Anyone who has ever worked in retail knows that sales could always be better. It doesn’t matter if you’ve had a bad week or a good week, the sales could use improvement. The truth is that we live in an age where Bloomberg can report that retailers made over $12 billion on Black Friday sales in 2015 and, in the same report, still sound pessimistic about the economy.
So, everyone wants to increase sales. And as a retailer, you probably know that increasing sales will take a lot of hard work. That’s a good place to start! Anyone going into the retail industry thinking that it will be smooth sailing is in for a rough awakening. So if you’re looking for a few concrete ways to increase your sales today, keep reading. These six tips will get you moving in the right direction.
1. POP displays
We’ve talked a lot about the importance of layout and design as key tactics to increase sales. The visual and physical paths around your store are very important because, if done well, they can move the customers through each part of your establishment, keep them there longer, and therefore increase their chances of making a purchase. When thinking about this element of retail design, you should consider the POP – or Point of Purchase – display.
A POP display is usually a small table or stand used to sell impulse purchases. For example, you might place one of our dump bins in the middle of a walkway so that customers have to walk by it on their way to the register. Items in the bin should be relatively low priced, so the choice to purchase is an easy one.
2. Employee training
Even if your store only employs a few staff members, it’s important to keep them well-trained and focused on learning new skills. It’s a time investment to do so, but it will really pay off. According to Vertical Response, a marketing agency, you shouldn’t think of your staff simply as cashiers and shelf-stockers. Eventually, a customer is going to ask them a question – that’s a perfect opportunity to make a sale or encourage an add-on purchase. Take some time each quarter to train your staff in sales techniques and come up with a strategy for selling specific products.
We’ve already mentioned add-on items a few times, but what are some examples of good add-on purchases? The retail blog Convenience Store News reported that every time anyone goes into a fast food restaurant, they are “upsold” on products. Think about it – anytime they ask you if you would like a drink or an order of fries, they’re offering an add-on purchase. And it works, doesn’t it? Now all you have to do is find out what items work for you.
If you sell a lot of jewelry, you might consider having an earring display on top of the jewelry counter. When you’re selling someone a necklace, you can easily ask if they’d like to add on a pair of matching earrings. It’s that easy!
4. Industry research
If you’ve been in the retail industry for a long time, this tip is for you. Oftentimes retailers can get set in their ways, and fail to take note of the changes occurring in the market. At least once a quarter you should take some time to research what your competitors are doing and how the market landscape is changing. At the same time, you can analyze your sales and promotional strategy from the previous quarter and make course adjustments. Doing so will keep you from falling behind.
5. Work on your brand
This point directly relates to the one above. When you’re strategizing for the future, think about what that means for your brand. Having brand awareness and recognition is like having a pair of aces in a game of poker. Once customers come to know and trust your brand, you’ll be able to communicate with them more easily and they’ll come to trust you.
“Your brand must be visually cohesive.”
From a design perspective, this means having a cohesive, unique theme. If your store looks like all the others, it will be hard to remember. You don’t have to go overboard with design creation, but the visual elements of your establishment should be consistent. If, for instance, your brand has a distinct color, you may want to look at our C3 custom color mannequins and racks. Send us your unique color and we’ll make products specifically for you!
6. Promotional Pricing
Sometimes cutting prices actually increases sales. But knowing what to price down and when to do so is key. Anything that’s overstocked, in high demand – and available from other retailers – or just not selling well can be discounted to increase sales. If you do so it’s important to advertise these items heavily, perhaps sending out special messages on your social feeds. Everyone likes a deal, and if customers think they can score big at your store, they’ll go out of their way to do so.
The best strategy of all is, of course, to be prepared for everything. If you’re looking at this list and wondering which is the most important, the answer will depend on your specific needs. However, for most retailers, it will take a combination of several of these tips to really get drastic results. When you have the time, sit down with a pen and piece of paper and go over the ways you could put each of these tips to work in your store. Then decide which you can implement the soonest and which will lead to the biggest sales increase. Where those two criteria overlap is where you should begin. See what works for you and keep track of your progress, so can adjust as you learn. And if you need any help with the design aspects of your store, just give us a call! We’re always here to serve you.