If you have a small retail business, a sales slump is inevitable. Whether it’s caused by declining foot traffic or a seasonal dip in sales or circumstances outside your control such as city construction in front of your store, every retail business experiences the occasional plummeting sales. Here are some ways to boost your sales in case you’re going through a retail sales recession.
1. Don’t wait for the holidays
If you’re like most retailers, you wait for official holidays like Thanksgiving or July 4th to celebrate. But there’s no need to wait. People love the excitement of holidays. So create your own holiday. Think about fun services that your store offers and your customers then make a holiday around it. It doesn’t have to make 100% sense. It’ll work as long as customers buy into the idea.
2. Put out more ads
This might seem like a no-brainer, but you’ll be surprised by how many small retailers cut back on their ad spend when sales go down. Marketing experts recommend increasing your advertising efforts during a slump period because there is more competition among retailers for fewer customer dollars.
Consider specialty publications, magazines and newspaper ads. Remnant advertising is another effective but underutilized form of advertising. It involves using spaces in the newspaper that the local newspaper considers “holes”. Creating a mini ad and have the newspaper insert it at its discretion.
3. Create a buzz
You don’t necessarily have to wait for something newsworthy to happen within your business to send a press release. Better yet, you can contract professional content creators to generate an engaging press release that will get coverage.
Participate in community events. Host networking events, meeting, and classes at your store and use them to generate a buzz around your brand. Take part in trade shows and work with established providers such as ExpoMarketing to create trade show booths and exhibits that capture crowd’s’ attention.
4. Improve your store design
Maximize opportunities for impulse sales and strategies for cross-merchandising. Attract customers using creative displays and lighting techniques. Consider playing videos for customer entertainment, product education or any other promotional or upsell tie-in. Be sure to engage all the senses to make your store energetic and magnetic.
5. Enhance your connection with customers
Outstanding customer services play an important role in improving sales. Help your store attendant to learn how to be active listeners and teach them how to educate customers about products. Identify ways to make your customer feel like their business is appreciated. Offer value-added products. Obtain your customers’ contacts and generate a mailing list to use for marketing.
6. Use social media
Social media is among the most effective avenues for marketing, so make sure you take full advantage of it. Research social media strategies that will ensure you engage with your customers sustainably. Don’t just engage your customers when sales are down. Rather, use social media to continually improve your brand presence.
7. Manage your cash flow
Obvious as this may sound, many small retail operators often focus all their energy on the day-to-day management of the store and neglect the financials. Set aside time for bookkeeping. Ideally, you should work with a bookkeeping professional or learn how to use the excellent retail accounting software such as QuickBooks Enterprise, FreshBooks and Zoho Books among others.