Four Easy Tips to Train Store Associates to Increase Sales

Simply placing everything in order, using visually-appealing décor and offering sales-promoting discounts is not enough for a retail store to be able to thrive in today’s competitive world. They have to focus on enhancing their in-store experiences, which is only way they can achieve their ultimate objective of boosting sale.

But ever wondered what is one critical factor shaping customers’ in-store experience? It’s the behavior of store associates. Store managers and executives and either make or break your store’s reputation. Lack of customer-service and sales skills of sales persons can cause you to lose valuable customers because they wouldn’t get the experience they expected.

As such, retail store owners should make sure you provide them regular training to enhance their customer-service skills and contribute towards increasing sales. If you are wondering how to train your store associates, then you should follow the tips below:

Know the personality of your associates

 Each individual has different skills and traits, which require different refining approaches. Before plunging into training your sales associates, you should try to understand their personality traits. While some associates are very amiable and social, others may be curt and “unfriendly”. Respect each individual’s unique traits and try to embrace the diversity. This will help you know the kind of training each associate would require.

Teach them people skills

 Good people skills are a signature of good sales associates. Unless they have the ability to listen to and communicate with people, they are likely to foul up while interacting with your customers. Your customers may have different queries related to your offers. But your sales associates need to have the patience to address them in an effective manner. You can also consider role-playing for inculcating strong people and inter-personal skills in your sales persons. Only good people skills of sales persons can provide a meaningful and fulfilling experience to customers.

Focus on product training

 Your sales associates should know what exactly is it that they are selling. As stated above, your customers will want prompt responses their product-related queries and issues. Sales persons who lack knowledge of your product would be no less than showpieces in your store because they will not able to handle customers queries. This can be a major reason behind customers’ disappointment, which can push your sales down. As such, you have to train your sales associates on various aspects of your product so that are able to provide better customer service.

Choose a modular training approach 

As a retail store owner, you have to ensure that the training goes smoothly, and people grasp and retain most of the new information. This could be a little tricky, but a modular training approach should be able to help you. This form of training involves flexible and brief training sessions instead of rigid and lengthy ones. This approach enables you to train your employees, either before the store opens or after it closes, and accommodate their training needs of all your sales persons in an effective manner.

The Truth About Increasing In-store Customer Visitation Length

If you are a retail store owner, you may be aware of the different challenges involved in keeping the store running. The first challenge that retail store owners have to overcome is grabbing consumers’ attention. You have to make a unique offer that gives your customers a reason to visit your store, and not your competitor’s store. But is getting more foot traffic to your store enough for your survival? The answer is a big no.

Your customers also have to make purchases after visiting your store, not once but repeatedly, so that you thrive in the long-run. But before that, you need to focus on something called the dwell time, which the time your customers spend in your store. As a retail store owner, you have to build customer experiences that make your customers want to spend more time in your store. In order to do so, you have to face a few truths, which are as follows:

Customer visitation length depends on sensory involvement

 Your customers are likely to spend more time in your store if you are able to engage all their senses. Your store should have a visually-appealing design, organized layout, soft background music, aromatic scents and perhaps some snacks to immerse your customers completely. These aspects have a significant effect on your customers’ mood and make them want to stay longer in your store.

Digital technologies are driving customers’ dwell time

 Ever since digital technologies came into the picture, retail stores have found ample opportunities to create memorable in-store experiences. Technologies like VR, AR and artificial intelligence are becoming big in today’s retail world. These have made it possible to create immersive and engaging in-store experiences for customers. You can use devices and gadgets backed by these technologies to showcase products, conduct games and other formats of customer engagement to increase their dwell time.

Training sales associates increase conversions

 A grumpy and unfriendly sales person can simply break your store’s reputation. Their behavior and attitude could be one of the major reasons why customers leave the store and never come back. As such, you have to ensure that you train your sales associates on how they should interact with customers. You should teach them people skills, inter-personal skills and customer-service skills so that they are able to deliver a satisfactory and fulfilling shopping experience to your customers and contribute more towards your store’s conversion.

