Editor’s note: COVID-19 has radically changed the retail landscape. Classic selling tactics may work not as well as before, so we’ve added new recommendations to help boost your retail sales.
We all know this is a challenging time for retailers, so we hope you find these suggestions helpful. That said, let us dive into the post.
If you have landed on this post, it’s likely that you’re trying to increase sales on your shop. Perhaps you’re experiencing a revenue slump. Or maybe things are going great and you need to maintain the momentum.
Whatever the situation, we understand how important sales would be to brick-and-mortar retailers, so we recently turned into the LinkedIn community and requested various retail experts to weigh in with their best retail sales tips.
We compiled a number of the best answers in this post, together with additional commentary, suggestions, and examples.
The Way to increase retail sales
We’ve packed lots of retail revenue pointers in this report, to make things simpler, here is a rundown of what we will cover. Don’t hesitate to jump directly to a section that is relevant to you!
1. Make customers feel secure in your shop
In the era of COVID-19, among the greatest things you can do to drive traffic and sales is to instill confidence in your customers. Due to the pandemic, many of your clients are concerned about their health and security.
To win them over, begin by clearly conveying your health and safety steps. Explain everything that you’re doing to keep people secure on your place, then use several channels to get the word out.
Target is 1 example of a shop that covers all its station when conveying COVID-19 updates. The merchant keeps shoppers posted by providing safety and health info via:
And see to it that your in-store workers are actively implementing those steps. The last thing you need is for shoppers to call you out for today walking the talk. Hire the right people, and be sure you get a powerful communication and training process in place so that employees know precisely what to do in-store.
2. Make Sure That Your shop shows up in online search results
Now more than ever, consumers are turning to Google to locate stores and products. Be certain that you’re showing up if they run a search related to your company. If you sell baby clothes, by way of instance, then you need nearby clients to find your business each time they conduct a search for”baby clothing store .”
You can achieve that by setting up company listings on Google, Yelp, Facebook, and other platforms. When creating your profile, add as many details as possible. These include:
- Name, address and telephone number (Important: Make sure these details are identical to what is listed on your website and any other listings.)
- Accurate business hours
- Plenty of testimonials
- Plenty of visual content including current photographs, and if possible, a virtual tour of your shop.
It requires a little extra time, but doing so can make your listing more appealing and, because of this, drive more traffic to your location and site.
Consider the example below. Which listing do you think gets more visitors: the one on the left, which comprises detailed info, reviews, and plenty of photos? Or the plain listing on the right? So far as appearances go, we are willing to wager that the company on the left gets more business.
3. Display your Community inventory in Google Maps and Search
Take your Google list to another level by displaying your stock in Google Maps and Search.
Leverage a solution like Pointy, which lets you exhibit your in-store products on Google without manually re-entering your inventory information.
We can see that in action in Maxwell’s of Chelmsford, a merchant in Massachusetts that sells lawn and garden supplies, animal feed, and pet food.
Maxwell’s of Chelmsford has been using Pointy for a couple of decades, though they have gotten more value from it when COVID-19 hit. Due to the pandemic, many more shoppers are browsing retail stocks online before making it into the shop. As a result of Pointy, Maxwell’s goods are visible to shoppers in the region.
During the pandemic, Maxwell’s Pointy page was getting so much traffic that Lisa connected it to her present store website. Maxwell’s does not have an ecommerce site, but thanks to Pointy, clients can still learn more about the shop’s products online.
4. Implement click-and-collect
Click-and-collect has existed for some time now, but COVID-19 has accelerated its adoption.
Offering this service can help drive in-store traffic and sales. Click-and-collect not only gets people through your doors, but it has been demonstrated to increase in-store sales also. Studies have shown about 45 percent of those who have chosen for in-store pickup bought something else during their visit to the store.Shortcode
5. Consider mobile ordering
Mobile ordering is not just for restaurants. Inventory-based retailers may also provide these services — and reap the benefits.
