How to Turn Foot Traffic into Web Traffic

Operating a brick and mortar store while also managing a successful online presence can introduce equal parts of chance and challenge. While the time investment can be strenuous, there are strategies that can be implemented to streamline the efforts and easily encourage foot traffic to become Web traffic.

Incentivize! It is important to inform customers walking through your door about your online presence. Make it attractive by offering a reason why they should like your business on Facebook, visit your website, sign up for your newsletter, or leave a review on Yelp, for examples. Even consumers just visiting a store without any intention to make a purchase may be encouraged to engage with you online if you give them something they want.

And here comes the challenging part: How can you get in-store shoppers to also become online shoppers, like and share your online special promotions, and so forth?

First we need to understand why some consumers prefer purchasing in a store rather than online. According to PwC’s Global Retail and Consumer practice, the main reasons to buy at a physical location are the immediate availability of products and being able to see, touch and try those products first-hand.

PwC Research - Q9

PwC Research – Q9

So, if you want your customers to not only buy in your actual location but also make purchases via your online store, you should consider offering benefits to outweigh those of physical shopping. Some of these can include lower pricing, a wider variety or products, or free shipping.

The below graphic from the same PwC’s research displays which product categories are bought in-person most frequently. If your business falls into one of those categories it might be a bit more challenging to sell your products online.

PwC Research - Q32a

PwC Research – Q32a

Keep in mind, it is not always about driving sales online but also to gaining attention and building a reputation. So while these categories may be difficult to sell virtually, the online focus may be better directed towards developing visibility and loyalty.


Consumers love incentives and are more willing to act if a reward is awaiting them. Below are some ways you can encourage store shoppers to engage with you online. Of course you can exercise your creativity a bit more but hopefully these tips can help get you started.

  • Foursquare: Offer a monthly coupon for the customer who became the most recent “Mayor” for your location.
  • Facebook: You’ve almost certainly heard or read the phrase “Like us on Facebook!” and even if you think it is worn out, it is still very valuable. But be careful when offering incentives for a “Like”, since bought “Likes” are not well-received. Additionally, anyone who likes your page is able to “unlike” you within seconds so it can be a very temporary gain. Apart from that, Facebook can be an excellent marketing tool if used correctly.
  • Newsletter: Encourage customers to sign-up for your newsletter. Use QR codes on flyers and business cards to direct people to your newsletter’s sign-up page. Offering special coupons and promotions through this type of marketing will drive value to the consumer.
  • Reviews: When managing transactions, use this moment to tell customers about the review sites you are listed in and ask them to leave a review. Please note, if you want to use incentives here, be sure to make the offer regardless if the feedback is positive or negative. Just incentivizing positive reviews might look like you are actually buying them which lessens their worth. Furthermore, negative reviews actually can help your business by showing transparency and further product details.
  • Website: Ask customers to visit your website, put the domain name on your marketing materials and be sure to keep it updated with useful information and offers. If you offer lower prices or a wider product range, be sure to talk about it in the store. This is especially valuable when dealing with tourists as they can stay customers through your online shop after they leave town.

Those are just some pieces of advice and there are many more. Join us next week when we turn things around and see what can be done to make Web visitors become in-store shoppers.


Photo Credit: ©

Photo Credit: PwC’s Global Retail and Consumer practice

Category: Tips
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