Whether it's due to forces beyond our control, seasonal sales or a decline in foot traffic, many retailers will experience a slump in sales at some point. The following are a few simple ways you and your staff can improve your retail sales.
Advertise More - Just when you may think it's time to cut back the marketing dollars, you should probably be advertising more. It is wise to increase marketing efforts during slower sales periods because there is more competition and fewer consumer dollars. Consider newspaper ads, magazines, specialty publications and other forms of marketing.
Generate a Buzz - Whenever anything noteworthy happens within your business, send a press release to the media. The idea is to grab any free coverage possible. Get involved with community events. Consider hosting classes, meetings or other networking events in your retail store. Use a unique promotional event to generate a buzz about your business.
Examine Your Pricing Strategy - When purchasing and pricing products, be sure you've considered the cost of goods and that your retail shop is able to make a profit at that price point. Your product price should be competitive, but still profitable. Ultimately, the right price is the price the customer is willing to pay for the product.
Design Store for Sales - Take advantage of cross-merchandising strategies and impulse sale opportunities. Use lighting techniques and creative displays to attract customers. Play videos for product education, customer entertainment and any other upsell or promotional tie-in.
Connect With the Customer - Excellent customer service is the key to increasing sales. Listen to your customer to understand their needs and wants. Then educate him/her about the products. Finally, let the customer know you appreciate their business. Offer value-added services and products. Create a mailing list by asking for contact information from each customer.
Manage Your Money - This may seem like an obvious step, but as retail operators we can become too involved in the little details of our business that we lose track of our financials. Create a budget, know where every dime is being spent, keep an eye on cash flow, and control inventory.