How to increase sales in retail: Innovative tips

Femme qui scanne un produit

Increasing sales in small and large specialist and non-specialist outlets is a constant challenge for retail players. With fierce competition and high consumer expectations, it’s crucial to implement effective strategies to boost sales. In this article, discover tips for increasing sales in the retail sector.

Improving the shopping experience

One of the most rewarding strategies to implement as a retailer is to improve the shopping experience for your customers. By eliminating obstacles to purchase, you make life easier for your customers, encourage them to spend more, and win their loyalty. A number of actions can be taken:
  • Organising events in the shop: Events can take a variety of forms, such as workshops, demonstrations, product tests, new product launches, signing sessions, or collaborations with other local businesses. By hosting events on your premises, you create a unique and memorable experience for your customers, strengthening their attachment to your brand and encouraging them to share their experiences with others. What’s more, events can generate additional in-store traffic, increase the visibility of your products, and allow you to gather valuable information about your customers’ preferences and needs.
  • Setting up an engaging loyalty program: This powerful marketing tool rewards regular customers and encourages them to make repeat purchases. It promotes customer retention, increases purchase frequency, stimulates spending, and encourages positive word-of-mouth. However, consumers are under a lot of commercial pressure these days, so it’s important to create a program that’s personalised and tailored to your target audience, as well as ensure that it’s transparent and engaging.
  • Reducing friction in the buying process: A crucial step in improving the customer experience is to reduce the obstacles that hinder the buying process and conversions. These obstacles can manifest themselves in a variety of ways: web forms that take too long to fill in, too many steps before completing a purchase, a lack of experienced in-store staff, inefficient stock management leading to frequent product shortages, or interminable queues at the checkout. To alleviate these frustrations, many retailers are innovating by offering services designed to simplify the purchasing process: contactless payment via mobile, making an appointment with a sales assistant, click & collect, etc. The synergy between the online and offline worlds takes on its full meaning to make the relationship between customers and retailers more fluid.

Using data wisely

Customer data

Customer data collected in-store is a mine of valuable information for understanding and anticipating customer needs and preferences. This information can be gathered using loyalty programs, satisfaction surveys, or purchasing behavior tracking tools such as self-scanning.

More and more retailers around the world are gradually integrating self-scanning. According to the findings of the “Mobile Self-Scanning and Checkout-Free” study, by 2022 around 46,000 establishments will be offering this technology to their customers. By 2027, it is estimated that this number will triple to around 160,000 points of sale equipped with this functionality. Self-scanning, a revolutionary customer experience, enables customers to make their shopping experience easier and more fluid from the moment they enter the shop. This technology also enables retailers and manufacturers to collect valuable data on consumer habits and buying patterns.

Once collected, this data can be used for a variety of purposes, including personalising the customer experience, optimising merchandising, adjusting marketing strategies in line with observed trends, and even predicting future customer needs. By analysing this data strategically, retailers can improve operational efficiency, build customer loyalty, and significantly boost sales.

Product data

Product data collected in-store is also an invaluable resource for optimising stock management, improving operational efficiency, and boosting sales. Retailers can use a variety of solutions to collect this data. Erplain, for example, is an inventory management solution that enables you to monitor the movement of goods and the performance of your various products in real time. There’s also the EasyPicky solution, which automates the shelf-space survey process, i.e. the positioning of products and their level of visibility. This data is collected instantly in-store using a smartphone or tablet and can then be aggregated with till data to highlight successful merchandising strategies and enable retailers to make informed decisions about their future strategies.

Relying on consumer psychology

To develop your sales in a retail shop, you can rely on the psychology of the consumer. Indeed, humans share common psychological and emotional triggers, turning to pleasure rather than pain, amusement rather than boredom and satisfaction rather than discontent. The average consumer instinctively weighs up costs and benefits when making purchases.

The principle of reciprocity

It’s about giving to receive. This strategy, which has been used for centuries, can be implemented in various ways, such as offering free samples or gifts with purchase. As a result, customers are more likely to come back, buy more and share their positive experience.

Appeal to your customers' senses

When customers visit a physical shop, they are looking for a complete sensory experience. Use music, scents and décor to create a special, pleasant atmosphere.

Dunkin’ Donuts launched one of the most striking campaigns in olfactory marketing, by installing several nebulisers diffusing the smell of coffee in numerous buses in Korea. At the same time, the brand’s jingle was broadcast exclusively on the bus radio in the morning, capturing the attention of passengers on their journeys to work or school, to increase coffee sales.
To reinforce this effect, once passengers disembarked from the bus, they were greeted by a Dunkin’ Donuts advert.
The results have been convincing: shop visits have increased by around 20%, while coffee sales have risen significantly by 29%.

Telling a story

Customers are more likely to engage with your products if they can identify with them through a story. Use visual elements and display devices to create captivating narratives. Innocent excels in the art of storytelling. The brand shares its stories through traditional channels such as social networks, television, and billboards, but sets itself apart by creating a real saga around the composition of each of its products directly on its bottles. These stories, often authentic anecdotes, lend real authenticity to the brand, reinforcing its impact. The language used is simple and warm, making it possible to establish a direct connection with consumers, generating sympathy and a feeling of closeness.

Determining the urgency

Create a sense of urgency to encourage your customers to act quickly, whether by offering limited edition products, organising special in-store events or running special offers.

Special offers play a crucial role in price psychology by arousing customer interest. Brands and signs can use :

  • Time-limited offers: creating a sense of urgency.
    One of the most effective ways of creating a sense of urgency is to offer discounts for a limited period. When customers know that an offer will only be available for a short period, they are more inclined to make a purchase and not let the opportunity pass them by.
  • Rarity: making customers feel special.
    Another psychological lever that can be exploited through discounts is the concept of scarcity. By presenting a discount as exclusive or available in limited quantities, companies can make customers feel special and privileged.
  • Progressive discounts: encouraging larger purchases.
    Progressive discounts are an effective way of encouraging customers to spend more. By offering increasing discounts for higher order amounts, businesses can encourage customers to add more items to their basket to reach the next discount threshold.

The key role of sales rep

In the never-ending quest to offer personalised and captivating experiences, the role of the salesperson remains essential. Despite the ubiquity of digital devices in shops, they have by no means replaced the sales assistant. On the contrary, the success of digitalising a retail outlet lies above all in a profound rethink of the role of sales assistants, to transform the shop into a place where relationships and services can be developed. Tomorrow’s salesperson is connected, informed, responsive, and interactive. He becomes an adviser, a personal companion seeking to individualise the relationship with each customer by offering relevant answers, advice and services. Digital tools support sales staff, refining their knowledge of the customer and bringing them closer to each customer. Many other tools can be deployed to enhance the role of the salesperson and offer customers an improved experience. However, two prerequisites are essential: the removal of barriers between physical shops and e-commerce sites, and the commitment and training of sales teams.
In conclusion, increasing sales in a retail shop requires a multi-faceted approach, combining innovative strategies with a deep understanding of customer needs. By investing in improving the shopping experience, using data wisely, and tapping into consumer psychology, retailers can strengthen their market position and build customer loyalty. It is essential to recognise the crucial role played by sales staff in this dynamic. Rather than being replaced by technological advances, the salesperson should be seen as an essential partner in the creation of personalised and engaging customer experiences. By adapting their role to meet the demands of an ever-changing market and taking advantage of the digital tools available, sales staff are becoming a major asset to the success of the retail shop. By combining innovation, intelligent data analysis, and staff engagement, retailers can not only increase sales but also build lasting relationships with their customers, ensuring continued growth and a competitive position in the retail market.