You know them. We all know them. Window shoppers.
You love them (of course! They’re admiring your merchandise from the street!), but you also wish they’d come in and buy something, already.
If you’ve ever felt like this, you’re not alone. In fact, this is an incredibly prevailing sentiment in the consignment store community. Luckily, you’re also not powerless.
If you’re willing to get creative, there are several actionable steps you can take to turn your window shoppers into paying customers, starting right now.
Why Window Shoppers Don’t Work
One of the most common sights in the consignment industry is the never-ending stream of window shoppers. People come into your store week after week to browse, but they never end up purchasing anything. While these people might be good word-of-mouth advertising or publicity for your store, they’re not helping to pay the bills. This obviously creates a problem.
If you want to grow your bottom line and keep a consistent stream of people coming through your doors, you’ve got to figure out how to transform these window shoppers into die-hard customers, STAT.
Encouraging Window Shoppers to Buy: 4 Common-Sense Steps
To turn a browser into a buyer, you need to get them to commit to you on some level. Instead of focusing on closing a sale, focus on building the long-term relationship.
1. Build the Relationship
The store owner/customer relationship is an essential one, and it’s got to be strong if people are going to keep coming back for your merchandise. With this in mind, take the time to build the relationship from the get-go.
Say a shopper comes into your store. They tell you they’re “just looking.” Instead of leaving them be at that, introduce yourself, and tell them the names of employees in the store so in case they have any questions. If you notice them paying particular attention to something, call it out. Encourage their impulses. Make yourself a friendly and knowledgeable presence.
When you realize that window shoppers aren’t adverse to purchase as much as they are searching for a connection with a store or a product, it becomes much easier to take the steps needed to tip them over the edge.
2. Turn Window Shoppers into Consignors
If you want someone to do business with your store, but you can’t figure out how to make them a buyer, consider making them a consignor, instead.
Most people would love to make some extra cash from their unused furniture or clothing. In many cases, though, they don’t understand what becoming a consignor entails, or how simple it is. Fortunately, you can break down this barrier by giving them the information they need. Consider printing informational brochures for your consignment shop or posting a “become a consignor” flyer in a high-traffic location.
You might also want to stress that consignors can earn store credit, which they can use to pay for those boots or that coat they love.
3. Offer Them a Deal
Sometimes, the only thing an on-the-fence buyer needs to make a purchase is the feeling that they’re getting a great deal.
With this in mind, consider offering sales, new-customer incentives, and discounts on a regular basis.
Advertise these things in your window to draw window shoppers inside, and make the discounts easy to take advantage of. When all these things come together, it’s much easier to turn browsers into buyers.
4. Display Your Best Merchandise up Front
In most cases, window shoppers won’t make it very far into your store before they turn around and head back out.
With this in mind, it’s smart to display your highest-quality, most unique, or most eye-catching merchandise up front, where it’s easily visible. Doing this helps you draw window shoppers in, and can increase the likelihood that they’ll purchase something.
To take this a step further, pay particular attention to your displays. Are they beautiful and eye-catching? Do they do an excellent job of drawing customers in? Are they seasonally appropriate and exciting? Adjust them a few times a month to keep things fresh.
Window Shoppers Could be Your Best Customers
If you’ve been plagued by a consistent stream of window shoppers but few paying customers, you can breathe a sigh of relief. That doesn’t have to be your reality forever. By working to build the customer/store owner relationship, make your displays more enticing, and provide the information would-be customers need to make a purchase, you can transform “I’m just looking” into “I’ll take this” in no time.