Every small retail store wants to know how they can go about selling more of everything. And why wouldn’t they? The more they sell, the better their business is likely to do. While we may realize this, finding ways for small retailers to successfully sell more is easier said than done for many. And it is actually a lot easier than you may realize!
Over the past year, I have had the opportunity to meet with countless small business store owners. One of the “behind the scenes” benefits of doing business rescues on TV is that I get to speak with a lot of entrepreneurs during the casting period, and I get the real stories about what is going on and what they are doing to drive their own success. Along the way, I have learned some effective approaches that retailers can use to increase their sales.
Here are some of the secrets to selling more that I have learned:
1. Get hyper-niche focused – Successful retailers are not trying to be everything to everybody. Not even close. They identify the perfect customer and service all their needs. They seek out other customers that are perfect. In other words, they are only trying to be the perfect store for the perfect customer. And while they have fewer customers, those customers buy more. A lot more.
2. Pop-Up Stores – If your best month is October (think Halloween stores), then why even try to sustain that during the other months? Instead, open up a location with an ultra-short term lease, such as one month. Make all your revenue, and then close up shop again. This can work in many industries, such as fashion (pop up when a new line is ready to be introduced), holiday-related (opens for the holiday buying-time only), home supplies (pop up when a large, new construction project is happening) and restaurants (open up only once they have many weeks of sold-out bookings, alongside a big conference or event).
3. Best-Price Promises – Guarantee that you will match the best price, even if a customer finds a better price after they purchase. The magic here is that the customer feels comfort and safety in making their purchase. And it even allows the retailer to charge a reasonable price, because the customer feels the safety in buying at the higher price and is unlikely to come back seeking a lower price later on.
4. Odd Locations – This is a little bit risky, but when it works it has a big payoff. Locating in the strip mall may make it convenient for customers to shop but it makes the experience generic. Instead, some of the most successful stores are off the beaten path. They may be in a warehouse in an industrial park, or in a barn 20 miles out of town. The venue is cool and unexpected, the experience is unique, and the customer can’t roam off to other businesses. Do this one right and it can be a huge money opportunity.
5. Having Events – Sell pots and pans? Invite customers in for a cooking experience where they leave with a new set of pots and pans. You charge for the entire event (and the products you sell), but now you have made it a memorable experience, not just a transaction. People pay a premium for that. And if you make it memorable enough, people will buy more “souvenirs” to remember the event.
6. Share The Story – Instead of just selling products, more and more retailers are having success at sharing the story behind their product. Include the history of the item, who invented it, and pictures of the person who made it; this brings the product to life and makes the perceived value much higher.
7. Make It A Subscription Plan – It has been done for CDs, wine and jellies…but unexpected categories are also having wild success with subscription plans. Check out ShoeDazzle.com. Every month. a new pair of shoes shows up. Try it for potato chips, Christmas ornaments, jeans, watches, furniture, you name it.
Small retailers can increase their sales. It’s just a matter of finding a tried and true method for doing so, and sticking with it. Give these a try and see which one works for you!