25 most effective ways to get more customers for your business

May 03, 2022

Proven ways to get more customers for your business.

If there’s one question all business owners lose sleep to, it must be how to get more customers. That’s not surprising at all considering the fact that more customers equal more sales, thus more money.

But is it that hard to get more customers? Well, not to sound too pessimistic but 29% of small businesses fail because they run out of cash

So, in order to improve your sleep and boost your sales, we’ve made this guide on how to get more customers. If one thing’s not working, remember, there’s always something else to try – quitting is not an option!

Oh, and one more thing – don’t forget to identify your most loyal customers and nourish your relationship with them while searching for ways to get new customers. Because these existing customers are usually the largest door to new ones.

What brick-and-mortar businesses can do to get more customers?

We’re starting with brick and mortar because, in light of the eCommerce rise, these businesses became a sort of endangered species. If you like the advice below, there’s a special article with tips for retail stores that want to increase their foot traffic

To generate the most effective tactics, we’ve asked experienced business owners to share what works best for them. So let’s find out how to get more customers for your brick-and-mortar business.

Let’s find out how to get more customers for your brick and mortar business. 

Optimize your Google My Business profile

Sign up for and optimize your Google My Business Profile, this will enable you to show up on Google Maps for local searches in your local area. This includes filling in all relevant information on your listing including adding a detailed business description (mention your town/suburb/city and relevant keywords here) and completing the services section, plus regularly adding Google Posts and photos to your listing. 

You should also add your business to local business directories as well as gradually build up Google reviews from happy customers. Thus, consider having a QR code at your premises for people to scan and link this to your Google Business Profile.

Karen Dauncey, Founder of The SEO School

Market services you don’t provide online

Speaking of how to get more customers for your brick-and-mortar business, offering services that cannot be provided online goes a long way. Also, providing expert advice so that customers do not simply go online and buy something without consulting with you first is a highly effective strategy. 

Change the business model to a hybrid one, so that individuals can shop both in-store and online if at all possible. Make it simple for them to shop in person as well. Given that consumers are accustomed to receiving subpar service at the moment, it may be worthwhile to go the extra mile to ensure that your customers are satisfied. Offering services that can only be completed in person can be incredibly useful for the majority of companies. 

Tam Le, Founder of Steamaster

Develop clear cleanliness standards

To attract more consumers, I recommend that you develop a clear cleanliness protocol. People want to feel protected after a pandemic, so I would continue to emphasize the need for hygiene and publicize the idea that it is a priority. 

One method to accomplish this is to ensure that the store is immaculately clean. If you have a cleaning policy in place during the epidemic, I would recommend sticking with it for a little while longer. I would also make it known to your consumers that you do, in fact, have a strict cleaning policy in place. 

Display the policy in a prominent location where your customers may easily notice it, and incorporate it into some of your advertising materials. Providing cleaning goods, hand sanitizers, and masks at the front of the store can also help build consumer confidence in your business. 

Moreover, you can assign numerous staff to monitor and restock the supplies as needed in order to stay on top of things. Even after vaccines have been distributed, a few simple actions can help consumers feel secure enough to return.

Sahil Kakkar, CEO of WebSignals

Improve customer service

Improving customer service can make a significant difference to get more customers to your brick-and-mortar business. I believe that improving customer service is vital to reintroducing clients to the retail sector from the internet environment. 

It all begins with the simplest elements, from clean salesrooms and a friendly smile to competent employees and service. This means you have to hire the right staff. They should be polite, patient, resourceful, and able to deal with different people’s personalities, expectations, and needs. 

More often than not, it’s the stuff that makes the difference between customers leaving without purchasing anything and customers buying what they came for plus more. Each employee’s objective should be to satisfy the client. Their mantra should be service, service, and service again.

Teo Vanyo, CEO at Stealth Agents

Host a pop-up shop

Shopping in-person is not extinct. If you’re searching for a unique way to attract customers to your brick-and-mortar store, we also recommend trying a pop-up shop strategy. The short time of the shop’s operation instills a sense of urgency among shoppers, compelling them to turn up or risk losing out totally. Combine this with limited-time sales and promotions and added-value events such as happy hours, food trucks, or even hands-on activities within the area.

