As a professional retail manager, I’m puzzled when I see retailers forgetting to execute on the following merchandising and site image-oriented items that yield immediate sales results when maintained properly. People often say that “Retail is Detail”, and I could not agree more. It’s the sum of the small details at a retail store that comprises the overall customer experience and it is this experience which will dictate whether your customer returns to your business or brings their business to your competitor. Needless to say, it is your job as a manager to ensure that site execution is flawless — your business depends on it!
So here are 5 easy retail tips that you can start doing at your store today that will drive increased sales & improved customer experience. These 5 items might seem overly obvious and simple but, believe me, there are competitors out there who are failing to execute on these tasks!
- Keep all shelves stocked with product: Maintaining a minimum credible display (a minimum amount of product merchandised on a display in order to appear “full” to a customer’s eye) is critical at all times. If every display in your store is not at minimum credible display at all times, then your retail sales potential is simply not optimized. This is a very simple and low-cost action to execute in your store, but it’s amazing how many retailers neglect this!When a customer sees an empty shelf (or a display that is not full to minimum credible display), their instinctual reaction is that the product is stale, old, or not fresh. Whether or not this is actually true about the product itself is besides the point — this customer is not likely to buy this product, and that reaction will cost you lost sales. So I recommend you do your business a favor and stay disciplined and systematic in keeping your shelves well-stocked at all times. Keep an eye on best-selling products as these will need to be ordered more frequently than others.
- Make sure all products have a price tag: Customers like to know the price of a product before they pick it up from a retail display. In the absence of a visible price tag, a natural consumer tendency is to assume that a merchant is being deceptive. After all, what’s stopping a retailer from pricing a chocolate bar at $15 and not communicating this price to the consumer until they are at the checkout? Moreover, price tags are an efficient way to minimize customer confusion. Keep the shopping experience easy and streamlined for your customers — put price tags on every single product you sell!
- Upselling products at the point-of-sale: If you are in the business of selling merchandise to customers, what better way to boost sales or market a featured product than to have your staff upsell to customers at the checkout? Upselling is a term used to describe actively soliciting a sale from a customer. For example, a retail attendant would be upselling chocolate milk if they asked a customer “Could I interest you in a bottle of chocolate milk?” during the transaction.
Some retailers that I’ve worked with have complained and made excuses that they don’t ask their employees to upsell products as they believe it upsets or annoys customers. I don’t fully buy into this argument because in my first-hand observations of transactions at retail stores, I have yet to witness any customers becoming agitated by an attendant who upsells a product. Moreover, most corporate retail chains insist on this practice, and it’s for a good reason — it drives sales growth! Rather than assuming a negative response from customers, I suggest implementing an upselling program at your business and testing the market — chances are, your competitors are already doing it.
- Dust off your gondolas, shelves, and displays: This point speaks for itself… no customer wants to buy dusty products that are displayed on dusty shelves. Yet I can’t count the number of times I have visited retail stores and the displays are covered in dust.Solution: allocate 15 minutes per day to run a duster or a cloth over every surface in your store. This 15 minute daily investment will reduce the burden of the work and will drive sales. Simple, no-cost, and effective.
- Make sure your light bulbs are shining bright: Last but not least, it is imperative that all light bulbs in your retail business are working and generating bright light. There are two reasons for this: (1) your products and store itself appear more inviting when well-lit, and (2) if light bulbs are burnt out and not replaced, some customers may subconsciously question whether they can trust you as a retailer if you cannot maintain the basic maintenance requirements of your facility. I personally recommend LED lighting as it gives off an excellent bright light and is cost-effective in the long term in terms of electricity bill savings.
So there you have it! 5 easy retail tips to boost sales and customer satisfaction immediately. Of all the retail stores that I manage, I have noticed a correlation between site-level execution (i.e. executing the items above consistently and correctly) and bottom-line business results. If you maintain and merchandise your store well and train a great team of employees, you will generate more sales. It’s as simple as that.
Let me know what you think about these suggestions and whether you have any more retail improvement ideas by leaving a comment below!
Thanks for reading. Check back soon for more blog posts!