Everyone can build anything, but if it does not sell, then none of it matters. This is why it is vital to learn how to increase retail sales. Without buyers, you are certain to fail. In the USA, small stores account for 54% of sales. However, seeing that your firm makes good returns is not an easy task. There is no sure-fire way to generate strong sales for your business as they are affected by several factors. There are, however, specific tips that you can implement to increase the profit of your growing enterprise. Some of them are;
1. Hire and develop employees who can offer excellent customer services
Mike Eden, the owner of ‘The Ultra Gear Shop’ advice entrepreneurs to hire smart, arguing that if every member of your team is passionate and knows about your products, they will transfer the same passion and knowledge to your clients with confidence.
Here is what Nick Stage, VP of marketing at ExpertVoice, recommends you do to see that your staff increases retail sales;
- Hire salespersons who are passionate about sales and understand your products. This may require you to go past the normal interview process, but the results are worthwhile
- Take the initiative to train your sales team on how to treat your customers. Most employers focus on teaching their employees how to stock shelves, close out the register, and keep the floor clean and forget the importance of teaching them how to deal with the customers. Teach them how to identify the wants of a customer, help them choose the products based on their needs and show them the value of different options.
- Empower your salespersons to interact with your customers. Let your employees understand that your priority is your clients. Stop overwhelming them with housekeeping projects.
Here are other qualities you need to ensure your salesperson has before you hire them;
- Excellent Verbal and written communication
- Knowledge of common software programs
- Organized when handling tasks
- Ability to work with a team
- Problem-solving ability
- Capable of multi-tasking
- Readiness to learn
2. Have strong in-store visuals
One of the exciting factors of running a retail shop is creating your visual merchandise for your retail environment. This means everything from the signage that directs them around, to the window display that leads the customer to your store and the store’s display that catch their eye and influence them to buy your products.
Here are a few highlights to assist you in coming up with strong visuals for your store;
- Display your best products front and center. A customer care representative at Premise LED Inc, Piero Ferrari, advice you put your best products in the center and front of the store regardless of the price. He says that it shows what you are capable of and it’s a great conversation starter for the staff.
- The rule of three. This is another attractor that is stuck in the human brain. Eye moving tracking studies shows that people are attracted to a group of three. This is because of the asymmetry involved forcing the eye to look longer to pick up more details. The more clients look at your products, the higher the number of walk-ins. Arrange your products into threes, and see the size and colors are different but blend.
- Keep things neat and clean. An organized space does not only make a store attractive but also make the shopping experience of the customer easy, by getting what they need faster.
- Pay attention to your lighting. Some retailers will see this as an extra, but it’s essential. It is recommended not to put lighting directly to the top because it forms an unattractive shadow. Instead, consider having lights to the front and side of the store as it brings out the 3D quality of the display.
A well-arranged boutique.
3. Update your visual elements regularly
After having a great-looking store, the next step is to see that you keep updating your visuals to drive traffic and sales. This calls for your commitment to keep up with the latest seasons and trends.
The Founder and Managing Director of Visual Thinking, Karl McKeever says his top advice is to stay relevant. He advises shop owners to regularly refresh the visuals of the shop based on the seasons and what is happening in the locality to connect with buyers and match their needs.
In short, research and mark the special dates on your calendar to see that you prepare for the holidays in advance. Have a different theme for mother’s day, valentines, Halloween and any other special occasion.
As a holiday or shopping event nears, set up big obvious signs reminding customers to go shopping for the occasion.
4. Be customer-centric
This is a common term in the sales world. It simply means making your customers the center of your ideas and initiatives as well as ensuring you understand them.
Happy Contented Shoppers
For example, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos ensures there is an empty room to represent the customer in all meetings, to see they never lose sight of who they are selling to.
Fabien Tiburce, the CEO of retail compliance software Compliantia, advice business people to transfer their obsession for price and products to their customer service unit, and see the difference. He says making clients comfortable ensures they come back again.
Start by talking to your customers and putting their feedback to use. Clara Mota, an independent consultant, and brand manager says that if the mortal business wants to increase sales, they have to go to the streets and ask individuals what they think about their products. This helps them understand the hidden needs of the customers and know how to fulfill them. Using the Intel, you can develop better services, experiences, and products.
Some of the most successful stores are obsessed with their clients; the big question is, are you? Are you customers the core of your decision making? What steps can you take to know your customers better? If not, what improvements can you make to keep your clients coming?
