Change Your Traffic Can Believe In

Change Your Traffic Can Believe In

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Whether your business is a retail shop or a service-oriented website, how often do your best customers visit? How often do you visit your favorite store or website? If you’re not hitting up Target at least a few times a month, you at least have a friend or family member who is.

Here’s something to mull over: Spanish university students were asked how often they shopped at Zara, a favored retail clothing shop that produces low-cost versions of high fashion styles. Responses were “absolutely pathological,” according to their professor. Many of the students visited the store once or twice a week.

And yet, Zara does no advertising and seldom has a sale. Where does the “pathologically” high check-in rate come from?

Change Is the Answer

The biggest differentiator between a business with a decent following and a business with a positively pathological one: Change.

Zara produces new styles by the week, not the season. It takes 15 days to get a concept from paper onto racks, and they keep low inventory on existing merchandise. That means that customers are guaranteed to miss out on some styles if they don’t shop there every couple of weeks. If they see something they like, they know they had better buy it right then and there, or it’ll be gone next time. Forever 21, the two-story Shangri-La of cheap and exciting trends, operates under the same procedure.

At both of these retailers, the newest styles go straight to the front of the store. Window displays undergo regular renovation. Every shopper who passes the outside of a Zara or Forever 21 sees something new on a weekly basis. So even shoppers who aren’t devoted fans will eventually see something that catches their eye if they pass by often enough. Every couple of weeks, it looks like a whole new store.

And the reach isn’t limited to foot traffic: The clothing shown in their online ads is updated equally as often.

Target, by comparison, doesn’t shake up its inventory as often (not even close), but it does spice up the racks with new bits and pieces every two or three weeks. The change happens just often enough to keep people striding through the automatic doors or scrolling the red and white website purely out of habit.

Most retailers (and sites) do a smalltime variation of this. Any grocery store worth its salt is going to have new end-of-aisle displays each week. Pita chips and guac this week, pretzels and bottle openers the next. You know. The trick, though, is to do it big.

How to Make It Happen

What could you be doing to get your best customers in your door or on your site every week?

Before you go adding kitten mittens to your stockroom or tractor shining to your list of services, it’s important to make the distinction that we’re only talking about surface changes like a storefront display, an awesome graphic update on your homepage, or a regular web comic that pertains to your market.

Too many companies think the secret to traffic volume is regular sales and coupons. When customers know savings or coupons are just around the corner, there’s no motivation to actually show up. Revolving inventory or entertaining content that won’t be there in two weeks’ time – that’s motivation.

But change of any type is hard. It requires a tremendous increase in time and creativity to put out frequent “storefront changes.” As your business evolves, constant evolution is something you’ll want to build into your growth plan.

Start by updating one homepage image, putting out one blog post or getting one new item on the books, and work up from there. You might even want to hit the ground running by outsourcing your storefront changes to the professionals (yeah, that’s us). Either way, if you want streaming traffic, you’ve got to give people a reason to show up.

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