November 26, 2017
November 26, 2017
In April of 2016, my blog 5 Ways How to Raise Your Retail Sales Associates' Conversion Rate was shared almost 5000 times.
But things never stay static in retail and everyone should be looking at how to do better within their own four walls, so here are five additional ways to convert more lookers to buyers and boost your retail sales.
If you've followed my articles on increasing key performance indicators (KPIs) you should know I think converting more shoppers is the key to brick and mortar stores surviving in an Amazon-obsessed world.
But it's not easy by any measure as you have to constantly be looking at exactly how you are encouraging, nurturing, and closing shoppers - or doing the opposite.
• Make sure your employees are selling a system or a complete solution rather than a single SKU. The margin you make on one-product sales basically pays for whatever your marketing and fixed costs took to attract the shopper in the first place. The profit comes from the second it.
• Make sure when an associate finishes with a shopper and sends them to the cashier that your associate tells them to look for the stocking stuffers by the register, or the spring bulbs by the counter, or to check out the ....
• At the register, have a sign that lists the most common items often forgotten but so necessary. For a sewing store it could be new needles, rotary cutters, and scissors; for a paint store it could be masking tape, brushes, and a new ladder. The key is making the first few items cheaper than the others, so price doesn’t get in the way of reading down your list.
• Have signage that says what a well-trained associate should say, Complete your new look with a scarf, or You can double the effect of the arrangement with a mirror vase, or Surprise the kids with these cookies using your new mixer.
• Make sure to use the basics of retail merchandising. Take one main product and put two companion products alongside it.
• Signage is one of the most underutilized conversion assists retailers can use to directly affect sales. While signs are more passive than your associates, signs like Good, Better and Best or Upgrade your gift put doubt in the shoppers' mind about what they might have settled for.
• Employees are the most effective at upselling because they can build trust, listen to that specific customer, and recommend a specific upsell based on their 10-minute interaction. That all has to be trained for when it comes to more expensive purchases, the more time you invest in the process, the more likely shoppers are to buy an upgrade. To be able to do that, your associates must be drilled to compare and contrast products so they can upsell with ease.
• The more shopping feels like work, the less shoppers will invest the time, especially if they have to hunt and pick for their size or model. Racks and racks or piles and piles of sale goods are just as much work to go through as hundreds of sneakers on a shoe wall. Many simply give up and only the most dedicated bargain hunters persist.
• One of the biggest ways to increase conversion rates is simply to have the product in stock. No one wants to invest the time, energy, or patience of driving through traffic, finding a parking place, and walking into your store on their lunchbreak to discover you don't have what they could have purchased on Amazon on their phones. Offer less similar products but have a deeper run so you never have to apologize for letting a shopper down.
• People hate to wait. Have a policy on who stays at the register and how to help in a rush. No one wants to stand there while one associate is as slow as molasses; they simply put their stuff down and walk but never tell you.
• Hide the line. Teenage retailer Gilly Hicks had their cash wrap at the back of the store, so you couldn't see how long the line was as you walked in. Disneyland has a science around how to keep the wait queue from appearing as long as it really is. Creatively use islands of displays and find ways so you don't look like a busy Starbucks and casual shoppers don't even walk in to have a chance at finding a new treasure.
• Staff for the rush. It's great to want to give staff 6-8 hour shifts all the time, but that often isn't possible. You need those floaters who can work 3-4 hours at your busiest times - and not just to give the others breaks. Only if the flow of customers is manageable will employees feel they can touch everyone personally with a greeting and engage your shoppers.
The best way to truly know your conversion rate is by using a visitor counting system like ShopperTrak that ties into your POS and delivers the ratio of people who came in and purchased to those who entered. You can do a manual system as well; the key is that you are tracking if your employees, merchandise, layout and the rest are converting casual lookers to buyers.
Use these tips to get higher conversion rates in your retail stores and if you'd like to see how I can help you personally, click the button below.
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