According to the National Retail Federation, U.S. retail sales are expected to grow 4.4% in 2018. This is beyond the 3.9% gain in 2017 and the largest gain since 2011 where retail sales went up by 5%.
Furthermore, online and non-store sales such as those from vending machines, mall kiosks, and catalogs are expected to grow between 10 and 12%. Yet, there has also been the news of job cuts and retail store closures.
So, how do retailers continue along this trajectory of increased sales revenue? We've curated a list for you that is straightforward and easy to digest.
1. Audit Every Marketing Campaign
Your marketing campaigns are only effective if they produce the right ROI for your retail business. When resources are tight, you can't afford to run multiple campaigns without measuring and tracking their results. To start, set measurable and specific objectives.
Next, configure and set up the right tools to track progress against your goals. How do you picture the end result? What would you like to accomplish? You can then use your results, and insights, to design your next campaign.
If you find that something isn't working, then you can modify your campaign to become more fruitful. As a result, you improve efficiency while cutting down on costs.
2. Include Complimentary Additions to Your Current Line of Products
You can improve product novelty and excitement by creating mini-packages. For instance, think of it in terms of upselling each product with a complimentary service. To illustrate, you might add a set of discounted makeup brushes when a customer purchases a new makeup palette.
A home goods store might package a pillow with a lounge chair. The options and opportunities to add a complimentary item are endless. They also boost consumer curiosity and willingness to spend.
This is a form of providing that special "extra," which appeals to customers. They see the value in buying a complimentary package of goods, and your retail store increases its revenues in the process.
3. Motivate Your Sales Team With an Improved Compensation Package
Sales drive business. And, your sales team is indispensable in this regard. It's a no-brainer that motivated sales teams should be one of your strategies to increase sales revenue. According to surveys by SAP and Spherion, the number one motivator for employees is compensation. So, think of a sales compensation plan to works for your retail staff and your business. The good news is you don't have to figure out a sales compensation plan on your own. Factor in your company's place within your industry. Also, ask these key questions:
- Do you want to focus on new products?
- Would you like more customers?
- Do you want to add margin?
- Are you interested in increasing average spend?
Every answer will guide the overall design of your compensation plan. Try not to cap sales compensation because you might end up getting what you pay for. Good salespeople won't stick around if there is poor compensation.
4. Involve Your Customers
Customers should always play a pivotal role in strategies to increase sales revenue. In a customer-driven market, there isn't any other way than to head to the source themselves. Customers know what they want, and they will get what they want–they already have all the tools to do so right at their fingertips.
So, employ customers for feedback on your current retail experience and the areas which could use improvement. Tactics for getting information include surveys in exchange for gifts or discounts, questionnaires, social media polls and even online feedback groups. These measures will benefit your company in two ways:
A. The customer feels that they have a part in your company's strategy and development.
B. You create an environment that is seriously customer-centric.
5. When Sales are Down, Create a Holiday
Customers love to celebrate. And, when they're in the mood to celebrate, they often have to shop beforehand to get the party started. Since most people only take breaks during federal holidays, they would love another chance for some fun time. If you need innovative strategies to increase retail revenue, then just create a special day. It can be anything from red car day to cuddle your cat day.
Get your sales staff involved by creating contests around selling specific products and services. You can then manage their sales results and compensate them accordingly.
Not only does this create buzz for your retail business, but it offers the ability for your customers to take part in the fun by sharing hashtags, pictures, and purchases online with their friends and family. In fact, this might turn into a highly successful venture.
6. Optimize Your Pricing Strategy
Creating the perfect pricing strategy requires a lot of trial and error. You want your customers to like it while ensuring you increase revenues. How can you improve your pricing strategy so that it attracts customers while improving your profit margins? Think of dynamic pricing.
There are fluctuations of demand for all types of products. If you want to keep your inventory moving, then you must frequently change your prices. Establish price floors and ceilings to reflect the buying habits of your target consumer and your brand.
Use A/B testing to determine the best pricing strategy per product and time of year. Incorporate analytics and reporting software to ensure you always know how your pricing strategies are affecting your revenue. And, always ensure your prices are competitive.
7. Update Your Website
The modern consumer is technologically savvy, and they use their smartphone for almost everything. When a consumer is used to instant gratification, they no longer have to sit around and wait for slow and outdated websites to load.
Think of all the lost revenue you endure when a customer bounces off your site to your competition. So, to increase revenue, you must ensure you have a strategic and fully-functioning website that immediately conveys its business value. By doing so, you can optimize leads more efficiently. In addition, use your website to instantly tell your customers what your business is about and how you can address their pain points.
The objective is to get visitors interested in learning more about your products. Then, you can set up your incentive compensation plans to ensure your sales teams follow up with and qualifies every incoming lead.
8. Take it Outside
People window shop all the time. It's a safe space to walk along the periphery of a store without actually stepping inside. But, that doesn't bode well for business when your staff has to wait for that lone customer to step across the threshold between your store and the outdoors.
Well, instead of passively waiting—why not take your products outside? First, this will make it seem as if something is "going on" at your store. Customers will wonder why you're outside—and if they already have a use for your products, the outdoor method will stoke their interest.
This is also a fantastic method for attracting the "passers-by" who usually walk past your store. You are basically stepping outside of your comfort zone and inviting them to have a closer look at your wares.
Plus, according to a series of studies in the Journal of Environmental Psychology, being outside simply makes people feel more alive. The hope is they, in turn, become more energized about your products. You might be surprised how a quick move outside can positively impact your revenues.
If your revenues are down, they don't have to stay that way forever. There are ways around slow sales periods, and several proven options are listed above.