5. Develop a customer retention program
Having a promotion going on ensures your customers have you in mind, making it easier for them to contact you for your products. According to research carried out by Frederick Reichheld of Bain & Company, customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%.
Following these results, you need to spend on maintaining valuable customers. This does not mean you shouldn’t market to new customers (it is mandatory), you only need to consider the statistics when making your budget. Go above and beyond to see that your client is happy and satisfied.
Have a simple loyalty program
Michael Spencer, a futurist and content manager, advice business owners to implement a customized loyalty program that can track and incentivize customer value and ROI from your 20% top clients.
If you haven’t introduced anything for your best clients, find something. It doesn’t have to be costly. You can occasionally offer shirts, umbrellas, pens, books or podcasts. Although you may feel the pinch, they significantly contribute to retaining clients.
6. Use product returns to your advantage
Product returns are things that no retailer want to experience. It is a dull moment when you have to take back products after making sales. However, if you view this positively, it could turn into a great thing for your business. See that you smile to every client who returns a product and treat them with respect. According to Dena Brenner, a solutions engineer at Balance Innovations, this helps customers’ feel valued and create a sense of emotional loyalty.
Of course, there will be customers who will take advantage of your politeness, but you are sure to create a strong customer base with a few clients who will continue shopping in your store. Dena says sales increase because clients always feel valued every time they enter the store.
Just as treating a client well may tempt them to buy even though they were not ready, this is the same case with product returns. This explains why you must ensure every customer who comes to return a product has an amazing experience.
7. Tell an authentic story that resonates
If you want to sell your products; get real, nothing sells than a true story. Customers love it when firms give their authentic side of the story because they can relate.
Sonja Thompkins, a business coach for brick and mortar boutiques, says that the easiest way to connect with your customers and make them like you is by letting them know what inspired you or led you to starting your business. Your focus should be on sharing your “why” that resonates with your target customers.
Also, having your mission statement hanging somewhere customers can see can be an added advantage. He says that by becoming vulnerable, customers see shopping with your firm as personal, and clients prefer shopping with real people to businesses.
8. Give free samples
Screenshot from Adobe images (Free month trial for their clients)
When people receive freebies, they feel special and are compelled to return the favor.
Dr. Robert Cialdini’s book, “Influence: The psychology of persuasion,” illustrates the power of gifts by showing how one waiter increased her tips by 3% by offering a free mint to their customer after dinner. When she offered two mints, the tips increased by 14%.
By offering your customers a gift, may it be a sticker or a cookie, you increase their chances to shop with you.
9. Create the illusion of scarcity
People value things differently based on how scarce or common they are. The scarcer an opportunity, service or a product is, the more valuable it appears in the market.
The author of “Buyology: Truth and lies about why we buy,” Martin Lindstrom, realized that he could sell more soup by simply writing ”maximum eight cans of soup per customer” even though the price of the soup was the same.
The “fear of missing out” leads to shoppers buying more products
10. Utilize SEO ( Search Engine Optimization)
Many small business owners make a mistake of creating a website using a free WordPress template for the sake of having it on their business cards. This is wrong because a website is fundamental in attracting clients to your shop.
An online survey carried out by Fractl and MOZ, (which interviewed more than 1000 individuals’ engagements and opinions on marketing strategies and advertising) showed that; customer reviews, online articles, and products seen in search are likely to influence a buyer’s decision.
You, therefore, need to learn the basics of SEO by yourself or hire a SEO expert to optimize the search engines for you. Consumers will not buy what you are selling if they can’t find it easily.
Although your budget may be limited as a small business owner, the returns are worthwhile.
Lastly, ensure that you introduce the click-and-collect option. This is where clients can buy products online and pick them in a store. This method does not only increase people walking in your stores but increase sales as well. Research proves that 45% of the buyers who choose in-store pick up, buy something in addition to what they ordered when they visit the shop.
- Hire and develop employees who can offer excellent customer services
- Have strong in-store visuals
- Update your visual elements regularly
- Be customer-centric
- Develop a customer retention program
- Use product returns to your advantage
- Tell an authentic story that resonates
- Give free samples
- Create the illusion of scarcity
It is essential to understand that success does not happen overnight. Everything worthwhile takes time to create.
Increasing sales in your retail shop will not only require one of the above tricks but a combination of all the mentioned tips.
We hope you learned something valuable to help you boost your sales!