Looking for new ways to increase your retail sales and better your customer experience? Here are some quick tips on how you can keep the buzz in your store all year round:
Merchandising is one of the key steps of keeping your store fresh and appealing to customers. It is a good idea to redecorate your window front with a new theme every two weeks. If you have new inventory, creatively showcase them in your windows. If you have an online retail store, you should make changes to your homepage every so often with images of your new inventory or announcements about your promotions. If a holiday is coming up display holiday decorations to show your spirit—customers will appreciate and support you for it.
You should also experiment with your displays on your sales floor—repositioning some items once a month, especially items that aren’t selling, is a good technique to increase your retail sales. It is a known fact that by just moving something from one side of your store to the next or from one shelf to the other, gives the items a fresh look that might make it more appealing to someone to purchase.
Keep in mind when positioning fixtures and displays it is important to keep your store aisles compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, which requires store aisles to be a minimum of 3.6’ wide. You always want your customers to feel comfortable to shop around every section of your store. If they can’t, they may miss something they would have purchased, and that means a lost sale for you.
Remember to also utilize all selling space. There are two places many retailers forget that are important. One is the wall behind your checkout space. This is prime selling real estate so, experiment with your inventory in this space. See what sells and what doesn’t and make a strategic decision on what you should display there that will help you increase your retail sales. The second is the Decompression Zone, which is the first 5-15’ inside your front door. Displaying a bulletin board in this section with useful information that your customers will want and need is a good use of this space. For instance, it could be your store map, a list of what is on promotion this week, or upcoming special events. Whatever it may be, this is something that most people who walk into your store will see, so use this space and make it worthwhile for you and your customers.
Make your promotional items work for you
Many customers come into a store and only look for sale items, thinking that those are the best and most affordable deals in your store. They walk in, look at your sales section, maybe purchase a few things and leave, never looking at your other items. To have this not happen to you, a good technique to follow is to first, display sale items throughout the store not just in one section—display them in the front, the sides and back—forcing your customers to browse your entire store instead of just the sale section. This way they might pick up a regular price item displayed next to the sale items that they would’ve probably never seen, giving your customers a good experience while allowing you to increase your retail sales. Second, many stores usually display their sale items towards the back of the store, and customers know that—once they walk in they go straight to the back bypassing all of your other items. Before they rush to the back, have your employees start a conversation with them and vocalize the unique set up so that they understand where they need to look to find what they need. This will also set you apart from your competition where people will remember your store as the store that displays their items in a unique way. Remember any publicity is good publicity.
Create a habit to always check how your business appears on search engines
Your customers are constantly searching the web for products and services. Make it easy for them to find you. Make sure that your local search information is updated with the most recent information about your business. Google has recently launched their Google Maps Local Search Ads, where a business can create local ads onto Google maps giving you the opportunity to target people who search for your type of business on Google maps. Another great opportunity they now offer is Promoted Pins designed to allow you to promote your business to people who are nearby. This is huge because, statistics have shown that more than a billion people now use Google Maps where three out of four people who search for places nearby using their smartphone, end up visiting a store within a day and 28 percent of those searches result in a purchase. So make it a habit of getting on the web and search your business and see what you could do to better your visibility on online that could result in an increase in sales.
Use signs to help the selling process
Professional, well-placed signs are an effective silent sales tool that highlights new or promotional inventory. Make sure your signs are legible and professionally printed. Try to stay clear from hand-written signs (unless it’s part of your brand). It won’t cost you much and will give your store a professional and trustworthy appearance.
Offer creative gift wrapping options
Create some signature gift boxes or gift wrapping that will differentiate your store from the rest. Many retail stores use the two handle paper bag with tissue coming out of it. That’s nice but doesn’t say much about the store. Look for creative wrapping ideas that fit your brand and choose one or two options. In time people will recognize you for that wrapping. It helps with your branding and keeps your store top of mind. This is not only great marketing that will help increase your retail sales, but it gives your customers that personal touch that they will always appreciate and come back for. And for the holidays change it up and use holiday looking gift wrap options. But be careful when doing this—if you choose to change your wrapping options make sure you choose something not too far off from your brand so that customers can still associate your store with it.
Say yes instead of no
Do you have your written store policy posted in your shop? Take a minute or two and read through it. See if you can try changing the “No” to “Yes”. Instead of saying “No returns after 30 days” change the message to a positive one: “We’re happy to exchange any item up to 30 days after purchase.” It’s a subtle difference, but it puts your customer in a positive mindset.
Keep a secret inventory of some of your items close to your checkout counter.
Are there items your customers frequently forget when they’re in your store, and shrug it off that they’ll get it “next time”? Keep a stash at checkout, so your cashier can have the item on hand for the customer—it’s great service, and you get the sale.
Take part in Small Business Saturday
For many years now small businesses have been reaping the benefits of this big shopping day. Just like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday is one of the biggest shopping events of the year, but the best part is that on this day, you don’t compete with the large retailers, this day is made solely for you as a small business owner. Customers have caught onto this trend and are supporting it more and more. So don’t miss out on this special day made just for you so you can increase your retail sales. This event is usually scheduled sometime in November so find out when it is at the beginning of each year and plan to be a part of it.
Hold events at your store
Sometimes to get people through your doors, you need to do something extra. Having an event is one great way to attract customers all day/week long. Have you ever walked passed a store and seen people passing out refreshments or someone announcing something? Weren’t you curious to see what all the hype was about? That same curiosity lives in others too and could walk through your doors. The best times to have an event could be during the holidays whether it’s Valentine Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Halloween, Christmas or New Years. Whatever the time of year it is, think about what kind of event you could have in your store that fits within your brand and strategy.
Remember it’s not just about what you’re selling it’s also about how you sell it and to who you are selling to. Think about how you can set yourself apart from your competition, one small change or action can make a huge difference.