Canterbury Small Shop Websites – Promote footfall, not sales

May 14 2024
Canterbury Small Shop Websites – Promote footfall, not sales

Don’t sell to your visitors - Intrigue them

People expect a retail website to bombard them with offers and discounts. They don’t expect it to invite them to an event. Offer them a chance to learn something new and useful. Or simply entertain them with an interesting fact or two from the past.

So rather than jumping straight into talk of discounts and seasonal offers on your home page. Make your visitors sit up and pay attention by crafting a headline that they weren’t expecting. A headline that will compel them to stick around and read more.

1. Schedule an event - It's not just a shop, it's a venue!

Time, date, place - be there for something special. It could be seasonal. A new product launch. A celebration related to the city. Whatever the reason engage with and then tease your audience into coming. Tell them what it's about but also hold something back. A special guest? A live draw with a mystery prize? Whatever works best for your products. Add it to the website homepage and grow expectation as you countdown the days.

2. Add some extra value - Help customers gain the most from the product

A vintage clothes shop offering detailed advice on delicate fabric care. A flower shop giving a free sample of plant food. A bookshop stamping a card towards a free book voucher. You get the picture. What's important is that the website advertises but never supplies the value directly. To get it they need to visit the shop.

3. Tell your story - Once upon a time in old Canterbury...

From the mighty Cathedral and its shop to the humblest of market stalls. The retail sector in Canterbury has a rich heritage of storytelling woven into its streets, arcades and market places. Selling from this city means there will always be something fascinating from the past to learn and then share.

Study the history of your product. Make that history a part of your brand’s story. If you sell staples such as food or clothing remember that your predecessors having been doing so here for roughly 1400 years! There’s almost certainly a juicy tale or two to uncover and share with your visitors.

Combine the story with an event or an offer you were considering and you have the seeds of a campaign. Or maybe a new direction for your brand to pursue. Large retailers have to follow the marketing guidelines of their head office masters. They can’t explore, connect with and promote their local heritage. But small retailers trading primarily from Canterbury can. Use the city's many tales and fame to your advantage.

Become a tour guide for your products

Research the history of your product and premises in the city. Find a way to connect you and your customers with your counterparts from the past.

It’s obviously simpler to do this with an antique bookshop than a mobile phone shop.

Simpler but not impossible. For example - hundreds of years ago, dispatch riders would have galloped through the city gates with the latest news from London stowed in a satchel. Wax sealed documents that updated the local news networks of the day. Now we open an App on a phone and look at the latest headlines via a wireless link to the internet. The delivery method and speed may have changed but the result is the same. Carrier Pigeons, the railways, telegraph stations and land line telephones. All played a part in the same story. All are a fascinating record of change within the communications industry.

Limitless stories to associate with your brand and then share with your customers

Tie these stories to promotions and offers that are in store only. Reward physical customers with an added extra for visiting the shop in person. Make them a part of the story with a photo (with their consent of course). Share your common love of the product(s). Then spoil them a bit with something more. Make them feel comfortable and genuinely welcome. Make a physical visit to your premises so much more than an online sale.

If you are lucky and work hard some will become an advocate of your brand as well as a being a customer, sharing your stories and raising awareness of your brand.

Your website sending customers to your premises. Followed by brand advocates sending new visitors to your website – nice :)

Work hard on encouraging footfall and sales will increase all on their own.

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