Before the pandemic, customers shopped in odd patterns, and their choices were not evenly distributed among retailers.
That hasn’t changed much, so you need to do more to attract new customers.
Everywhere there is competition for customers. What are you doing? Opening your doors isn’t enough; you need a retail calendar of events.
- Retrain your team
- Plan Events and Promotions
- Create ‘never out’ list
- Competitive return policies
- Offer gift cards for sale
Retrain your team
You can’t do it all alone; you need a strong team. Hold product training sessions and provide excellent customer service when you can’t see the customer.
Keep your team informed about store events and commit to a year-round training schedule. Adopt a ‘buddy system’ and pair new hires with seasoned pros to mentor them.
Plan Events and Promotions
A grand re-opening is as good as a ‘re-open’ open house. Consider and plan for the holidays. You need a plan if you sell online or via social media. Continue to add events for each month.
Plan each event, buy items as needed, and involve your staff. Remember that in-store events do not necessitate a sale, though it is an option. Demos, seminars, trunk shows, pop-ups, supplier days, etc.
Create ‘never out’ list
Always have a ‘Never Out’ list of items in stock. It’s important to note that during peak seasons, stock runs out and these items can literally make or break a sale.
However, make sure to do frequent stock counts on the sales floor to ensure your list is accurate.
Competitive return policies
Customers will shop elsewhere if your competitors accept returns and exchanges but you do not. If you don’t have one, start here: ‘X’ days for returns and exchanges. Your receipt ensures it.
Train staff to politely suggest an exchange or gift card before issuing a refund. During the pandemic, many stores extended return windows.
Offer gift cards for sale
Your secret weapons are gift cards. Yes, they are GIFT CARDS. That’s because a study found that retailers who switch from paper to plastic gift certificates increase card sales by 35% to 50%.
Additionally, 55% of gift card recipients make multiple shopping trips to spend the card’s balance – which is excellent news.
However, be aware that a gift card or certificate presented in a dull paper sleeve or envelope does not look impressive, even if it is for a large sum of money; therefore, package your gift cards in a way that is unique to what you sell.
Offer electronic gift cards as well, as many shoppers prefer contactless transactions these days.