How can changing ‘The Way We Shop’ help drive footfall?

Last week I popped into the West End for the first time since lockdown started. The tube journey was quiet and there weren’t the usual crowds I always expect from Oxford Street. But people were around and when I stepped into Selfridges, there were shoppers. At Brasserie of Light, folks were even being turned away because the restaurant was fully booked, and this wasn’t on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday.

What I loved most about this visit was the huge statement outside Selfridges; the positive message that change can bring and the bold words that point to the truth staring us in the face: we all have to adapt. In Selfridges’ case, the commitment to change is five years of working with Greenpeace, Woodland Trust and WWF and as they focus on their attempt to transform retail, giving customers new reasons to visit them in-store, they are also helping to make the world a better place. 

This got me thinking about social media and how brands and destinations have evolved since March this year. There is definitely a stronger sense of community because businesses recognise the importance of being part of their customers’ lives more so than ever and brands also recognise consumers’ need to stay connected at a time when we are told to isolate. 

But with more and more brands using social media to drive online sales, how can changing ‘the way we shop’ help drive footfall?

Social media needs to work harder to influence their followers to do more than like, share or tap. 

Content needs to inspire followers to step out of their world and into another. 

Each photo needs to create an experience that tells a story and engages the follower in the narrative to help create a sense of place. 

And when social media achieves this, the follower will want to step into the photo and most likely into the store, restaurant and destination.  

  • Do you know what your destination’s story is?
  • How do you want your followers to feel when they see your posts?
  • Do you create a sense of place in your images and leave some space for the follower to imagine themselves in it?

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