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Sales: Products, services, customers & promotional tips

RELEVANCE TO PRODUCT/ SERVICE

  • What product/services that you have (or do not have) that they want?
  • What brands do they like?
  • What quality/price do they prefer?
  • Do they require additional services (product knowledge, delivery, customisation etc)
  • Know your products- expand on details when necessary
  • Best position & accessibility instore
  • Appeal and display options- for easy viewing
  • Easy identification & selection of items when on racks
  • UP to date products/ ‘use by date’ off-putting if out of date
  • Clearly label (if that’s the aim)
  • Clear signage when necessary
  • Know your products & have extra information at hand if requested
  • Clear ‘slow’ items sooner, rather than later – better to reduce drastically & clear items
  • ADD on sales- which may be of interest but be wary not to push too hard
  • Clearly mark the stock tags and stand/ table signage so there is no confusion
  • Evaluate your efforts on sales – see if it’s working or not
  • Conduct the odd customer survey, making it fun but effective. Find out where they are coming from and how did they find out about you or the ‘special’, and evaluate their needs.

 YOUR CUSTOMERS

  • Acknowledge their entry & exit – eye contact and a few words
  • Every customer through the door is important & $$ to you
  • Aim for a returning customer- not just that one visit
  • Establish what they are after, purpose for entering
  • Relationship building/ loyalty
  • Personalisation with just the right amount of communication with different customers
  • Added service – broaden. More info required or an alternative product for their needs
  • Reward your customers- when possible.
  • Record customer numbers-each day ,am. / pm. & any holidays ( School or Public) or weather degrees which may have effected your takings- to compare for following year
  • Establish the personality of your customer- do they want to chat/ find out more information/ in a hurry/ need assistance or NOT
  • Assessing the different customers:

– After a sale or a bargain, just the Specials?
– Really want more information on the product, where its made, content etc
– Specific item required for a specific purpose
– Browser- happy to fill in time and enjoy the ‘ experience’
– Quick shopper & in a hurry & just want to make the sale


PROMOTIONAL TIPS

Promotion is just communicating information to your existing and potential new customers about your business and what it sells, where you are based and how they can buy from you. Most retailers have a store and some kind of digital channel to sell and show their products.

  1. The first communication is about your Retail Brand – what is it called; does it have a logo? Where can I find you both physically and online? Consider your URL, contact address and your store signage as clear promotional tools. The objective here is around building awareness and recognition of your brand to your customer so they choose you over your competitors.
  2. The second communication is about what we do/ sell (products and/or services) and how much we charge (price). This can be through your website, social media, email/ newsletter/ catalogue or store visual merchandising. If digital, clearly the image and information about it must be clear. If instore it must be presented in such a way that the customer is enticed in to look and finds it easy to understand. This is where the individual product brands are highlighted.
  3. The role of customer service in promotion – Your staff whether in store or online are your best promotion of the products and services because they can help understand the customers needs and explain the offer and solution.
  4. Discounting – the easiest promotional tool for retailers, take % or $ off a products price to encourage sales. It does work, but often short term. Be careful of damaging your brand with too much discounting.
  5. Loyalty – Many businesses successfully implement specific loyalty programs through points, $ off, free, or reduced prices/ products for ongoing transactions with their brand.
  6. Other ways of highlighting your brand/ products – consider interactive promotions like competitions, giveaways, demonstrations, VIP nights, working in with other retailers (affiliates not competitors) or the community eg; sponsorship

Some other ways of thinking about promotional objectives are Attract / Convert/ Retain
Attract
– Some promotions will be targeted towards attracting new customers to your store. This is by far the hardest and most expensive form of promotion as it can be difficult to get new customers attention and persuade them to change from their existing preferences without an enticement such as a discount or reward. Word of Mouth referrals/reviews work the best to build trust.
Convert – You have got your customers attention, they are in your store or online. The trick is to convert them to a sale. Good staff are your best tool here. Or really great value offers like Free Shipping, % off first order or voucher codes to redeem.
Retain – This is the most effective promotional type. Focus on your existing customers who already love you. Give them rewards and target them with offers, products, and promotions they have previously responded to. This is the easiest and most valuable promotional strategy. Look after the customers you have and they will promote through word of mouth for you to others, especially if they are rewarded!


PROMOTIONAL TOOLS

Planning retail events for your store by day or week or month ensures your promotions tie in with key events like Fathers Day, Easter etc, as well as product launches, seasonal changes etc.

  • Suggest use of a planner (spreadsheet) to slot in the key events. Do not forget newer events such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday (usually end of November).

Products do not have to always be discounted but can be successfully highlighted as new and their key features in all your forms of advertising. Windows displays/Home pages, email, Social Media, email/Text, other traditional tools like TV/Radio/Billboards/ Catalogue etc if relevant and depending on budget.