How To Plan For Pre, Peak, and Post-Holiday Shopping

How To Plan For Pre, Peak, and Post-Holiday Shopping

Originally published on September 20th, 2021.

October to December marks the peak shopping season for retail stores. It’s a time when many retailers plan for an increase in shoppers. As the world moves out of the global pandemic, retailers need to be ready for customers with new shopping behaviors.

Pre-Holiday

According to a Google study, 70% won’t consider purchasing something without seeing it online: whether it is an ad, browsing through a website, social media, or email newsletter. This means that retailers need to start ramping up on their online efforts early: whether it is sending weekly newsletters or updating social media on a regular basis, “online storefronts” are more important than ever to shoppers.

Think With Google, 2021

People often flip between discovery (window-shopping) and shopping (looking for products mainly based on functions or features) until they are ready to make a purchasing decision. Of the two, discovery is more emotional and can often override the rational thinking behind shopping. Which is why online “pre-shopping” discovery is so important to the entire shopping process now.

A Statista survey showed that up to 50% of people are planning to do their holiday shopping in-stores. This means that retailers need to be ready to showcase new merchandise and discounts online to shoppers even before they make it to the stores.

Retailers need to gather more customer reviews so that they appear higher than their competitors on Google searches. Read more on how to get more customer reviews here.

Peak-Holiday

In 2020, up to 79% of people left their holiday shopping until one-week before Christmas. This is good news for retailers because they are able to push their efforts to the very last minute. The same study showed that 64% of shoppers planned to shop in-stores. After more than a year of restrictions, people are eager to get out. This is great for physical stores that are able to target shoppers when they’re nearby.

Convenience plays a huge role in purchasing decisions today. “Now near me” searches have grown 100% worldwide. Options for store-managed e-commerce have also increased a lot. Because some shoppers will always leave holiday shopping until the last minute, local stores have a major advantage. After all, everybody has experienced shipping delays given the increase in online shopping. Instead, more local shoppers are searching for ways to buy online and pickup in store (BOPIS) to avoid delays.

The key to successfully offering store pickup for online orders is inventory accuracy. This means using store operations software that offers real-time stock information in-store and online. One way to make sure that your store appears online is to use Google’s free product listings and Local Inventory Ads (LIA). Learn more about how to increase foot traffic to stores with Google here.

For last minute shoppers, retailers can offer store pickup. Not only does this avoid delivery delays, it helps encourage shoppers to purchase extra items when they come to the store for their orders. Make sure that your order pickup area is well-merchandised with suitable impulse products. And consider switching to an order pickup system that will allow staff to checkout customers. There’s nothing worse than losing sales from a in-store shopper just because a customer doesn’t want to line up again to pay.

Post-Holiday

13% of all retail purchases end up being returned. This means that retailers could be juggling huge losses in January. In the US, 1.75 million packages were returned in January 2021, and that does not include returns in store!

Keeping the return process simple and painless is key. It is especially important for retailers to create an easy process as 89% shoppers who have difficult return experiences will not shop at the same store again.

As the holiday frenzy winds down, retailers should cycle back to the pre-holiday selling tactics and tips to gear themselves up for another selling season. Read more about our off-season marketing strategies here.


Want to know more about Post-COVID merchandising?

post covid merchandising checklist

Recession-Proofing Your Business: What Sells During A Recession?

Recession-Proofing Your Business: What Sells During A Recession?

Welcome to part 2 of our Recession-Proofing Your Business series. In the first part of this series we went over strategies that retailers can use to handle the recession. Some of these strategies included:

  • How to use software automation to reduce operational costs
  • How to reduce inventory based on changing customer needs
  • How to improve your relationship with customers.

In this blog, we will explain why consumers needs recession-proof products.

What are recession-proof products?

As the name suggests, recession-proof products are items that traditionally sell well during a recession. These are the type of products that people will keep purchasing even when money is tight. Here are 4 ways to tell if a product is recession-proof.

1. Inelastic demand

Elasticity with products or services is a way of explaining how shopper behavior changes when retail prices and household finances change.

