E-commerce is quickly taking over the market and brick and mortar stores are slowly losing their popularity. That is one of the reasons why big chains decided to turn their location-based retail stores into chic concept-boutiques that attract customers with their appearance, as well as with the goods they are offering. Turning your store into a club-house, with a DJ, light shows, books or lots of greenery is great, but without changing some sales practices and constant reassessment of customer’s requests, wishes and needs you won’t be able to compete with big chain stores, e-commerce niche and all the customer benefits they are offering. In this article we listed some of the good habits retailers need to develop to stay competitive.
Give extra attention to new customers
You have only one chance to make the first impression. This saying is very important for retailers, because on highly competitive market that we have today, consumers only see companies that they like from the first moment. Making good first impression is much easier in e-commerce. Online store administrators can see who the newcomers are and offer them special first-purchase discounts and presents. In brick and mortar store, good first impression depends on the seller. Some of the things skillful sellers do to make customers to like their stores are:
Let customers speak first– because long monologues about product’s benefits sound suspicious and repulsive and because you can’t answer customer’s request if you don’t know what he/she is interested in.
Think before you talk– good sellers think and find the right answer on every customer’s question and request. “That’s a great question, let me find out that for you” is always better than “I don’t know”, as well as “Let me find something for you” is better than “We don’t have it”. Sellers can give these sharp answers, only if they take a moment and think, what customer really wants.
Big inventory shipments are OK
Customer is the king. And customer’s request is something we should all abide. Although different retail brands are associated with certain types of goods, shipping inventory to satisfy customer’s interests and needs, can be a great way boost sales. Many retailers (especially those who are running online stores) are selling goods that only they are interested in. This is a completely wrong approach and stores need to closely follow sales statistics and do surveys and queries to determine, which products will sell well. Of course every new line of products should be followed by promotional campaigns and good PR.
Use of point of sale promotional techniques
I always advise retailers to embrace new ways of selling and to develop their own retail practices in accordance with new sales and marketing trends. This time I need to mention one of the oldest and the most efficient techniques used by chain supermarkets that can drastically increase retail store’s revenue. If you want to engage your customers to buy one or a few more products while waiting to check-out, add PoS displays on several places on their way to the check-out zone. These displays can contain product samples, sharp product imagery or touch screens that will enable customers to interact with presented goods and find more information about their production, ingredients, etc.
Both e-commerce and location based store owners need to conduct frequent surveys in order to find out customer preferences. Many customers don’t have time to wander around the store and check all the products on the offer. That’s why they like sellers who know how to make a good suggestion. The only way to do that is by paying close attention to customer’s requests, wishes and needs, even during the laid-back small talk. You should also conduct queries and polls and mind every customer opinion.
Retail is always going to be highly popular and competitive business niche. That’s why retailers need to follow new sales and marketing trends and to always be one complementary service or product ahead from their rivals.