With giants such as Amazon, which is revolutionizing consumer habits, more and more sales are carried out online. To meet this challenge, retail merchants must innovate to keep and gain market share. Here are some ideas to implement to increase in-store sales.
1. Motivating your workforce
The key principle for successfully increasing your sales turnover is to ensure that the profile of employees matches the company’s culture. “Good employees are an extension of the brand,” explains Léopold Turgeon, president and CEO of the Conseil Québécois du commerce de détail. “Having a product is good, but you still have to be able to sell it. Customer service is the most important aspect in a business.”
The CEP insists that in order for the clientele to be well served, the employer must be surrounded by workers who are passionate about this field of business. “The retail sector is not highly valued by workers, yet it is the largest contributor to the economy and offers very rewarding careers.” Employers must therefore ensure that employees are well motivated.
2. Combining floor sales with those on the internet
If the store is out of stock, purchasing online directly from the store is an alternative option that enhances the customer experience. “Store managers have everything to gain by offering online purchasing on-site,” says Léopold Turgeon. “As a result, customers will not be frustrated at having made the trip for nothing and will have their product, even if they get them in the mail a few days later.”
3. Bringing the store to life
In-store events are certainly an old-fashioned method of attracting customers, but today they take more innovative forms. For example, Léopold Turgeon is regularly invited to give speeches on the retail sector. Experts on well-being or sports advisers can also be available in the store after office hours. In the mind of the consumer, the store will no longer be associated only with sales, but also as a place where it is possible to live some experiences.
4. Building a community
More than 90% of consumers now go through the internet to find their purchases before going to the store. To build a solid customer base, merchants can use this habit to their advantage. “Website and social media permit communicating directly with your customers,” he explains. “These tools must be used to retain them, and the key is creation of content.” For a shoe store, for example, publications can be about upcoming races in the city or tips on choosing your shoes according to your foot shape.
5. Using technology
Automating tasks where possible can free up time for other activities. “The retailer can then devote more time to getting to know your customer and giving him what he needs,” says Léopold Turgeon.
6. Improving store fluidity
Who has never abandoned his articles on the spot because the cashier line was too long? To avoid this negative experience, the CEO advises merchants to make sure traffic flows smoothly in the store, even if it means adding cash registers. “Personal customer service is of paramount importance in the store,” he says. “Retailers must improve this aspect to convince customers to come to the store rather than doing their purchases online or with a competitor.”
To sum up, the key to success is to be close to your customer, by all means possible!