From Likes to Buys: How to Convert Online Fans to In-Store Customer

From Likes to Buys: How to Convert Online Fans to In-Store Customer

Carolyn Baughman Carolyn Baughman

Online shopping is a powerful tool for many businesses.

However, shoppers haven’t lost their desire to touch, feel and experience products in person.

So how do you get your online brand fans to visit your brick-and-mortar location? This blog will highlight a few simple ways to get more foot traffic (and face-time) with your all-important customers.


Online Window Shopping

Just like window shopping in any retail environment, how you display your brand and products on your website is just as important as a brick-and-mortar storefront display. It’s also one of the key ways to convert your online browser into an in-store buyer.

Research shows that customers are more likely to purchase a product in a store if they’ve researched the item online first. This is your chance to draw in that online product researcher!

Take these steps when sharing product information on your e-commerce site:

  • Share as much information as possible about your products’ features and benefits.
  • Include “what customers are saying” in the form of quotes, bullet-pointed feedback, or testimonials as additional content.
  • Most importantly, include high-quality images or video demos to further allow customers to fully experience a product’s look, feel, and additional details.

Offer Specials & Incentives

Offering limited-time specials creates a sense of urgency, enticing your customers to drop by your shop for that specific deal. Targeted marketing campaigns can offer different groups of these customers uniquely tailored benefits related to their interests. Options include:

  • Rewarding followers with “exclusive website offers” that are shared over various social media platforms. Facebook offers, for example, are free, simple, and a customizable way to drive in-store sales through mobile-friendly code discounts.
  • Offering a “click and collect” option through your e-commerce site. This will likely not only drive traffic to your store, it will likely increase your sales. Based on research from the ICSC, 69% of shoppers who use this method make additional purchases when they visit the brick-and-mortar store.
  • Supplement with targeted email campaigns that use customized, engaging content to drive sales in stores.

Think about the times that you’ve considered purchasing a product. What led you to drive to the store and get it? You likely researched it online, read the reviews, explored various photos about that product, and watched a product demo. Or you were trying to get a special sale or offer. These steps likely sealed the deal for you...and they’ll do the same for converting online viewers to your shop.

Mobile Optimization

You’ll see a trend here: making things easy, searchable and engaging for the potential customer is key. If a customer is looking for your store, make it easy to find with these simple steps:

  • Make your website mobile-friendly.
  • Increase visibility with popular keywords that are specific to your store.
  • Make your business easy to find by updating your Google My Business platform to include as much location information as possible. Also cross check this info against your company’s website for accuracy. Read more about how Google My Business can help your brand in our latest blog.

Staying Top of Mind

One of the best ways to bring customers into your store is to stay top of mind through social media. The more you build brand awareness and loyalty through a social media following, the more eyeballs will be watching your product offerings and in-store specials. Social media shares could include:

  • A behind-the-scenes moment sharing the hard work and dedication that your team puts into your business.
  • Special products that are flying off the shelves.
  • Unique specials or discounts to drive traffic in-store.
  • Regular posts that remind customers of your brand offerings, or blogs that answer common questions about your business, industry or products. Show them that your brand is an expert who cares about its products and customers.

These small touchstones can create a ripple effect of awareness with your customers. Before you know it, your online community will migrate to your store more often.

Create an Exclusive Experience

Lastly, one of the best ways to bring people into your store is to create an experience for them. If you’re a bookstore, you’d certainly draw a crowd if you have a notable author speak about their latest page-turner. Or if you’re a plant store, doing a pre-spring demo with a horticulture expert on growing vegetables would bring in many green thumbs to your shop!

These in-store experiences not only show that you’re leaning on the experts in your field, they also offer an experience that’s personalized and unique.

Plus, as a business owner, you get to connect with your customers in a truly engaging way.

Double plus: those customers will likely stick around to do some shopping afterwards!


We hope these ideas help shape your strategy for guiding more online fans into your brick-and-mortar store. Want to chat more with our team at ALINE about your digital marketing strategy? Don’t hesitate to reach out!

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