Consider Grain & Vine, a boutique wine and spirits shop in New York, which provides mobile delivery and ordering via apps like Postmates, Minibar, and Drizly.
According to owner Michael Nagdimunov, including the shipping service increased their earnings by 25%. They are also seeing orders ramp up over time. Nagdimunov claims that over 12 months, they have seen orders grow from 100 a month to 600 monthly requests.
6. Hire and develop employees who will provide exceptional customer experiences
Your employees are the men and women that are doing the selling, so if you are looking to increase sales, you want to invest in your employees.
“Hire smart,” advises Mike Eden, owner of The Ultra Gear Shop. “Make sure every member of your team would like to be there and are passionate about and understand their products. If they are passionate they will want the clients to get the exact same experience as them. If they’re educated they will share their passion with confidence.”
Nick Stagge, VP of marketing at ExpertVoice, does a excellent job in elaborating on this best practice. According to him, to be able to effectively get your employees to drive sales, you need to:
- Hire sales partners who are enthusiastic and knowledgeable about the products you sell. This requires a huge commitment to the hiring and interviewing process, but the value can’t be overstated.
- Train those partners to make great buying experiences with each customer. Most retailers train their staff to close out the register, stock shelves, and keep the floor clean. It’s more important they instruct their staff the best way to identify a customer’s needs and needs, match those requirements to a choice of goods, and show them the value in their choices.
- Enable your sales partners to interact with your clients — do not overwhelm them with housekeeping projects, make them put your customers first. Set the expectation that clients come first, always.
Added retail staffing hints
We have talked about retail staffing a little on the Vend site, so Instead of rehashing everything we have mentioned before, we’ll finish this section with a Few pointers for you to consider:
- Reconsider the use of store associates. Instead of just considering these as”salespeople” elevate their role to”consultant,””expert,” or”concierge.”
- Be thankful and appreciate your own staff. As Angela McDonald, an assistant store manager at Walgreens states, you will need to”treat your staff members just like they matter! Imagine if none of these were there and you had to do EVERYTHING yourself? Respect them. Treat them as they are important. Appreciate them and give praise.”
- Recall that customer experience is job #1, states Ken Stronach, a consultant at Great American Group. “Not cleanup, not stocking, not counting stock. While these things might be significant, the customer experience is the reason for being there.”
- Educate your employees to wow shoppers over the first couple of seconds. “The retail floor staff has 10 minutes to visually wow the purchasing consumer,” stocks Nathan Patterson, Manager of Business Development in H. H. Brown Shoe Company. “It’s also within those 10 seconds at which the client is readily marketable. The task of the worker is to create a shopping experience in which the consumer becomes engaged and soon transitions to a customer, not a browser. Equip your staff with communication skills, business, and product knowledge, in addition to the ability to develop into a concierge to that customer.”
7. Be smart about your revenue targets
One of the keys to boosting your retail revenue is setting sales goals. For starters, you need to be certain that you’re setting the ideal sales goals — i.e., the ones that are challenging but attainable.
As retail pro Kevin Graff puts it
“Goals should be accomplished at least 70 percent of the time. Otherwise, they are too high and risk de-motivating your employees,” he wrote. “By the same token, if targets are achieved 90% or more of the time they are too low and are not pushing your employees.”
As soon as you’ve set your objectives, communicate them with your staff and keep them top of mind during the day. An exceptional way to do it is to use your point of sale system’s reporting capabilities to raise the visibility of your revenue targets.
In Vend, by way of instance, the Home display shows the goals for the user currently signed in. This may be an extremely useful instrument for identifying top performing cashiers or sales reps, and for monitoring goals for each team member.
Once the targets are set, the user will have the ability to monitor their progress in the home screen. There’ll be a section called’Your Sales’, which will show a progress bar of the consumer’s sales target. There’s also a chart which shows the user the background of earnings made throughout the period they’ve specified.
