How To Increase Retail Sales: 10 Strategies & Tips
How To Increase Retail Sales: 10 Strategies & Tips
Good news for brick-and-mortar retailers! According to a Forbes 2023 study, 70% of total retail sales still occur in person at stores. While it may be more challenging to go toe-to-toe with Amazon and other online retailers, you can still leverage your physical presence to attract new customers, retain existing ones, and reinvent your brand.
Read on for some strategies that will help improve sales and expand your business in person.
10 Ways to Improve Your Retail Sales Performance
With most retail sales still happening in person, it’s worth investing in new ways to drive sales to your retail store. That’s why we’ve created a list of actionable strategies to help you maximize your in-store sales, elevate your brand awareness, and fuel growth for your business.
In this blog, we’ll delve into tactics that can help you get the most out of your store, such as:
- Identifying and researching your target market
- Enhancing your presentation
- Excelling in customer service
- Improving your online visibility
- Creating a loyalty program
- Working with other local businesses
- Using analytics to make informed decisions
- Encouraging reviews and referrals
- Leveraging promotions and sales
- Regularly reviewing and improving your brand strategy
1. Identify & Research Your Target Market
First things first: one of the most important things you can do to help find your target market is to identify your peak hours. Take a look back at your transactions and see when the magic happens. You should ask yourself questions like, “When do the most transactions occur?” and “What are people purchasing?”
After reviewing your transactions, you should be able to find patterns and determine when your business gets the most foot traffic and what people are buying when they come to your store.
Using this information, you can identify your ideal customers and understand their needs, preferences, and buying habits. Once you have settled on a target market, you can tailor your products, marketing messaging, and customer experience to meet their expectations and create a loyal customer base.
2. Enhance Your Presentation
Now that you know your target audience and understand what they’re looking for, you can use this information to enhance how you present your business and its offerings.
Having the products your customers are looking for is only half the battle; you must create an appealing and organized space to showcase your products effectively.
Some ways to do this are to renovate your business with attractive displays, signage, and lighting to catch customers’ attention as soon as (or even before) they walk through the door and encourage them to explore and make purchases. If you need to renovate your store or need funding to update your space, check out our article on fast business financing.
While you may have the best products in town at the best prices, it’s equally important to present them in a way that resonates with the people you’re selling them to.
3. Excel At Customer Service
Always ensure your staff is up-to-date and knowledgeable about new products and services you offer, and more importantly, train your staff to be approachable and attentive to customers’ needs.
Happy and satisfied shoppers are more likely to become repeat customers and recommend your business to others. And some of the best customer experiences often begin with a simple greeting or directions to a specific aisle or product.
Pro tip: If you already have sales associates that perform stellarly, utilize your peak hours and attempt to schedule your highest-performing employees for those hours (if possible!).
Also, consider improving clunky transactions by updating your sales processing software. See if Cash App for small businesses could be right for you.
4. Improve Your Online Visibility
But wait, I thought most retail sales happen in person!
While this may be true, establishing an online presence through a website and social media platforms is equally important to running a successful brick-and-mortar business. Social media and other online platforms enable you to reach a broader audience and engage with customers beyond the walls of your store.
Online marketing techniques can help drive traffic to your store and promote your products. You can post about in-store events and promotions to generate interest leading up to them or create an email newsletter and encourage customers to sign up in exchange for a coupon.
Ideally, you’ll also want to create or claim a Google Business Profile to show up in local search results and Google Maps. Creating a Google Business Profile allows you to respond to customer reviews and engage with loyal customers. It also allows you to respond to negative reviews and gives you a chance to turn a negative customer experience into a positive one.
5. Consider Creating A Loyalty Program
Another clever way to get more repeat customers is to offer a loyalty program. Loyalty programs make it easy to incentivize in-store visits and future purchases. For example, you can offer exclusive discounts, personalized offers, or establish a points-based system that customers can redeem for discounts on future purchases– all of which are easy ways to encourage repeat business.
Alternatively, you can offer exclusive access to new product lines or shop updates to boost interest in new products and increase sales. Giving your loyalty program members a first look at new products is a great way to make them feel they’re a part of something special and gives them more motivation to come to your establishment exclusively.
6. Collaborate With Other Local Businesses
One way to spread the word about your business and raise awareness is to seek partnerships with local businesses that complement– not compete with–your offerings. You can use this to cross-promote each other’s products and create joint promotions.
You can also work together to sponsor charity events and other activities that help benefit the community. Building relationships with other businesses and those in your community can help expand your customer base and introduce your business to new audiences you wouldn’t typically have access to– all while establishing yourself as a pillar of the community.
7. Use Analytics To Guide Decisions
It’s hard to make good decisions without the research to back them up, which is why it’s so important to use analytics to help guide your business. For some business owners, analytics might be a scary word, but don’t worry– this doesn’t mean you have to hire an analyst or invest in building a marketing department for your small business.
As a business owner, you need to pay attention to what customers are doing to gain insights into their preferences, buying patterns, and trends. For example, look at what products sell best in your store and pay attention to what trends during different times of the year. Using this data, you can purchase new products based on what performs best and improve staffing for peak hours.
8. Encourage Reviews & Referrals
Whenever customers have a poor experience with a brand, they are usually quick to leave a review on your Yelp or Google Business profile. However, that one negative review doesn’t represent the many satisfied customers who don’t think to leave positive feedback on your business profiles.
So, how do you encourage people to leave reviews when everything goes right?
One way to encourage positive reviews is to offer incentives like coupons or discounts to motivate your customers to leave a review on your Google Business page or social media profiles. You can also enter their names into a raffle for a prize if they write a review about your store. Positive customer reviews and referrals can significantly impact your business.
Today, word of mouth is digital, and ensuring that customers are buzzing about your business online is the only way to stay a part of the conversation.
9. Offer Promotions & Sales
Today, things are expensive. Business owners know this. Customers know this.
That means the best thing you can do to draw customers into your business is to give them a good deal. Regularly introducing promotions, discounts, or limited-time offers creates a sense of urgency and drives sales– all while letting the customer know they’re getting a better deal than they might at the store down the block.
A sales rack with flashy signage can draw in customers who are looking for steals. You can also consider seasonal sales, bundle deals, or loyalty program exclusive discounts to entice customers and generate excitement around what your store has to offer.
10. Review & Improve
Finally, the secret ingredient in the recipe for success is continual improvement. As a business owner, you should regularly assess your sales performance and customer feedback.
Be sure to closely monitor your inventory and sales trends to see what needs to be restocked and maintain a supply of your best-selling offerings.
You can also monitor customer satisfaction by reading your reviews and mentions on social media and replying to any negative reviews to resolve issues before they cause permanent damage to your reputation.
Using these insights, you can create and adapt your strategies to make changes that meet your customers’ evolving needs and expectations.
Need Funding To Achieve Your Retail Dreams?
With the rise of Amazon and other online retailers, running a profitable brick-and-mortar can be challenging. However, the good news is that most customers are still buying things in person; it’s just up to you to capitalize on this opportunity by offering them what they want when they want it– all while making it easier for them to get their hands on it.
For some businesses, this could be as simple as offering new products that customers want or restocking your inventory with best-selling items. For others, maybe you need a quick renovation to make your store stand out from the rest of the competition.
Whatever the case is, we understand that sometimes generating enough capital to execute your business plan can be a hurdle.
That’s why Mantis Funding is proud to offer hassle-free revenue-based financing to help small businesses grow. For more information, check out our funding services or contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.
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