When something has elastic demand, it means that any small change in price or the economy will have a big impact on whether customers will change the way they shop. The best examples of this are discretionary products. This is products that are not essential such as clothing or vacations. When the price of these items increase or people are short on money, more people will buy less clothes or take less vacations.

In comparison, products with inelastic demand are things shoppers will keep buying, even when retail prices increase or they are short on money. These products are usually seen as ‘essential‘, without any good substitutes. Products such as prescription drugs, tobacco, salt or mobile phone plans are good examples.

Maselow's hierarchy of needs
Maselow’s hierarchy of needs (Source)

Remember that essential products aren’t always things needed for survival, but they are products that shoppers feel they cannot stop buying. This can include products that comfort people during difficult economic times such as recreational products which satisfy certain emotional needs. Maselow’s hierarchy of needs above is a good way to think about whether a product you sell is inelastic. Products that satisfy needs higher up in the pyramid are more likely to be inelastic and harder to substitute.

2. A easy way to escape

Escapism art
(Source)

Uncertainty during a recession can lead to a lot of stress and anxiety. People will be looking for ways to escape from these tensions. So products that entertain people and help them keep their mind off of things often sell well during a recession. TV streaming, video games, junk food, alcohol, and similar products are examples of this. In the last part of our Recession-Proofing Your Business series, we touched upon the idea of the lipstick effect. This is a great example of how people shop based on the need for escapism and comfort during a recession.

3. Whether a product can be stocked in bulk

Canned food stockpile
(Source)

Whenever there is inflation, people want to stock up on certain products to avoid paying a higher price in the future. As a result, every day essential products with long shelf life will do well in a recession. As long as supply is reliable, essential products such as canned foods, rice, toilet paper, dish soap or instant ramen noodles that can be sold in bulk will continue to sell.

Encouraging shoppers to stock up on shelf stable products is known as stocking the pantry. By selling products in bulk, even at a lower price, retailers make marginal profit on the same sale and limit the space available in a household for shoppers to stock competitive products.

4. Seen as a lower-cost option

If you sell elastic products (non-essential products), it’s always a good idea to offer lower-cost options during a recession. This can be something as simple as smaller sizes or features. Making a smaller sale is still better than losing a sale completely. As long as you are clearly communicating how features vary between differently priced options, you will still be able to offer higher value products for those who can afford it.

You can also use the Apple’s Goldilocks strategy. Placing an expensive option next to a decently-priced option makes the cheaper one seem like better value.

Here are a few examples of how smart retailers are offering wallet-friendly versions of popular products during these inflationary times.

Flonase - the lower cost option
Retailers sell two versions of the Flonase nose spray. One with 72 sprays and one with 144 sprays. Giving consumers a choice between spending more to get more uses, or spending less. (Source)
Sales prices to illustrate anchoring
Uniqlo uses the idea of the Apple’s Goldilocks strategy here. Where you show an item at a higher price right next to a cheaper item. The more expensive product doesn’t look much better than the sale item, so consumers feel as if they are getting a great deal. (Source)

This is the same, even if you sell services or subscriptions. For example, it’s a good idea to offer lower cost subscription plans to avoid cancellations. The best example of this is what Netflix has done recently with their new ad-supported tier. By offering a downgradable plan, more shoppers will keep Netflix versus cancelling their subscription.

Tiered pricing for Netflix
Netflix Canada’s pricing table for the different tiers of membership (Source)

Recession-proof product categories

Now that you understand some of the reasons that drive shoppers to buy during a recession, let’s take a look at some examples of product categories that sell well when times are bad.

Food

This one is obvious since people need food to survive. As we said earlier, food that has a long shelf life will perform better when times are tough. The demand for cheaper food will always increase when shoppers are looking to save money. Of course a recession won’t stop consumers from purchasing food, but you can expect shifts in the type of food they will choose to spend on. If you’re a grocer or you sell food at your store, take the time to consider how to change your product line to meet these new shopper needs.

Self-care products

Collage of various self-care products
(Source)

Products for personal hygiene, self-care, and beauty have historically done well during recessions. This is thanks to the lipstick effect. However some of these products are also necessities, such as: toiler paper, soap, towels, etc. These products are needed by consumers and demand will generally remain stable.

