I’ve talked with a lot of entrepreneurial retailers as of
late who all have the same issue. They want to increase sales, but they’re
stuck and don’t know how to make that happen.
Enter the engine, the power behind driving your sales. Most
companies have a particular engine, but most don’t give it any attention, or
clearly define what that engine is. And if you haven’t done that, they you
can’t drive sales.
So what’s your engine?
For nearly all retailers, you have people walking into your
store so your engine is to drive average transactions. That’s simply increasing
sales by capitalizing on the people who are already walking in. And that’s a
pretty simple task. With a little sales training and product knowledge, you can
increase that average transaction and positively impact sales.
So there you have it. Right?
Not so fast. Increasing your average transaction is a great
way to get an immediate pop in sales. But it’s not going to last long as you
tap out the existing customer base. So increasing your average transaction will
only take you so far.
Fo entrepreneurial retailers, the engine is the transaction.
The more people you can drive into your store, the more
sales you’re going to gain as a result.
THE REAL WORLD RETAILING TAKEAWAY
Driving transactions comes from smart marketing.
So many entrepreneurial businesses aren’t smart marketers.
Not because they’re not smart, but because they lack marketing experience. And
it’s tough to drive people to do something (marketing) when you don’t know what
you’re doing. So here are a few
Tap into your database – it’s the easiest and cheapest way
to market your store. After all, most people in your database are already loyal,
so why aren’t your tapping into that? A database isn’t any good if you’re not
adding people to it. So that’s the first step. Second, identify people that
haven’t shopped in certain time period, say three months. Then target everyone
who hasn’t shopped in three months or more and give them an offer to get them
back in the store. There are a million ways to market using your database. But
you need to have a database and do something with it in order to feed the
Use Social Media – a fan is a fan on Facebook. A follower is
a follower on Twitter. Great to have these people in your camp but again, it
doesn’t matter if you don’t do anything with the information. Social media is
another engine you can tap into. Use Twitter and Facebook to promote deals exclusively
for your followers or fans. The purpose of social media is to get your legions
of fans to help spread the word. But that doesn’t work if you don’t put it out
there. Get out there and test and track offers and see how many customers the
social media engine can haul into your store.
Pitch a story – I’m a big believer in public relations. It’s
a low-level buzz that just reminds people that you’re out there. One great
story in a local paper or magazine (or on the radio or TV) can drive hundreds
of new customers into your store. That’s one strong engine. And all it takes is
a unique angle for a story, then a pitch to the media. It’s a bit of a grind to
figure this out, but the rewards can be amazing in terms of transactions.
These are just a few of the engines that can help drive
transactions. The goal is to concurrently
drive multiple engines on multiple tracks, with the destination being your
store (and transactions) for every single engine.
How are you creating engines to drive transactions into your
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Photo courtesy flickr user esmuz