• Tandem News

How to overcome slow foot traffic

Slow foot traffic can be a constant battle for any merchant business with a physical store, especially today — when eCommerce is King. Just over the past year, retail foot traffic declined by almost 11%, according to a research report by Cowen and Company.

How can small and medium-sized retailers overcome this battle? The first step is to understand why foot traffic is slowing down.

Problem: Other nearby businesses are taking a piece of the pie.

Solution: The greatest form of flattery is imitation. Research competitor stores in your neighborhood as if you’re a potential customer. What is that business’s strength? Is it their web presence? Do they have a loyalty program? If it’s a restaurant, do they have heavy take-out or delivery orders? The answers to these questions can tell you a lot about what customers really want.

The opposite approach may be to go with a completely different positioning from your competitors. Maybe their service is fast, but yours is an experience. Be unique!

Problem: Weather or other negative events like a construction-related roadblock is affecting your sales.

Solution: The free iPhone app Thrive can help you understand if weather or other events has had an impact on your sales.

If possible, use icky weather to your advantage! Would you normally go get ice cream during a snowfall? Probably not. As a result, the ice cream chain Bruster’s promotes a free second scoop of ice cream if it’s raining or snowing.

Similarly, a dance group here in Greenville recently posted a “Bridge Out” warning sign on their Instagram. The caption said something to the effect of, “X road is closed — take Y instead! We’re still dancing!” The warning sign caught your attention, and then the caption made it clear that the party wasn’t stopping for a road closure! Use this technique for your retail store next time you’re in a similar situation. Try offering a coupon as a reward for shoppers with a will to keep shopping!


Problem: Your top customers aren’t as loyal anymore.

Solution: If you don’t already have a loyalty program established, set one up.

If you do, use it! The great thing about Tandem Loyalty is that customers don’t have to keep up with a card or keychain. Customers are identified by the credit card they use.

Our loyalty analytics can identify buying patterns, times that a shopper is more likely to buy, and more to better target individuals. Visit for additional information.