Becoming a Destination – Increasing Traffic to your Brick and Mortar Craft Store

Becoming a Destination – Increasing Traffic to your Brick and Mortar Craft Store

It’s no secret that retail stores are in  fierce competition with online sales to capture customers dollars. However, recent research indicates a surprising trend: consumers spend significantly more per visit in-store than online. And in a recent survey we conducted at Stitchcraft Marketing, 80% of respondents said they are more likely to search for an item at their favorite local retailer than buy it through an advertisement online (more survey results forthcoming!). Today we’ll explore some strategies on how to differentiate your brick and mortar craft store and make it a destination to increase your traffic and sales dollars.


The Shopping Experience

These days, people can (and do!) purchase a huge portion of their crafting supplies online. So what can a local craft store do to get customers in the door? The answer is to create a memorable experience. Craft supplies are sensory, and the ability to touch,feel and see the supplies in person is a unique experience that buyers can’t get online. But there’s also the experience of interacting with your store staff. Are they helpful and friendly? Do they have lots of inspirational ideas? Can they help answer simple questions, or point customers to the right resources? 

If you’ve got your buyers’ shopping experience running smoothly, then it’s time to expand your thinking to include other customer needs you can fill. Add classes based on projects or crafting techniques to draw new audiences interested in learning your craft, and offer your existing customer base opportunities to learn new skills and expand their knowledge base. 

Invite guest artists to teach or speak, including leaders in your craft field or those doing new and innovative things. Offering these special events is a way to attract regional attention and bring customers back into the store for an experience they can’t get elsewhere. 

Hosting trunk shows from different artists also allows you to change your product offerings regularly. Cross-promoting these events with the artists gives you an entree to new audiences. It also creates limited time offerings, keeping your existing customer base coming back to see what’s new and trending.

Devote a portion of your store to local artists’ offerings and add complementary items to the mix. For instance, if you are a yarn shop, find local dyers and feature their hand-dyed fibers. Friends with a local potter? Try selling some of their items (think yarn bowls!) in your shop. Find local artisans who produce notions or bags/cases and include them in your offerings. Curate a collection of locally crafted items that customers can only purchase in your shop. In addition to local customers, think about how you can leverage these offerings to become a tourist destination, offering visitors a tangible memory of their visit.


Targeting Customers

There are some specific ways to target customers in your local area to increase traffic to your store.

Geotargeting is the process of delivering different content to web users based on their geographic location. Geofencing allows you to draw a “fence” around the geographic areas that you would like to target. Many ad platforms including Google Ads and Facebook Ads will allow you to target advertisements to prospective customers in specific areas. Geofencing technology is compatible with 92% of US smartphones and 30% of the international population is using location-based services as well. Almost 80% of those customers say they are open to receiving location-based promotions

To increase your local and regional traffic, use ad placements along with geotargeting and geofencing to hone in on a local audience. Create engaging ads based on your customer avatar and your unique offerings (classes, events, products) and use geotargeting and geofencing to target exactly the customer you hope to reach. 

Geotagging is the process of adding geographical identification metadata to various media. Geotagging looks like “Checking in” on Facebook, or tagging photos or videos with location data on Instagram or YouTube. Using geotagging in your social media marketing, and encouraging your customer base to do so, will allow more prospective customers to find you and your specific location information. For instance, users scrolling through Instagram or Facebook can find images that customers have posted of your shop and offerings, and locate information quickly on how to find you.

We hope we’ve given you some inspiration on how to become a destination shop for crafters. If you’re interested in learning more about how to target specific customers to increase traffic to your shop, contact us today to get started!

Leanne Pressly
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