5 expert tips on how to boost sales in-store
In this digital age that we all enjoy, we often tend to focus on ways in which to promote ourselves online. Whilst it’s true that a poor online presence can in fact kill a business, that’s not to say that our face-to-face marketing inside bricks-and-mortar retail spaces should fall to the way-side.
It can sometimes seem overwhelming to try and come up with innovative ways to keep your store fresh, and to ultimately keep driving sales during both high and low periods of profitability, so here are our top 5 tips that you can put into action right now to help market your business to your live customers.
1. Customer Service is Key
This may seem way too obvious, but it’s surprising how many retail stores fail to keep on top of their customer service standards. Whether you’re a small independent boutique or part of a larger chain, it’s a simple fact that your level of customer attention has the power to impact your business massively for better or worse, and so it should be your no.1 priority.
Manage customer’s expectations by making sure that all staff are fully trained and knowledgable of your product range, as well as interpersonal skills. Consider setting some basic rules for staff to follow, such as approaching every customer individually within 30 seconds of entering the store with a smile, an offer of assistance and any additional information that you may want them to know, such as current in-store offers or perhaps an invitation to that day’s in-store event.
Which leads us on to…
2. Store Events
In-store events are a fantastic opportunity for you to drive footfall and promote your business to a pool of potential new customers, as well as encourage customer loyalty in your existing ones.
Plan a calendar of both major and minor marketing events that are relevant to the season or holidays in order to increase the novelty factor and pull in a greater crowd. Major events such as fashion shows for example can be less frequent, as they often require a fair bit of planning and a larger budget, but minor events can be much more frequent and low cost. From flash sales, to product demonstrations and limited time offers, minor events are designed to boost your footfall and also create more opportunities to build lasting customer relationships.
3. Monitor your progress
This is another tip which for many will seem obvious, especially those with a larger brand, chain or franchised store, but for a large number of small independent retailers the importance of tracking sales thoroughly can fall by the wayside when all of our other marketing tasks are taking up much of our time. It is however a good habit to get into to keep a close eye on basic KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) such as footfall vs sales conversion rates (%), and also to check our performance against last year on a daily basis (+/- £). Keep a detailed log of what your store was doing from day to day- Was there a special event in town that drove footfall? Was the weather horrendous so sales slumped? Did we host an in-store event that day?
This information will help you build your store profile at a glance, and help you run better analysis of your sales performances long term.
4. Get online, offline
We accept that this is a guide for face-to-face retail, but it still has to be said that digital marketing should be considered as a part of your in-store strategy too. Nowadays shoppers are all about finding the best bargains, and the majority of shoppers know that they can often find the same products being sold in a store, online for a much cheaper price. Rather than ignore the fact that a huge number of savvy shoppers pre-shop before hitting the store, the most successful retailers are embracing this and using it to draw customers into their stores where the opportunity to upsell impulse purchases is much higher than in online stores.
By improving your local SEO you can make sure the you’re the first port of call for local shoppers, after which time you can reinforce the digital message by providing detailed store information on your website. When potential customers see great up to date information about what you've got going on in store, you’ve already provided the incentive to come down and try on whatever caught their eye. It can also be a great idea to give online/offline discounts that can be printed and brought into store, as well as opportunities in store to connect with the brand on social media.
The options are endless, and having a firm foot in both your digital and physical world will enable you to strengthen your brand and run both stores more cohesively.
5. Create an impact
As you probably are aware, passing trade makes up a large amount of your day to day revenue stream. As such, creating a visual impact is another important part of your overall business strategy and a great display for passers by is a surefire way to attract more footfall into your store.
Look around at other successful retailers for ideas that you could see yourself emulating in your own store, from themed windows with lots of quirky props, to a chic minimalist display with lots of pops of colour, the only real limit here is your own creativity. Change your windows and in-store POS displays on a regular basis to keep the store looking fresh and exciting; the goal is to create a remarkable shopping experience that will stick in the customer’s mind and perhaps even make them tell their friends. Strive to be different from your competitors in the most vibrant and exciting way possible, giving you an edge on the highstreet that will make other retailers green with envy!