8 Proven Strategies on How to Improve Sales in Retail
If you’re looking for ways how to improve sales in retail, then you’ve come to the right place! I remember when I first started working in retail, I was constantly trying to find new and innovative ways to sell more products. Whether it was coming up with creative displays or thinking of new promotions, I was always on the lookout for anything that could give me an edge over the competition.
These days, there are so many different options available when it comes to marketing and promoting your business online. It can be overwhelming trying to figure out where to start! But don’t worry – our tips on how to improve sales in retail will help you get started on the right foot.
8 Proven Strategies on How to Improve Sales in Retail
According to NRF, 48% of shoppers use smartphones while shopping.
Retail sales are projected to increase by 4.4% in 2018.
This is the largest increase in retail sales since 2011 when sales went up by 5%.
However, there have also been reports of layoffs and store closings, which don’t bode well for retail.
How can retailers keep on this path of increasing sales revenue? We have compiled a list that is simple and easy to understand.
1. Offer Free Product Trials
Do you remember the last time you were at the ice cream shop? You probably went in intending to get just one scoop. But then you tried the new double chocolate chip cookie and raisin flavor and your plans changed.
In no time at all, one scoop led to two. Though it may have been an indulgence, there is a valuable lesson to be learned from this experience.
Letting customers try out your product can be a powerful way to upsell and gather feedback.
This is often done by tea specialists and juice bars. You can easily gauge customer opinion and convince them to buy the product that they just tried.
2. Observe Customer Movement Inside the Store
If you’ve only recently opened up a business, tracking the path of your customers through your space can help you see which areas need improvement.
You can tell a lot about how customers interact with your store by observing their movements and the way they interact with products. This information can help you optimize your store layout to better suit customer needs.
If your customers can’t find what they’re looking for, they won’t be able to purchase anything. Ask customers to provide feedback regarding the layout and overall design of your space. This can help make your store both welcoming and calming.
3. Encourage Referrals
A great way for coffee shops to expand their customer base is by offering referral incentives to existing customers. By doing this, both the customer and the person they refer can benefit in some way.
Referrals work really well when both the person referring and the person who is being referred get something out of it.
This also applies to retail and beauty therapists.
Have you ever bought something, then thought, “Wow, this would be great for someone else!”? You could encourage referrals by using social media or loyalty programs, or a combination of the two.
4. Try the Feel, Felt, Found Method
This is a common sales tactic for selling more expensive products. Instead of focusing on the price, you focus on the benefits.
- Tell customers “I understand what you feel.” This shows that you are listening and can empathize with them.
- Mention someone who felt the same initially. This will let your customer know that they are not the only ones feeling the same way and that things can change.
- Tell them about how that person found the product to be exactly what they wanted. This could be comfort, durability, ease of use, or any other criteria.
“I’ve heard that before about these shoes. I initially felt that they were too much. That was until I heard from other people about how long they last. One of my customers has had the same pair for four years, and the soles haven’t worn at all.”
5. Stock Up on Your Bestsellers
Even if your shop doesn’t have every size of a garment in stock, it’s important to have the most popular items on hand and to let customers know that other sizes are available if they inquire.
If you want your customers to know that you have more sizes of a product in the stockroom, you can put a note in the storefront.
If you’re ever out of stock on an item, be sure to collect the customer’s email address so you can alert them when the item is back in stock. This way, you can keep them updated and they won’t have to go through the hassle of checking back periodically.
6. Offer Expert Advice
If you offer products that aren’t unique to your company, try thinking of your store as a showroom. As consumers, we’re used to going to stores to physically see and touch the product before researching it further. Use this knowledge to create a space that welcomes visitors and encourages them to buy. By providing expert advice and assistance, you can convert more window shoppers into customers.
To appear professional, make sure you know the ins and outs of your product line. Customers like to hear from experts who can tell them about similar products, so show off your expertise!
When you buy a product in person, you can get expert help to dispel any doubts you have about the product. This is something you don’t get when buying online.
7. Create In-Store Offers on Facebook
The coupons offered via Facebook are a great and easy way to drive business. People can easily pull them up on their phones at the cash register.
You can redeem your coupon in-store by scanning a code or using a QR scanner. You can also set a reminder on Facebook to let people know when the discount is due to run out.
8. Optimize Your Counter Area
What are some good impulsive purchases for your store? Decorated cookies in a cafe, spray-on suede protectors in a shoe shop, and scarves in a boutique are all great examples.
Getting just 20% of customers to buy an additional product at the end of their transaction will make a huge difference to your company’s bottom line.
If you want your customers to keep coming back for more, then you must offer them complementary products. For instance, if you run an eyewear store, then display lens cleaning cloths on the counter. That way, customers can keep their expensive new purchases looking as good as the day they bought them.
4 Common Retail Selling Techniques
Salespeople in retail settings often employ different techniques when talking to customers, such as introducing them to products and building a personal connection.