Your store’s layout increases or decreases dwell time

 It’s obvious that no customer would want to be in a store where products are lying here and there and covered under dust. If you want your customers to spend more time in your store, you need to pay attention to your store’s appeal. Organize your products and place them prominently on shelves so that your customers can shop with any hassle. You should also consider using your brand’s colors to paint your store’s interiors because it increases your brand’s memorability. As such, you need to plan a shoppers-friendly store layout so as to provide your customers the ease they desire and increase their dwell time.

5 Ways to Build In-Store Experiences That Your Customers Would Love

Are you the owner of a retail store? Perhaps you know how challenging it is to get customers drawn to it. The first hurdle that you have to overcome is the low attention span of customers. Unless you are offering something unique, it’s unlikely that they would be interested in visiting your store. You can, however, use the power of different advertising formats, such as outdoor advertising, location-based services and of course, social media to promote your store in a positive light.

But the challenge doesn’t end here. Even if you succeed in getting your customers visit your store, how do you make them come back again? This is where customer retention strategies come to play, and the only way to retain customers is by creating in-store experiences that they would remember forever. Here are a few ways of doing so:

Integrating offline with digital experiences

You should know that customers are no longer confined to only offline these days. Their purchase journey takes an omnichannel path, where brands are required to create multiple touch points and merge customers’ online and offline experiences. Research on their buying behavior and identify different channels they use for shopping. Use data to integrate mobile, web, inventory management, point-of-sale and customer support systems to create a seamless shopping experience for your customers.

Provide some entertainment

 You can give your customers some “retailtainment” so that they have a fun-filled and unique shopping experience. For example, you can call an industry professional or celebrity to deliver a short performance or speech and have a candid interaction with your customers. Do something that will not only increase foot traffic to your store but also give you positive press coverage. You can even use VR to create immersive entertainment experiences in your store. This will engage your customers and make them want to visit your store again.

Engage all their senses

 Nobody would want to enter a store that has a pile of garbage in one corner and products sloppily put on shelves. Your customers will expect you to be a little organized and clean. In order to create a pleasant in-store experience for your customers, you have to engage all their senses. Consider spray a room freshener to make your store smell fresh. Play soft music in the background and make your store visually appealing. Categorize all your products and keep them in different shelves so that your customers find it easier to find what they want. This will surely enhance their experience.

Commit to customer services

 Last but certainly not the least, you need to provide excellent customer services to your customers if you wish to make them fall in love with you. Train your sales persons on how to present themselves and talk to consumers. Consider loyalty and rewards programs in order to make your customers feel valued. Make sure you are able to address any queries related to your products and provide prompt post-sale services to your customers. Providing personalized and useful customer service is a surefire way of enhancing a customer’s in-store experience.

How to Extend Customer Relationships Beyond the Transaction?

Businesses, whether big or small, tend to tackle with one major challenge– acquiring customers and retaining them. Take, for example, you have an amazing store selling all the unique items today’s youngsters would want. You manage to gain their attention and bring them to your store finally. In short, you have “acquired” the customers you were targeting through your advertisements.

Most of these customers make a purchase, and show signs of satisfaction. But there are others who are difficult to please. This presents the second challenge, which is customer retention. How do you retain the customers you have acquired? Well, this is a tricky question to answer. While most businesses succeed in drawing customers to stores, they often find it difficult to make customers keep coming to them.

As a seller, you have to know that the sale process doesn’t end with the transaction. You have to keep offering your customers value so that they keep coming back to you. If you are struggling to do this, here are a few tips that can help you build long-lasting relationships with your customers post sale:

Focus on customer service

 If you wish to foster lasting relationships with your customers, you have to up your customer services. You should focus on providing memorable customer services so that your customers leave your store with a positive impression in mind. You should leverage both online and offline channels to address customers’ queries and proactively resolve their issues.

Give them attention

You may not know but your customers are actually hungry for your attention. So why not give them? One good way to do so is by featuring them in your social channels. You can feature their stories on your blog or e-newsletter or conduct a short video interview that you can share on your YouTube channel. This is a great way to make your customers feel valued.

