cooking tutorials, makeovers, yoga classes, or any activity that helps promote your products.

This might also include partnering with another brand and creating a one-of-kind shopping event. For instance, you may have a barista from a local coffee company serve fresh lattes or hot cocoa to your customers while they browse your shop. Or, you may feature a small selection of merchandise from another brand that pairs well with your products, using a shop-in-shop model.

Hosting in-store events is an effective way to get customers inside your store and add value to their shopping experience. 

Social Incentives

This brings us to #2 on our list. When your customers are attending in-store events and partaking in all the free ad-ons, it’s pretty hard to not take a quick pic of the experience and post it on social. 

Make it easier for them to share their experiences with others by creating custom branded hashtags. Of course, you don’t have to use this strategy for in-store events only. 

Many retail brands create social sharing opportunities by displaying a branded hashtag in certain parts of their shops, such as a dressing room or at checkout. This encourages customers to document their adventure, and it also helps you produce more authentic user generated content to build greater brand awareness.

Displays & Signage

This might sound like an old school marketing tactic, but consider the foot traffic that is already out and about. How can you grab their attention and entice them to step inside your store vs. just passing by?

Attractive signage and displays that are on brand and seasonal help pull customers in. You can advertise new sales or promotions, new product launches, or discounts to spark their curiosity and interests. 

Do you manage a Facebook and Instagram page, or other social channels? Be sure to feature these displays and signage on your feeds to alert followers still at home.

You’ve probably guessed this already, but a big part of drawing in foot traffic is making sure your online and in-store efforts align and work in tandem. This is what we call omnichannel marketing. And brands that adopt this type of strategy can achieve 91% greater customer retention, year over year, compared to brands that don’t. 

In-Store Challenges 

Add even more excitement to the in-store shopping experience with some healthy competition! 

Brands like Lidl, for example, offer customers a treasure hunt experience. Devoting about 20% of their retail store to “Lidl Surprises,” the brand features a selection of hidden gems available for exclusive discounts in limited quantities. The challenge, of course, is who can find the best deal before it sells out? 

Because the store rotates this selection weekly, shoppers can come in regularly to discover new “treasures” and challenge their inner savvy shopper. 

Other creative brand challenges might include: 

  • Offering free services to customers who spend a certain amount on in-store purchases (e.g. Sephora offers free makeovers to customers who spend $50 on purchases). 
  • Advertising giveaways on popular products to certain customers who stop in store, like a post, or leave a comment on social.
  • Creating brand challenges, where customers are automatically entered to win a grand prize if they create a video to show how they use your products.
  • Creating in-store scavenger hunts for prizes

The options are endless! But the one thing to keep in mind as you plan your campaigns is this: as a retailer, you have a unique opportunity to create experiences that cannot be replicated online. 

Building a great in-store retail experience can truly change the way your business runs. You will not only see stronger sales, but you will also see that your customers will end up responding to you on a much better level as well…What works for you could take time and consideration. Be creative and go with it.


Stay Current on Retail Trends!

Looking for more tips on how to promote your retail business? Stay connected to our blog for more shopping trends and advertising strategies that draw more customers in.



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