Did you know that small businesses account for almost two-thirds of all retail sales in the United States? As a small business retail store owner, it’s essential to make sure you’re doing everything possible to increase sales and grow your business. Here are four retail sales tips to help you get started.
4 Sales Tips – How to Increase Sales at your Small Business
Make sure your business is price competitive!
If your business is not priced competitively, you will lose customers to the companies that are. According to the HRC Retail Advisory, 59% of shoppers use their mobile devices in-store to compare product-cost relative to competitors! The reality is that price matters when customers decide which business to buy from. So in markets with a lot of competition, it’s essential to have the right pricing and sales strategy!
Price Point Considerations
Pricing can affect everything about how customers perceive your product. That is why it’s critical to choose an effective pricing strategy. A price that is too low may not generate enough sales revenue for profit. Also, if an item is perceived as too cheap, the customer may conclude that the product is of low value or quality. Conversely, setting the price too high and you may also lose the customer’s interest. The right price will increase sales significantly!
Three critical price points to consider when choosing a price strategy:
When someone sells something higher than what they bought it for, the difference is called a markup. So, for example, if you buy a shirt at Target and then sell it on eBay for $20.00, that’s your markup!
The perceived value price is when customers believe they are getting good value for their money. Often, this is the price at which a customer is most likely to purchase an item. Therefore, it’s crucial to find the right balance between the markup price and the perceived value price to ensure you’re making a profit while still offering good value to your customers.
Price Based on Competition
When setting the price for what you sell, it is vital to think about how much the competition is selling their product. If you set your price too high or too low, people might not want to buy from you. Try to find a good balance between what you paid for it and how much other people are selling it for.
Agile Pricing Strategies for Small Retail Businesses
The ability to adjust prices based on market demand at any given moment is known as dynamic pricing and is critical for small retailers. This flexibility offers small businesses an edge over their bigger competitors. By changing prices quickly, small retailers can react to the demands of the market and stay competitive. For example:
- Price setting for Uber taxis – where the company advertises will vary depending on demand. Consumers can see the likely price they will pay before committing to a taxi, and these prices can fluctuate depending on the weather.
A dynamic pricing strategy allows small businesses to set prices based on the trends that impact their business directly. Implementing a dynamic pricing option allows your business to remain competitive and maximize revenue.
Bundle pricing occurs when businesses combine several items and sell them for less money than each item would otherwise cost on its own. Bundle pricing is a good strategy for selling a lot of inventory quickly. However, for the strategy to succeed, revenue from low-value goods must exceed losses from high-value products included in the bundle. For example:
- Staples Bundles – computer packages complete with a monitor, mouse, keyboard, and preloaded software for a single sale price
For small businesses, the value of a bundled package lies mainly in the chance to offer high-margin items alongside low-margin items to increase both sales. Furthermore, it provides an opportunity to introduce consumers to products they might not know about, increasing brand awareness and improving future sales.
Your business needs a solid online presence!
In 2022, if your business doesn’t show up on a google search, then the reality is you don’t exist! Google runs around 63,000 search queries per second, which adds up to 5.6 billion searches per day or 2 trillion per year. Moreover, the average person searches Google three to four times per day. GE Capital Retail Bank reported that 81% of retail shoppers conduct online research before making a purchase.
The Benefits of Having a Strong Online Presence
An online presence allows businesses to create customer centric messaging, control the brand narrative and communicate directly with future and existing customers. Additionally, it helps brick-and-mortar retailers reach a wider audience and connect with more potential customers. This can lead to an increase in retail sales as businesses can better target their ideal consumers.
The Internet never sleeps, and every portal you offer online gives your business a virtual 24-hour view of your retail store.
Developing a brand means gaining the trust of potential customers. An online presence provides a way for the customer to assess your company and products.
Potential customers often check company or product reviews before purchasing a product. In 2022, survey sales reports found that:
- 81% of customers say they leave a review four times per year or less (Podium)
- 62% of shoppers are more likely to buy a product after seeing other customer photos and videos (Emarketer)
- 72% of people asked to leave a review will do so (BrightLocal)
Note: this is a double-edged sword as providing this option to customers invites the possibility of negative responses. Conversely, it provides an incentive to owners, managers, and sales associates to create a positive experience for their customers.
The internet allows buyers to make relaxed evaluations of your product offerings versus feeling pressured by store sales associates. Further, websites or social media formats reach wider audiences more cost-effective than traditional print-based advertising. Finally, search engine optimization (SEO) content makes it easier for potential customers to find your business.
Critical Information to Include on a Small Business Webpage!
A logo is essential to a website because it is the key representation of a business. It encompasses the products or services and is recognizable by clients. The logo is often in an obvious location on the website and functions as a link to the homepage.
When someone visits your website, they should be able to understand what it is that you do within a few seconds. The headline is important because it informs people what your business is about and what services you provide. It should be powerful, memorable, and concise text that targets your viewers’ needs.
