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What to Do If Your Retail Store is Not in a High Traffic Area

Posted by PCC Small Business Development Center on July 17, 2017

retail-store-not-in-high-traffic-area.jpgRetail stores often struggle to get the customer traffic necessary to thrive in an increasingly digital world.  It’s even more difficult for stores that aren’t located in a high-traffic area. While a good location definitely helps, it’s not the only way to drive traffic to retail stores.

Here are a few retail store marketing strategies that can help increase visitors to your store when it’s not on the beaten path:


Hosting an event at your retail store location is a great way to encourage people to come out and visit. Whether it’s to celebrate a holiday, company milestone or just customer appreciation - an event can draw people in. Keep in mind, people will likely be expecting some type of food and/or entertainment, so there will be an investment needed, but it’s something to consider if it means expanding your customer base.

Utilize Your Existing Customer Base

Word of mouth can be a very effective form of advertising. Creating programs in which your current customers are rewarded for bringing in new customers can help increase your base. What is more, you can identify your key influencers and create a brand ambassador program.  Brand ambassadors are basically customers who are big fans of your product and are willing to spread the word for you.

>> Learn more about our Retail Small Business Management course here.

Digital Marketing

Today it’s easier than ever to target your audience online through search and social media advertising. Unlike traditional marketing, digital marketing can be much more precise at only displaying your advertisement in front of people who are most likely to want your product. Also, it can be much easier to track success. By getting in front of your potential customers online, you’ll create awareness of your retail store location even if they’ve never driven by.


Many stores have added in-store experiences to increase foot traffic. For example, a store that sells cookware offering cooking classes or a craft store offering painting lessons. Depending on the type of product you sell you may also be able to offer something of value to your potential customers for free, like free jewelry cleaning for visiting a jewelry store. People will come for the experience, but likely also become customers of your core business as well.

Good Signage

If your store is hidden or off the beaten path, some good signage is a way to create awareness of your location.  We’ve all seen stores with bright neon signs or a person out front dancing and twirling a sign, but that’s not the only way. For example, you could set up a sign on a main road that includes directions to your location.

Having a good location for your retail business is ideal and something people pay good money for, but it’s not the only way to drive traffic to retail stores. If you have a good product and customers who are passionate about your brand, there are many ways to drive and keep customers coming back. Once people know where you are and what you have to offer all you have left to do is make your sale!


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The Oregon Small Business Development Center Portland Community College has  helped thousands of businesses over the past 30 years. We combine one-on-one  advising with programs taught by business experts, giving our clients the  resources they need to grow their businesses. We’ve celebrated many successes  with our clients. We'd love to celebrate your success. 

Topics: Small Business, Retail, Growing a Business

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