Basic good business practice for retail stores
|The sale starts before the customer ever walks in the door. The company, as well as the stores reputation, is the #1 selling point. #2 will always be fair pricing for quality goods.
Doors and window need to be clear of dirt, fingerprints and signs. Signs should attract attention, but off to the side, so as not to cause a traffic jam at the door. All the customer wants to know when they walk up is, you're open, what hours and you have what they need.
Once they open the door, they want to be able to see the store and feel free to shop without an obstacle course. Clean register areas automatically sets an organized atmosphere. The floors tell the client if you're clean. People like clean. It's an important asset to repeat business.
Greet within 10 feet is more than just a hello. Clients need the acknowledgement. It's your chance to make a first impression of friendly helpfulness. This also give you the opportunity to offer a cart, basket, assistance or informing them of any specials that may be going on in the store.
Faced shelves make the store look fully stocked and again organized. This gives the impression that you not only will have what they are looking for but also the ease of one stop shopping. One thing shoppers will not do is look for something hidden at the back of a shelf that is not at eye level.
Signage, be it pricing or department, is an important part of suggesting to them what they will find. These along with shelf talkers draw attention to items they may not have thought of. Pricing items in flex areas is a must. People will not consider most items if they don't know what it costs. Some will browse flex areas knowing they may find items at a great savings. I call this the flea market aspect, finding the one of a kind little treasure
Here as well as other areas, such as ledges, need good lighting. Burnt out bulbs tend to give a dreary dungeon like feeling, making it hard to notice what might be right in front of them. This also gives the thieves the hidden in shadow ease of stealing. Well lit and organized ledges with shelf talkers of price points and ask for help signs are strong sale aides.
While you or your staff work through the store, notice what is in the hands of the shopper. Grab a basket or cart and bring it to them. Ask if they are finding everything or offer help. If asked, avoid pointing, it's impolite and insulting. They are looking for that personal touch, take them to it.
On hand adjustments and stock counts done accurately will insure that you are in stock with these high volume items. Tracking your counts gives you insight to high volume sales, ones you may want to keep some back stock on, as well as high theft items. Either one can be considered shrink or lost sales. Both of which are bad for business and are in your control. This will also give the store a reputation of a reliable and dependable shopping experience. Teach the cashiers to notice things of this nature, raise their awareness to help make you job easier and give the a sense of ownership.
All special buys should be displayed by theme and with shelf talkers. All items should be individually priced, in case the price point shelf tag isn't clear or accidentally gets torn or moved. This eliminates any confusion when multiple priced items are promoted together.
Once they reach the register area, it's time to finalize the experience and the sale. Ask if they found everything, if there will be anything else. Impulse items, like gum or pop, tend to be an after thought which is the #1 killer of basket size. This is also your opportunity to see what they have purchased and suggest something they may have over looked. For instance, lighter fluid with charcoal, plastic cutlery or cups with paper plates. even a package of extra lead or an eraser for the mechanical pencils.
The little things that the customers notice, that bring them back on a regular basis and make them suggest you to new customers, is the impression you, your store and your staff allow them to leave with.
The impression you give before they enter and leave with is the foundation of your stores success and reflects your ability as a manager.
Get to know your customers by name. This gives them a feeling of importance. If a regular check writer, make note of their birth date. You don't have to know what year they were born. Acknowledging you know they have a birthday coming up during that month is enough to make your business special to them.
Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.