Store owners spend most of the year planning and preparing for the buying season over the holidays by building inventory and organizing displays, shelves, and endcaps in ways that engage shoppers and encourage impromptu buys. But, with so much competition online, what can the owners of a toy store do to attract more customers to their physical location? Read on to learn how to get the word out about your popular in-stock toys, sales, and how your store is different from the competition to increase the holiday shopping traffic in your store.
Improve Your Website
Ironically, the best way to compete with online discount stores and drive traffic to your store location is to expand your online presence. If you are new to a city, how will you find out where you want to take your car for repair? You look up "auto mechanics near me" on Google, right? Then, you review the top three to five auto shops listed and check out their customer reviews before clicking on their website link to learn more about them and book your appointment.
The trouble is these days everyone has a website. Therefore, unfortunately, having a website is no longer enough to gain the high rankings in Google search returns needed to catch the eye of online shoppers. You need a website that is built for Search Engine Optimization (SEO), which can make a difference with how many people see your business when searching for keywords, such as "Fortnite toys". A word of caution- don't be fooled by the freebies! There is no real way of knowing if everything you need has been included in the site, and it may be challenging to find someone to help you if your Google ranking does not increase. Additionally, your site must be mobile-ready meaning phone and tablet users can easily navigate through your website as if sitting at a desktop pc. To keep up with the many demands of a busy lifestyle, more and more people are searching for keywords online using their phones or placing orders for products on store websites from their phones. On that note, your website must also be safe and secure for online store purchases. Although you may prefer for customers to buy products in the store, why waste an opportunity to make a sale for those shopping on your website who already know what they are looking to buy?
Once you have a stellar website with beautiful images, it is time to add a few videos. Google tends to rank websites with videos higher than those without them. Make a brief video about the highlights of your top-selling holiday products. If you would like a more professional video, ask the toy manufacturers for propaganda you can use.
Content is King
Since we as humans are attracted to pro-level images, you may be able to grab the attention of online shoppers with your pictures and retain some interest on your website with your videos. However, another way to drive traffic to your website and get them to stay on your website long enough to learn what makes your store a "must-see" in the area is crafting an informative and consistently updated blog or news feed. These articles should be around 750 words each and should be useful information on the items you sell and related topics.
Use Google My Business
Hiring the pros to build and host your website can be costly, at least up front. Thankfully, you have some free marketing materials you can use online to get the word out about your store. Google My Business is an amazing business tool every store owner or manager should be using. With too many benefits to list here, let's just stick with the fact that you can promote any sales, new products, blog articles, or store announcements. Plus, by entering your company address and other important information customers will need to find your store, Google will know where to place you in the Featured Snippet (The business listings with a map that shows up after searching for specific keywords).
Embrace Social Media Marketing
When you hear the words "Facebook" or "Instagram", you may feel a little overwhelmed because of the paid advertising campaign options. The paid online ad campaigns for Facebook, Instagram and Google are worth every penny when used correctly. However, like Google, Facebook and Instagram still have a large reach with just the free postings. Therefore, share all you like about your products, unique store differences, and low prices.
In conclusion, there are a variety of ways to increase the amount of foot traffic in your physical store. However, with so many online shoppers and various free or low-cost digital marketing methods that will put your store name in front of them, the fight to take back the joy of holiday shopping from the online giants should begin on their turf. Show the online consumers why your store offers hot selling products, along with unique toys, service, and creative displays that will entertain the kids while parents browse that they cannot find anywhere else. Win their attention with your online presence, and watch your store be filled with excited consumers who found made it a point to stop by in person to check it out!