8. Promote corporate social responsibility
We have said it before, and we’ll say it again: doing good is good for business. Multiple studies have demonstrated that today’s customers are more inclined to shop at stores that are associated with a great cause.
Giving back and becoming more responsible with your practices does not just help the Earth, it can also increase your sales.
Therefore, if you are currently not participating in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), it is high time to obtain a great cause to support.
There are Many ways to do this, such as:
- Donating a portion of your earnings to charity
- being more ethical with the way you supply or manufacture products
- supporting an initiative or community job
- investing in your workforce
- creating or participating in events which promote good causes
9. Have powerful in-store visuals
Permit us to state the obvious: people will not purchase unappealing goods, and that’s why having powerful in-store visuals is crucial. Here’s are a few basic guidelines to follow:
- Make your screens multidimensional by changing their visual elements. Insert height, colour, or thickness whenever possible.
- Have a focal point so people know which items or details to concentrate on. Displays which are too busy or distracting will only overwhelm your clients.
- Make them interactive. Help people see your products in action. Create displays that reveal your goods in use or enable shoppers to test them out.
- Keep things neat and clean. An organized space does not just look great, it also enables clients to find what they want faster, thereby aiding the purchasing experience.
- Show your finest products front and center. As Piero Ferrari, a customer support representative at Premise LED Inc., states, it has thoughts to”have a screen of your best products in the store entrance, irrespective of price.” According to him, doing this”communicates what you’re capable of and it is a terrific conversation starter for the team.”
10. Update your visual components regularly
Having a great-looking shop is only the first step. To keep on driving traffic and sales, you will need to keep your visuals clean. This implies updating regularly to stay informed about the latest trends and seasons.
“My best tip is to be applicable,” states Karl McKeever, Founder and Managing Director at Visual Thinking. “Refresh key in-store displays often to reflect what is happening seasonally and locally to connect better with shopper needs.”
In other words, do not let events and seasons pass your shop by. Put exceptional events and purchasing dates on your calendar, then aim for them well ahead of time. What will your shop look like about Mother’s Day? What about the Independence Day or the holiday season?
Plan out your window display and merchandising initiatives into the tee. Possessing relevant signage may also help drive sales. As a vacation of shopping occasion is draws closer, set up large, obvious signs to remind clients to go shopping for your event.
Have a Look at this case from a Target store in Cerritos, CA. To remind folks about Easter, this Goal location set up a large sign near its entry encouraging guests to go to their Easter shop.
11. Eliminate the wait
Long wait times will send guests packaging and kill sales. Research has discovered that”Americans will abandon a checkout line and leave a shop without making a purchase after eight minutes of waiting in a checkout line. British shoppers won’t wait around that long. They will walk out after only six minutes.”
Barbara Thau, a contributing writer at Forbes.com, adds that so as to improve earnings, brick-and-mortar stores must”banish the wait in line, once and for all.”
How can you do that? Start by keeping your shop well-staffed, especially during busy periods. Study your store data to find out your peak hours, then make certain that you have enough workers and registers to deal with the rush.
Always have added registers ready-to-go. Consider using a modern POS system which you could easily power up when things get too active. This is just what the Borough Kitchen, a UK-based homeware shop, does throughout their busiest hours.
“At peak times…we could add a new till immediately by shifting on another iPad. That just would not work with a conventional till system,” says creators David Caldana & Justin Kowbel.
Speaking of that, if you are always dealing with long wait times, an iPad POS system might be just the thing to speed up things. Mobile POS solutions let you untether the checkout process, which means that you can ring up sales from anywhere in the shop (e.g. when people are waiting in line or when a person just needs to get”out and in” quickly.)
