We live in a world where just about anything can be purchased online, and retailers know that having a strong online presence is absolutely necessary. But it’s important that you don’t forget about the power of brick-and-mortar stores – especially in tourist based areas where experiencing community, local attractions and even shopping all impact their tourist based experiences.

In fact, while 71% of shoppers believe that better deals can be found online, a whopping 94% of retail sales are still credited to brick-and-mortar stores. There are a million ways to try and lure shoppers into your store, but it’s those out-of-the box ideas that are going to separate you from your competition.

Want to make sure your store stands out among the rest and keep customers coming in and telling their friends about their memorable experiences? Consider the below tips.


Reward Customers For In-store Visits

Customers like to feel appreciated, but they also like free stuff. Using social media, email blasts, and signage encourage customers to visit your store in person by offering them exclusive freebies or other promotional incentives for in-store purchases. Another tip? Encourage customers to check in on Facebook, Swarm, Foursquare or another app – which encourages them to share with everyone their experience within your storefront location while also helping to promote your store. Incentivize them to do this with an added perk – such as a percentage off a same-day purchase – to help increase your chances of customers actually doing this.


Use Your Windows

If you were walking down the street, which would catch your attention… A plain glass window with shades or a window that told a story and made you want to go in and find out more? Those windows are free advertising space, so make the most of what you have. Write out sales and specials or hire a local artist to create a dynamic scene that encourages potential customers walking by to want to come into your store and learn more about what you sell. A well-designed window display not only gets a customer’s attention, but it also encourages impulse sales… plain and simple. And let’s face it, that’s something that no matter how tech savvy or modern our world may get never seems to get old.


Offer Free Wi-Fi

While good, old-fashioned window displays still help lure in customers, the reality is free wi-fi can too. Around 62% of businesses reported that customers spend more time in-store after they introduced free Wi-Fi, with 50% saying that this resulted in customers spending more money.

And you can take it a step further by creating an interactive shopping experience. An easy way to do this is to put iPads throughout the store that teach customers more about your product and just what you have to offer. Plus, you can even use your wi-fi as a way to share details of your store to the customers. By having a pop-up icon accepting your wi-fi terms, you can also share store details that may include promotional offerings, upcoming events, inventory details and more.


Set Up A Lounge Area

Shopping can tire people out, so creating a relaxing and recharging environment can lure shoppers into your store – especially if this includes guests who may not want to shop while whom they are with may want to (aka a husband and wife or a mother with kids in tow). If you have the room, include a couple of comfortable sitting options and a TV that offers entertainment your customer base would have interest in. Offer complimentary coffee and water — or wine if that’s appropriate for your target market — and a few light snacks for them to enjoy. Another tip? Have some kid appropriate toys to keep youngsters busy so their parents can more easily shop… and spend. These subtle details are typically not huge investments but help make huge impacts on in-store experiences.

Finally, remember that retail is all about entertaining customers while introducing them to inventory they both need and want. Customers will be more inclined to spend money in your store if you create experiences they enjoy – whether they are simple or grand or a combination of both – to help them meet their shopping goals. From strolling tourists to group-organized guests to business travelers and more, make sure your store is one to remember by introducing the ideas mentioned above and also introducing ideas unique to your one-of-a-kind audience.


By Nicole Leinbach Reyhle

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