13 ways to get more customers for your business

May 11, 2020

How to get more customers

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 equals 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 for 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 the foot traffic. 

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

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 a researach, 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 colour, 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 colours are darker, illuminate them!
  • Create a story that is in tune with your brand. Your display should sell what you offer.
  • Update it regularly. 

Same rules apply for in-store merchandising.

Impeccable customer service

According to Vend’s 2018 Retail Trends and Predictions Report, 30% of customers expect to get a personalised experience and smart recommendations. 

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 staff that makes the difference between customers leaving without purchasing anything and customers buying what they came for plus more.

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.

Here’s another fun fact: 81% of shoppers research online before making a purchase.

Create 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, to 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.

Moreover, you can make a Google My Business account, or if you’re B2B, join Enterprise League.

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, joining a good cause – these 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 new 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 online presence, or click-and-mortar, here’s something that could help you get more customers.

SEO and content

We’ve all heard it – content is king! 

When it comes to creating content that converts, James Canzanella, the owner of Isolated Marketing Nights has a few tricks up his sleeve which always bring results:

My first strategy is creating 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 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 (in the previous strategy). After creating the video, I’ll even embed it onto the blog post to help keep visitors on my site longer. Video marketing works well for getting more customers because it allows you to get more real estate (so to speak) in both Google and YouTube. Plus, the competition tends to be almost non-existent when it comes to videos that target long-tail keywords.”

Influencers

No, we’re not talking about paying A-list celebrities. Instead, we’re suggesting to work 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. In that context, the amount of time people are willing to wait for free shipping has dropped from 5.5 days in 2012 to 4.5 days on average in 2018.

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.

Partnerships

Whether we’re talking 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.

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 help you get more customers even when the odds aren’t in your favour

Crisis come out of nowhere. So you have to be prepared. Whether it’ 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 crisis not connected to any grave social-economic events. So you better prepare yourself for such times if you want your business to grow. 

Integrity

In times of panic, people can lose their manners, integrity and humanity. When all this is over, your people will remember how you conducted your business, think long term brand association, not quick wins to stay afloat” – says Jade, a leading business sales strategist and founder of Freedomzest. We couldn’t agree more with her.

Desperate times do not necessarily call for desperate measures. 

The worst thing you could do is to start selling face masks, sanitizers or flour at offensive prices, just because your biking business took a slower pace. You’ll earn fast money, but you’ll severely damage your brand reputation and with that your customers. 

Instead, pivot a bit. If, for example, you’re in the street food business, you can try with home delivery.

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 a telecomms, insurance or utilities provider consumers are faced with a plethora of choice 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.

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 pocket.

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 which are helping businesses chase the conversion. So effective is this method, that businesses using lifestyle and rewards subscription service Supercard can experience up to a 33% lift in sales by offering their customers that little something extra.

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 them can give you even better results than just relying on one method. 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:

  • Learn how your business can survive a recession with this business guide. You should start applying it now.

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