Forget About Increasing Foot Traffic, Try This Instead


When retailers complain that they aren’t getting enough foot traffic, they are missing the point. If they were more successful in getting a throng of people into their store during all the hours the store is open, chaos would ruin their business. Not only would there be a limited space for people to shop, but the salespeople would not have the time to answer questions or ring people up.

While, of course, you don’t want a trickle of foot traffic, you don’t want an excess either. While a business drought is frustrating, a flood is not the solution.

Don’t ask how you can get more people to come into your store, ask how you can get more people to leave it with a purchase.

Here are 4 tips to improve retail sales:

  1. Improve the look-and-feel of your store.

While most people are aware of the role of ambiance when it comes to dining at a restaurant, a store can offer similar psychological benefits. People like to shop in a place that intrigues them, a place that they like to linger in and look around some more.

How do you make a store look more inviting?

  1. Space:Your biggest challenge is space. There is only so much space for counters and a shop floor and display modules. One way to increase the illusion of space is to have a wall covering that suggests nature scenes. For instance, a blank wall with a floor to ceiling image of a forest creates the illusion that the store is much more spacious.
  2. Furnishings:Another way to improve the environment is to have high-quality furnishings. This creates a sense of class and elegance.
  3. Music: If the store plays music, it should be background music, and it should be soothing music.
  4. Air quality: Finally, controlling air quality with a quiet air filter will create a refreshing atmosphere. Incidentally, it’s not a good idea to add scents as some people are hypersensitive to smells, suspecting that their allergies are about to kick in.

        2.Train your staff to build rapport.

Most retail staff are simply trained to greet customers when they walk in, check in on them occasionally, and be helpful when asked questions. While this is better than ignoring customers or not giving them the space to look around, it’s not exactly exceptional customer service.

What most staff don’t know how to do is engage people and build rapport. While your exceptional salespeople may have a knack for engaging with people from all walks of life, they already had those personality traits when they were hired.

By hiring a relationship building expert to train your staff how to talk to people, you will be able to train even the shrinking violets on your staff.

Imagine how wonderful it will be for a customer to walk into a store where everyone is friendly, outgoing, and fun.

  1. Don’t make it all about low prices.

The lowest denomination sales technique is to discount as much as you can for as long as you can get away with it. The reason this retail philosophy is ubiquitous is because it does work. People are eager to save money.

However, you are also just inviting cheapskates to shop—people who only buy a small amount and who only buy when things go on sale. They are also quick to complain about the smallest and eager to return merchandise after they’ve used it a few times. People who are cheapskates consider the term a badge of honor. They take pride in paying as little as possible and even get free stuff thrown in, too.

Another way to sell is to focus on value selling. Most people don’t realize how valuable something is until you tell them. Salespeople who can talk about all the value built into a product will create happier buyers. Unfortunately, the emphasis on pay less, get more detracts from the idea of value selling.

Hand soap is just hand soap until you tell someone about the special blend of essential oils that went into making it and the beneficial properties of each one. People are not averse to paying more. They are averse to getting ripped off and paying too much for something that is cheaply manufactured and over-promoted.

  1. Use suggestive selling to spark more sales.

McDonald’s has made millions more than they would have if they had not trained their staff to ask customers if they want fries with their burger.

How can a simple sentence earn a company millions? Why does suggestive selling work? It’s because people actually aren’t thinking about what other products complement what they have already purchased. It doesn’t occur to them. However, when someone points out the benefits of adding something that complements what they are getting, they instantly visualize the added benefits they will get by buying the suggested item.

Usually, if the suggested item is discounted because they are buying the original item, customers immediately grasp that they not only get the extra benefits from the complementary product but that they are getting it at a cheaper price than they would usually pay.

It’s about Serving Customers Better

A much more realistic idea to meet sales projection figures is to focus less on how many people walk through a store and more on how well they are served and how much they buy. Remember, if you serve customers well, they will not only come back but bring their family and friends with them, too. Increasing retail sales is not as difficult as you might imagine.


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