Offer incentives for in-store pick-up

To increase traffic to brick-and-mortar businesses, you can offer online incentives for the in-store

pickup of online orders. While some customers may choose to pick up their online orders and depart, others may like to continue browsing or notice something that piques their attention and inspires an impulse purchase.

Incentives can be as straightforward as guaranteeing no queues, a percentage discount off the whole order, or an in-store-only discount on a popular product or service.

Appealing storefront and display

You know how important first impressions are, right? Well, your storefront and display are the first things passersby see, and whether they’re inviting enough to make them enter depends on you. According to research, 24% of purchases are triggered by window displays.

But how do you create a visually appealing display? Here’s what experts suggest:

    • Play with visual elements – add color, depth, and height.
    • Yet, don’t over clutter the space. Keep it simple so it doesn’t overwhelm the viewer.
    • Add light, it makes the space inviting. Even if the colors are darker, illuminate them!
    • Create a story that is in tune with your brand. Your display should sell what you offer.
    • Update it regularly. 

The same rules apply to in-store merchandising.

Online presence

Yes, you’re a brick-and-mortar business but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be present online. You may face some obstacles when going online, but nothing that can’t be resolved with the right people and mindset.

You can start with creating a website. Although this can be expensive or time-consuming if you decide to set it up on your own, it can bring a lot of customers to your store. In addition to that, blogging is another way to get more customers online. 

Now, you can say no to a website, but when it comes to social media it’s a major yes, whether you like it or not. Instagram and Facebook are the best platforms for B2C businesses, while LinkedIn is for B2B. You can use them to increase brand awareness, promote in-store promotions or sales, and much more. 

The thing with social media is that you have to be consistent and engage with your audience actively because they are your potential customers.

Local community

Synchrony’s research shows that almost 70% of shoppers live within the area of a retailer’s brick-and-mortar location.

Supporting local charities, attending fairs or shows, sponsoring sporting clubs and events, and joining a good cause – are all things that attract good publicity among locals. You’ll be practically promoting your business by giving back to the community

Additionally, this kind of presence in the community will help you meet the locals in person and learn their needs, which you can later use to shape your offer and approach.

Referrals and introductory offers

Leverage your existing clientele to boost foot traffic in your store. Create a loyalty program that will encourage satisfied customers to refer their friends and family to you. It’s a win-win situation, you retain your old customers and get new ones, and they, in exchange, get rewarded for their loyalty.

On the other hand, make sure your new customers feel appreciated too. Create special offers that will make them feel like they’re getting more value for their money. Bring-a-friend or coupons are just a couple of creative marketing ideas you could use to attract customers.

How to get more customers for your online business

The following tips will show you how to get new customers if you’re running an online business. Although, with more and more brick-and-mortar businesses getting online, these often apply to them too. So regardless if you’re 100% online, brick-and-mortar with an online presence, or click-and-mortar, here’s something that could help you get more customers.

Easy Checkout

Reduced friction in your checkout process, similar to the point made above about user experience, can have a huge impact on your conversion rates. Visitors should be able to utilize and navigate your site as easily as possible, but you should make it even easier for them to buy what you’re selling.

Remove any superfluous steps from your checkout process that can deter a potential customer from converting. Filling out forms with extraneous fields is a waste of time. Don’t let them run out of time and force them to start over.

David Glasser, PR Executive and Growth Director at Notta

Continue expanding your network

While it’s fantastic to rely on your current network to grow your client base, you may ultimately run out of fresh leads. You may have to look into increasing your network if you find yourself in this predicament. 

It’s impossible to succeed with a fantastic concept and a wonderful company structure if you don’t have any contacts who could be interested in assisting you. Therefore I recommend attending networking events, joining groups, forming partnerships, and seeing your network expand. We’ll go through that in greater detail later.

