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When it comes to brick-and-mortar retail, the in-store experience is everything. Getting people through the door is one box ticked, but converting them into loyal, satisfied customers is where the real work begins.
Tried-and-tested sales tips can be split into three main categories: person-to-person, which is all about how you engage with your shoppers; in-store, which relies on the look, feel and layout of your shop; and loyalty – encouraging customers to come back again and again.
Ready to reach your retail potential? Keep on reading to find out how to increase sales and keep business booming.
1. Play on shopping psychology
Shopping is a state of mind – or, at least, it takes a certain mindset to go from browsing to buying. Luckily, you don’t need to be a psychologist to influence and entice your customers. Consider trying these simple cognitive bias techniques:
Use FOMO to your advantage – by creating a sense of scarcity, a ‘last chance to buy’ rack is an easy way to increase sales.
Limited time offers and strategic flash sales will shift stock, fast.
Highlight best selling products, trending items and staff favourites to drive-up desirability.
Transparency = trust. Give your customers clear information on returns and exchanges so they know where they stand. Having a look at retail law around this will help.
2. Focus on employee training and morale
It’s simple – a happy team makes for a happy business. Regular training will ensure staff feel supported and that they’re on the same page when it comes to sales techniques. Things to include are:
- Establishing a consistent style of communicating with customers.
- Getting everyone up to speed on product benefits and USPs, as well as specifics such as fabric and origin.
- A reward scheme to incentivise your staff to increase sales.
3. Upsell and cross-sell
Selling is good. Upselling is great. And cross-selling is even better. Direct your customers to bigger ticket items with phrases like ‘we’ve just got a new version in stock’, or promote related products that compliment their purchase – ‘buy this, and I’ll throw this in with a discount.’ Bundling products is another smart (and easy) way of boosting your sales potential.
4. Offer samples
Who doesn’t love a freebie? Providing customers with complimentary testers, product demonstrations or samples to take away is a classic enticement technique. If they’re impressed with the sample, they’ll no doubt purchase the main item.
5. Try a loyalty, referral or rewards scheme
Profit on loyalty and encourage repeat purchases with reward schemes. Depending on your business needs you could consider point collection, friend referral, or a free product for every 10 purchases. Simple incentives like these will lead to increased customer retention.
6. Understand your shopper personas
Got an ideal customer in mind? How do they match up with who walks through the door? While it’s great to have a target market, be sure to appeal to those shoppers that you already have.
Identify your main customer personas and write them down – what makes them tick? What are their needs? And how do they like to be spoken to? By getting to know your customers inside out, you can adjust your stock and sales techniques to match.
7. Think about product layout
So you know your customers’ personas, but have you noticed how they move around your shop? Take a moment to observe the most common pathways – what direction do customers go first? Where do they stop? Where do they fail to look?
Adapting your store design to suit customer flow is a simple way to increase sales – place popular products in the most visible places, avoid overcrowding to let your stock shine, and consider placing smaller, cheaper items closer to the checkout as last-minute basket additions.
8. Host an event
From private shopping evenings and tasting sessions to workshops and guest speakers, hosting an event in your space is a great way to share expertise, attract new customers and integrate into your community – all of which will benefit your business in the long run.
By viewing your business as an event space just as much as a retail outlet, you can invite people through your doors who might not ordinarily have come. You can also use your buyers’ personas to think about the sorts of events they’d like to attend.
9. Make sure you have an online presence
While in-store experience is (nearly) everything, all the sales tips in the world would be wasted if you can’t be found online. A simple website and social media account will do the trick – and be sure to add your business to Google My Business so people can locate the shop at the click of a button. Thinking about taking your stock to the world wide web? Read our helpful guide on how to start selling online.
10. Request feedback
When all is said and done, remember to use your most important source of feedback – your customers. Honesty and transparency will go a long way, so don’t be afraid to talk to empty basket holders and ask how you can improve their experience; whether that be through product selection, atmosphere or staff interactions.
Protect your shop and its sales
With all these extra customers, it’s important to make sure your shop, its stock and its people are protected in case something goes wrong. Business insurance for your retail space can seriously save your bacon if your shop suffered a robbery, flood or incident involving a customer, for instance.
Whether you’re a greengrocer or a gift shop – our shop insurance allows you to purchase customisable cover that’s tailored to your business, including public and product liability; contents and stock cover as well as protection for your shop front.