Consistently increasing sales is what every entrepreneur strives for. This can be done in dozens, if not hundreds, of different ways. The difficulty is that there are no completely universal solutions, a lot depends on the direction and characteristics of the business.
On the other hand, you can always find and then use very specific tools that will bring the greatest benefit in a particular situation. The main thing is to evaluate their possible effectiveness in advance. But there are no problems with this: many techniques have long been very successfully used in various trading niches.
The factors that have both a positive and a negative impact on the increase in sales include the following:
- Dynamics of market processes
The most important source of information for determining the dynamics and direction of its movement is statistics. With its help, you can easily calculate the percentage of annual market growth, and hence monthly sales growth rates.
- Seasonal nature of sales
People's needs for certain goods often depend on the season. Almost no one buys beach bags in winter, and umbrellas are more often in demand in autumn. This is reflected in the level of demand, and hence in sales volumes.
- Degree of competition
The number of competitors and the level of their activity largely determines the situation on the market. As a result of their actions, your sales can either decrease or increase.
- Assortment and pricing features
The expansion of the range of goods has a positive effect on increasing sales. People begin to show increased interest in new products and actively make purchases. Similarly, they react to price cuts. Changing the pricing policy in the direction of increasing the cost of goods most often leads to a drop in sales.
You can effectively use the influence of these factors if you can correctly determine the degree of their influence on the sales process in each specific period. The easiest way to do this is by comparing the percentage of the obtained indicators.
To improve the efficiency of sales in the retail process, you can use the following methods:
- Development of loyalty programs
Such programs require careful study of consumer needs in the buying process. A tool for implementing this method can be a premium card. Practice shows that the loyalty of the owners of such cards is quite high: they make purchases more often, thank sellers and experience positive emotions when visiting a store.
- Positive emotional message with a touch of nostalgia
The process of communication with the buyer should be based on emotions. Customers should not just be invited for a purchase, but try to evoke pleasant memories in them, offer them to relive what once became a reason for pleasure. The awakening of emotions can be facilitated by music, visual images in the design of the trading floor, advertising texts, etc.
- Possibility of direct contact with the goods
Caltech specialists have proved that direct contact between the buyer and the product is the most important element of the technology for increasing sales. A buyer who has touched a thing more often demonstrates an increased willingness to buy it, and the longer the contact, the higher its probability.
- Free distribution of product samples
No one will refuse to become the owner of something for free. In addition, the ability to realistically evaluate the product increases the likelihood of a purchase. An example is the story of a waiter who was able to successfully increase the cost of his services thanks to a good idea. Before getting paid, he offered his customers chewing gum. This increased his tip by 3%. After he decided to give them two chewing gums, his reward rose to 14%.
This plot is described in the book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cioldini and serves as proof that people are willing to buy from you and spend more if they get something for free in addition.
- Illusion of scarcity
People value rare things more - scarce goods seem to them more significant. This approach to understanding value is well described in Martin Lindstrom's "Buyology: Truths and Lies about Why We Buy". To increase sales, he suggested simply adding information about limiting the sale of products to one person - "no more than eight cans of soup per client."
During the experiment, it was found that people really began to buy at least eight cans, and even came for the goods again, as they believed in the scarcity of the product, which was one of the main food products.
- The presence of an expensive item in the assortment, against which the rest of the goods look cheap
Buyers are looking for a good deal. Their main desire is to get decent quality for a reasonable price. You can warm up this desire and thus increase the level of sales by diluting the assortment with a really expensive product. It will create a sense of alternative and will create the feeling that the rest of the products are on a par with it, but at the same time are affordable.
- The sound design of the trading floor and the impact on increasing sales through the sense of smell
The choice of music for the sales floor can significantly affect not only the choice of goods, but also the funds that customers are willing to spend. Solid amounts are more often left where jazz compositions or classical music are used as background sound. Popular melodies are less conducive to purchases. In the alcohol market, they are more actively buying Georgian wines, if the traditional male polyphonic sounds, and French, if Edith Piaf sings.
Not only music, but also aromas can push the buyer to purchase. Their influence on the behavior of store visitors was studied in detail by Martin Lindström. He found that a win-win tool to boost sales of kitchen equipment is the smell of freshly baked goods. His presence in the hall increases the number of purchases by almost a quarter.
- Placement at the entrance to the store of inexpensive but popular goods
Awaken the visitor's "consumer mindset". Provoke the desire to put a lot of inexpensive things in the basket. Following a small purchase, they are more likely to decide on a big one. Therefore, there should be as many pleasant things at the entrance as possible.
- Large assortment of cheap goods in the checkout area
Let the person spend the time spent in line at the checkout for your benefit. Chewing gum, lollipops, key rings, notebooks and other small items may not be part of the planned purchases, but their purchase will brighten up the waiting time and allow you to increase your sales, as well as the amount of the average check.