DIY products

DIY lifestyle products also do well during recessions. This includes products that help improve your home (e.g. gardening tools, drills, hammers, nails, lawnmowers, etc.). Other examples include DIY products that give people an affordable creative outlet such as home decor projects or hobbies. It also allows consumers to save money as they will not want to pay a service for things like home maintenance during a recession. After all, DIY is a form of escapism and helps people de-stress.

Pet products

Pet food next to a dog and cat
(Source)

Pet products are strong recession-proof items as people consider their pets as members of their family. So they are not going to be forgotten during a recession. Especially essential products for those special family members. These include: food, litter, treats, and waste removal bags. Pet products will remain inelastic in demand throughout a recession.

Recreational products

A physical film collection in a store
(Source)

Once again people’s need for escapism helps another product category remain recession-proof. Recreational products are a staple during a recession. Lower-cost recreational products perform even better. A deck of cards, board games, cheaper video games, and cost-effective movie streaming are all examples of great recreational products. However these recreational products don’t only have to be in-home options. People will look for way to escape outdoors as well, sports equipment and camping gear are other great recession-proof products.

Off-price products

A discount tag on clothing
(Source)

Off-price retailing is the strategy of buying out-of-season or overstocked branded products and selling them at heavily discounted prices. Off-price shopping increases during recessions so if you have any distributors or suppliers willing to sell you their extra stock at a lower cost, you can also look at offering branded products at prices below MSRP.

Conclusion

Now that we’ve gone over product categories which have historically done well during a recession, you should review your own product mix to determine if you’re selling the right things during these tough times. If you are seeing success with other categories, please feel free to share your thoughts with us below in the comments.


To deal with a recession, investing in tools that optimize your operations is key. TAKU Retail is helps you manage your entire store and ecommerce operations, all under a single login. At the same time, we’re constantly adding new features to help our merchants deal with labor shortages. Click below to learn more about our new self-checkout feature to sell more with less staff.

TAKU Self-checkout kiosk banner
Best Laptops For A Small Business

Best Laptops For A Small Business

Like any other job, having the right tools to run your retail business is important for success. It is essential to have a computer to run a business in the modern age. An affordable laptop that meets your needs as a retailer can increase your productivity and make operations run smoothly. Through intense research, the TAKU team has created a list of the best laptops for small businesses. These laptops will be able to run software like QuickBooks, Microsoft Office, and TAKU Retail with ease. Since this is a list of laptops for small business owners we’ve kept the list to laptops under $1000 USD.

Before we dive into the list of laptops we should go over some of the basics of computer specs (specifications). Computer specs refer to the pieces that make up the computer. The specs are also a good indication of computer’s potential performance. Here are some of the most important specs to be looking out for when shopping for a computer/laptop.

Random access memory (RAM)

A stick of random access memory
What a stick of RAM looks like, this chip is inside the computer. (source)

RAM is one of the most basic specs one should look at when purchasing a computer. To simplify things, think of RAM as the shelf size in a store. The bigger your merchandising shelf is, the more products you can display nicely. The more RAM a computer has, the more programs and windows it can have open at once while still running things smoothly. RAM is measured in GB (gigabytes). 8 GB of RAM is the standard these days, and will be enough to keep up with the standard day-to-day operations for a business. It is important to keep in mind that Google Chrome is well known for using a lot of RAM. So if you are someone who likes to have a bunch of tabs open, you may want to spring for 12-16 GB of RAM. For a deeper explanation of RAM check out this article.

Central processing unit (CPU)

A central processing unit chip
A CPU chip, another component inside of computers (source)

The CPU (also known as a processor) is the brain of your computer. It is arguably the most important piece of the computer because it does most of the work. A strong CPU will usually mean a fast computer. Now CPUs are not measured in a metric (like how RAM is measured with gigabytes). CPUs require a bit of technical knowledge and research to understand which ones are the best. To keep things simple, we recommend that for business purposes you aim for an i5 or i7 processor. The i5 and i7 models are only with the Intel brand, but most of the laptops on our list contain Intel processors.

