Customers shop in unusual ways even when everything was “normal”. This means that there is not a fair distribution of their choices among retailers. You need to do more if you want to make more money during the pandemic. Here’s where you start:
1. Plan more events and promotions:There is competition from all directions, all trying to grab your attention. What can you do about it? It is not enough to open your doors. You need to have events set up on your calendar. Reopen Open Houses are a great idea. Grand Reopenings are also a good idea. Consider the holidays coming up and make plans for Black Friday, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Holiday 2020. Cyber Monday is also necessary if you sell online or through social media. Continue to add events for every month in 2021.
Each event should be planned, purchased product, and your team must participate. In-store events don’t always have to be about running sales, but that is an option. You can do makit & takits, demos, seminars, trunk shows, pop-ups, vendor days – your options are endless.
2. 2.Train your team.It’s impossible to do it all by yourself. You need strong partners to help you.
Make sure you are clear about what you require and what it takes to complete the job. Your team should know what to expect from them, such as sanitizing the store or reinforcing mandates regarding masks.
It’s not a time for reluctance, this is a time to sell. Training sessions should be held about product and customer service. Keep your team updated when a COVID-19 guideline is changed in your state or locality. Also, commit to a consistent training schedule throughout the year. Partner with our Buddy System to help new hires learn about your store and the products that you sell.
3. Make a Never Out List.A “Never Out” list should be kept by every retailer. It lists the items that you must have available at all times. This list is especially important during peak seasons when the availability of any of these items could make or break a sale. This list will be generated by your POS system. However, it is important to regularly count the sales floor to verify that it is accurate.
4. Gift cards can be sold, traded, and then sold.Gift cards are your secret weapon. You’ll notice that we used the word gift CARDS. A recent study has shown that gift card sales increase by 35 to 50% when retailers switch from gift certificates made of paper to gift cards made of plastic.
You’ll be happy to know that 55 percent of gift-card recipients need to make more than one trip to the store in order to spend their remaining balance. The thing is that a gift card or certificate presented in a plain paper envelope or sleeve doesn’t seem like much, even though it’s worth a lot. Many shoppers prefer to shop electronically, so you can also offer gift cards electronically.
5. 5.Ensure that your Return Policy is competitive.Your policy should be clear that you will not accept returns or exchanges from your competitors. No! NO! Customers will shop elsewhere. Here’s where to start if you don’t have a returns policy.“Returns and Exchanges are gladly accepted within ______ Days. It is guaranteed by your receiptIt will save you more sales if all of your employees are trained to politely offer a gift card or exchange. Many retailers extended the return and exchange window during the pandemic.
6. 6. Be prepared for markdownsYou are nowA clearance strategy is necessary for products that have been lying dormant for more than 60 days. It is not a good idea to put them in storage for next year. Also, trying to sell merchandise from past seasons at full price is not a good idea. Or strategy.
It is smart to create a markdown plan for each piece of merchandise you buy. It is important to decide which merchandise will be marked down, how much, and how it will have its signature (numbers work better that percentages). Also determine where the merchandise will be displayed on the sales floor. If you don’t have a huge sale, place clearance merchandise near the back of your store. This will make it easier for shoppers to find it without having to go through other product displays.
This is exhausting. Retailing has meant working long hours, managing multiple tasks and fighting fires. You can also sell online via social media, and keep up with COVID-19 mandates. We can assure you that having a plan will make it much easier. We are here to help if you need it. We are here to help!