Recent world events have made bringing new people into your physical business space quite a challenge. If you have always had an electronic presence, now may be the time to also get to work on increasing your walk-in traffic. Changes in your offerings and your presentation can draw new eyes to your offerings.

1) Launch a New Product or Service
If you have a retail shop selling clothing, now may be the time to feature

a new designer
a line of organic products
recycled fabrics
locally made accessories

The drive to buy locally can help draw in new clients, particularly if you feature a popular local artist. Ask local artists to bring in their wares ready to display and offer them a separate display area for their best pieces.

2) Offer Shareable Discounts
Reconnect with former clients by offering shareable discounts. A coupon that gives a former client a 25% discount and a 50% discount for a friend could mean that your physical store becomes a place both for shopping and for social connection.

Consider adding such a discount to the bag when shoppers leave your store with their new product. Offer shoppers privacy for conversation, but do make sure you invest in the necessary security protections to prevent loss of stock to theft.

3) Create Blog Posts and Videos: Share Your Expertise
If you are a skilled stylist or particularly skilled at working with scarves, offer videos on how to make new outfits from existing pieces. Write blog posts about how to determine the quality of fabric.

For those who offer retail space to local artists, ask them to provide you with links to their blogs and videos. If a local artist is skilled at silversmithing, bead making, or wirework, invite them to teach a class in your facility and offer discounts for your regular stock.

This would also be an ideal time to promote your existing stock with a small discount. For example, if your local artists are building custom jewelry pieces in your shop, a stock of plain black tees and basic white button-downs will give your shoppers even more options.

4) Capture Attention
No matter your location, drawing eyes to your store will be a great investment. Tools from new banners to inflatable tube men can serve your business for a very small investment and bring in more foot traffic.

If your shop is on a walking route, make sure you have a sidewalk sign letting potential shoppers know what’s new and exciting in your space. If you have a parking lot around the back, consider creating a directional tee-pee sign you can set out each day to direct drivers to your private parking spaces.

Post your hours on the front door. If you have a display window, make sure your

pandemic hours
contact information, including website
phone number

are easily seen by drivers going by. They may not be able to stop when they notice your attention-grabbing signage, but you can make it clear for them the best time to come back.

5) Show Community Support
If you choose to change your signage, your logo, and your colors, make sure that you get your logo in a simple black and white and a negative reverse so you can add your data to

tote bags
tee shirts
water bottles
lip balm
pens and pencils

for free giveaways, fundraisers, and community events. If you want to support fundraising for a particular charity, you can promote your business at the same time by giving out water bottles featuring your logo at a charity walk. Hand out reusable tote bags at a “sip and shop” fundraiser. Target local professional organizations with a bit of swag by slipping a coupon into a program for a well-known speaker.

You will need to find new ways to share your offerings. These changes are also an ideal way to share a bit about your values with your potential clients. Do your best to avoid incendiary topics while drawing attention to shoppers who want to support the buy-local movement.

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