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Traditional selling in a digital age

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Traditional selling in a digital age

Today's consumers have more choice than ever before. They are bombarded with it through comparison sites, online sales and web promotions, each bidding furiously for their business. There’s no question the internet has revolutionised the way we shop but it seems a sizeable share of the market are happier strolling round the shops.

‘Webrooming’ has become a normalised part of our shopping experience; browsing products online, but going in store to make a purchase. 63% of women and 52% of men in the UK prefer to shop in person rather than online. This preference is sited the as the number 1 reason for choosing not to shop on the internet, eclipsing worries over payment security and privacy concerns.

Despite customers doing research at home, up to 40% remain open to persuasion once they've entered your shop. One of the primary motivations for shopping in person is to get a feel for the product, something online retailers cannot provide. Could pursuing more traditional methods secure you a higher number of offline sales?


Internet shopping has largely eliminated the need for sales staff. Where there used to be a band of slick sales people roaming shop floors there is now self service kiosks and a skeleton crew of staff, with little product knowledge and minimal incentive to sell. Having well trained motivated sales staff not only inspires confidence in the product and the business but also creates a welcoming shopping experience that encourages repeat custom.

In this age of internet shopping many retail businesses have chosen to do away with traditional training and incentive schemes. In order to increase productivity, your sales force needs to be driven and inspired. That means getting the right people from the get go. Good sales personnel may have different methods, but they all share some common traits. They tend to be extroverted, competitive and enjoy talking to people. As an employer these are the qualities you want to look for when hiring new sales staff.

Even the most natural sales person will struggle to sell without a good degree of product knowledge. Do they know the key facts? Are they able to engage the customer, comparing products in simple jargon free terms? Many retailers simply won’t invest the time or money in training. But can you afford not to?

Traditional selling in a digital age


Take advantage of the competitive nature of your staff. Introduce an incentive scheme or a prize system for the person with the most sales. This can be as simple as money, vouchers or a bottle of wine. Performance based prizes motivate staff to compete against each other, boosting sales for you.

People appreciate a personal service. Building rapport with customers is an excellent opportunity to upsell and cross sell in a way not available to internet only retailers. Encourage your staff take an interest in your customers as it allows them to identify and anticipate the customer's needs.


Investigate what your competitors are doing. What works for them and what doesn't? You need to consider how to utilise the space you have in order to maximise profits. Try employing some consumer psychology; If you have staple items, bread or milk for example, put these at the back of the shop. The customer will have to walk past a whole host of products to get these items. Time equals money, the more time spent in your shop, the more money your customer will spend.

Consider what stock items you place at eye level. Eye level shelving proves very effective at increasing spending by boosting sales of luxury items. Similarly children influence their parents spending patterns, so bare in mind what products will appeal to them and position them accordingly.

Traditional selling in a digital age


Never underestimate the power of a well designed window display. Consider it a visual invitation. It has to be something to draw your customers in so try presenting your products in a new and interesting way. Get creative, don’t rely on what your customers already know about you, it’s lazy! Give them something new.

Many small businesses are limited on space so utilise outside areas. Consider having a promotions bored, why not add some balloons for a sense of occasion? You could even hold an event to increase footfall or get involved in the local community.

Have an up to date well designed website regardless of whether you sell your products online or not. This acts as a 24/7 point of reference for your customers. Providing a store locator and stock inventory on your website will let people know what you sell, where you are and how to get to you.

Traditional selling in a digital age

Increasing your exposure on social media will promote your business and get your name out there appearing in web search results. Identify your demographic and target them accordingly. What social media platforms are they most likely to be using? Link these pages to your website and ensure it’s mobile friendly.

Would your business benefit from money off promotions to get people through the door? You can promote these on social media and your website to create a buzz around your products.

95% of consumers carry loyalty cards, with 90% of them using them regularly. Loyalty cards encourage repeat custom through a sense of belonging. The Epos Now loyalty module allows you to reward customers for their purchases and create brand-loyalty all year round.


Erin Heenan

Erin joined Epos Now in 2016 as an in-house content writer for the marketing department, making use of 10 years experience working in busy restaurants. An avid fan of shopping and eating out, she is committed to helping retail and hospitality SMEs get the most out of their businesses.

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