Are you opening a new extension of your business? Having multiple stores will enable you to increase your brand’s reach and new customers. But it’s important to remember that opening a new store isn’t one of those “build it and they will come” situation. You can’t expect customers to flock automatically to your new retail center when you open your doors. When you open a new retail outlet you need to do a lot of work and let the people know, and work to generate foot traffic.
To help you do that, below are a few ideas on how you can drive word of mouth traffic for your new branch. Check them out!
Make known your new location even before it opens
You need to build up hype even if your new store isn’t opened. Take it online, on your website, and into social media to raise awareness and keep your brand on top of everyone’s mind.
Here are a few things you should do:
If you’re doing any promotions around your grand opening, be sure to give people a heads up by mentioning it in-store or by putting flyers inside their shopping bags in your existing store. Get innovative and try to include your promotions into other parts of your existing locations. A restaurant, for example, may promote its new branch by putting the announcement on its coasters.
Post updates and photos of your upcoming store in social media so your followers know what is coming. Do publish behind-the-scenes posts and give people a peek into what’s forthcoming?
Send out a special email to give subscribers information that you’re expanding to a new location. Just make sure that you’re sending these messages to relevant customers. For example, sending these announcements to subscribers who don’t live around your new shop is not necessary.
Fortunately, sending out geo-targeted emails is easy now if you have the right data. If you get information on customers, and have their location data, you can easily sort them using your email marketing solution, and then send the campaign correctly. You can send campaigns via your Point of Sale as well!
Have a big opening day for new retail
Your grand opening should be a big event, so give time to plan it. Consider your budget. What kind of theme will your event have and besides buying your products, what other activities guests can do at the event. These are just some of the points you should consider when planning for your grand opening.
There are a lot of logistics involved here, so you may want to create checklists and timelines for smooth management.
Encourage shoppers to spread the word
Boost word of mouth awareness by encouraging your customers for same. Start with your most loyal patrons. Give them incentives (such as invite-only events) and tempt them to talk about your brand with their friends and followers.
Also request in-store guests to pin, post, and share photos of your store and merchandise online. Leave symbols such as hash tag stickers around your store, to subtly promote social shares.
If you have an inspiring story behind your business, do share it. You could also emphasize all the great things that your store is bringing to their community. Emphasize that you are creating jobs and reinvigorating the town. Make sure the media knows about it.
Additionally, being bold at your grand opening could help you get the coverage you want. If you have any stunts planned, or if a celeb is attending your grand opening, make sure the media is aware of what you have in store, so they can give you the spotlight you merit.
Increase online visibility
Make sure you are found through online directories, to ensure that people can find you on the web.
Google and Facebook are very important sites, which is why you should complete your business profiles on these sites as soon as you have your new location up and running.
Add as many details as possible: opening and closing hours, parking information, and include as many photos of your store: interior, external, and product images.
Another important point is investing in SEO or search marketing for your site or listing. A lot of prospective customers would conduct online searches to find and discover local sellers. Getting your store in front of these folks can boost your online as well as foot traffic.
Just opening a new branch of your store doesn’t guarantee customers. As we mentioned above, you need to put in a lot of effort for any branch or expansion of your retail to drive awareness and traffic to your new location. So chuck that “taken for granted” attitude out of the window, and start applying the ideas given above to action.