12. Make Sure That Your products are on-point
A winning product assortment can allow you to win more sales. Keep on top of your stock to make certain that you’re stocking the proper products at the ideal time. Here’s how:
Know your numbers — Keep a close eye on your inventory information, by monitoring the perfect metrics (i.e. GMROI, sell-through, stock turnover, product functionality, and lost earnings ). You want to get a clear idea about what is selling, which products are making you money, and which ones are duds so that you can make the right call when it comes purchasing merchandise, running promotions, and much more.
Forecast demand — You are able to predict demand by looking at historical data, current trends, and by factoring in a little bit of your instinct. Begin by taking a look at your product and sales reports and identify your best items and how quickly they are selling. This gives you a clearer idea about what things to orders, the numbers you require, and the dates that you need them .
Prevent stock-outs — from shares do not just lead to missed sales opportunities, they also diminish customer satisfaction and brand awareness. Stock-outs also send people directly to your opponents.
Here is how you can prevent and speech stockouts in your shop:
- Have a list management system with inventory level alarms, accurate reporting, and efficient product ordering features.
- If necessary, tweak your inventory ordering process so orders arrive immediately.
- Cultivate strong relationships with your suppliers and speak with them often.
- Always have sufficient working capital so you will never be short of funds when it is time to purchase products.
13. Have an easy loyalty program
“Do apply a loyalty program that is tailored to your audience that could monitor and incentivize customer lifetime value and greater ROI from your top 20 percent of customers,” advises Michael Spencer, a content manager and futurist.
If you have not done so yet, set a program that rewards your best clients. It does not have to be overly complicated. Bells and whistles such as tiers, points, and celebrities cab come later. If you are starting out, kick off your loyalty program attempts with a simple”bucks for purchases” format.
Customers won’t need to monitor their devotion through physical cards. They simply must be at the Christmas Elves’ system to have the ability to handle and redeem their rewards.
Jason says,”When we ring up a sale and the customer is in our system, we say’Oh okay, you’ve got $23 in devotion. Do you wish to use it now or later?’ That advice obviously makes our clients feel good. The majority of these them use it straightaway, while others prefer to collect loyalty for larger purchases. But how it is so simple with Vend is such a boon.”
14. Communicate, communicate, communicate
There is no shortage of platforms on which you may communicate with your clients. As Vikas Gupta of Global Cloud Xchange puts it, it is possible to convert walk-ins into regular customers using”any economic or free communication tools such as SMS (A2P), Whatsapp, FB webpage to talk about your regular specials” or just keep in contact with your customers.
Work out the stations you should be using to connect with your clients (i.e. text, email, societal, all the above) then use them to remain top of mind.
Here’s an illustration from Snowflakes, a desserts store in Cerritos, CA, which frequently communicates with clients via SMS:
On the other hand of things, take a look at this message from Total Wine & More. When Los Angeles was experiencing a heatwave in July of 2018, the people at Total Wine cleverly sent an email with the exact relevant subject line that began with”Beat the heat.”
Attempt to apply that same level of creativity and value in your messaging. Communicate with your clients often, and make certain your messages are on point.
15. Inform and authentic narrative that resonates
Authenticity sells. Consumers love it when brands”get real” or reveal their vulnerable side since it makes the company more relatable.
So, in case you’ve got an excellent and authentic story to tell, by all means, do it.
“My best tip would be to share YOUR story,” says Sonja Thompkins, a business trainer for brick and mortar boutiques. “Among the most authentic ways to immediately build the”know, like, trust” factor would be to let clients know why you chose to make the business you’ve got. The secret is to share the regions of your why that would resonate with your target customer.”
She continues,”Coaching your team so that they understand and can articulate the”narrative”, and by having a well-designed mission statement hanging at a prominent location where clients can easily see & read it. That type of vulnerability makes their decision to shop with you private. And people like to buy from others, not companies!”
16. Be customer-centric
“Customer-centricity” is one of those buzzwords that everyone throws around, but all it really means is really understanding your clients, and making them the center of your suggestions and initiatives.
