Sales, sales, sales. Every retailer has their eyes on the prize. Many businesses go above and beyond to get more of that. If you stumbled upon this article, chances are you're looking for new ideas to increase sales in your business.
Maybe you’re looking to stand out from the fierce competition, or perhaps you just want to brush up on your retail selling skills. Whatever it is, you’ve come to the right place. Today, we are going to share with you 9 Techniques to Drive Sales.
Check them out below and see which ideas you can implement in your store.
1. Offer Consumers’ Daily Necessities and Essentials
Consumers will always patronize the shop that has all the essential commodities that they use daily. From fresh vegetables and fruits to toiletries and canned goods, having stocks of everyday essentials and necessities available at your retail store will keep you ahead of your competitors.
As the world begins to reopen the economy and slowly recover from the COVID-19 crisis, it has become clear that the period lockdown has brought significant change to consumer behavior. Now, consumers are shifting to value convenience and daily essentials over expensive products, making local retail businesses experience a big boost.
Consumers continue to see a drop in their income. They intend to continue shifting their spending primarily to essentials, such as groceries and household supplies, and cutting back on most discretionary categories (footwear, electronics, etc.). Consumers are mindful about their spending and trading down to less lucrative products and services.
With this in mind, make sure that your retail store keeps fresh stocks of daily goods and essentials at competitive prices, and your store will also be treated as an everyday essential by your consumers.
2. Sell What is Hot and Trending
To stand out in an increasingly competitive market, as a retail owner, you need to know what is hot and trending on the market. What are people raving about lately? What is selling like pancakes? Knowing the right products to sell, your target market, and timely marketing strategies will keep you ahead of the game.
It pays well to get updated with what is trending. Let’s say you own a fashion or apparel retail; you are more likely to look more appealing to your customers if your store has the latest clothes everyone is raving about this season.
For instance, during the pandemic, interest in at-home workout and fitness equipment, skincare products, video games, and home appliances have skyrocketed more than ever before. This comes to no surprise, as people are stuck in their homes in isolation looking for something to do.
Social media is a great platform to get familiar with what is hot and trending. You can also use Google Trends to know what everyone is searching today.
3. Retail Display and Visual Merchandising
Human beings are highly visual, and this is made even more important when running a physical retail store. Retail displays and visual merchandising are — and will always be — essential in grabbing attention and boosting sales.
Studies have shown that human beings process most information through the sense of sight. According to researchers, 83.0% is processed by sight, while only 11% is for hearing, and 01.5% is for touch.
Despite the boom in online shopping, one of the main reasons people decide to shop offline is to see merchandise in person, which is all the more reason to design winning retail displays.
Here are a few tips to master visual merchandising in your store:
- Create an immersive display by having a solid and common theme in your shop in line with the story you want to tell. A clean and unifying theme always does the job. Determine the aesthetics of your brand and stick with that while maintaining visual neatness.
- Play with colors but also remember that less could be more in some cases. You can also have specific colors associated with your brand to build your brand identity. For example, SNR (blue and white) and 711 Convenience stores (red and green)
- Put plants around your store to create that welcoming, relaxing, and pleasant shopping ambiance. It makes your store’s ambiance feel healthier and fresh. Also the color green does a great job in accentuating merchandise.
- Cross- merchandising promotes product discovery and entices shoppers to look at items that complement what they’re already buying. Say a display of a jacket with a matching purse.
- Keep it well-lit because even the most creative displays will look flat without the proper lighting. So invest in the equipment to make sure that your products are displayed in the best possible light.
- Use signage well. If your products need a bit of explaining, it could be good to use your displays to educate shoppers about your items.
4. Make it Easy to Move Around
Whether you have a wide area with two or more stories, or a little space by the corner lot, you want to make your customers' shopping experience better by making it easy for them to move around.
Make sure the spaces between the aisles are wide enough for them to walk through with ease with their baskets or shopping carts. Make it more convenient for them to navigate your store with properly labeled aisles, so your goods are easily accessible.
