If you've followed my articles on increasing key performance indicators (KPIs) and using analytics you should know I think converting more shoppers is the key to brick-and-mortar retailers surviving in an Amazon-obsessed ecommerce 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.
The 5 Best Ways To Drive Customer Conversion Rates In Your Store
1. Get them to buy more by suggestively adding on.
• 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 tells potential customers what a well-trained associate should say as a key part of your visual merchandising: 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.
2. Get them to buy more expensive products by upselling
• 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 increase conversion of lookers to buyers, your associates must be drilled to compare and contrast products so they can upsell with ease.
3. Limit selling the promo stuff.
• 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 or unending product videos and pages online. Many simply give up and only the most dedicated bargain hunters persist.
4. Curate selection and go deeper.
• One of the biggest ways how to improve conversion rate in retail stores 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 lunch break to discover you don't have what they could have purchased online on their phones. To improve sales conversion rate of browsers to customers, offer less similar products but have a deeper run so you never have to apologize for letting a shopper down.
5. Remove friction.
• 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.
Online retailers thrive on knowing their sales conversion of their online store. They use all kinds of analytics and metrics to tweak their online and social media strategies.
The best way for a brick and mortar retailer 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 just like an e-commerce store.
Use these sales conversion tips to increase conversion rates in your retail stores and if you'd like to see how I can help you personally with your brick and mortar same-store sales, click the button below.