A small brick-and-mortar store can gain many benefits by including social media as part of its regular website and sales strategies. Social media promotes connections, developing relationships with customers, networks with other business owners, brand awareness, and general business promotion. Additionally, social media is active 24/7, so small retailers can future proof their stores, connect with, and serve customers anytime and anywhere as long as they have an Internet connection.
Interested in learning more about promoting your retail business via Social Media? Also read: Why do Businesses Need Media Kits?
Pictures: Visual Merchandising
People are visual: our brains are hardwired so that our eyes are drawn to things we like. Sales in retail both online and in-store require visual appeal:
- Pictures can help you to attract attention. They can be of great value when it comes to presenting important information.
- Pictures are a great emotional trigger that you can draw your visitors in and get them engaged in your content.
- Pictures grab customers’ attention and help promote positive first impressions of your business.
- Pictures add a sense of credibility and integrity to a website, sales floor and your business.
Successful retailers take advantage of the persuasive power of pictures. Therefore, when designing visuals, it is essential that you use high-quality and professional images, especially on in-store signage and on your eCommerce site. This will help create a positive image of your retail business, drive sales and convey trust to your customers.
Call to Action Message
A call to action (CTA) is a message on a website that asks the shopper to do something, like buy a product or sign up for a service. It’s important to have one on a small business website because it encourages people to take action. The marketing agency Vye found that CTAs increase your website sales conversion rate by 4.23%.
A small business website should include as many ways for customers to contact you as possible. This is so that customers can use the method they prefer to communicate. Even though your target market may be similar, people like different ways of getting in touch.
For instance, some customers might be happy just sending a message through email or social media, while others might want to call and talk to somebody. Having flexible communication methods will increase customer satisfaction.
Note: sales associates should be trained on how to deal with each method of communication.
Brick and mortar stores – Location
A 2018 consumer survey conducted by Manifest found that 77% of smartphone owners regularly use navigation apps. Whether driving, walking, or using public transportation, including a location address on your small retail business website is vital as it helps customers find your store.
Encourage Customer Loyalty & Have a Basic Reward program.
The loyal customer base already has an emotional connection to your store or brand, so they should not be treated like strangers. Therefore, small businesses should have a rewards system that encourages repeat business and loyalty. Research data consistently provides evidence that loyalty programs reinforce customer retention and increase the probability of attracting new customers:
- The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70% compared to a 5-20% chance of selling to a new customer. (Altfeld sales reports)
- 77% of consumers say they are likely to stay with a brand that has a loyalty program. (Bond)
- 70% of consumers are more likely to recommend a brand if it has a good loyalty program. (Bond)
The goal of loyalty strategies and a reward program should be to provide each customer lifetime value!
Keep your Customer Rewards Program Simple
Small businesses or independent retail stores do not require a sophisticated loyalty program. A small business loyalty program could include:
- Membership discounts: Percentage discounts for members or repeat business
- Referral discounts: rewards for referring new customers
- Punch card rewards: give rewards after a certain number of sales.
- Seasonal or special occasion gifts
Lastly, it should be noted that: Customer loyalty is reinforced by satisfying emotional connection, a consistently positive experience, great customer service, and continuous product and improvements!
Offer your customers a phone ordering option.
Due to the Covid19 pandemic, telephone sales have experienced a revival. Hence, Retailers who can incorporate a phone ordering system into their multi-channel operation will open an untapped retail-telephone order market.
- Phone calls will influence $1 trillion in US consumer spending in 2021. (Source: BIA/Kelsey).
- Phone calls convert retail revenue 10-15x more than web leads. (Source: BIA/Kelsey).
- Phone calls convert sales 30% faster than web leads. (Source: Forrester).
- Customer retention rates are 28% higher by phone versus web retention rates (Source: Forrester).
- 59% of customers say they are more likely to continue curbside pickup after the pandemic. (Retail Dive)
Incorporating Telephone Orders in your Retail Sales Process
Consumers running mobile searches are 39% more likely to call a business. Since the majority of shoppers use search engine queries on mobile devices, this represents a vast quantity of calls to brick and mortar stores (Source: Google)
- Calls create stronger relationships with customers, fostering clear communication.
- Calls allow retailers to save time by getting the answers they need in real-time.
- Calls convert to revenue 10-15x more than web leads versus email, text messages, or direct messaging.
The Value of the Telephone at your Retail Store
Phone calls are the most valuable retail sales conversion tool a small business can use to increase sales. Phone calls streamline good communication between organizations and customers. It provides faster interaction than email, is more personal, and is convenient, especially for non-tech-savvy customers. Lastly, Phone calls create stronger relationships and foster clearer communication than any other remote method.
Note: be sure sales associates are trained in promoting and taking telephone orders!
How to Increase Retail Sales – Summary
Small retail businesses are the backbone of the American economy! To help these businesses thrive, we’ve outlined four simple retail sales tips on how to increase sales. Make sure your business is price competitive, has a solid online presence, encourages customer loyalty, and offers customers a phone ordering option.
Interested in learning more about how to increase sales in Retail, also visit read: How do I Greet Customers at A Retail Store.