holiday shopping'Tis the season for the serious shopping to begin. But as more shoppers put their feet up and shop online, foot traffic in stores can take a serious hit during the holidays.

While ultimately you want to find ways to increase your foot traffic, it’s also important to make sure you’re not shooting yourself in the foot with one of these mistakes.

Collecting clutter. A messy, unorganized store makes people want to hightail it right back to their streamlined computer screen and shop there instead. It seems to be a bit of a vicious cycle: Because there’s less foot traffic in general, stores get lazy and inventory piles up. Then when customers do enter the store, they’re turned off by the mess and go back to shopping online. Stop the cycle by staying organized.

Over-decorating for the holidays. Seasonal displays are great and can bring interest to your store front; just don’t let your products get lost in all the decorations. Make sure they still have a predominant place so people can see what you’re selling.

Not offering special services. Make the in-store experience at least as easy and pleasant as shopping online with perks like free parking and free gift wrap. Perhaps you serve festive treats — no one is going to get a free cup of hot cocoa while shopping from their couch. Make them glad they got up off the couch.

Neglecting to send holiday greetings to loyal customers. Sending a card or email thanking customers for their business and offering them a discount coupon is a great way to get repeat business. Combine it with the promotion of a special in-store holiday deal and get more bang for your buck.

Not having an online presence. Make sure that when shoppers are out and about and searching on their phones for a product or service that your business comes up. You have to ensure that local customers can find you when they start searching.

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