Storage capacity

SSD and HDD
The two types of computer storage devices (source)

The storage capacity of your computer is the amount of data it can contain. This is also measured in gigabytes. There are two options on computers these days when it comes to storage. There are solid state drives (SSD) and hard disk drives (HDD). HDDs are generally a lot larger (in storage & physical size) and cheaper but are not as fast to load your data. SSDs are much faster but cost more, this is why they’ll tend to have smaller storage space. SSDs are pretty much the standard now as they allow your computer to load Windows (or Mac OS) a lot faster (this means the computer starts up quicker). All the laptops in our list contain SSDs. For a full breakdown between the two check out PC Magazine’s article.

Now there are a bunch of other specs one can look at when shopping for a laptop, but the three mentioned above are a good starting place. So let’s dive into the best laptops for small businesses.

8 of the best laptops for small businesses

HP 15-dy2024nr

HP 15-dy2024nr laptop for a small business
Can be purchased from Amazon

The HP 15-dy2924nr is a great laptop at its price tag ($517.00 discount price on Amazon, and $659.99 standard price). The computer has the standard 8 GB of RAM, a 256 GB SSD and an Intel i5-1135G7 processor. The processor is quite a powerful chip and will ensure your programs run smooth. The laptop also has quick charging, letting it repower from 0% to 50% in just 45 minutes (not to mention its 8.15 hour battery life)! This ensures you waste no time and can get to serving your customers quicker. Purchase it from Amazon today!

Inspiron 15 3000

The Inspiron 15 3000, a great laptop for a small business
Can be purchased from the manufacturer

The Inspiron 15 3000 is quite a solid laptop. The laptop goes for $479.99 with the current sale on Dell’s website. The laptop has 12 GB of RAM, and a whopping 512 GB SSD! Furthermore it uses a 10th generation Intel i5-1035G1 processor. These specs at this price seem like a steal! The physical build quality of this laptop is in the mid range, but this is expected at this price tag. It is built from plastic, but a durable sturdy kind. The battery can last up to 11 hours in some use cases, making it more than convenient for a full day of running your business. With the specs offered and that price tag, you really can’t go wrong with the Inspiron 15 3000.

HP 17-cp0097nr

HP 17-cp0097nr
Can be purchased from the manufacturer

This HP laptop is the only laptop on this list to have a big 17.3″ screen. This is a great option for those who have a bit more difficult seeing things up close. This is also the only laptop on the list without an Intel processor, but the AMD Ryzen 7 5700U CPU is a powerful and well priced processor. The other specs are standard as it has 8 GB RAM and a 256 GB SSD. Now it is not the most bang for your buck laptop as it sits at $699.99 but it makes sense considering the large screen size.

Refurbished 2015 Apple MacBook Pro

2015 Apple MacBook Pro
Can be purchased from Amazon

The cost of a brand new MacBook is way beyond the budget of this list. However, if you are still itching for a Mac computer – you can’t go wrong with a refurbished MacBook. This refurbished 2015 MacBook Pro is going for $528.99 on Amazon right now. With 16 GB of RAM, a 256 GB SSD and a powerful Intel i7 processor, you’ll be able to accomplish any of your business needs! Apple computers are well known for their top class build quality, so know you’ll be getting a sturdy and beautiful laptop. Even for a 7 year old laptop, this machine still runs all the software a small business would need wonderfully!

Acer Swift 3

Acer Swift 3
Can be purchased from the manufacturer

This is one of the smaller laptops on the list with a 14″ screen. But the small body of the computer in no way impacts the performance. This computer has an Intel i5-1135G7 CPU, 8 GB of RAM and a large 512 GB SSD. One of the benefits of the smaller screen is that it allows the batter to have a whole 13 hours of charge! The laptop is very light too at 2.56 lbs. A really sleek computer with a decent price point ($799.99).