In-person, face-to-face meetings are the best way to form strong relationships with customers. With proper training, you can convert more in-store visits to sales and meet your retail targets.
Here are a few of the most commonly used retail techniques.
1. SPIN Selling
SPIN stands for Situation, Problem, Implication, and Need. SPIN selling is a great way to increase your sales and conversions, especially for complicated sales.
Neil Rackham introduced the SPIN selling technique to increase sales conversions. He believed that by creating structured questions and delivering them on time, salespeople would be able to gain a better understanding of their shopper’s needs.
Implementing SPIN selling techniques in retail means you and your associates can follow four phases of selling, depending on where the customer is in the buying process.
During the first phase of the call, ask questions to understand the situation of the prospect.
This is your chance to introduce yourself and find out more about the person you’re talking to. Don’t try to push a sale on them yet.
Some great questions to ask customers visiting your store are:
- What brought you in?
- Are you looking to try a new product or restock on an old favorite?
- What do you love about your current products?
- What don’t you like?
The second stage is the problem stage.
When a customer is frustrated, you need to empathize with them and assure them that you are there to help them.
For instance, if a customer has complained about the skincare product they are using, you can ask why they aren’t happy with it.
If their facial moisturizers are too oily, you can assure them that you have plenty of other options that are non-greasy.
In the implication stage, you can introduce your product and explain how it solves the shoppers’ problems. You can talk about the features of your offering, provide demonstrations, and show how your offerings provide a solution to the customers’ issues.
When you talk about your product, be sure to focus on the features and benefits that will be most helpful to the customer. You might also want to give a demo of your product so the customer can see how it works and how it will be a solution for them.
Now that you’ve learned what skin type your customer has, you can show him/her the moisturizers you have that are appropriate for that type.
You can mention how each of these products can help solve the problem of breaking out due to oily moisturizers. You can point out any special offers or deals that may be available.
Finally, you’ve reached the need payoff stage. Now it’s time to close the deal.
Ask how soon they would like to receive the product or service, and remind them how it will solve the problem. The objective is to complete the order, thank them, and celebrate the new business.
If the customer expresses interest in one or a few of the recommendations, you can suggest that they start with an oil-free face moisturizer to help hydrate their skin and a cleanser that can help clear up their breakout.
If you need help solving a problem, I’m here to remind you that there are options available to you. You can come back anytime if you’d like to try another option.
2. SNAP Selling
If you’re looking to streamline and simplify your sales process, Jill Konrath’s bestselling book SNAP Selling is a great resource. It’ll help you move faster and keep the shopper’s attention, so you don’t lose the sale.
The four elements of SNAP Selling are:
Simple. In today’s fast-paced world, it is important to make sure your message is clear and concise. You want to make it easy for potential customers to make a decision and purchase what you are selling.
Invaluable. It’s important to educate shoppers about the features and benefits of your products and how they’ll solve the customer’s problem. Tell your prospects how your product will improve their lives.
Align. 71% of consumers prefer buying from companies that are aligned with their values. To ensure your business is successful, it is important to make sure your objectives are aligned with the core values of your target market. By aligning your values, you will have a better chance of attracting and retaining customers.
Priorities. Busy shoppers usually have a priority list of items they need to buy. It is important to focus on what the customer actually needs, rather than trying to sell them something they are not currently looking for. This will make it easier for them to make a decision and complete their purchase.
3. Solution selling
In sales, solution-selling is a technique where the salesperson focuses on the shopper’s needs and looks at the big picture rather than making a quick sale.
It’s important to understand a customer’s specific needs to provide them with the best possible solution. By asking questions and getting to know their goals, you can recommend products that will truly help them solve their problem.
4. Suggestive selling
There are two components to suggestive selling. Cross-selling and upselling are great ways to increase your average customer’s spending. By offering complementary products, or encouraging customers to buy more expensive items, you can increase your average sale value.
What to Do When It’s a Slow Day
(Source)If you are a retail company, your sales will inevitably dip.
All businesses experience a dip in revenue at one point or another. It could be due to a force outside of your control, such as construction outside your storefront, or it could be the result of seasonality or a drop in traffic.
Here are a few tips you can use to improve your sales if you’re having a bad month or if you’re just having a slower than usual day.
First, take a look at your LinkedIn profile and make sure it’s up-to-date. You never know when a potential customer or client will come across your profile.
Second, use Twitter to connect with others in your industry. See what others are talking about and join the conversation.
Finally, take some time to brainstorm new ideas for marketing or product development. By staying active and engaged, you’ll be ready to take advantage of any opportunities that come your way.
Now that you have a lot of tips on how to improve sales in retail, it’s time to start using them.
There are a few strategies you can try whether you are working alone or with a team. Find what works best for your business and your target audience.
As long as you are genuine and in touch with your customer base, you can own the sales floor and boost your bottom line.