With the surge in online shopping, some business gurus, pundits, and futurists have been sounding the brick and mortar world’s death knell for so long, that it’s kind of a white noise that just continues in the background. Indeed, it’s as if we’re all waiting for the day when we walk or drive to a shop or mall, and find a giant, tumbleweed-whirling wasteland instead of familiar stores full of nice people and useful things that we can see, touch, smell, taste and hear. Heck, we can even break them (and then buy them, as per store policy).
And while it’s true that some parts of the retail world have been damaged or pretty much destroyed by the e-commerce, rumors of brick and mortar’s total obliteration from the business landscape have been greatly exaggerated. In fact, Amazon has already launched seven retail stores, with more on the way.
All of this means that if you’re running a retail store — in addition to or instead of an e-commerce site — then you don’t necessarily have to start racing for the exit. Instead, you can focus on what retailers like you since time immemorial (give or take) have needed to do: increase foot traffic. Here are three practical and proven ways to make this happen:
1. Leverage Search and Social
First, Amazon makes its way into the retail world that it spent the last few decades scourging. Now, you’re being advised to use search and social to drive foot traffic into your store. Is this bizarro world? No.
Search and social are actually allies in your quest, because 85 percent of your customers are going to live in a five mile radius of your store — and many of them are going to discover you by conducting an online search. Making sure that you’re easy to find in all of the right places (e.g. Google Places, Google Maps, Yelp, Facebook, etc.) isn’t just smart, but it’s essential.[…]