Most businesses face challenges and obstacles when it comes to an increase in sales in their retail stores. The funny thing is that it does not take a huge change to have an impact and to increase your sales. All it needs from you, as business leaders, is to understand how to manage your inventory, your people and any sale opportunities that present itself. Sometimes, people are reluctant to look at the small details in their day-to-day business and try to figure out what is missing to run a successful operation. They need guidance, help, and advice.
How can businesses increase store revenues to run a more effective operation and reach growth?
I would suggest the below five tips to help you boost sales and increase store revenue.
1. Recruit and develop employees that can offer exceptional customer service.
It is very important to build a team in your organization that has autonomy and can be part of a decision-making process. Train your team on each product, selling techniques and your store “brand”. All the member of the salesforce needs to be on the same page. Set selling standards, implement a manual for policies and procedures. Introduce product knowledge workshops. Identify your store mission, values and how you want customers to perceive your store – and the people that work there. Remember to follow up with reviews to make sure things are getting done. Without a strong team, you will miss out on sales. Once you implement step one, please follow the next point.
2. Set the right sales objectives/goals.
Management needs to set a clear sales target for each salesperson. The targets and goals need to be SMART (Specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound). Management also needs to reward, acknowledge and recognize the employee’s effort and hard work by giving them an incentive scheme in either bonus or sale commission based on their KPI’s so that they can be held responsible.
3. Regularly update your displays.
The product display always needs to be merchandised and arranged so that the customer will sense that he is entering the store for the first time. Shift the slow-moving or fast-moving items around. Put promotional items in a visible location, make sure that the price tags for each item are properly displayed. Display the discounted items in a basket and with the right sign above it. Make sure that the shelve is not empty from any products. It is all in the visual effects and the eyes of the customers will catch on that; eventually, it can lead to an impulse purchase.
4. Have strong in-store visuals.
The consumers’ behavior is always focused on the visual effects. People need to see and touch the items to make a purchase. ‘What you see is what you get’. If your display shelves are too crowded, the human mind and eyes can’t capture everything. You need to display the products in a nice and friendly way to make the customers feel happy and satisfied with their purchase. Although the e-commerce business is taking a big cut from the retail shopping experience, I believe there is still room for physical shopping as it is a personalized experience for the consumer to walk down the aisle.
5. Examine Your Pricing Strategy
The products’ prices play an important role in consumer willingness to pay for the product. Management will need to set the right pricing strategy in order to be competitive in the market, make a profit and have a reasonable market share in their industry. Management needs to figure out what market positioning they want to be in. It all depends on the company strategy and vision to be known as either a luxury, fast-moving or a volume base consumer’s product company.
6. Have a strong inventory management system
Always manage and control your inventory level. Make a minimum level of stock for each product on the ERP system for the fast-moving items to avoid loss of sales and/or having a shortage in stock. Please take into account the lead time for the delivery from the supplier/manufacturer until the products reach your store. Be aware of the slow-moving items and try to make promotions or discounts on the items to remove them from the shelves. Please remember that you’re paying for shelve space in terms of space or opportunity loss. These are very important points which lead to good cash flow management. You don’t want to overstock and hence freeze up cash in a form of asset/inventory. Make sure to shift your inventory around from different stores’ locations. It is where you can make the most of it and turn your inventory into sales which will lead to healthy cash flow and hence positive, efficient operation and bottom line.
Eventually, by following the above tips, companies will improve their retail revenue and create value.
About the Author
Ihab Tabbara is a graduate of London Business School. Having gained his MBA with a student award he went onto specializing in strategic planning and marketing. He has an entrepreneurial mindset and is a creative thinker. He has accumulated over 22 years of first-hand experience in running a successful multi-site operation in the retail industry. Having established and managed a retail business from concept to becoming it’s General Manager, he has been involved in all aspects of the retail industry from supply chain management, from business development to strategic planning, and leadership. He successfully grew the business to 40 showrooms operating within the MENA region and trading in Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Egypt, Syria and the UAE.