Sales suck… now what?

by Lynda Kavanagh, WOW Communications & Training Corp.

There it is in black and white. The accountant just sent your last month’s revenue report and, quite frankly, it sucked! Your first thought is to justify this by blaming it on a reduction in foot traffic.

How can you get more people into your destination retail store? Should you advertise more? Should you do more promotions? Should you drag people in off the street? A decrease in foot traffic is something retailers have consistently seen over the past few years, but that shouldn’t necessarily mean lower revenue. Having lots of people in your store does not necessarily convert to lots of sales.

Maybe you just need to do a better job of getting the right people into the store.  It used to be that consumers would leisurely drive to a mall or specialty store to “browse” at what the store offers. Sometimes those consumers who were “browsing” would buy from you but more often they wouldn’t.

Consumers are changing. People are finding it’s easier, quicker and more convenient to “browse” online. Now, consumers go to a store’s website to get a feel for the store and the product lines offered, and then they decide if they want to physically go to the store. In fact, 81% of Canadians will conduct online research before making a decision about what and where to buy.

We’re all busy. Some people are “busy-busy” and some are even “uber-busy.” So, to address this busyness we must look at ways to streamline the purchase process. What do your customers want? Do they want to C & C (click and convert)? That’s when someone makes a purchase online, but wants to pick the purchase up in the store. Or do they want to C & S (click and send), where you send them the item by mail or courier? Or are they trying to let their mouse do the shopping and narrow down the stores they actually want to come to? Whatever the reason behind why people are looking at your online store, you need to make it easy for them to get what they want.

All this means less foot traffic but for those “browsers” who end up coming into your store, you need to realize that they are coming for a reason and that reason is to buy.  Keep this in mind when you are worried about foot traffic. Also, you may want to find out what the statistics are for people walking into your store and those walking out with a purchase. That means once they are in the store, are your sales people trained in the fine art of sales? That’s for the next blog.

PS. If you’re successful in capturing numbers of people coming into your store and matching them with sales, you may want to read this article from Retail Insider:

Lynda Kavanagh has owned and operated WOW Communications & Training since 1994. Her company provides business coaching and training focusing on sales and marketing issues.

Lynda will be a speaker at the Spring 2017 Toronto Gift Fair.

Wow Communications Corp.


WOW Communications & Training