Author: Poornima Mohandas
Time to read: 2 minutes
With customers ready to spend and retailers offering attractive discounts, this festive season has been a crucial time for all retail chains to make their numbers in a sluggish economy. From Maruti cars, Xiaomi smartphones, to Flipkart and Amazon, all retailers are counting on their September and October sales numbers.
So what are you doing this season to maximize your SSPD or sales per square foot? Here are some ideas.
Get Your VM Spot On
Visual Merchandising (VM) is directly proportional to sales. It is essential to ensure that all your stores have the festive purple collection out in the window display and on the store’s centre table for maximum visibility. The purple collection will draw customers into your store. Once in the door, half the battle is won. Now your store staff have to know the rich and interesting story behind the purple collection to convert walk-ins into customers.
Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Collect image evidence of the window display and centre table from all your stores to ensure a consistent look and feel
- Have a methodical follow-up process and a point person in charge to take care of any stores that haven’t complied
- Resolve issues around stock availability promptly
- Train and assess your store staff on the festive pitch
Additional checks and balances to ensure a consistent customer experience:
- Are all your lights functioning properly?
- Is your festival signage and decoration in place?
- Are your offers and discounts clearly visible to customers?
- Are your store staff trained to handle heavy traffic?
- Are all your check out counters manned during the high-traffic period?
- Are the cleaning staff instructed to clean the floors and bathrooms more often?
Pump up Your Employee Morale With Sales Contests
Nothing works better than incentives to drive sales and salespeople. One of our customers, a large department store is running sales contests among its staff this season. The first salesperson to close Rs 5 lakhs of business wins an all-expenses-paid trip to Singapore. Run an interesting contest with an enticing prize and watch the stock fly off your shelves! In addition, have your sales managers give a pep talk to the store staff every morning before they start the day. Remember, your store staff’s confidence and morale is a reflection of your brand.
Invest in Staff Training
There is no such thing as too much training. Allow your store staff to consume byte-sized training content as per their convenience on any device. Whether they are commuting on the bus or on the metro they should be able to learn the festive pitch on their smartphone. Assess them to ensure learning retention. Ensure your staff knows:
- The pitch behind the new collection
- The pricing
- Details such as fabric, colours, care details etc.
- Festive offers and discounts
- Overview of the entire product line
This way your store staff can easily answer all your customers’ questions. Today’s customers expect a premium experience when they take the trouble to step out of the comfort of their homes, drive through snarling traffic and come to your store. Well-trained employees with sound product knowledge are a must-have.
Create Excitement in the Store
When a person takes the trouble to come to your store, give them an experience they will remember. This Diwali, why not organize a treasure hunt in your store? If you are women’s ethnic wear brand, run a contest to spot the glass slipper in your store and win a free lehenga! If you are a toy retailer, come Christmas, you can get kids to spot a reindeer in your store. The first one to find it gets to take home the stuffed toy for free! Be sure to click pictures of the winners and post it on your brand’s official social media pages. Your brand could very well be trending on Instagram this festive season. What’s more, the excitement will ensure customers keep coming back to your store for more.
Create a memorable experience for your customers this Diwali. Don’t just give away freebies, combine it with a premium, experiential shopping experience and see your customers return for more. Write to us with the ideas you are trying out this season to increase your sales per square foot.