Steve Rose, CEO of MoneyTransfers

Give new customers free trials

Allow customers to try your goods for free. Free trials are a terrific strategy to sell since they bring in new customers and generate positive feedback. They also enable you to get additional input on new items and make necessary modifications.

Additionally, to convert them into loyal customers, you may boost the value of whatever you have to offer by giving free trials, and then convert people into paying returning clients later.

Instill the value of your product in this possible buyer, and make it evident that your service or product is exceptional. If you do this and provide excellent service, you will most likely be able to turn them into loyal clients.

D.C Foley, Marketing Manager at Perspective Pictures

Use Google AdWords

By creating targeted ads and bidding on specific keywords, I was able to drive relevant traffic to our company’s website and significantly increase conversions. This type of advertising is very effective for businesses that want to get more customers and not just get people to click on an ad. 

I’ve been using Google AdWords for years and have had a lot of success with it. Digital Marketing is a very competitive field, and I strongly encourage you to use the tools that are available to you to boost your online business. 

Yet, if you decide to use advertising, make sure you do thorough research on how to use the most out of your advertising budget, or hire an advertising agency so you won’t spend your money the wrong way.

David Rowland, Head of Digital Marketing at EcoOnline

Email marketing

There are undoubtedly a variety of tactics that can be effective when it comes to getting more customers for an online business. However, one that has consistently worked well for me is email marketing. 

Sending personalized, targeted emails to potential customers can result in a high conversion rate, as people are more likely to buy something if they feel like the seller is specifically addressing their needs. Additionally, email marketing is a great way to stay in touch with current customers and keep them informed about upcoming promotions or product launches.

Mia Clarke, Owner of InvertPro

Utilize social proof

Be authentic when it comes to social media participation – social media isn’t just a tool for driving traffic to your store, it is also a chance to tell stories about your company that people can share. Even if you try to convince your audience that your goods or services are of high quality, they will still rather hear it from someone else, preferably not affiliated with your brand.

Testimonials on your site will dispel any doubts your prospects may have about your product or service. This technique is especially effective since it prevents customer remorse.

Nathan Watson, CEO at Lion Locs

Create video content

Leveraging the popularity of video content is another great way to get more customers online. Video content is more explanatory, thus, it can give customers a better understanding of your products or services. 

You can showcase your products, explain how it works and discuss features so customers can be sure of what are they about to purchase. If you are trying to sell services, you can use video marketing by explaining how your services can help your customers. Moreover, you can include testimonials from satisfied customers as proof of your good work.

Focus on mobile optimization

Nowadays most people use their mobile phones to find everything they need, hence, you can get more customers to your online business with mobile optimization. 

If you don’t want to lose customers, it is essential that your website is optimized for mobile and you should make mobile visitors’ purchasing experience as simple as possible. Keep in mind you may need to redesign your checkout process or launch an entirely separate mobile website. 

A well-designed, highly optimized mobile experience is primarily concerned with navigation and user experience. The more difficult it is for visitors to find – and buy – what they want, the more likely they are to leave your site and go somewhere else.

SEO and content

We’ve all heard it – content is king! 

And one of the best strategies to get started with content marketing is to create blog posts based on long-tail keywords. This works well because there tends to be less competition for these types of keywords, while also being able to generate much more targeted traffic. This is also a great strategy if you’re also looking to initially build up traction with your website.

The next strategy goes hand-in-hand with the previous tactic and deals with creating videos for the same long-tail keywords. After creating the video, you can even embed it onto the blog post to help keep visitors on your site longer.

Influencers

No, we’re not talking about paying A-list celebrities. Instead, we’re suggesting working with micro-influencers who have a highly engaged audience and are relevant to your niche.

Let’s say you’re an indie designer of sports apparel. Well, there are thousands of personal trainers and lifestyle bloggers that are passionate about workouts. Find out which ones target your niche the best and reach out to them with a collaboration proposal. Some of them would ask but others will be glad to promote your line even if you just send them a box of your products for free.

Multiple delivery options

According to PSFK, 82% of consumers say they are more likely to purchase from a brand with multiple delivery options. Hence, the more options you give to your customers, the more sales you’ll make. You may not have the capacity of Amazon but with the right strategy and partnerships, you can ramp up your delivery efficiency.

