Make Today’s Browser Tomorrow’s Buyer

"You're Not Welcome" - Is that really the brand message they wanted to portray?

“You’re Not Welcome” – Is that really the brand message they wanted to portray?

I was walking through a local mall yesterday when a piece of paper attached to the glass door at the AT&T store caught my attention.  It read “Please Do Not Use This Store As A Hallway”. They might as well have said “You Are Not Welcome”!

Let me explain the genesis of the sign. The store has a door at the front which leads to the interior of the mall, and one in the back that leads directly to the parking lot. While I can understand employees at that location want to focus on buying customers, I took a peek inside at the three lonely store clerks serving no one and wondered wouldn’t they like some foot traffic even if it was only a passer-by?

What if instead of turning away would be future buyers they embraced the hallway traffic? Here are a few ways AT&T could to leverage their location and make some new customers in the process.

  • Make passing through fun – Play up that the store is a hallway. Make a clever sign inviting people to ring the “AT&T bell” as they pass through. Keep visitors coming back for more by every so often giving out a prize to the bell-ringer. Special bonus: The sound might just stir up some new visitors passing by in the hallway. You might even get the occasional Facebook or Twitter mention.
  • Pass out coupons – Shoppers may only want to pass through today but you can give them a reason to come back.
  • Collect market data – Why not ask visitors to fill out a short survey and give you their email address in exchange for entering a contest? A free meal at one of the mall restaurants, or AT&T goods might just be enough incentive to build your mailing list and learn a thing or two about the local buyer.
  • Hand out AT&T store branded loot – Balloons and shopping bags are great inexpensive items that will be carried throughout the mall. Why not invite your passerby to advertise for you?

Here’s to making today’s passerby tomorrows buyer!