Chocolates, carbonated drinks and sandwiches are especially quickly moved to the basket from the stands in front of the checkout - at the sight of products with a rich taste, buyers simply have an appetite. It also happens the other way around: a person enters the store for a snack, but goes to the hall and makes additional purchases.
- Competent placement of goods with the highest demand
A simple but effective way to increase sales, time-tested. Let the buyer follow the entire trading floor before he sees the goods of daily demand he needs.
The likelihood that, in addition to a package of milk and a loaf of bread, he will throw a lot of other goods into the basket is very high, since a competent merchandiser will definitely put the goods participating in promotions on the shelves along the customer’s route and mark them with bright price tags to increase sales.
There are many ways to increase sales, among which we advise you to pay particular attention to the following:
- Offer of related products and accessories
The more products you can combine in one order, the higher the savings on packaging and shipping. Recommend related products to the customer, offer accessories, promotional items, etc.
Use the upsell technique - supplement the offer with advice on purchasing consumables: batteries for electronic scales, toothpaste paired with a toothbrush, orthopedic insoles in addition to winter boots, etc. You can also promote the idea of buying a more expensive product: a slow cooker with a function pressure cookers, kettle with automatic heating mode.
Don't forget about cross-sell opportunities — demonstrate possible combinations of products from different categories: sandals for a summer sundress, bedding sets for a bed.
Add blocks: “Buy with this product”, “Pay attention to the possibility of combination”, etc.
The purchase of accessories seems easy to consumers, because their prices are much lower than the cost of the main product. At the time of purchase, they do not pay attention to the fact that your markup can be as high as 200%, as they are focused on paying for an expensive item.
- Distribution of gift certificates
Certificates have become commonplace offline. Using the sale of certificates to increase online sales can also be very effective. It is useful if the site visitor has not decided on the choice of gift. In this case, he can purchase a certificate, that is, he will not leave you without a purchase.
- Compilation of sets from different goods
Combine several products in a set. So you can, along with a popular product, sell something that is not in great demand. For those who sell cosmetics and food products, a set of samples can be a great option - this will allow consumers to make a choice and make a large order of the items they like. You can also offer to make your own gift set, which you will beautifully pack. This practice had a positive effect on increasing the number of sales of Bing bang socks, which successfully put its original idea into practice.
- Sale of additional services
Depending on the type of business your company is in, offer home fitting, delivery at any time specified by the client, electronic settings changes, etc. If necessary, the client will pay for these services any amount you request. Services that are convenient for customers will have a positive impact on your reputation and provide an influx of new customers.
- Availability and reliability of company information
Users should receive comprehensive information about your activities. This is a necessary condition for them to start trusting you and move from the category of website visitors to the category of regular customers. Briefly tell them the history of your business development, introduce the main team members, voice your fundamental positions in the market. This information should be presented both on the pages of well-known brands and on the websites of small companies.
Provide easy access to contact information. A simple transition to it or contacts posted on the first page of the site will help confirm your reliability.
If you cannot keep in touch around the clock, specify the time period during which a specialist consultant will be able to receive a call from a client. Install an auto-responder that will record consumer questions. Work out a callback system - don't force a person to leave you just because he didn't hear a response in a timely manner.
Be sure to reflect in the offer all the conditions of interest to the buyer - payment methods, delivery options, the possibility of returning the goods. The feeling that you are an honest and open partner will be a great help to increase sales and profit growth.
- Discounts and bonuses for large buyers
The amount of revenue directly depends on the volume of sales, but contacts with buyers who have made large purchases are especially beneficial - they help save money on processing, packaging and delivery of the order. It is advisable to support such clients. To do this, it is necessary to provide discounts or bonuses to those who spend more than a certain amount, as well as stimulate their activity with the offer of free shipping, pre-sales service, assembly, etc.
The volume of the order to qualify for bonuses must not be determined intuitively, but in an accurate calculation process using the break-even principle.
- Comprehensive product information
In an online store, it is difficult to ensure constant communication with the seller consultant, who can tell in detail about the product and answer all the questions of interest to the buyer, so it is necessary to develop high-quality product cards. Their task is to describe the characteristics and properties of the product as fully as possible and to minimize possible questions. In order to make it easier for a person to make a purchase decision, cards should be accompanied by high-quality photographs or video materials.
- Various delivery and payment options
Delivery conditions play a major role in the process of making a purchase decision, which means they are the most important factor in increasing online sales. Try to sell goods to customers in the shortest possible time and inform them in advance about the cost of the service. Set higher rates for payments for urgency and lower them if the client is willing to wait. Don't forget to use free shipping as a marketing ploy to attract new customers and encourage large purchases.