Encourage feedback from them

 Most sellers may ignore this, but customer feedback is a great way to improve your post-sale customer services. You should encourage your customers to share what they think about you and what you are offering. Both positive and negative feedback will help you understand what they like and dislike. This gives you meaningful insights into your customers’ preferences, and help you take necessary actions.

Conduct loyalty programs

Loyalty programs are a great way to reward customers for their support. Your customers may patronize your store, but they would love you even more if you reward them for being your customer. You can reward them with free samples of your product, discounts or coupons, and gift hampers, which will make your customers feel valued and make them come back to you.

Stay in touch with them always

 Last but certainly not the least, you should stay in touch with your customers always. Never forget to send them a “thank you” message after they visit your store for the first time. You should keep sending them relevant offers from time-to-time so that they know you are there to help them. You can even send them greetings on birthdays and special occasions so as to establish an emotional connection with them.

The Ultimate Revelation Of In-store Check-ins and Engagements

What’s driving check-ins?

Today’s digital marketing paradigm revolves around SoLoMo, which is broken into “social”, “local” and “mobile”. This paradigm represents three crucial aspects of marketing success: reach, relevance and resource. Here’s how each term can be connected:

  • Social includes social networks that provide brands the “reach” to customers.
  • Local includes the nearby consumers who can be targeted with relevant offers.
  • Mobile includes several hand-held devices that become the channel resource to deliver offers to the target audience.

If you are a social-media-savvy marketers, perhaps you might have seen the check-ins users give on their profiles when they visit a new place. Much of this has been made possible by the various mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets and other handheld devices, which consumers use boundlessly today.

The GPS and beacon technologies backing various mobile devices have given a great impetus to social media check-ins. After all, turning on “location” of a mobile device can make it easier for users to share their location with their family and friends, who in turn, get to know more about the place.

This is how the SoLoMo paradigm is surfacing out these days. As consumers give more and more check-ins at your retail store, restaurant or event, the more popular you become on social media.

The key to popularity on social media is engagement, which consumer check-ins can surprisingly provide. As such, it’s not uncommon for brands these days to leverage the power of consumer check-ins to attain their digital and social media marketing objectives.

Check-ins and social media engagement: What’s the connection?

 According to eMarketer’s study of mobile usage in the United States, an average American adult spends 3 hours and 15 minutes daily on mobile devices. This behavior of mobile users has pushed marketers to create a well-defined mobile strategy, backed by data. But where exactly on the Internet are they spending so much time? It’s social media, which is only seeing it’s users rising each year.

According to Statista, there were 2.46 billion social media users in 2017, which is expected to become 2.77 billion by 2019. The number is actually huge in terms of penetration, covering 71 percent of Internet users. Given this number, brands cannot help but include social media in their digital marketing strategies to stay ahead of their competitors.

Check-ins are a good example of how location-based marketing campaigns are executed to generate positive word-of-mouth and increase brand loyalty. It provides stores the immediate information they need for knowing who their visitors are, what they are doing and what is it that they desire. You can engage these visitors with relevant offers and check-in rewards, and turn them into loyal customers.

Check-ins are a good way for brands to generate awareness among target audiences. As social media users tend to give a check-in wherever they go, restaurants, clubs, concerts, cafes, and retail stores are finding them a good way to increase engagement on social media. They also come with a touch of convenience as they integrate location-based services to make a brand’s reach more effective and relevant.

How to Drive In-Store Foot Traffic Using Social Media?

The retail business is not a picnic. Besides setting up a well-designed, chic and appealing store, there are so many other retailing aspects that you, as a retail store owner, will have to keep in mind. From procurement to logistics, marketing to after sale services, you will have to keep every process in line. Not to forget your competitors, who are always on the lookout to steal your customers. As such, you really have to provide something unique and extraordinary in order to thrive in the retail scenario.