Lenovo Yoga 7i (14”) 2 in 1 Laptop

Lenovo Yoga 7i (14”) 2 in 1 Laptop
Can be purchased from the manufacturer

Lenovo makes some the best quality Windows laptops on the market, and their Yoga series is definitely a contributor. The Yoga 7i is a 2 in 1 laptop, so it can be used as both a traditional laptop or a tablet. The base model comes with an 11th generation i5-1135G7 CPU, 8 GB of RAM, and a 256 SSD. All of that is priced at $764.99, upgrades to some specs can be chosen on their website for additional costs. Since this laptop is also a 14″ screen, it can run up to 13 hours with full battery life. Even though the specs seem similar to others on this list, the higher price point comes from Lenovo’s super high quality craftsmanship. These machines are similar to Macs in the sense that they are very durable and sleek. The durability is thanks to the use of high quality materials for the device.

Microsoft Surface Pro 7

Microsoft Surface Pro 7
Can be purchased from Amazon

The surface laptops blur the line between tablets and laptops. Surfaces don’t come with a built in keyboard (those can be purchased separately). But they are very sleek, modern, and powerful machines. The specs are as follows: 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD, and an Intel i5 8032. This machine is probably the least bang for your buck (especially at the $759.00 price point) compared to the other options on this list, but it is still a really well-built and a decently powerful machine.

2020 Lenovo ThinkPad E15

The Lenovo ThinkPad E15 business laptop
Can be purchased from Amazon

Lenovo ThinkPads have been a staple in almost any business sector for a long time, and there’s a reason why. The ThinkPad series have some of the best security features in the industry. This specific ThinkPad has 16 GB of RAM, a 512 GB SSD, a 15″ screen, and a powerful Intel i5-10210U processor. All of this comes at a price tag of $928.95. Although this is the most expensive option on this list, it is also one of the best value laptops. At that price point the specs almost seem like a dream! Pair that up with Lenovo’s top notch build quality and premium security features, and you have a top of the line laptop! If you are not constrained by tight budgets, we recommend this laptop the most out of everything on this list.

There you have it! TAKU’s list of the best laptops for a small business. Now it should be mentioned that laptops in general don’t have long lifespans compared to regular desktop computers. So if your budget allows it, you might want to invest in an even more expensive laptop. This way you can ensure your device will have a longer lifespan. You now have some computer knowledge to get a basic understanding when doing some laptop shopping. We hope you use the information provided to find the best laptop for your small business.


Now that you have a new laptop, why not learn about some of the great technology of tomorrow? Metaverse shopping will set new standards for the retail game. To stay ahead of the curve and learn more about shopping in the metaverse click here.

How Retailers Can Get Shoppers To Add More To Their Store Pickup Orders

How Retailers Can Get Shoppers To Add More To Their Store Pickup Orders

If you’ve been keeping up with TAKU blogs we assume you are already offering Buy Online, Pick Up In-Store (BOPIS). If you aren’t, check out how TAKU can help you to easily offer BOPIS with 0 headaches! 85% of shoppers interviewed in this study have admitted to making extra in-store purchases when visiting to pick up their orders. It’s essential to be thinking about how retailers can get shoppers to add more to their store pick up orders since this is the best way to get the most out of your BOPIS offerings.

Let’s go over some strategies YOU can start using today to get more impulse purchases through in-store pick ups.

Start on the online front

Woman doing online shopping

Your first opportunity at getting customers to add more to their purchase during a BOPIS order is on the online front. Your customers are already ready to make a purchase when they go onto your website to make an order – this is the perfect time to strike! CNBC mentions that “once you’ve mentally committed to buying an item online, you know you’ll have to go through the required steps such as entering your information… so you may be more open to tossing additional stuff into your cart.” Here are two tactics you can use to upsell online.

Timed discounts

BarkBox's week long promotion
BarkBox’s limited time promotion (Source)

The fear of missing out (FOMO) is a very real thing. Finder.com reported that more than half of consumers said they made an impulse purchase because of FOMO. Timed discounts are a perfect way to use this attitude to make more sales. When a consumer is making a pick up order on your website, you can upsell another item to them at a discount. Make sure this discount has a timer on it, so they have to make the decision quick or miss out on the offer forever.

Item recommendations

Lush's product feed to upsell
Lush uses a product recommendation feed at checkout to upsell to customers (Source)

You can upsell products on the checkout screen of your website with ease. You can recommend products that pair well with whatever the customer is buying and have them be easy to add to the customer’s cart right from the checkout screen.

