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A Retailer’s Guide To Increasing Footfall Without Compromising Security

By Maria Hickey on June 16th, 2022

As a bricks-and-mortar business owner, increasing footfall (numbers of customers stepping over your threshold) is an essential part of your plan to make your business a success and boost your bottom line. But how exactly can you get more people through your door.

In this article, we will look at some effective yet simple ways to encourage UK retail footfall by enticing customers back into your premises.

Why Is Footfall So Important in 2022?

All businesses have customers. But UK retail footfall statistics are essential for physical retail companies to measure how effective their business is. Retail companies focus on three main elements:

  1. Number of customers
  2. Price
  3. Footfall

Obviously, the more paying customers you have, the better your sales. Managing your prices will help to improve turnover and build sustainable profits going into the future without negatively affecting customer retention.

But footfall is a less well-known feature of a successful business. Retail footfall analysis is the number of times you can encourage customers to return and buy more products from you in any given trading period.

Building a good footfall is the key to keeping your business turning over with your regular ‘bread and butter’ customers helping you maintain and increase sales over the long term.

How Do Businesses Increase Footfall?

How to improve footfall in retail is a problem that most business owners face. The way to build and increase footfall is to encourage existing customers to repeat buy from you more frequently and encourage a customer to buy from you once per month/week rather than once per quarter. If your business has this ability, you can see a potential to increase sales from that customer by an average of 300%.

There are several approaches you can take to boost your footfall. Here are a few to consider, but their effectiveness will depend on the nature and setup of your business.

  • Boost your local marketing
  • Build customer loyalty with points cards or membership rewards
  • Encourage customer reviews on social media
  • Make your shop front stand out with eye-catching window displays
  • Move into the street if safe to do so
  • Partner with local businesses to help promote complementary services

Improve Shop Window Displays

We all know that competition on the high street is fierce. The way to attract new curious customers over your threshold is to make your retail shop stand out and look as attractive on the street as possible.

Eye-catching shop window displays can help increase footfall by making people stop in their tracks to admire your window display. Making your shop feel more welcoming by leaving your front door open (on fine weather days) can also make your shop seem more open and inviting.

Regularly changing your shop window displays to reflect the seasons is a great way to keep your display looking smart and fresh. Locals will keep an eye out to see your new displays, and it can encourage them to come inside to ask questions.

Make Your Business Easy to Find Online

Raise the online presence of your business by making sure you add your details to online search engine categories such as Google My Business. This will allow customers living on your doorstep to discover your business.

Add social media icons to your website that link to your social networks. Linking up your social media business pages is a task many business owners often overlook and good social media marketing can really improve sales. Also, make sure you have a live link back to your business website posted on your social media pages. It is surprising how many links are inactive or go to an old business website that is no longer live.

Traditional Advertising

It would help if you continued to use traditional advertising to promote your retail business because not everyone is online or uses social media. Traditional marketing will let your local customers know where you are, what you sell, when you are open and how to get in contact with you.

Traditional advertising and marketing include collecting customer email addresses by encouraging them to sign up for your email newsletter, placing adverts in local papers and community magazines, or targeting areas of your neighbourhood with a flyer campaign that includes a discount voucher to use in-store.

Deliver A Great Customer Service

Excellent customer service means delivering best practices such as valuing each customer’s time, maintaining a pleasant and helpful attitude, and providing sound knowledge and advice by knowing your products well.

It helps to discuss your products’ positive features and benefits insightfully and explain how the product will help them. Maintaining a positive attitude can help change a negative customer experience into a positive one. Listening is a great skill to have, and you should listen to, understand and empathise with your customers when they have a problem that needs solving.

How Can I Keep My Business Safe When It’s Busy?

Your retail business needs to be kept safe and secure all year round. Still, it is even more essential to stay vigilant and pay attention to safety matters during business times, such as holidays, special events and sale seasons.

Busy periods in your retail shop can leave you vulnerable to theft and fraud, or worse – putting your staff and customers in harm’s way. Any accidental spills or breakages on a busy shopping aisle floor must be cleaned up ASAP to help prevent slips and falls.

Make sure you brush up on your staff’s knowledge of your emergency preparedness plans, especially if you hire extra help for seasonal holidays. Ensure all staff are aware of your emergency entry/exit points for customers, and ensure that all emergency exists are well highlighted with appropriate safety signage.

You should also carry out a risk assessment to highlight areas of risk that must be addressed for the safety of your staff and customers. It can help to install CCTV cameras to capture live footage that can be used as evidence in court for accident claims or to prove criminal activity on your premises.

Choose The Right Insurance

As a brick-and-mortar retail business, you need to protect your customers and staff from accidental slips, spills, and criminal activity such as theft happening on your premises.

Insurance claims and damages can run into thousands of pounds. This is why you need the right retail business insurance to cover your business for accidents and injury, plus employers’ liability claims.

If this is your first retail business, you can seek professional advice and guidance from a Local Crime Prevention Officer who is well versed in helping retail business owners to protect their premises.

They can advise on physical security measures such as installing CCTV, motion sensor alarms, secure door and window locks, etc.

Choosing the right retail business insurance to cover your needs is essential. Your cover should include retail liability insurance, including public and product liability, which will protect you against accidents in your retail space or claims made against your products.

Other essential insurance will include insurance for employees, stock, and contents, plus personal accident cover for you or anyone else you want to have on your policy. You will also need to consider:


As a retail business owner, it is your responsibility to run your business as safely and effectively as possible. Running a business is more than just making money. You have a duty to protect your business, customers, and staff while visiting or working on your premises.

This is why you need retail business insurance to safeguard you against the many risks you face while ensuring your business’s future is safe and secure. Compare insurance quotes for a range of businesses with Brisco and see how much you can save.

Maria Hickey

For more than 20 years, Maria has worked in the insurance sector and has extensive underwriting and customer service expertise. Maria is an experienced Senior Underwriter with a particular specialism for shop, office and surgery related insurance.

All articles by Maria Hickey

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