Consider this: whenever he holds a meeting, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos makes it a point to have a has a vacant in the area to represent the client, so they never lose sight of those people who they are selling to.
Aim for that degree of customer-centricity in your enterprise.
“Stop obsessing over price and even the product…obsess over the client,” advises Fabien Tiburce, CEO of retail compliance applications Compliantia. “Make them feel fantastic when they step into your shops. They’ll be back.”
How can you be customer-centric? Start by actually talking to your shoppers, says Clara Mota, an independent consultant and brand manager. “If brick and mortar shops wish to keep their value and boost earnings, the must be customer-centric, interview people on the street for their products and store using the 5 Whys technique. They will quickly learn the deeper demands, and what the need to do in order to capture more clients.”
Additionally, it is important to”know your clients beyond how they engage with your organization,” states Mark Bowen, a business development manager at ASD Bank. “Your own store is only going to feature as a tiny portion of your clients’ lives so get active knowing their deeper behaviour, likes and dislikes and what they value most.”
Taking the steps above can help you discover valuable intel about your clients, which in turn will make it possible for you to develop improved products, services, and experiences.
Case in point: IKEA. KEA devotes a great deal of time and resources researching the cultures and customs of the target markets. As an example, Fortune reports that the firm once did a study of 8,292 individuals in eight cities to find out more about their morning routines. Doing this enabled IKEA to determine what worries people out when preparing for work and what keeps them from getting out the door during the morning rush.
IKEA gained valuable insights from their analysis and it helped them develop a product known as the Knapper, a full size mirror which accompanies an integrated rack and hooks for hanging clothing and jewelry. The product is supposed to help people prepare faster by permitting them to assemble their outfits the night before.
Some of the largest and most successful players in retail are obsessed with their clients. The question is: are you? What can you do right now to find out more about your target audience? Are your customers the middle of your decision-making? Otherwise, what can you do to have your shoppers front and centre?
17. Promote upgrades add-on earnings
Impulse purchases, upsells, and cross-sales can really add up, so if add on earnings and updates are not a huge focus for you, see if you’re able to make them a bigger portion of your sales plan.
18. Use product yields to your benefit
Product returns may leave a bad taste in a merchant’s mouth, but if you handle them the right way, you can turn merchandise returns into sales or chances.
“Treat each return just like a sale. When a client is treated with a smile, even if they’re returning a product (for whatever reason) they feel valued, and it generates a psychological sense of devotion,” says Dena Brenner, a solutions engineer at Balance Innovations.
“Sure, there are clients who take advantage, however you’ll build a loyal customer base that will continue to shop in your stores because they know they’ll be made to feel valued whenever they walk in the door.”
Dena makes an exceptional point. As we mentioned in one of our previous posts on the subject, onsite product yields drive people into your shop. Sure, it might not be their intention to produce a purchase, but if you are able to impress them, they may just opt to buy something or return at a later time.
That is why you will need to make certain that each individual who is going through the returns procedure has an wonderful experience. Rather than seeing and treating the task as a chore, have your partners handle returns with a grin. Make the process painless and speedy.
19. Recognize that retail success does not just come down to only 1 thing
Last but not least, bear in mind that an increase in earnings is typically due to the combination of various retail clinics done right. You can not just take 1 suggestion and expect it to transform your enterprise. Recognize that increasing sales takes a good strategy and integrated approach.
As Simon Webster, a sales executive in Oudoria puts it:
We’re heading into this exciting time for independent retailstores. I think there are five key columns to successful independent retail
- Shop attention
- Managing Inventory
- Passionate staff who ask the right questions and need to market
- Genuine customer care
- Buying experience
Get all these 5 columns right, and you are bound to see positive outcomes — in sales and your company all around.
Whew! We just walked through a slew of ideas for raising your retail sales. Our expectation is that you could take a handful of those pointers and make them work in your enterprise.
If you want more resources on increasing retail sales, take a look at the suggested articles below!
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