Real-time stock quantities

Showing real-time stock levels for items on your website is a great way to get shoppers to add more to their store pick up order. Shoppers whose purchases are driven by stock availability would be excited to add more to their cart if they know those items are available and can be picked up all at once, in one visit.

TAKU Retail's real-time stock quantity with Google integrations
TAKU’s Google inventory integration in action

On top of that, you can still appeal to a customer’s FOMO with this tactic. If the customer sees that an additional item only has 1 unit left in stock, they will be more likely to reserve the item online so that they do not miss out. Adding a tool such as TAKU’s built-in integration to Google to your own online store makes it easy for you to effortlessly showcase your available store products online.

Amazon's real-time stock quantity to upsell products
Amazon’s use of stock quantity to leverage FOMO (Source)

In-store strategy to upsell

Another opportunity to increase additional sales of a pick up order is within the store itself. As BOPIS’ name suggests, your customers will have to come in-store to pick up their products. This provides another avenue to promote extra purchases. Here are some tactics that will get shoppers to add more to their pick up orders.

Transaction building with expert employees

Apple store expert employee speaking to customers
An Apple store employee providing expertise to customers (Source)

A transaction building strategy will motivate consumers to add more to orders. For example let’s pretend you are an hardware store. If a customer comes into buy a bath tub for a washroom renovation they may realize there are some other products they will need. These can include things like caulking, shower heads, and maybe even a shower curtain rod. You can train your employees to bring these subjects up when the customer comes into pick up their order, this will ideally lead to more additions to their purchase. Having well-informed employees is a huge advantage for this strategy. Think about a time where an employee’s expertise in a store has helped you make the right purchase.

Price threshold discounts

FreshWagon's spend 75 and get 15% off
FreshWagon’s price threshold promotion

Another simple way to get shoppers to add more to their store pick up order is to offer discounts based on their transaction price. Let’s say a customer is coming in to pick up a $180.00 order. You could tell them that if they make a $200.00 purchase they will get an additional 10% off. This will get them to look around your store for a $20 item so that they can get the discount. The urgency of the in-store offer is often enough to get them to purchase an extra item or two.

Promotions on receipts

Receipt marketing to upsell
ecrebo’s receipt marketing

If the customer has already made the pick up without adding anything to their purchase, you can make a last ditch effort through receipt marketing. You can leave messages on the receipts of transactions which communicate in-store promotions and discounts. This way the customer knows that next time they can take advantage of in-store promotions and add to their basket. Companies like Fobi offer products which can help you make the most out of receipt marketing.

Game tactics

Melie bianco's spin-to-win promotional wheel
(Source)

Who doesn’t enjoy a good game? Using the reward system that games use can help your customers feel more enticed to make additional purchases. At the pick up center of your store you could add a spin-to-win wheel that will give customers special promotions with the purchase of an additional item. You could also try to upsell a specific item which will enter the customer into a raffle to win something exciting.

Don’t sleep on food

Canadian Tire's snack display
Canadian Tire sells bags of candy right next to their checkouts

Have you ever been to a hardware store and saw their displays near the cash registers and wondered why? You know, those displays showcasing snacks like chips, candy and nuts. Well there’s a reason to include those items there. Even if you are not in an industry usually related to food, you can easily offer food items as small last minute purchases. When someone is coming in quickly to pick up an item, sometimes the convenience of having a drink or snack be easily grabbable is just what they need. Why would the customer drive to a gas station to buy a water bottle when they can easily grab one right at your store as they are picking up their order?

Make it easy to add more

In order to get the best results with any of these tips, you go to make it easy for the customer and employee. No one is going to want to add to their order if it is made a hassle. Your employees should be easily able to add additional items to the customer’s order with quickness. POS systems like TAKU make this as easy as possible.


TAKU can help your store manage BOPIS and curbside fulfillments efficiently. In addition to running all your in-store and online sales in one system, TAKU’s built-in free Google listings allow you to easily advertise your real stock availability to current customers. Want to get started? Click the button below for a free demo.

