As a retailer, you are likely to use a wealth of resources to get people to walk through your door. While foot traffic is crucial, what do you do to generate more retail sales once shoppers are in your store?
- Launch a customer loyalty scheme
Loyalty programs can be a fantastic way to keep customers coming back to your store time and again, but not all loyalty programs are created equally. Here are a few tips to make yours a success:
Make it attainable – If it’s going to take a customer 49 trips to your store to be eligible for their reward, they are unlikely to be motivated to take you up on the offer. But if they’re going to be rewarded on their third purchase, they’re likely to make those return trips.
Make it simple – Try to remove any friction or complication from the scheme. Explain clearly how the reward system works.
Measure how it’s going – Set out the goals of your loyalty scheme at the outset and measure how many sales you’re making to loyalty scheme members. This can be a simple pen and paper exercise at your checkout or built into your point-of-sale software, depending on your preference!
- Mirror your customers’ tone of voice
We humans feel a stronger affinity and connection to people we believe or perceive are similar to us. You can build rapport with your customers by subtly mirroring their tone, language or volume level. This technique can also be useful when it comes to handling difficult customer service situations. If a customer says “I am really upset”, try to incorporate the same words in your response (e.g. you could say “I’m sorry you are really upset, let me try to help”).
- Let customers touch the merchandise
A team of researchers from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have shown in a study that we are more willing to dip into our pockets for things we can touch. In fact, subjects in the study were willing to pay, on average, 50 per cent more for items they could reach out and touch than for those presented in text or picture form.
So, the simple takeaway? Allow your customers the opportunity to touch your merchandise wherever possible, and soon the checkouts will be ringing!
- Focus on the sounds and the smells
While product and price are important, retail ambience and environment are also key. Creating a positive sensory experience in your store can help increase dwell times and improve brand recognition.
Research has shown that scent marketing can raise retail store sales by 11% and increase customer satisfaction scores by 20%. Smells can trigger a physical and emotional response and are heavily linked to our memory.
Two studies conducted by Rutgers University on the subject determined that ambient scent could heighten memory for branded products and improve recognition of both familiar and unfamiliar brands.
Don’t forget that using music or soundscapes can also help to improve your retail ambience, and there are tonnes of mood enhancing playlists on Spotify and YouTube that you can tap into to create a sensory paradise for your customers.
- Encourage impulse buying in your store – make popular, inexpensive items easily accessible (by the door or the checkout)
When your customer has decided to dip in their pocket and make a purchase, they are more likely to buy more items.
A good way to capitalise on this fact is to place low-price, popular products – perhaps sweet treats or small trinkets – by the cash register. Customers buy these kinds of low-value items without having to think about it for long, so they’re particularly suitable for small, last-minute impulse buys.
- Generate more online brand awareness
With 53 million active social media users in the UK accessing their accounts daily, it is no surprise that 91% of businesses choose to utilise social media to supercharge their digital marketing strategies.
Digital and social media channels can be a real shop window for your, ahem, shop… if you know how to go about presenting yourself online. You can also use the channels to give great customer service and engagement to your existing customers, simultaneously showing potential new customers how much you care.
- Give your shop front a bit of love
In the battle against ecommerce retailers, both chains and small independents are becoming more creative in the way they get consumers through their doors. Your big-impact presence on your street is your shop front and the wow-factor you can offer to passers-by with your premises.
Simple refreshes like a seasonal display or a lick of paint can go a long way. Have a read of our guide on how to breath fresh life into your shop front without breaking the budget.
- Focus on upsells and cross sells
First, the terminology:
Upselling – the practice of offering a more expensive item than the one a customer initially came in to purchase
Cross selling – the practice of offering an additional item that complements the original item
While upselling and cross selling are tried and tested techniques, they will require some work and product expertise on your part.
Whether you’re cross selling or upselling you’ll need to communicate the additional value the customer will receive by following your advice. Try and answer the question of how it will benefit them before they have to ask! This can also be an opportunity to show your appreciation if they do buy multiple items, perhaps consider a discount on the second or third items to solidify their loyalty in the future.
Be careful to respect your customers needs and budget and not to let them feel like they’re being pressured or tricked into buying something they don’t really want.
- Promote your purpose and show good corporate social responsibility (CSR)
Being a good corporate citizen (not doing bad things and generally being a nice, kind business) is fundamentally good for business. Today’s consumers are more likely to spend their money with businesses that are associated with a good cause or have a clear purpose that resonates with their target market. Ideally your purpose and CSR approach should run through every element of your business and inform the decisions you make – whether you’re aiming to be sustainable, ethical, charitable, inclusive or locally focused.
There are many ways you can be a good corporate citizen:
- Donating a portion of your sales to charity
- Being more ethical and sustainable with how you source or manufacture products
- Supporting a local initiative or community project
- Making clear efforts to be inclusive for all
- Developing and investing in your workforce
- Creating or participating in events that promote good causes
Put these retail sales tips into action
Now that you have a few retail sales tips to try, it’s time to put them into action. Try a few of these strategies at a time to find what works best for your business and your target audience. Keep the customer, recent technological developments, and your employees in mind at all times, and retail success is sure to follow.