Over the past 2 years, the Covid-19 pandemic has, undoubtedly, upended the retail industry, caused uncertainty for the future of the in-store experience and left retailers scrambling to effectively serve consumers and navigate through the new trading landscape. Digital marketing and social media have then become the next omni-channels to create a distinctive customer experience. However, with 2022 becoming the year for more re-openings, shoppers are enthusiastic to re-enter brick and mortar stores and return to some kind of normality. 

In today’s increasingly competitive landscape where consumers have a ton of choices, it’s more important than ever to come up with ways to get people walking through your doors. Here are 9 strategies that we’ve compiled to turn your online fan base into physical customers, with social media marketing!

1. Usage of nostalgia and emotions 

Nostalgia – An emotion that transports us to simpler and safer times, where everything just seems better ‘back then’. When we reminisce on the past, we tend to view things through rose-tinted glasses. Using nostalgia will evoke a sense of emotion from your consumers, and remind them that you’re still here for them. In fact, if they already love what you have to offer, using nostalgia correctly encourages them to visit your store, and increase their spendings. 

Consider finding a story in your brand history that connects with your audience, open up their childhood or bring back a popular discontinued product. With emotions playing a huge part in their purchases, a little understanding into what makes your audiences tick is sure a great way to connect with them on an authentic level, develop a longstanding relationship that keeps them coming back to you.

2. Make visiting your retail space an experience 

Rather than just selling physical products, sell an experience for those who are visitng your retail space. To many, it is a given that they can order anywhere anytime from the ease of their phones. However, what’s missing from online purcases, is the experience of entering an exciting space! 

From sharing with your consumers sneakpeeks on what your brand has in store, to getting their interest piqued and prompting them to head down to check out more exciting releases, the entire process can give your consumer a more fun and interesting experience. 

A unique shopfront is also another way to get people in store. Cook up an interesting display — something that people don’t see every day — and bring it to life either in your windows or outside your store.

Check out what Kate Spade did a while back when the company brought real waiting to be adopted-cats to help promote its pop-up store.

Credit: @katespadeny

The ability to deliver experiences that people can’t get on their phones is a valuable asset, and encouraging sharing and tagging on social media will help you create a buzz and galvanize interest in your future events.

3. Keeping up with the times and the seasons

Credit: Sneakernews

Nothing keeps people away more than a store with stale and outdated pieces or decorations. Keep your social media pages in line with the trends and seasons and make sure your in-store decoration elements aligns. When cooking up ideas for what to showcase, go beyond traditional seasons and big holidays. For instance, when a new popular movie drops in town, by incorporating the trend in store, it stays relevant with your audience and keeps their interest high on what the brand has to offer. 

Taking the collaboration between popular hypebeast clothing brand, Baping Ape, and Adidas Original – An exclusive collaboration between the 2 brands had brought up the hype between its consumers, rushing them to head down to physical stores to grab a pair for themselves. With the correct collaborations and trends, brands can definitely expect to see an increase in footfall in-stores. 

4. Inviting Social Influencers 

Sometimes driving footfall physically isn’t an easy task, which is why brands bring in reinforcements like influencers to draw the crowd. 

As a brick-and-mortar store, you too can leverage the power of influencer marketing by inviting them into your shop. Take this opportunity to show them around, offer them product or service samples, and give them LOTS of opportunities to take photos. This way, you can get them to post their experience or purchases on their profile, increasing outreach to their audiences. Keen consumers will definitely head down to the physical space to check out more! 

5. Offering exclusive deals in-store

There is no better way to encourage and entice consumers to come in-store then by offering them a special discount. Brands can simply start by spreading the word on social media, and using a secret message that gets consumers excited on what they can look out for. 

Taking this TikTok trend for instance – Brands are now hopping on the wave, where they release a secret code, get audiences to head down to the store and in exchange for the secret gift, they will have to share with the staff what the message is. The process is exciting, mysterious and definitely a way to spread the word that your stores has something consumers might want!

6. Don’t forget your physical packaging! 

This is a no brainer. As a consumer, nothing strikes more to the eye than a distinctive and creative packaging! 

From stickers, to business cards, or anything literally wrapping up your products with your social handles, there are tons of creative ways to couple social media with an in-person promotion and leave a lasting impression. Color and design in packaging can have a striking effect on shopping behaviors. An attractive packaging beckons the consumer and encourages impulse buying.

Catch the attention of your online audiences with your product’s packaging, throw in some discounts or freebies, and simply get them to head down to your physical store for purchase or collection.

Apple is a success example of distinctive packaging and consumer experience. Focusing on the overall experience of a customer, Apple treats its packaging as importantly as the products itself. Believing in giving its customer the “hassle-free” experience and making sure that the packages are easy to open, it is no doubt that its simplicity and minimalist cover draws customers to its physical store, rather than making their purchases online. 

Credit: Cloudinary

When your packaging attracts the attention of your online audiences, interested consumers will make their way to check it out! Afterall, it is the small things that matter.

7. Using user-generated contents (UGC) or encouraging others to talk about your brand

Believe it or not, word-of-mouth and user-generated contents can increase traffic to your retail space! For many brands, one of the biggest needs to be is easily the hunt for UGCs.

For UGCs, encourage your audiences by sharing their photos of them in-store or the products with a brand hashtag. Just like how @cottonon_asia does it #MyCottonOn, consumers who see these products and are interested, might just make their way to the store. UGCs play a great part in building your brand’s reputation, especially since this is not a direct ad from the brand itself, which gives other consumers a sense of credibility and trust.

Credit: @cottonon_asia

With positive word-of-mouth, consumers will want to experience what the store has to offer. Consumers trust their friends, which makes word-of-mouth marketing a valuable asset. According to statistics from Semrush, if a customer feels satisfied with their interaction with your business, 96% will return and will be more likely to tell the people around them – this stat alone solidifies the word of mouth use case.

8. Using paid social media ads 

By harnessing the power of social media and using Facebook Paid Ads, your brand can target potential new customers with unique offers based on their location. An example of this is launching a ‘flash sale’ which is only available to people based in an area within a certain distance from your store. In the post, be sure to mention the area to catch people’s attention. An example of this is saying something like, “50% off all products in store for people visiting Vivocity – today only”

9. Creating a cohesive social media & in-store experience

As a brand, it is important to ultimately create a streamline experience both on your social media platform and in-stores. By taking into serious consideration the contents you are posting out, as your marketing strategy, it will be a way for your brand to drive sales, increase footfall and most importantly get quality customer loyalty.  

Set yourself apart from the competition and take a look at this infographic that outlines the role played by social media in guiding the online customer’s journey and offers an insight into the many ways in which retailers can integrate their social presence into their in-store experience. 

Credit: Pointvisible 

In conclusion, there’s no denying that retailers have their hands full in terms of their social presence. From uncovering new customers to increasing the value of the ones you already have, the amount of creative business opportunities available to retail brands on social media is seemingly endless. 

With help from experts in Social Media Marketing Agencies like Plexxie, you can trust on us to get your brand up and running. 

Find out more here on how you can increase footfall into your retail stores today!


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