The ease and convenience they experience during their shopping give your retail shop a remarkable impression and significant plus points.
5. Know the Occasion and Celebrate!
Timely displays are sure to grab the attention of your customers. Update your retail calendar from time to time and make sure that your visual merchandising is in line with relevant shopping events and seasons.
For example, during back-to-school season, dedicate an entire corner to school supplies and relevant merchandise. Fill the area with eye-catching back-to-school displays that are impossible to miss.
There are also other occasions to celebrate, such as International Coffee Day, National Pasta Day, St. Patrick’s Day or even Black Friday, show your fun and festive side and use your shop displays to celebrate. Materials like balloons, tassels, garlands and other party supplies will do a great job!
6. Have a space for kids and stools/ seats
When you own a big retail grocery store, where moms usually do most of the grocery shopping, it would be nice if you can have a small designated area for the kids (just make sure there is good security). This way, the moms can shop with ease. Other retailers have also resorted to designing a shopping cart with a built-in fun seat for small children to be put in. The shopping cart doubles as a baby stroller.
In a fashion retail store, women usually take more time shopping than men. So it would be great if you can have stools or benches in certain parts of your store for the men to wait around.
7. Excellent Customer Service
Staff that wear a nice smile but are also attentive to customers’ needs and accommodating are a huge plus for boosting your sales and customer retention. You can have the most attractive displays, the best products with the most affordable prices, but nobody would want to step foot in a store with grumpy staff. We all want to keep going back to that one store with friendly staff that are ready to cater to their customers’ needs anytime. This kind of customer service always leaves a strong and lasting impression.
Have an accessible booth for customers to approach you for concerns, inquiries, and lost and found.
However, good customer service is also knowing when your customer needs your help and when they do not want to be bothered. Train your staff to determine this well and know to have the proper balance.
8. Appeal to Your Customers’ Values
Shoppers are much more likely to purchase from brands that share the same values. This is one of the reasons why it’s essential to identify your company values — i.e., what you’re all about and what you stand for — and communicating that to the public.
There are many values that can be shared with your customers. Some of them being supporting local farmers, sustainability, ecological and green shopping, etc. If your business stands for environmental protection, have a number of initiatives designed to reduce waste and protect natural resources, like managing your waste and reinforcing the use of eco bags. You may also highlight products in your store that are environmentally friendly. Tailor your social media marketing based on these values and you will have a good following of consumers who share the same.
This will encourage customers to think before they buy. Demonstrate your values and put yourself in front of customers who share those same values.
Let’s say you’re a business that promotes sustainability, it makes sense to hire employees who deeply care about the environment. Why? Simply because when you hire team members who share your and your customers’ values, they’ll be able to communicate, connect, and sell in the most authentic way. When you do this right, you’ll attract customers who share your brand’s values and beliefs, in turn increasing sales and loyalty.
9. Markdown Prices and Instill a Sense of Urgency
Sales and markdown promos are usually what retailers resort to from time to time, to compete with competitors and dispose of products that are about to expire or haven’t been selling well. They also bring a surge of excitement and urgency for your consumers to buy and avail themselves a good deal.
However, a classic selling technique that is still relevant today is FOMO, the Fear of Missing Out. And it is a real thing. When done properly, you can use FOMO to drive sales.
Limited-time offers or scarcity promotions urges people to take action. Consider the following examples. Have “Today Only” promotion right at your checkout counter or have a section promoting “Almost Sold Out Items” to encourage shoppers to buy the products while they last.
With retail being more competitive than ever, there’s just no room for uninspired and mediocre retail displays, marketing techniques and service. Now, more than ever, you need to constantly brush up your store’s visuals and the kind of shopping experience you want your customers to have.
Remember that even if you have applied all 9 techniques we shared with you above, it won’t be effective if you don’t have merchandise that your customers want to buy. That’s why it’s important to make data-backed decisions when it comes to merchandising. Use your POS or inventory management system to generate sales and product reports that will inform your decisions around what items to show off in your store, know your loyal customers, and keep track of your sales and inventory better.
Edited by Chooli