Top 100 Retail Terms Every Retailer Needs To Know

Top 100 Retail Terms Every Retailer Needs To Know

Are you wondering what “BOPIS” or “clicks to bricks” mean? Are you looking for a reliable list of the top 100 retail terms?🤔

Success in retail today involves an increasing number of technologies and concepts. But who has the time to keep up with new terms when you’re busy running retail stores?

The ultimate retailer's glossary. Top 100 retail terms.

Don’t worry, TAKU Retail has got you covered. Whether you’re a long-time retailer or a new merchant, we’re here to make things easier for you. Don’t waste time looking at questionable resources online.

As former retailers themselves, our founders have prepared a list of the most used retail terms in a searchable, sortable retail glossary. Click below for the only retail dictionary you’ll ever need.


TAKU Retail continues to be the best go-to tool for your retail needs. Besides our retail glossary, check out our free blog resources to find other ways to improve your business. All of our blog posts are written for retail owners.

How Brick & Mortar Businesses Can Attract More Shoppers In Store

How Brick & Mortar Businesses Can Attract More Shoppers In Store

As Spring is finally here, people are going to be heading outside much more often, especially after the last several years. With increased foot traffic outdoors, retailers should be looking for ways to bring some of that foot traffic into their own stores. If you are a retailer, you may be wondering: “How can I attract more local shoppers?” Well, in this article, we’ll go through how brick & mortar businesses can attract more shoppers.

(Source)

Exciting in-store experiences to attract more shoppers in store

In-store experiences have definitely become more common. People today are always looking to participate in new experiences. Here are some ideas for interesting experiences you can curate for your consumers:

1. Photo ops

Set aside a small space in your store (or even outside your store) where customers can take photos and share their visit on social media. This space should get customers excited. Some ideas include: a chalkboard with some unique art related to your business, a custom neon sign, or even an installation of some beautiful plants along with some decoration. Get creative here, and allow your brand to shine through. Don’t forget to put up photos of other shots for ideas.

Chatime's "TIME TO PAR-TEA" neon sign
Chatime has installed neon signs with their signature “time to par-tea” catchphrase where people can take images of their drink and share it online (source)

The pictures your customers take will end up advertising your store for free through the customers’ social media posts. It also creates a positive association between your brand and the consumer.

Reminder: Offer a small incentive to get shoppers to tag you in their posts. Tagging is important to increase visitors to your social media accounts.

2. In-store events

Another way brick & mortar shops can attract more shoppers is through exciting events in store. By events, we don’t mean things like sales and promotions. Although those can be effective, we recommend running events such as: lessons/classes in something related to your business, having an expert in your industry come in and host a seminar, or the reveal of a new product line.

Loblaws' cooking classes
Loblaws offers PC cooking lessons for customers to take and learn new recipes (source)

Make sure that the event you are hosting provides value to your business. The event should be related to the industry your business is in, but not something you already offer in some way.

For example, a vacuum shop could host a seminar on how to go about spring cleaning. The vacuum store doesn’t offer spring cleaning services, but people who are planning their spring cleaning will most definitely be using vacuum cleaners. So offering them a guide on how to effectively go about the cleaning will give them an added benefit and encourage the purchase of a new vacuum.

Dyson vacuum demos for customers
Dyson letting in store customers test out their products against eight types of debris (source)

Even if they don’t end up purchasing a vacuum, this event will still bring them into the store, but more importantly the event will allow the customer to perceive your brand as the expert on cleaning. Now they will be more likely to think of your store when considering their next vacuum purchase.

3. Partner with others to host pop-in shops

Another way to increase foot traffic in your store is to host pop-in shops for other businesses. This works best when the other businesses are related but not directly competitive to yours. Simply designate a spot in your store to host another small business’s pop-up stop to offer items that help sell your own products. For example, a bakery shop could host a pop-up shop for a small artisan jelly business or a coffee shop could host a pop-up donuts business. 

Etsy's pop-up shop in Indigo
(source)

Attract more customers in store through low cost merchandising tactics

Retail merchandising is key to creating a positive customer experience. A strong merchandising strategy brings the products to your customer rather than the other way around. Here are some modern merchandising tactics your business can use to engage your customers. 