Find partners

Whether we’re talking about how to get more customers, expanding your market reach, or any business-related matter, it all comes down to collaboration and building partnerships with other brands.

Hook up with companies that you share customers with. For example, if you’re selling organic pet snacks, find a vet, a pet nursery, or even a dog walker to partner up with. Create a co-branding strategy together that will bring new business to both of you.

Luckily, in today’s online business world, you can easily find business partners by leveraging the power of B2B marketplaces. Finding partners does no longer mean you need to spend a fortune traveling around the world. You can join one of the fastest-growing business marketplaces for free and get in touch with thousands of established companies worldwide.

Contests and promotions

You may think this is so-last-decade but the truth is that social media has resurrected contests. People love ‘winning’ free things, and they’ll do all it takes to get them. Share, comment, stand on one leg… Everything!

With only one Giveaway you raise brand awareness, reach a broader audience, attract new customers and engage current customers. That’s a lot of value for something that can cost you 40$ (or even less) and 15 minutes to create the post and share it on your social media channels.

Extra tips to get more customers even when the odds aren’t in your favor

The crisis comes out of nowhere. So you have to be prepared. Whether it’s a pandemic, an economic crisis, sudden downtime, or Armageddon, it’s your job to assess the situation and find ways to still get new customers and stay afloat. 

In a 12-year span we’ve seen one of the biggest recessions ever, and a pandemic that completely shut down the world. So it’s not a matter of question if it will happen again, but when.

On top of it, businesses often face crises not connected to any grave social-economic events. So you better prepare yourself for such times if you want your business to grow.

Preorders

There are a lot of obvious reasons why people won’t spend money on non-essential items during an economic crisis. However, pre-orders have proven to be very effective in changing people’s minds and getting more customers.

Here’s how Sophie from Twisted Squid leveraged preorders:

I opened a preorder for a new t-shirt last night after getting the excitement built up on my social media. With the preorder, you got a free tote bag and art print. Didn’t pay for any ads and took £600 in 4 hours. Will definitely be doing more like that in the future.

And another Reddit user came up with something similar for his favourite barbershop: 

My favourite client is my local barbershop, and they have been hit hard [by the lockdown]. They are used to having 1 hour+ wait times for their first-come-first-serve location.

I was worried about them when things started spreading and while chopping it up, we had an idea to utilize gift cards for the first time. Their patrons love them and want them to stay open so they are in a prime position for a “pay ahead and get a discount” model. If you haven’t ever used gift cards maybe now is a time to try. We utilized the barber’s social media to get the word out and a good ol’ sign in the window.

Added value

In markets where competition is fierce and service offerings aren’t wildly distinct, even at the best of times, brands are looking for ways to stand out. This is more relevant now than ever before, with consumers becoming even more money and value-conscious following the impact of Covid-19.

When it comes to choosing telecoms, insurance, or utilities provider consumers are faced with a plethora of choices but no obvious point of difference. Outside of brand identities, core values, and service, brands need to give the consumer an additional reason to choose them over their competitor.

The added value used to come in the shape of a ‘Parker Pen’ gift with purchase or perhaps a discount when you ‘buy today’. While the concept isn’t new, even pre-Covid-19, the playing field has changed. People have enough pens! Today’s ‘woke’ consumers want incentives that enrich their lives while protecting their pockets.

Free virtual yoga classes to focus on wellbeing, discounts on essential summer gear, or saving on sharing a takeaway with the family – these offer real added value. And it’s these kinds of rewards that are helping businesses chase the conversion.

Conclusion

You can notice that despite being divided into 3 sections: brick and mortar, online, and in crisis, with a little bit of imagination each of these tips can be implemented in all three cases. Combining some of the above-mentioned tips on how to get more customers can give you even better results than just relying on one method. However, it’s important to know your marketing niche and target audience so you can identify what are the best ways to get new customers for your business.

More must-read stories from Enterprise League:

Related Articles