How to Increase Online and In-Store Traffic in 5 Minutes

How to Increase Online and In-Store Traffic in 5 Minutes

We all want to sell more — more products, more services, more stuff. At least that’s the goal for most businesses. And in order to sell more, you need to get more people to come to you, either to your website or your brick-and-mortar outlet.

Generating more traffic is essential to generating new leads, maintaining your customer base, and driving both first-time and repeat sales. With distractions coming from all directions, it can be difficult to beat out the competition for users’ attention, so we put together a list of eight ways you can increase online and in-store traffic in just a few minutes.

4 Ways to Increase Online Traffic in Five Minutes

In order to increase online traffic, you need to offer immediate incentives that encourage users to click right now. Without that, it’s easy to put off and forget. Here are four failproof ways to boost traffic.

1. Buy One, Get One Offers

Big savings can mean big traffic, and buy one/get one (BOGO) offers are almost too good to pass up. Discounts this big, after all, play into a psychological phenomenon called “loss aversion.” We fear losing something (in this case, money/value) more than we want to gain something. It’s the same basic idea that drives FOMO, and it’s an incredible selling tactic.

Buy-One-Get-One post by Payless Shoe Source

Run an autoresponder campaign and announce on social media that you’ve got BOGO offers. To increase the effectiveness of this strategy (and to capitalize on that loss aversion), mention that this sale will only be available for a short time. This will cause a strong sense of urgency and get those clicks — and sales — quickly.

2. Start a Referral Program

Referral programs leverage your current customers’ love of your brand and products, and they are extraordinarily effective. I’m not all that likely to click on a Facebook Ad, but if a friend randomly messages me and tells me to check out new running shoes/kickboxing class/organic pasta/business software, I’m going to pay attention.

Why? Two reasons.

  1. I trust my friend.
  2. S/he knows me, so reaching out to me means they thought the product or service would be of value to me.

Get in touch with your customer base and let them know about your new referral program. Make sure to really focus in on how this program will benefit your customers. Your offer might be a discount, a chance to win a prize, or a giveaway. You’ll likely see a boost of traffic from these customers coming to your site to refer their friends, and then a whole bunch of referral clicks following soon after.

3. Use Digital Coupons

Dealkit is free software that allows you to create digital coupons that drive engagement both in-store and online. Digital coupons have the enormous added benefit of being easy for users to keep track of, and easy for you to keep track of. You can quickly see how many conversions your deals are bringing in, letting you gauge the effectiveness of your campaigns.

Using Dealkit, you can create enticing deals for online coupons and share them via email, social media, or even place them on your site. You can require users to visit your site in order to access the digital coupon, even if it’s for an in-store event. With this strategy, you can increase site traffic and store traffic all at once.

4. Offer Exclusive Access

This strategy utilizes the same sense of urgency that we discussed in the BOGO strategy, and it takes it up a notch thanks to urgency’s best friend — exclusivity.

Everyone loves feeling like they’re part of the “in crowd,” so giving top-tier customers exclusive, first access to sales, new products, or even new information is an excellent marketing strategy. When customers see an email telling them they’ve got first dibs on a sale that’s about to go live for everyone else tomorrow, they know this is their chance to get what they want before it’s gone.

You can even offer this to customers who aren’t all that active. Six months after I made my first (and only) purchase from FromYouFlowers, they sent me an email informing me that I was a Silver member and now had access exclusive promotions. Unfortunately for FromYouFlowers, I didn’t need to send flowers to anyone at the time, but it was a strong re-engagement campaign.

Exclusive email offer - fromyouflowers

Think about all those people who wait in line for ten hours for the new iPhone. How many would jump at the chance to get one instantly without that wait before they rolled out? The exclusivity and urgency combined together make this a powerful way to drive traffic to get your sale very quickly. Use Facebook’s custom audiences and segmented email campaigns to reach these customers and give them the link (and code if necessary) to get that first access to whatever you’re offering.

4 Ways to Increase Store Traffic in Five Minutes

Different offers and strategies ultimately appeal to different audiences. That means the techniques you use to bring in more in-store traffic will be different from those designed to get more clicks.

Because a growing number of people prefer the convenience of online shopping, you’ll need to offer something more valuable than a discount in order to get people through your business’s front door. Fortunately, we’ve got four foolproof ideas to help you do just that.

1. In-Store Gift

Who doesn’t love free stuff? An in-store gift that users have to walk through your door in order to pick up, is an excellent way to generate some foot traffic. A “gift with purchase,” in which you require a purchase, is another way to increase sales.

In-store gift post by Sally Beauty

In order for your campaign to be successful, your gift should be valuable enough to your customers that they’ll take a trip to visit your business. Ask yourself if you think what you plan to offer would realistically entice someone to drive fifteen or twenty minutes out of their way — maybe even in traffic, on their lunch break or on their way home from work. If the answer is yes, you’re good to go.

2. In-Store Guest Event

In-store events with special guests are a sure-fire way to draw customers in to come see you. These guests could be influencers in your industry or your community, and their appearance will often be most effective if they’re tied in with an in-store event. You could have a chef stop by for a cooking demo or book signing, a stylist showing off seasonal clothing trends, or a fitness coach who demonstrates back-saving stretches.

These events can revolve entirely around the guest appearance, or they can be a day- or week-long events that feature the guest appearance. A Barnes and Noble here in Orlando, where I live, regularly uses book signings with big-name authors to bring in traffic and sales.

In-store guest event post

Your event should be interesting and valuable enough that it brings users in; give them something they can’t just find online. The potential of meeting and listening to a guest speaker can almost always provide that.

3. Partner with a Complementary Business

Complementary businesses can make an exceptional team when you want to drive traffic to your store. Together, in a joint effort, you can create a cohesive event that will appeal to both businesses’ audiences and send traffic from one store to the next. This will be beneficial for both businesses.

This idea an be particularly effective when you’re partnering with another local business or a business that’s in the same sector as yours.

Botolino Gelato in Texas, for example, hosted a “Chocolate Week” event in January where they featured different chocolate flavors during the week. At the end of the week, there was a presentation from a Valrhona chocolate specialist that included a free tasting.

Botolino/Grand Marnier partner promotion post

4. In-Store Demo

In-store demos have several distinct advantages. They can bring users who in who are engaged with your brand and who want to learn more about how to use your products. In many cases, these demos can also cause a direct spike in sales — even if the demos are free.

Williams-Sonoma frequently hosts in-store demos and classes demonstrating how to make recipes with some of their cookware. This brings interested users into the store, and (speaking from experience) almost as many leave with cookware they saw used. If you want to get a serious boost in sales, offer a discount to demo or class participants.

In-store demo post -- Williams-Sonoma

You can use Dealkit to advertise this discount and/or offer free classes to customers. This will serve as an effective advertisement while giving you an idea of how many people are interested in the demo ahead of time.



Getting more traffic online and bringing in more foot traffic to your store will look very different, but one thing is required either way: promotion. How well you promote your campaign will determine whether it’s a success or a disappointment.

To implement the strategies discussed above for both online and in-store traffic, use a combination of social media posting, email marketing, and tools like Dealkit to promote whatever it is that you’re offering to users. The more effective your distribution is, the more effective your campaigns will be, and the more traffic you’ll see coming to you.

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Ana Gotter

Ana Gotter is a regular contributor to the ShortStack blog. She also writes for sites including Social Media Examiner, Business 2 Community and Adspresso. Find her at