Use a similar approach when defining purchase payment options: the more there are, the more comfortable the consumer will feel during the transaction.
- Return of abandoned carts
Don't ignore abandoned carts. Studies show that the proportion of customers who filled their carts with products but never made a purchase is almost 70%. In order to achieve an increase in sales, efforts must be made to return them. There can be a lot of reasons for leaving the page of your online store, and they need to be found and eliminated. And sometimes it is enough for the buyer to simply send a message and remind in any other way that the product in demand is ready for sale and is looking forward to picking it up.
- Turning potential customers into loyal customers
The more regular customers you have, the easier the trading process is. Try to achieve such a result that all your potential customers become real ones, and real ones demonstrate constancy and a high degree of loyalty.
Expand your customer base: use discounts, gifts for registration, invite to participate in promotions, constantly remind you of yourself in messages and letters.
Try to create in the client a sense of personal interest on your part: send congratulations and birthday gifts, inform about profitable promotions, remind them of goods that, according to you, they are running out of, inform them about the availability of the goods they are interested in.
Apply the principle of cumulative discounts, issue loyalty cards, etc.
Asking customers to write reviews will not only increase sales results, but will also allow you to see your weaknesses and correct shortcomings in your work.
Actively use the possibilities of communication in social networks: create target groups, arrange meetings, conduct consultations and organize broadcasts.
Sales are carried out today not only through retail and online stores. Trading is also actively conducted with the help of telephone calls. We suggest you consider some tools to increase sales by phone. For them to be successful, they need the following:
- Maximum reduction in the number of missed calls
This problem is a serious obstacle to the result. Buyers simply cannot contact the sales assistant due to the busy line and, unable to stand the expectations, leave their idea. Sometimes even multi-channel lines do not save, which means that in order not to lose customers, it is necessary to have a sufficient number of employees capable of receiving all incoming calls.
- Constant analysis of records of conversations with customers
A detailed analysis of the content of the conversation will help to see the mistakes made in the communication process and make appropriate adjustments. It is better to analyze records collectively. This will help improve the quality of work of other employees.
- Mastering new sales techniques by employees
It is necessary to regularly train employees, to acquaint them with new approaches to technology to increase sales. This work must be carried out in the system. Select appropriate video courses for training, invite trainers, organize mentoring, create conditions for self-education of employees.
- Development of sales scripts
The success of telephone marketing and the level of sales increase largely depend on the quality of the developed scripts. You must write a greeting, correct phrases with which you can find out the name of the client, provide for as many possible objections as possible and find the right words to work them out. Do this work together with salespeople whose practical experience can be a good help in writing an effective script.
- Increasing the sales spectrum
Actively offer customers additional services and accessories. Be sure to recommend purchasing a set of special dishes in addition to the induction cooker, and when buying a washing machine, a product that prevents scale formation.
- Using motivational schemes for employees
A direct relationship between the size of employees' earnings and sales is actually not the best way to motivate them. Some sellers prefer to be content with a modest income, but at the same time do not strain themselves, convincing customers to make a purchase without fail, and even purchase unplanned accessories. There are not so many such employees, but with a well-designed motivational scheme, you can achieve a fantastic increase in product sales from them.
- Knowledge by sellers of the features of the assortment
Your employees should not only know by heart the nomenclature of goods, but also understand how they can be interchanged with each other. For example, if the warehouse ran out of electric grills of a certain model, you can offer the client similar devices with the same set of functions, rather than dryly inform that the purchase is cancelled. Perhaps a person will be interested in an even more expensive model, which will not only ensure the sale, but also increase the amount of money raised.
- Using Mystery Shoppers
These freelancers will help you evaluate the quality of the work of salespeople, see the shortcomings in the organization of work and make timely corrections. You can even carry out such a test purchase with the help of your friends. The main thing is to develop a high-quality scenario and conduct a detailed analysis of the procedure for communicating with the client.
- Implementation of automated systems
Practice shows that the use of CRM systems and specialized 1C programs in the work has a positive effect on the company's activities. Automation of the sales process can significantly increase the speed of operations, organize work with the client base at a qualitatively new level, and optimize the working conditions of personnel.
- Giving some initiative to workers
Do not set too rigid rules for the actions of employees in the sales process. Let them be flexible in dealing with clients. Allow me to offer small discounts in some cases, give cheap accessories, promise free delivery, etc. without your consent in some cases.
Of course, this process should be regulated and carried out within a pre-agreed framework, but at the same time, the likelihood that the client will not leave you without a purchase will increase significantly.
Modern marketing offers many ways to increase sales. Their choice depends on the competitive situation in the market, the level of solvency of the client, the specifics of the product offered for sale, the company's goals at this stage of development. We suggest you consider a few techniques that can help achieve your goals.
