If you are a small business owner in the retail industry, a working knowledge of efficient retail selling is a must.
Even reputable retailers make many mistakes. However, a few simple methods can go a long way towards reaching your sales objectives.
Here is a practical 6-step guide to increase retail sales.
1. Use strategic retail promotions and pricing
Retail promotions drive foot traffic. Maximize profits by using sales promotions and promoting high-margin products, if applicable. Meanwhile, promotional pricing is an important factor.
“For example, you might have heard about the power of ending prices with the number 9. Researchers have discovered that items priced at $39 sell more than the cheaper price point of $34. Or the overbearing power of the word “free,” which Dr. Dan Ariely has shown to motivate us even when the perceived value and price of two options remain the same.”
Additionally, “Instead of offering 50% off, opt for ‘buy one get one free.’ Consumers love to get (or think they’re getting) something for free.”
2. Refresh retail window displays
Window displays serve as the first impression of your store. Invest effort in your virtual merchandising. Keep your displays clean and rotate them regularly to provide fresh value for customers. Prices should also be displayed clearly to let customers know they won’t be subject to bait and switch sales techniques.
Studies confirm that retail window displays allow customers to learn about the brands, styles, prices, and quality merchandise. Also, they are used to announce special promotions; which customers have come to expect.
3. Shuffle inventory location regularly
This strategy serves well for regular customers who are already aware where your products are kept. Just changing the location of certain products will add an element of novelty to them and help to get them off their shelves.
Maximize wall display space and expose customers to all of your products along a set pathway. Most importantly, shuffle product location regularly. This simple, yet effective, strategy can add novelty. It can also expose customers to unfamiliar products and move more inventory.
4. Leverage the impulse factor
Customers often purchase products on their way out the door. Impulse shopping is prevalent. Retailers encourage it by adjusting store layout and strategically placing products at the front of the store. It is your job to determine which products prompt an impulse purchase.
5. Promote complimentary products
While selling a certain product, consider which products are complimentary. This is called cross-selling. For example, fries go with burgers, a moisturizer may complement a face cream, and a shoe-polish works well with formal shoes. Place complimentary products together through the store and promote them together.
6. Train and engage your staff
Last but not the least, staff training is a very important. If your employees aren’t knowledgeable about products they won’t be passionate about selling them. Although, a sales course may be useful, also help your team understand the sales strategies that drive business objectives. Reward employees when they perform well.
Apart from these tips, you can use inbound marketing tools (e.g. advertise on social media or send monthly email updates). Ultimately, the little things will enable you to gain an edge over your competitor’s.
This article has been edited.
Sudhan Shanmugasundaram is an entrepreneur, technologist and a motivator. Currently he is leading a team of 24 people who work relentlessly to create a seamless online marketplace for jobseekers, mentors and hiring managers: HR CUBE. In Sep’16, he launched another startup called MINTLY, which is focused on building go to marketplace for sales professionals (related jobs, content, training and community) in retail, FMCG and finance industries. Connect with @hrcubellc and @mintly on Twitter.