5 Factors That Convince People to Try a Retail Store

Kaitlin Keefer, Editor

Customers are the most important part of your retail store. And with more competition popping up every day, making sure your store stands out above the rest can be increasingly challenging. So we conducted a survey of 1,800 U.S. consumers to figure out what it takes to catch their eye and get them through your doors.

People trust each other. Whether they approach each other in person, over social media, or through review sites, consumers rely on the recommendations of other consumers when they are looking for new retailers. According to our survey, 47 percent of consumers trust the reviews of other consumers.

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While word of mouth might be the way consumers are most likely to discover your retail store, that doesn’t mean they don’t consider a variety of elements when finding new businesses. We identified eight factors that most people look for when evaluating a new retail store.

retail factors

Here’s how you can optimize the top five factors we identified to get people into your store and coming back:

1. Promote friends’ and family recommendations.

Since we know that consumers are most likely to turn to other people for retail recommendations, you can encourage your friends and family to spread the word to their network and on social media. Thirty-eight percent of consumers said people they know are their go-to source for retail ideas, and 29 percent of customers look to social media for recommendations.

2. Generate positive online reviews.

Online reviews are the second most used source for discovering new retail stores and are becoming more popular. Pay attention to all of the online platforms available for customers to leave reviews, and claim your business pages, especially on Google. After setting up those pages, make sure you are monitoring the reviews left by customers and have a strategy for responding. This shows you are engaged and listening to your customers’ feedback, both positive and negative.

3. Have a sale or run a promotion.

People love a big sale, so it’s no surprise that sales and promotions are a leading factor in attracting new customers. Be strategic about when you run a promotion. Aside from the typical holiday sales, reference your analytics reports to identify times of the year when customers are spending less on full-price items, and think about running a sale then.

When you do have a sale, make sure to promote it on your website and social media. If you purchase targeted ads, direct them at an audience in your local area. Ninety-two percent of respondents in our survey said proximity is important when they are deciding to try a new business.

4. Accept credit cards.

With more people opting to go cashless, not accepting credit cards could make you lose out on business. From our study, 84 percent of respondents said it’s important to have the ability to pay with a credit card.

5. Consider different shipping methods.

We’ve all had that moment when we’ve been ready to check out of an online store, only to get knocked out of our seats by high shipping costs or long shipping times. For many consumers, that can be a deal breaker.

Consider different methods of shipping to find one that fits your customers’ needs and doesn’t sacrifice your margins. If you buy your inventory from a wholesaler or other manufacturer, you might want to consider drop shipping to make inventory management easier on you.

Interested in learning more? For more findings from our survey, read our ebook.

Kaitlin is an editor at Square where she covers everything from how small businesses can start, run, and grow, to how enterprise companies can use tools and data to become industry leaders.