1. Storefront Window Display QR codes

A cost efficient way to attract more customers in your store is to use QR codes in your window display. This allows them to be accessible to everyone passing by. These QR codes allow anyone with a mobile device to easily learn more about your products, even when your store is closed.

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QR codes are easily changeable which allows you to regularly update them every time you change your window display.

INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO PRINT FREE QR CODES

2. Helpful cross-selling signs

A way to modernize your store merchandising strategy is to use signs to cross-sell other products. Most in-store signs today take up space but only promote one specific product. Add cross-selling signs allows you to use the same amount of space but promote multiple products at once. Simply merchandise products together that are known to be bought together and create a sign that presents that to your customers.

Liquor store complementary product signage to attract more shoppers
This liquor store pairs to ideal products together with the help of a simple sign (source)

Adding signs that say “Buy this if you like this” or “This goes great with this” is simple, but it’s enough to draw attention to other products.

3. Highlight your Google profile & Google Reviews

Another way brick & mortar shops can attract more local shoppers is to highlight popularity and your Google reviews. Google prioritizes local businesses when nearby shoppers search online. Make sure that your Google store listing has accurate information including your address, store hours, etc. A good omnichannel system will be able to easily manage this information for you.

Highly engaged reviews are important for new customers that have never visited your store. A sign at the front of your store stating “ Google best seller” or a good quote from a Google review would attract new customers into your store. Some ideas include:

  • Printing out users’ reviews and placing them near the product
  • Placing a sign at the front of your store with the products that are gaining the most recognition on Google
  • Putting up a sign that offers an incentive for shoppers to leave reviews
Google on a smartphone showing product reviews
Check Google reviews of a product in-store to showcase it to customers (source)

Omnichannel to attract more shoppers

Retail stores that sell in-store and online use omnichannel software to easily turn online visits into bigger in-store sales. Omnichannel software is what allows retailers to offer real-time inventory and BOPIS (Buy Online, Pickup In-Store or what is sometimes called Click & Collect) to customers without any manual work. With the right system, customers can place orders online and pick up in stores when the same system notifies them that the products are ready.

1. Real-time stock availability

Showing real-time store stock levels online allows customers to see real time stock availability so they won’t be disappointed when they get to the store. A positive shopping experience encourages returning customers. Using a tool such as TAKU’s built-in integration to Google or to your own online store lets you easily showcase your available store products online without any effort.

Google SWIS Example
TAKU’s Google inventory integration in action

2. Buy online pickup instore (BOPIS)

Customers love to shop online but don’t love the shipping costs or the amount of packing materials used to send products out. By allowing them to pick up their order in store it solves their problem while also creating an opportunity for your business to upsell, lower merchant processing fees and reduce return rates.

Scout, a gift shop in Toronto, offering curbside pickup for their online orders (source)

BOPIS reduces the friction between your online store and your in store experience for happier shoppers. And using the right all-in-one technology will increase sales while reducing the operational costs of fulfilling from the store.

Attract more customers by offering In-Store Exclusives

In-store exclusives are a great way to attract more nearby shoppers. Local customers are willing to shop in person instead of online if there’s a strong value-add. You can give your customers this reason by offering in-store only exclusives. Here are a few in-store exclusives you can offer: 

In-store only promotions/deals

You can create an exclusive feeling for your in-store shoppers by implementing promotions and discounts offered only with an in-store purchase. This is where your store can offer any promotion or deals worth sharing. Some examples include:

  • Offering some products only in store
  • Grouping bundles of your products and selling them as a combo
  • Giving coupons that can only be redeemed in your retail locations
Michaels $4 Grab Bag deal
Michael’s 4$ Grab Bag is a in store only deal that lets customer buy a box  with various holiday or seasonal items and puts a single price of $4 on them (source)

Creating a seamless shopping experience for your store has never been easier with TAKU. Besides running all of your in-store and online sales in one system, our built-in free Google listings allow you to easily advertise your real stock availability to nearby customers. TAKU Retail can also help you easily integrate BOPIS into your business. If you want to learn more about it, click the button below for a free demo.

Attract more customers in store with TAKU