Tips to Improve Sales in Retail: Boost Customer Conversions

Revel Blog | Sydney Kida | June 11, 2020 |


Are you looking to improve retail sales? As a retailer, many factors can affect your sales that are beyond your control, such as a public health crisis or recession. Unfortunately, some just accept the status quo, give up, and close shop.

Of course, this doesn't have to be you.

The good news is, you can always do something about the sales challenges you face. There are plenty of ways to drive sales in retail. You just need to experiment and find what works best for your store and customers.

Here are ten tips on how to improve store sales, no matter what is happening with the economy, the weather, or global events.

Tips to Improve Sales in Retail

Boost your marketing during slow times

It might seem counterintuitive, but increasing your marketing during slow times is one of the best tips for improving retail sales. Competition is especially fierce during these times, as everyone is competing for a smaller customer base with less disposable income.

To succeed, you need all the exposure you can get. Cutting marketing costs can harm you in the long run.

You can explore other marketing channels beyond the ones you’re accustomed to using. Doing this can help you tap into new markets and get people to discover your brand.

For example, if you’re mostly advertising your retail store online, consider dropping ads in your local newspaper. Are you relying on printed marketing materials like brochures? Now would be a good time to explore social media advertising.

If you’re wondering how to increase sales in a mobile shop, then marketing becomes even more valuable. Focusing on digital strategies like email or social media marketing is the way to go here.

Invest in people

People drive a business forward, so it only makes sense to invest in them. Start with hiring smart and passionate people to work in your store. They need to believe in your brand to be able to sell your products effectively. Giving titles such as “consultants” versus “sales associates” can be a big psychological boost to your staff morale.

In addition to high motivation and energy, the next thing your employees need is the knowledge and skills necessary to perform their roles. Regular, periodic staff training can make a huge difference in driving sales in retail

You should also empower your employees with a “customer-first” mentality. Every interaction they have with customers should be to serve their wants and needs. That way, the staff can better match products with customers, creating an amazing overall store experience.

Work on the look of your store

If you’re still wondering how to increase sales in retail, one of the simplest ways is to make your store more appealing to shoppers. People are visual buyers, so you need to act on that fact and make your displays complement your store and brand as much as possible. Play with variations in height, color, and depth with your store merchandising to create plenty of visual interest.

Did you know the arrangement of your store and merchandise can greatly influence how much customers spend? What you display front and center in your store, for example, communicates what your brand is all about. That’s why it’s a great idea to place your best product, regardless of how expensive it is, in that prime position.

It's also best to have a simpler layout. If your store looks cluttered, it makes it harder for customers to browse and may encourage them to walk out of your door.

Create your own holiday

Every retailer knows the holidays are good for business. Seasonal shopping around Christmas and Thanksgiving can introduce a massive spike in your retail sales.

But who says you need to wait for them? If you’re in a slump, one of the best ideas to boost sales in retail is to create your own holiday. For example, you can create a "Customer's Day Holiday" and release great deals for a month. If you market the event well enough, it can create lots of interest and translate to more revenue for your store.

Partner with other organizations

If you’re wondering how to increase customers in retail, consider this tactic: collaborate with other companies. You can, for example, partner with your local coffee shop to provide free coffee every time customers spend a certain amount in your store. Make sure the arrangement is mutually beneficial for both companies, though. You’ll want to ensure the shopper spending threshold exceeds your cost for covering the redeemed coffee. This way, you and your partner company will both enjoy added benefits. Many shoppers are also motivated by causes. Consider working with charities that align with your customers’ values and interests.

This works because you expose your brand to your partner store's customer base and vice versa. It's a mutually beneficial arrangement that can lead to greater profit. You can also build credibility or serve a worthy cause, as is the case when you collaborate with charities or nonprofits.

Take your store on the road

One challenge with retail stores is that you’re stuck in a certain location. If the foot traffic in your area drops, then your sales will suffer. One workaround is to take your store on the road.

This can be as simple as bringing some of your merchandise outside your store and onto the sidewalk. Higher visibility for your merchandise draws attention from people passing by who normally won’t visit your store, especially if you’re the only one trying this approach.

You can also consider joining bazaars or pop-ups in other areas of your city. Aside from having more avenues for customers to buy from you, it can also create more awareness for your brand.

Create buzz for your brand

We now live in an attention economy, so what better way to market your retail store than by creating some buzz around your brand? Consider hosting activities that extend beyond selling, but are still in line with your brand’s core values.

For example, if you’re a retail store selling skateboards, why not host a freestyle skating tournament? If you sell kids’ clothes, you could organize a fun family marathon. Not only do these events create buzz, but they also illustrate your brand's core beliefs to your customers.

You can even consider online events for digital engagement. These can be as simple as hosting an online painting class for beginners if you’re an art store, or woodwork projects if you sell power tools.

Engage in social media

Nowadays, customers are increasingly using social media to judge your brand. They are much more reluctant to buy from a store that doesn’t have an active social media presence. It’s also a good arena for engaging with your customers and getting feedback about your brand.

Having a solid social media plan is one of the easiest tips to improve sales in retail. The key is consistency. Don’t just post dozens of status updates one week then go silent the next. This is where hiring a social media manager can prove invaluable.

Manage your finances

In your quest to increase your store's sales, don't forget to manage your finances. Working on the numbers might not be the most glamorous tip to improve sales in retail, but it’s vital. After all, it doesn’t matter how much your store’s revenue is if your profit is zero.

For retail, the key areas to look out for are cash flow and inventory. Make sure to track your expenses and know where every dollar is spent. Continually work on maintaining the right stock levels in your store. You should have just enough on hand to fulfill customer orders, but not so much product that it ties up your capital.

Have a loyalty program

It’s more expensive to find a new customer than it is to retain one. A great way to entice your existing fans to come back to your store is by having a loyalty program in place. It gives your patrons a reason to revisit your store, and over time it becomes a habit.

Your loyalty program doesn’t need to be complicated, either. It can be as simple as giving rebates for customers who spend a certain amount on your store. 

Make the most out of customer returns

Product returns are inevitable for retail stores, and most of them treat it as a lost cause. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Approached the right way, it can be a good opportunity to build a relationship with the customer.

The key is treating returns like a sale. That means making the experience as easy and quick as possible for them. Customers appreciate a well-handled return process, and you might just win them back.

Invest in a New POS System

Having a robust iPad POS system like Revel can help increase your sales as well. Options like self-service kiosks, management software to help optimize staff schedules, and real-time inventory tracking and reports can help you run an efficient and successful shop. These solutions will lead to less waiting time, happier customers, and more revenue.

Revel’s retail POS system also has innovative features like customer relationship management (CRM) and customer display systems (CDS), so you can focus on giving the best experience to your shoppers on every visit.

Ready to implement any of these tips to improve sales in retail? Make sure you have a powerful system like Revel to grow along with you. Contact us today to schedule a free demo with any of our sales associates. See how Revel can help your retail sales skyrocket.