As a retailer, you’ll inevitably find yourself in a position where your retail sales are down but are unsure of how to improve them. All retailers experience a decline in foot traffic or seasonal dips. Thankfully, there are certain actionable steps you can take to increase your sales and get customers in-store.
Use Communication Software to Stay in Touch with Stores
Regular communication helps retailers ensure that associates and managers know about new products and services, upcoming sales, changes to standard operating procedures, and other need-to-know information.
But despite the rise of mobile communication, many retailers still rely on outdated forms of communication like email and intranets to connect with stores. And when retailers are managing hundreds, if not thousands, of locations, staying in touch with every location can be difficult.
Retail communication software streamlines the process and is an essential tool, helping retailers boost sales by giving associates a lifeline to HQ. With retail communication software, store associates can stay up to date on product knowledge, access important announcements, and often reach out to superiors or fellow employees for added support and advice.
Track and Guide Customer Movement
Sales of certain products skyrocketing at one store, but slumping somewhere else? See how your products are being positioned, and if your store layout is hurting sales.
The act of retail store design and layout is both an art and a science. On the one hand, presenting products in a visually engaging way can make your store stand out. But if the flow is off, your stores may be missing out on lost sales.
Store layouts often differ from one location to the next due to different floor plans, product offerings, and space constraints. Track how customers move throughout your store and see if everything is laid out effectively or if they’re having trouble finding certain products (or missing some displays altogether).
High-tech retailers will sometimes rely on heat mapping to gain some added insights, but it doesn’t have to be that complicated: simply assign a store associate or manager to monitor the flow of traffic for a day, and get them to report their findings.
Try Different, More Modern Advertising Methods
Although building brand loyalty is a must if you want to increase sales over the long term, sometimes customers need an incentive—whether it be a new product, sale, or service—to visit your store.
If retail sales are down and you’ve ruled out any issues related to product offerings, store layouts, or overall customer service, chances are you need to remind consumers how great your store really is or find new ways to get in front of them for the first time.
Try boosting your online presence by purchasing ad space on popular social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and even Reddit. Retailers and brands are increasingly flocking to these services to connect directly with customers and push advertising to consumers on the cheap.
Use services like Facebook offers to attract new customers and alert existing ones to upcoming sales, or simply advertise new products or sales with a generic post.
With increased photo, video, and hyperlinking capabilities, it’s never been easier to advertise your wares online in a cost-effective way.
Improve In-Store Visuals
Products have to look good if you want customers to pick them up and buy them. And when stores look disorganized, and things aren’t presented properly, sales are bound to take a nosedive, and the customer experience suffers.
Get creative with your displays if you want to improve retail sales. Try experimenting with different fixtures, positioning, mannequins, and display heights, so consumers can not only picture how what’s for sale would fit into their daily lives, but are visually attracted to what’s on display.
Strike a balance by making displays visually interesting but not so busy it overwhelms the senses—products should be the focal point and draw attention. And don’t forget to experiment with cross-merchandising by arranging complementary products that easily go together, so customers grab more than one item before heading to the checkout.
Boost Product and Sales Knowledge
Today’s customers are more informed than ever about the products they seek to purchase long before entering a store. Their minds may seem made up, but as anyone who regularly shops in-store will tell you, seeing or trying a product in person is totally different.
Whether a customer is entering with no pre-conceived notions about a product or just needs some additional information, it’s the associate’s job to nudge them in the right direction.
That’s why retailers need to equip their team members with easy to access and accurate information, so they can speak about a product’s benefits from a point of authority and answer any questions customers may have.
Again, retail communication software makes it easy for associates to proactively look up information to assist customers better and read up on product guides in their downtime. Doing so makes team members more adept at hitting key selling points and providing information crucial to making (and improving a store’s) sales.
Lastly, it’s important to realize that increasing sales isn’t solely achieved by picking and focusing on one of the above actionable steps. Increasing sales requires a solid strategy and integrated approach that’s expanded and improved upon over time. But by systematically planning to execute the above steps, you can increase your store’s sales in the long run.
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