The proven techniques that worked till a few years back no longer work today. Even if they may, you have to tweak and modify them to adjust to the changing times’ demands and needs. We share ten top techniques or tactics that will sure-shot help increase traffic and sales in your retail stores.
Table of contents
- Use technology to power your offline store
- Customer engaging experience should be your focus
- Believe in the power of story-telling. It works.
- Use receipts for promotional messages
- Offer product demos and test kits
- FOMO (Fear of missing out) Strategy
- Customers love to be informed. Educate them.
Ten proven tactics to increase sales in your retail stores
1. Use technology to power your offline store
Technology is not only about opening an online store. It can facilitate your offline store too. Harness the power of technology to boost sales of your offline store in these ways:
- Update your contact details and inventory in Google Maps and Search.
- Have a website and optimize it for online search
- Equip your store for mobile-ordering so that customers can order products through their smartphones. It makes a lot of their work easy and simple.
- In the post-covid-19 situation, ensure that your customers feel safe inside the store.
- If you have an online store, ensure that you offer optimized and all-inclusive services to connect online and offline stores. For example, customers can order online and pick the products from the offline store. Think of it as adding, making things convenient for the customers.
2. Customer engaging experience should be your focus
The entire retail store is dependent on how happy your customers are. They are the king. Your store needs to take them on memorable and impressive journeys. Here are some ways to keep your customers engaged:
- Ensure that your staff is trained to offer exceptional customer experiences.
- Focus on in-store visual displays.
- If you are promoting corporate social responsibility, make it an essential part of your information or communication to customers.
- Customer-centricity is essential for your business – your engagement levels should be to the level of obsession with your customers.
- Have a loyalty program, however small your store is.
- Keep your communication on with your loyal customers at all costs.
3. Believe in the power of story-telling. It works
We have heard about brands indulging in story-telling online. But, in the offline mode, does telling your brand story work?
Yes, it does. It is a good way to create a bond with customers. The image below shows how the Ministry of Supply portrays its story on its retail store wall.
The type of stories that can be added and displayed include – the owner’s story, product stories, and customer stories. Find a point that taps the emotional touchpoints and will engage your customers effectively.
4. Use receipts for promotional messages
There may not be a chance to talk to your customers inside the retail store; use your customer receipts to include a personalized message on the receipt. They have come to your store and made a purchase shows that they can become your repeat customers too.
Thus, it is the right opportunity to cash-in and tempts them to visit the store again.
Receipts can be customized by using the right POS. Anywhere in the receipt, you can offer an important piece of information like warranty-related details, ask for feedback, request them to complete feedback, etc.
As a retailer, you have surely heard of cross-selling and probably used the same, some time or the other, in your journey. Whatever be your experience with cross-selling, the truth is that it works effectually to drive more sales.
What is cross-selling? Like the image below – if a customer has ordered a burger, you can sell items that he can enjoy with the burger, such as French fries and a coke bottle. Since all the items can go as a combo, there are high chances that the customer is inclined to buy the combo.
However, there are cases where cross-selling does not work. You should not just start to do it – as soon as the customer walks in. Once a customer has paid for the product, it is late to cross-sell to him. If the customer seems to be in a hurry or informs you about his budget, you should abstain from cross-selling, which will hold him up for more time or him spending more than his budget.
Upselling has been around for a long now. It is not a new technique but one that many retailers are reluctant to try whole-heartedly. The attractive feature about upselling is that you interact with your customers to allow them to buy a better and a premium product compared to what they are buying at present.
The choice is theirs, but most customers appreciate the efforts that a retailer takes to educate them about a better version of what they are buying at the moment. It would help if you kept in mind that the product you are upselling is an authentic value add-on for the higher price.
7. Offer product demos and test kits
It is a common approach again. Walk-in customers to a retail outlet get to see product demos – here, you show the customers the product in use or action. It is an experience that you offer the customer to see the output themselves and then decides to buy or not.
Some retail outlets also offer test kits to their customers. Many perfume-selling brands do so – giving small testers of fragrances when customers purchase products. Skincare, haircare, and cosmetic products also do so. Brands selling food items give minute-sized products as testers to customers. Fruit juice brands set up dispensers and keep small cups besides tasting the juices before buying.
8. FOMO (Fear of missing out) Strategy
FOMO is quite a common strategy used in the retail spectrum. Since homo sapiens are competitive and intrinsically strive to be winners, the fear of missing out on an opportunity runs high in our brains.
You can leverage the power of this psyche optimally to drive sales. Some common examples of the common strategies are – limited-time offers; say ‘today only’ promotion. Or a strategy, like, ‘last few products are remaining at a discounted price.’
In the image below, GILT is advertising “Final Few” to harp on the FOMO strategy.
9. Customers love to be informed. Educate them.
Man, by nature, is very inquisitive. We are driven by the quest to know more – no doubt, countless discoveries, and innovations have happened ever since mankind evolved.
As a retailer, you must find ways to satisfy the curiosity of your customers. The best and a tried-and-tested method is to educate them; keep them informed. From holding classes to helping them do things DIY, you can add value to their living experience.
For example, take the case of international retailer Sephora. The retail brand is known for holding free beauty and makeup classes for its esteemed customers. There are hundreds of topics on which customers are educated and informed – skincare, haircare, eye makeup, etc. Creating a connect is the key essence here. Create a connection between your products and the value-added education being offered.
Clients in the B2B business framework are entities or individuals with which a business entity maintains a relationship because the client is important for his business. It is popularly called clientelling in the B2B world. The concept can be extended meaningfully in B2C, where every customer is made to feel special and unique.
It involves knowing the customer well with the help of their past purchase history. It also means keeping in touch with every customer to keep him engaged with your retail shop and drive repeat purchases. Take the case of luxury brands. They make every individual customer feel extraordinary – like a VIP – and are known for offering personalized services. Customers are invited to special launches and events and also sent out testers, etc., to be the first ones to try new products.
These are the top ten techniques that can make a difference to your retail business. Whatever be your product type and however old your business is, you need to be customer-centric and use improvised methods to leverage sales and revenues for your business.
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