Looking to increase retail sales during a pandemic? The key is to realize in many ways, brick and mortar retailers have a finite client base. After all, there are only so many people who will be willing walk into your store with or without a mask on any given day.
While marketing can certainly impact that number, your focus can’t be just about attracting new customers. In fact, if you’ve felt meeting your retail sales projections depends solely on the number of shoppers who show up at your door, then you’re leaving a lot of money on the table.
Because you probably aren’t maximizing the shoppers who already come into your store.
You’re probably not consistently moving them from a browser to a customer who purchases from you that day. You have to keep track of your conversion rates to know if you are making progress.
You’re probably not consistently using suggestive selling of additional products your customers could use but are never shown. We're hearing more and more standoffish associates during the time of COVID-19 who believe customers just want to get in and get out quickly. That's costing you money.
Your staff may have created a culture in your retail store of price selling – what’ s on sale, what’s cheapest, and even I’m not trying to sell you. After all, with unemployment still stubbornly high and analysts suggesting the next 6 to 12 months will be rocky, their mindset is understandable.
But that doesn't make it right.
When customers leave with only one item and not with everything they need, a competitor gets their additional business and a chance to make a loyal customer out of one who should have stayed yours.
Make no mistake, the stakes are high when a browser walks out without purchasing anything or with only purchasing one item. Think of the effort it takes for you to go out and go to a store in this social distancing world. You don't want to go back if you forgot something or didn't get the best. You just don't return.
In short, you’re settling for crumbs when you could have the whole feast.
The best approach must capitalize on the visitors who do enter your store - whether it’s twenty or fifty. Routinely building higher per-ticket sales is a win-win.
With fewer shoppers and seasonal downturns, you can still meet your sales goals. Selling higher per-ticket averages directly boosts your bottom line.
How do you improve per-ticket averages and increase overall retail sales?
The best way is with staff training that cultivates an atmosphere of value selling.
Your sales associates need to be constantly aware of how to sell the value of a single product over the price of the product while looking for ways to enhance that value with additional products.
Not only will this lead to more up-sells and add-ons, but it will also help eliminate the need for markdowns to move higher value items.
3 tips how to increase retail sales
1. Build rapport with every person who walks in your door
Exceptional shopping experiences begin with exceptional employee skills. Your staff needs to know how to engage people from all walks of life in a genuine manner. That means getting out from behind the counter because they want to, not because you have to tell them.
Those employees must be able to listen to why the customer walked through your doors today, identify their motivators to buy, and link all of your products in a way that encourages them to buy.
When they build rapport and connect with their customers, it will keep customers from browsing for better deals on social media while standing in your store. It will also lay the groundwork for a true relationship where each looks forward to seeing the other again, increasing customer retention.
That also makes it easier for the sales associates to suggest add-ons because they are seen as human beings, trusted advisers rather than nameless clerks.
2. Always be value selling over price.
Value selling is the foundation of how to increase sales in retail. It’s easy to mark down items or steer customers toward the cheapest option. Heck, that’s 90% of retail help these days. However, markdowns are bad for profit, and the cheapest option is rarely the best option for the customer.
With the proper understanding of the premium products they’re selling, salespeople can keep the conversation focused on the long-term value those products offer. Once customers understand that there truly are differences in quality from good to better to best, they’ll be more understanding of the price differences between those levels.
A good tip is to teach them the differences in your most popular SKUs and then have them tell a story using the Feel, Felt, Found Method and say, “I used to feel that way too about the price of this item. I felt it was too much. That was until I found out how much (better made, easier to use, quicker, etc.) it was over the others.”
Having established the value of the product in the customer’s mind, it’s easier for the salesperson to then segue into a conversation about add-ons.
3. Find ways to be suggestively selling to boost average check.
Salespeople who have an in-depth knowledge of the products they sell should also have a clear understanding of the items that complement those products. If they work in electronics, they know that even the best 4K television only offers limited sound quality.
That can lead directly into a conversation about sound bars or surround-sound systems. They’ll know that a beautiful dress is not, by itself, an outfit. That a camera has a lot of accessories to make it truly an artistic device. The customers leave with products that exceed their initial expectations, and the salesperson gains higher per-ticket sales.
To do this effectively, your salespeople need to see the full picture when it comes to their product lines, more-so than the product features.
For even if they don’t know the specifics of an add-on but understand the concept of what it does, they’ll be able to create additional value for their customer and not settle for clerking a single item.
The skills and knowledge necessary to increase retail sales all start with the right training program. A well-conceived training program will teach all of these techniques while also instilling an attitude geared toward creating an exceptional customer shopping experience.
When they are exceptional, those experiences build a foundation for higher per-ticket sales, repeat customers, and increased retail sales. Discover SalesRX, my online retail sales training program to engage a stranger, build rapport, deal with objections and sell your merchandise.
To go deeper into Increasing Retail Sales check these out:
The 5 Shifts Brick-and-Mortar Retailers Are Making to Generate Up to 20% Higher Profits Every Month
Are you a hungry brick-and-mortar store owner who’s ready for a fresh, people-obsessed strategy? This training is for you if you want to grow your business using a powerful customer experience formula proven to make your cash register chirp.