It should be based on the characteristics of your target audience, the current market situation, the specifics of your product. Do not prioritize the payback period of the business and the compensation of invested funds - the lack of the right motivation can negatively affect the current profit of the company.
In the event of a stable failure to fulfill the sales plan, review previously prescribed tasks, adjust transaction costs, select new lease terms, find other ways to motivate staff, etc.
Sometimes a competent analysis of the assortment can increase sales in a short time. Free your warehouse from what is not for sale, but only takes up space. Stock up on expensive and high-demand items and ensure they are always available. In this case, the client will not leave you due to long delivery times and the entire product range will be sold out.
Finding ways to differentiate from competitors
It is impossible and unnecessary to constantly reduce the cost of your product because your competitors offer a lower price. Such an approach to pricing policy does not contribute to the influx of solvent buyers and does not guarantee an increase in sales and profits.
From the point of view of marketers, you need to act differently - look for additional benefits for the client and position yourself from this side.
So, if the owner of a nearby auto repair shop is replacing wheels and asks for 800 rubles for his service, you can ask for a thousand, but for this, offer an additional service of packing summer tires for the winter, treat the client with a cup of coffee that he can drink while sitting in a cozy room while you complete his order.
Try to understand how the buyer is moving towards the purchase decision, what factors can cause him to deviate from the path you envisioned, and how to prevent him from wandering off to the side. Think of each step as an important element of the overall sequence of actions.
Try to get as much information as possible from those who have already made a purchase. This will help you not only identify the main problems that impede successful progress towards a deal, but also allow you to develop an optimal customer service procedure.
Information about when to make the first call, when to send a commercial proposal, how soon to review the application and provide feedback - all this will help you to set up the sales funnel in the best possible way and optimize the process of working with customers.
Depending on the scenario of interaction, contact with the client can be carried out in different ways. The further cooperation between you and the prospects for increasing sales depend on how the stages of interaction are completed.
Points of contact can be:
- company website: clear, convenient, informative and well-designed;
- commercial offer: relevant, competent, profitable, with a good design;
- office: conveniently located, equipped, aesthetically attractive, with friendly and qualified staff and parking;
- telephony: a memorable number, a pleasant voice of the operator, competent speech, unobtrusive music, a short waiting period for an operator's response.
You must achieve a positive or at least neutral consumer reaction to the process of communication at points of contact.
Try to offer the client some exclusive conditions. Take, for example, the idea of Starbucks pouring coffee into personalized mugs for patrons. At one time, she became a real breakthrough in marketing and emphasized how important it is for a client to feel the personal approach of sellers to their person.
Think about what kind of “wow service” your company can offer. We are sure that a good team striving to increase sales will have many interesting ideas for their customers.
Reviews are what customers pay attention to first of all when choosing a product or a company that is ready to provide the services they need.
Try to use reviews as advertising and additional expert information. They should contain not only laudatory texts, but also emphasize the functional features of your product, its unique properties.
When working with reviews, follow certain rules:
- Do not limit yourself to a short thank you in response to a positive review. Add important details to your gratitude, emphasize the advantages not noted in the review, point to the opportunity to purchase additional accessories or novelties.
- Respond to negative reviews and don't delete them. If the criticism is justified, acknowledge it and let us know how you will try to solve the problem.
- Respond calmly to custom reviews. Check them with specially formulated questions and, if there is no answer for a long time, delete them with the help of the service support service. In this case, they will not affect your rating.
Think of reviews as one of the tools to increase sales.
To do this, personally follow the statistical indicators in Yandex.Metrica, Google Analytics, Facebook advertising account. Analyze reports on ongoing campaigns, study recommendations.
Try to organize events aimed at increasing the number of sales, using methods that will make it easy to measure the result. The simplest tool in solving this issue are promotional codes.
End-to-end analytics helps to understand which promotion channel is the most effective for the company. Thanks to it, your approach to advertising budget planning becomes more conscious - you see how potential customers react to the placement of contextual and targeted advertising, whether enough banners and ads have been created, etc.
If you have a CRM system, you can set up end-to-end analytics yourself. You can also use the services of advertising agencies.
Be sure to ask the opinion of the customers who made the purchase, and find out the reasons why the person refused it. Interview a few dozen existing and failed clients and ask them the following questions:
Why did you choose (did not choose) our product? What was the main reason for the purchase?
- How can you evaluate the actions of the company's employees?
- What do you think would help us improve our customer experience?
- Customer responses will help you understand existing problems and make changes that improve sales results.
There are quite a few tools available to help you get the job done. Their use can significantly affect your performance. But if you want to achieve a significant increase in sales, approach the solution of the problem in a complex way and completely rethink the process of working with clients, taking into account the recommendations we have given.