The Fashion Startup’s Guide to Growing Traffic Offline

Do you know how to drive crowds to your brick-and-mortar stores or real life events?

Growing your traffic offline will become top of mind for your fashion startup whenever you prep for a pop-up shop launch or other public event. You’ll also need to think about it when you sign that long-term lease for your first brick-and-mortar store. The first thing to realize is you have to look to both digital and in-person strategies to cultivate and maintain a steady stream of visitors.

Digital Strategies

Organic Digital Marketing

    1. These days, most people will look up your business online before they ever pay a visit. And there’s nothing more annoying than looking up wrong details online, like an outdated address or hours of operation. Double-check your  details online. Visit Yelp, Facebook and anywhere else you’re listed online.
    2. Hop on Skype to walk your followers through your new in-store collections. Allow them to book digital appointments for personalized in-store sessions to try on the latest offerings from your fashion startup.
    3. Develop a newsletter for your business. They’re so helpful when it comes to maintaining brand awareness and introducing whatever’s new. Instagram is useful for the same reasons- as well as for building a community of your shoppers and providing a platform to show why your store is interesting and fun. Show people why they should come in.
    4. Leverage local tags on both Facebook and Instagram. Tag your community in Stories. Take a look at who’s tagging from your neighborhood, especially if your fashion startup or event is in a smaller neighborhood. This will help you tailor more focused campaigns. For example, a fashion startup hosting a pop-up in L.A. can specifically focus on their immediate surroundings in Silver Lake. You can also entice would-be shoppers with offerings like viewing new products over a glass of champagne and other fun extras.
    5. If you don’t have a fast fashion business, take a more editorial perspective to keep people coming in. Look to productions like The Style Report by MATCHESFASHION.COM, Net-a-Porter’s Porter Edit and The Window by Barneys New York for inspiration. They all serve to show designs in different stories and contexts to show shoppers how malleable and versatile they are. It’s a great way to entice shoppers to come in throughout the year. Remind them to come in for anything from building their office attires to buying new wedding guest wardrobes.

Paid Digital Marketing

  1. Execute localized advertising on Yelp, Google AdWords and social media. Facebook and Instagram allow you to run locally-targeted ad campaigns to drive in-store traffic and conversions. Facebook specifically offers an option that allows you to track and manage all transactions that occur in your physical space or offline sales event, after shoppers have seen or otherwise interacted with your ad on the network.
  2. Also be sure to look to ad targeting for support. Facebook ads allow you to target locals and tourists alike. So no matter who your customer is, check out this awesome feature and target the right group.

Offline, In-Person Strategies

  1. Don’t underestimate the power of aesthetics. Make sure your windows are well-merchandised and that it’s easy to see inside from the street. Proper lighting is a must. The overall look and atmosphere of the windows and space have to produce a vibe that’s inviting to your target customers.
  2. Build relationships with local shoppers, and text them when fresh product comes in. It’s a great way to grow a consistent following.
  3. Get creative and use tactics specific to your products and branding. Think about how companies like Lush get people into their stores with someone handing out great-smelling samples in front. Or think about companies using scents to entice people inside like the famous in-store fragrances at Abercrombie & Fitch. For pop-up shops, a lot of fashion startups look to street teams to get people excited. They can wear items from your latest collection and hand out flyers for the event.

Event Marketing

  1. There’s really no better way to get people to show up than to entice them with some kind of experience. Experiential can be anything from a collaborative trunk show with designers selling in person, or having a stylist come in for VIP sessions with key clientele.
  2. Experiential is fun and easy to pull off. And depending on the type of activation you’re planning, the other brands may want to go in on advertising, cover the cost of beverages, etc. It’s an excellent way to reduce liability as a fashion startup by not spending a lot of on events.

Note: Combine your event marketing strategies with the digital marketing ideas above for the best results.

In need of expert support for your first brick-and-mortar launch or latest activation? Contact Scaling Retail for customized, considered consulting expertise, decades of experience and hands-on execution and support. Call 310-957-5264 to schedule a consultation session or email hello@scalingretail.com.

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