Foot Traffic Is Changing, How Are Retailers Adapting?

Creative ideas for safely driving foot traffic to your brick-and-mortar storefront from Englander

Retail trends have been all over the place recently, thanks in large part to COVID-19—but these types of challenges did not appear overnight. Many bedding and mattress retailers have been struggling against slow foot traffic in recent years, but the pandemic has had a significant impact on customer volume, even as stores have been allowed to re-open. Its time to think outside of the box—try some new tactics to draw in customers. People are still looking for something fun, even if they’re still hesitant about in-person shopping. Rather than creating an experience inside your store, think realistically about how people are spending their time these days. What might catch a customer’s attention when they go on a walk? What sorts of outdoor activities are consumers interested in and which do they see as safe?

Consider these 4 ways to start driving more traffic into your store today:

Host An Outdoor Event

Drive traffic to your store with by organizing an event around an activity that can be held outside—like yoga or exercise. If you specialize in kids beds and sleep products, consider a story time. Events like this are valuable for bringing people together and to your store in a safe way.

Hold A Pop-up Shop

On a Saturday afternoon, most young couples arent going to be drawn to shop for mattresses, especially during a pandemic. But wellness items like plants and aromatherapy candles might catch their eye. By hosting a pop-up featuring popular items like this on the sidewalk in front of your store, you might be able to attract more customers—ones that weren’tt necessarily planning to go mattress shopping. This gives you a chance to remind them of how much they need a new bed or new sheets. It also gives you the opportunity to partner with another local business, like a nursery or boutique to supply the pop-up products. Finding new ways to foster good will with other businesses in your community can feel like a lifeline in tricky times like these. Who knows, this one event may even open the door to more permanent partnership opportunities in the future!

Maximize Online Chatting & Text Messaging To Stay Top Of Mind

If you plan to host an event or differentiate your product mix, make sure to communicate about it with potential customers through email marketing but also through text messaging. Restaurants are using these tools effectively right now—promoting specials and meal deals through text. Theres no reason retailers cant do the same.

Creative Advertising

As many people are relegated to their own homes and neighborhoods, theres been an increase in engagement with local news sources and neighborhood newsletters. If you havent been marketing in these venues in the past, now might be the time to start! And if your marketing team has invested in advertising in the local newspaper in the past, now isnt the time to walk that back—but you might just want to focus on digital. Diversifying your marketing outlets is key.

Looking for more ideas like these?

Englander offers a wealth of creative strategies and fresh thinking. When you partner with Englander, not only do you have access to a portfolio of time-tested products, but you also have personalized and innovative support with an emphasis on your brick-and-mortar store. Englander is dedicated to supporting its retail partners on the in-person retail level, come what may (including a pandemic)—and its leadership and account managers are not distracted with their own branded ecommerce business. The companys sole focus is on developing quality products and supporting brick-and-mortar retailers.

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