As the Holiday Season is upon us and business is a little slower I began asking myself, “What can I do to help retailers increase their sales this year?” I started brainstorming and looking at the market place. Some things are beyond our control like a decline in foot traffic during the holidays or the city closing the road in front of your store. While doing my research, I came across some good tips for slow days and retail sales slumps with a little help from Matthew Hudson.
1. Create Your Own Holiday
Most retailers only celebrate the national holidays like Christmas and July 4th. However, ‘National Lumpy Rug Day’ is observed on May 3. It’s the perfect time to start spring cleaning. Why not consider fun things your store sells and make an event out of it? People love excitement and celebration. So why wait for the major holidays?
2. Advertise More
It’s a good idea to increase marketing during slower sales periods because there is more competition and fewer consumer dollars. Newspaper ads, magazines, and specialty publications in your area are great forms of advertising. Try out remnant advertising in your local papers. These are the “holes” that need to be filled in. Something as simple as “Tired Floor? We can help.” It can be a great sales motivator.
3. Generate a Buzz
Send a press release to the media anytime something noteworthy happens within your business. This a great way to grab free coverage when possible. Host classes, have a promotional event, or get involved in community events and projects.
4. Examine Your Pricing Strategy
When pricing products be sure you’ve considered the cost of goods and that your able to make a profit at that price point. Use a competitive price but still be profitable. Ultimately the right price is the price the customer is willing to pay.
5. Design Your Store for Sales
Use lighting techniques and creative displays to attract customers. Display floors are a great way to show off a great looking floor. Play videos for product education, customer entertainment, and upsell or tie in a promotion to your visual merchandising strategy. An energetic store is just like a magnet.
6. Connect with the Customer
Excellent Customer Service is the key to increasing sales. Listen to your customer to understand what they need and want. Then educate them on the products available. Create a mailing list by asking for contact information from each customer. The customer is not just looking for a product, they are looking for an experience.
7. Be Social
Social media is the easiest and most effective thing you can use to your advantage. Customers that see a flurry of activity from you and then periods of silence know you are only online because sales are down. Position yourself on social media as a place to shop and buy.
8. Manage Your Money
We can become too involved in the little details of our business that we lose track of our
financials. Create a budget, keep an eye on cash flow, and know where your money is being spent. Don’t be afraid to ask for down payments on your projects.
9. Create and Event
Partner with a local charity and use your store as a drop off point for canned goods, baby diapers, whatever it may be and give a discount for every donation. Avoid using coupons in which a customer can leave and come back. Have the coupon good for that day only. That decreases the chances of shopping around or not coming back at all.
10. Move Outdoors
Right now, it is a little too cold to move any merchandise outside the store. Use attractive window displays as an eye catcher to pull customers in. During warmer months sidewalk sales will draw people in. People that usually only pass by will stop and look. Even if there really isn’t a sale this technique will give the impression that something great is going on in your store.
I hope that I have given you at least one new idea to use in the New Year!