The most common, the simplest definition of a retail business says that it is the type of business where products of some specific kind are sold to customers.
At its foundation, the objective of every retail business is to make more sales by bringing in as many customers as possible. Therefore, every retailer does his/her part to attract target customers to the local store in a variety of ways.
But sometimes, customers just do not come inside the retail store to buy stuff. All the marketing tactics seem to go in vain, resulting in losses as well. In the contemporary retail markets, competition is at its peak. But getting more sales is what truly counts.
For instance, you may not like the idea of ‘over-selling’ to your customers, thinking that more sales will eventually flow in by selling the best quality products at reasonable rates.
But, if you are not doing anything to encourage the customers to buy from you, you may be missing out on the opportunity to increase sales at your store.
Studies have shown that attracting customers is indeed one of the biggest challenges for retailers.
But why does the sales graph of a retail business fall badly sometimes?
In this blog, we are going to talk about the sales funnel and how you can utilize it to grow sales of the products you sell.
Retail Business Sales Funnel
Over time, the methods of selling products to customers have changed considerably. These days, the job of a salesperson is not to push products on an interested customer. Rather, it is about attracting potential customers towards the kind of products he/she sells.
In this age of the Internet, customers are more aware than what a retailer may think of them. Most of the customers that come to your store after doing the online research will buy from you.
From the first interaction of your customer with your brand to the use of their credit cards to make purchases at your point of sale, their entire journey as a customer represents a sales funnel.
A retail business sales funnel represents a bigger pool of interested customers, which eventually gets trimmed down to just a few sales in the end.
The job of a retailer is to push prospective customers into the sales funnel to make a sale.
At the time you feel the sales graph of your retail business is going downwards, you need to understand how to engage with your targeted customers in the right way and the right time to do it.
Aggressive push tactics to sell a product may lead to a negative customer review. Similarly, age-old business marketing methods may make you lose potential customers.
More than eighty percent of customers research about products online before buying one. This means that all the retailers, small or big, can’t just wait for a customer to come to them. Instead, they should find ways to make the customer feel attracted to the products they sell.
Let’s dig deeper to know about five simple and proven ways to increase sales at your retail store –
1. Build Your Web Presence
As said above, more and more people are searching for brands or products online before they visit a physical store to buy them. This simply means building your retail outlet’s web presence is a must.
Now the question is – How to create an impressive web presence?
Firstly, you need a website that informs the customers about your business and the products you sell. Alongside, it is a good practice to list your business on business discovery platforms and review platforms.
Secondly, there are various social media channels. Get your business profile built on these channels, be it Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. These channels collect an immense amount of data about the users, which you can utilize for advertising your products.
Thirdly, you need to utilize the benefits of content marketing. With effective content written to market your retail business, you can intelligently engage with your target audience and convert them into leads.
2. Choose Your Local Store Location Wisely
This is very important to increase sales at your retail store.
After a prospective customer has searched about your business online and is willing to come to your store to buy from you, he/she will look for your store’s physical location.
So, choose a location for your retail store, which is easy to find online. It will show that you have focused on the customers’ journey to make them come to you in person.
It is not just about getting your store listed in Google so that people can easily reach it using maps and directions. Your store should also be located in an area where you can expect the footfall of customers you seek.
Having a store located in the outskirts of a city with minimum access will do no good to your business. So, make sure your retail store is located in or nearer a mall or a market area. It should also have big signage that clarifies you exactly you sell.
If you think that the expected customers are visiting a region different from where your store is located, you may need to think about changing your store’s location.
After all, increasing sales in the retail business is about making more and more people get into your store.
3. Create A Perfect In-Store Experience for The Customer
Ideally, you want every single person who walks into your store to buy from you. But you can never predict how to achieve that.
However, by providing best-in-class store experience, you can maximize your chance to get more sales and acquire new customers.
To make that possible, investing in visual merchandising is important. Every inch of space within your store should look consistent and well-managed for a smooth buying experience for the customer.
Similarly, arranging the products perfectly inside the store, choosing the most suitable position for the main counter, lighting, display art, etc., will lead to satisfying customer experience.
4. Streamline the Point-Of-Sale (POS) Operations
Most of the retail business owners are obsessed with bringing in more customers through the door.
In between, some of them fail to realize that the retail sales funnel ends at where you finish the transaction with a customer and greet them for visiting again, that is – at the POS system.
To support your business and to get the most value out of every customer of your store, an advanced POS system can be of great help.
Managing all sorts of operations become taxing sometimes. But things get handled efficiently if the chosen POS system supports your business the way you want.
Take the case of cloud-based QuickBooks POS software with which you can handle orders, keep a track on the stock, manage product inventory, etc. All the business-related data is saved on the cloud, without the risk of data loss.
So, utilize technology as much as possible to make a customer’s experience of visiting your store highly rewarding.
5. Offer Impressive Customer Service
Getting more people into your store is just half the battle won. The complete victory means that the customer feels excited to come again and with referrals as well.
Customer service plays a vital part in this aspect. How your staff deals with the customers in your store, greeting them first and then asking them about their specific needs goes a long way in making a good impression.
So, you should make your staff connect with the customers on a personal level, give them a personalized shopping experience, and engage with them for a longer time.
It will increase the likelihood that the store visitors will buy from you again.
As a retail business owner, you know very well that every customer reaching to your store is precious. Hard times can occur in business without giving you a hint. If you feel you are losing sales, it is important for you to understand what is not working. So, follow these significant ways, see which one best describes the reason behind your losses, evaluate your mistakes, and then learn from them.
When applied correctly, these ways can be the key to a more prosperous business with higher sales and profits.
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