Many retailers would like to blame lack of sales on either:
The fact is, there are a lot of reasons why customers don't buy, and many of them are fixable!
Don't get caught up in the blame game: take a step back and realise how you can improve your customer experience and in turn, increase sales.
A Dreaded Scenario
A customer walks into your store, looks around for a while, and they walk out without buying anything.
Well, it could be one of many reasons, but there are a few ways to prevent this in the future. It's time you learn why customers aren't buying at your retail store and what you can do to change that.
A Way to Fix It
Here we'll teach you a few of the most common retail setbacks that can cause your customers to walk without buying anything, and we'll also teach you a few strategies to increase your sales and avoid this problem in the future.
Your Staff is Getting in the Way of Your Sales
Retail experts like Bob Phipps Bob Phipps suggest that the main deterrent of sales in a retail setting is often the employees themselves. Perhaps they’ve worked there for a while and are coming off aloof or stuffy. Perhaps they lack the product knowledge needed to answer customer questions integral to a sale. Whatever it is, hold your employees accountable and never pass up an opportunity to improve their knowledge and skills with training, experience and even role play.
You Need Fresh Inventory
Repeat customers make up a decent percentage of retail sales, so if your inventory is getting old and stale, you could be cannibalizing your profits. A great point of sale system will act as a business intelligence tool that can not only track your inventory but put it on a smart cycle to help you keep your margins up on items that are at risk of overstaying their welcome in your store. Curious how your stock can be tracked a little smarter while saving you a whole lot of money? Want to implement a clearance cycle for your retail items that actually makes you money? Talk to a POS specialist about ways to keep your inventory fresh and make the most of the items you have in stock.
Your Store is Annoying
Depending on your target market, you may have to do some adjusting to the atmosphere of your retail space in order to keep customers in there long enough to make a sale. Every bit of your store should be branded based on the customers you attract (or want to attract) and that goes for everything from the music you play, to what you use to decorate, to the scent customers smell when they walk through the door.
Purchasing is Too Difficult
How can you make the process of buying something seem easy and painless? The answer is: you take away any possible setback to a sale. Train your staff to make your customers feel welcomed, important and valued, but not suffocated. Make your store feel relaxing and welcoming, not jarring and overwhelming. And make sure you have all the updated tech you need to keep your point of sale process running quickly, efficiently and painlessly for your customers.
Now that you know about a few sales setbacks that could be affecting your retail store, here are some tips for correcting these problems:
Think Like a Customer
Anyone with a goal of becoming better at selling needs to tap into their own experience as a customer to know how to better serve one. Start thinking about your own retail and food service experiences. Does it bother you when you walk into a store and immediately get flanked by 3 salespeople, one after the other, asking if they can help you with anything or pressing you to help you find what you're looking for? If that annoys YOU then you probably shouldn't be doing the same thing in your own store. And remember, every customer is different, so learn to read behavior and pick up clues so you can be different with every customer.
Do Your Research
In order to sell to more customers, you need to dive into exactly who your customers are and what they're looking for. Try creating a "persona" for your most frequent type of customers. You can discover this by looking at your likes and analytics on Facebook and Google, and you can also discover your store's most frequent type of customers the old-fashioned way: by observing, noticing, listening and just being present at your store.
Stay Knowledgeable About Your Products
Customers appreciate helpful information that assists them in making an informed buying decision. And a good number of customers will have questions before making a purchase, especially if it’s a significant one. A smart rule of thumb is that if you sell a certain product in your store: you and your staff should have enough knowledge about that product to answer frequently asked questions about it. You should also have some knowledge about your products to push along a purchase. For example, if you sell insulated cups, a helpful antidote to drop to someone browsing that item would be that it keeps ice from melting for as long as 72 hours. Keep yourself and your staff trained about the items you sell and you’ll be in good shape to sell more.
Make the Buying Process Easy
A big part of the buying process is to make buying things quick and simple. The more complicated a process is and the longer someone has to wait, the more time they have to overthink buying something. Here are a few easy ways to ease customers into buying:
- Sell your products online: If you don’t have an ecommerce store to sell your wares, you’re doing yourself a disservice. A trusted point of sale company can help you easily transition and sync the stock you have into your store to an online ecommerce experience that can be accessed from anywhere.
- Have a POS system that works well: If you’re point of sale system is old, slow and clunky, it’s time to upgrade. Need more convincing, read this or this.
- Partner with a trusted retail point of sale provider: At Epos Now we don’t just sell point of sale software and hardware, we partner with retail stores in the success of their business. Contact us today to learn more about point of sale tools that can boost your retail sales.