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The retail landscape is constantly changing and developing. Trends come and go and the market remains highly competitive. Retailers need to have a clear plan to stand out from the crowd, attract more customers, and stay profitable.
To do this, you need a clear sales strategy that is properly implemented to ensure that your business stands out from your tough competition and generates consistent revenue.
A good sales strategy consists of four main elements.
1. Know who you are as a brand
Every retailer needs to ask:
Do I know exactly who I am as a brand? How does every aspect of my online and offline presence reflect this?
Your customers need to know who you are. How you present yourself online and in your brick-and-mortar store says everything about what you stand for, what you sell, what messages your customers should know about you and your brand and who your target customers really are.
Are you a modern, clean, clean and minimalist business? Is your brand loud and trendy? Are you taking risks? Is your product high quality and made overseas? Or is it relatively inexpensive but durable and made in America? Are you reaching out to 6-digit executives or the frugal college student?
The more you know who you really are as a brand and who you serve, the clearer your overall messaging will become.
Related: How To Make Your Brand More Coherent
2. Plan to increase online traffic
Your online presence is an essential part of your success. Whether you have a brick and mortar business or not, your online presence is key to all of your growth.
To create your plan, you need to understand what makes you unique so that you stand out from all the noise online. Once you've figured out exactly what it is, decide how you want this to appear on your website. The first 10 to 20 seconds are crucial when someone visits your website. This is the only time you need to make that first good impression that will inspire visitors to browse your website.
Your website isn't the only place to focus when trying to attract more visitors online. Your social media presence is key. This goes way beyond simply posting ads or "pretty" posts. Retailers should use their social media as a marketing tool. To increase engagement with your brand, try the following:
Showcase the products you sell and lead customers back to your online store to purchase. Reach out to your customers to give them an insight into your brand. Customers can shop on the platform or receive a shipping or sales discount when purchasing your website.
3. Plan to increase storefront traffic
Your brick and mortar store can still be the heart of your entire business with the right sales strategy. Understanding this part of your business strategy is key to your future success.
This is where your marketing and communication skills come in. You need to develop an overall plan that will draw customers to your physical location. Then you need to communicate this to your customers. Email marketing remains a smart strategy here. The people on your email list are (or should be) your true supporters. You need to take care of these people and make sure they remain your avid fans. Give them a special insight into new product launches, products or collections. Share a look behind the scenes of your brand and company. Incentive them in-store to shop in your store. There are many ways that email marketing can be used to connect your customers with your brand.
Social media can also be used as a marketing tool to drive traffic to your website. Similar to online strategy, you should use your social media to drive engagement and connection with your customers. You can report on upcoming in-store or pop-up events or take a quick look at new lines, collections, products or brands that you carry. You can offer a unique discount just for them to purchase in your store.
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4. Know all of the visual merchandising strategies required for your company
Understanding the importance of a solid visual merchandising strategy is one of the most missed opportunities that both online and brick-and-mortar retailers have.
The good thing about these key elements is that they work similarly both online and offline. The items are displayed a little differently online than in the stationary area, but the concept and results are the same.
The five key elements your merchandising strategy needs are color, storytelling, categories, visual display techniques and signage / descriptions.
Color is a key element in communicating with your customers. Colors tell your customers the characteristics they should know about you and your brand. For example, a furniture store that is modern, minimalist, and of high quality would have a color palette with a dark or muted tone to bring that message to their customers. Choosing a color palette with bright neon colors would send the wrong message.
The colors you choose can also evoke certain emotions in your customers while they are shopping with you. You can create a certain atmosphere that can only encourage or discourage buying behavior by the colors you choose in your store or website.
You want to create themes or "stories" in your store and on your website. Stories improve customer loyalty with your business or website and improve their overall experience. The stories you create should tell your customers everything about your product – how it can be used, what it can be used for, where it can be used. On your website, your stories can focus on one general topic, such as: B. New arrivals, items sold, or new brands you carry.
Categories are the grouping of your products. You should group similar items or collections across your store and website so customers can find what they want quickly and easily. If possible, you should also create sub-categories. This makes the shopping experience even leaner.
For example, on a boutique website, all 25 tops for sale should be displayed under the Tops tab on the website. A sub-category would group tops by sleeve length so that the customer can find the style they want more quickly.
Be creative and change things! Too much of the same can repeat itself and your customers will be bored. Brick and mortar stores should change what type of fittings are used, how many items are used per display, what folding methods, fittings and mannequins are used in the windows.
Online stores should vary the way they arrange the photos on their website, use different display techniques in images, and confuse what is shown in each image (i.e. just one still image of the item versus one Lifestyle scene showing the end use of the item). The more variety you can give your customers, the more engaged they will be on your website or in your business.
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Signs / descriptions
Proper signage is key to a successful merchandising strategy. Signs are the silent, multi-purpose salespeople that have two main functions: to inform your customers and to increase customer loyalty. An effective and strong signage strategy includes:
Price tags. Tag important items and strong regular prices.
Sales / advertising signs. Present great offers and promotions.
New arrivals sign. Let your customers know what's hot and new in your business.
Brand information signs. Gives behind the scenes information about the brands you sell.
Used in correct proportions. Moderation is key; Avoid clutter.
Be balanced throughout the business. Use only in key areas of the business.
Similar to the signs in a brick and mortar store, the wording you use on your website should be used to educate and engage with your customers. If there isn't enough information about your products, your customer can get frustrated, confused, and ultimately leave. Too much information can make your pages look cluttered and detract from the main purpose of your website – your products.
When planning your sales goals for your brick and mortar store or online store, be sure to consider each of these strategies. By doing this, you will ensure that you have the foundation on which to build your business and keep it healthy.