The most challenging part of running a retail store is driving foot traffic. Most retail stores focus on in-store experiences and personalized customer experiences for attractive more people. But did you know that you can use social media to boost in-store foot traffic? If you don’t, then here are a four easy ways you can do so:

Encourage customers to check-in

In-store check-ins on Facebook, Foursquare, GetGlue or Instagram can boost your popularity on social media. The more check-ins from customers you get, greater your reach will be. You can encourage your customers to check-in at your store and give them gift cards or prizes. Check-ins on social media lets people know about your store, and click on your website for more information. This is also a good way to reach people online and draw them to your brick-and-mortar store.

Provide coupons and discounts

You can use social media to provide discounts and coupons to your customers and asking them to visit your store to get the product. You should, however, use this tactic very smartly. For example, you can offer an attractive discount to select Facebook followers or a coupon to followers who can invite their friends to follow your page. You can ask them to claim the offer at your store, which will increase the foot traffic to your store. But make sure your offer is creative and not over-promotional.

Use influencers

Influencer marketing has received a great impetus ever since social media entered the picture. Influencers are people who have a huge fan-following on social media. These are people who can be given a chance to associate with your brand and generate a buzz about your store. Most popular brands have leveraged the power of influencer marketing in brand promotion. You can approach them and ask them to share your content on their page. This is likely to influence your audience positively and drive them to your store.

Share live videos

Facebook and Instagram provide an amazing feature that allows you to share live videos and stories with your audience. You can use Facebook or Instagram Live or Stories to conduct a contest or a giveaway. These platforms also allow you to share live videos of in-store events and increase the popularity of your store. Live videos are more engaging and share-worthy, which makes your audience interested in you. This is a great way to generate positive word-of-mouth and draw more customers towards your store.

Learn All About Targeting Retail Customers

If you are opening a retail store, you should know that your success will greatly depend on what you offer, who you offer and how you offer. While marketing activities hold immense importance in driving foot traffic to retail stores, the kind of traffic coming into your store is determined by your targeting strategies. There’s one thing you should always keep in mind: you can only succeed in marketing if you deliver the right message to the right audience at the right time. Sadly, most marketers go wrong in choosing the right target audience.

Customer segmentation is something no retail store owner can ignore because it can help them identify customers who would be needing their products or services. It can help identify unsatisfied needs of the individuals and develop products that would satisfy their needs effectively. Wrong targeting can cause a retail store to go crashing down as nobody would buy its product or service. If you wish to refine your targeting, here are a few tips to follow:

Segment your market

 Market segmentation is a good way to start identifying your target market. It’s the process of breaking a large market into smaller markets based on various factors, such as demographic, geographic, income, age, profession, psycho-graphic and behavioral. Segmenting the market helps you understand characteristics of the market and create highly-focused products and campaigns that resonate with a specific audience.

Conduct a survey

 Customer surveys have been a long-standing method of gaining market insights. Talk to your existing customers and also prospective ones about how they feel about your offer. Collect as much data as possible to know your target audience better. This will help you improve your current offering and present your future offers more appealingly.

Know your competitors 

Unless you are monopoly player, you simply cannot evade competition. Experts often recommend that you also know who your competitors are targeting. You can do a research on their ad campaigns and see which one works and which one does not. This will reveal weak spots in your competitor’s campaigns and give you a direction while crafting your own campaigns. Nobody is asking you to be blatant. Be discreet but smart.

Leverage social media

In today’s digital age, social media has emerged as a boon to marketers. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, What’s App, Pinterest and a gamut of other social networks have changed the way retailers target consumers. For example, you can use Facebook’s ad targeting features that let you select an audience based on their interests, location and a range of other factors. Social media helps retail store owners in reaching the right target audience, engaging them and expanding their customer base.

Always make use of data

Last but not the least, you should leverage the power of consumer data in refining your targeting strategy. Data helps you measure the performance of your strategies and helps identify loopholes. Using social media to target audiences can also provide useful data, which you can use to improve your messaging and engagement. Not only will this will you optimize your campaigns but also make informed decisions.

5 Ways to Retain Retail Customers

Take, for example, you have started an amazing retail store selling exciting products for youngsters. You have decorated your space well, organized everything to catch visitors’ attention and sent out promotional messages to your prospects. Then comes those curious visitors one after the other who are interesting in knowing what exactly you are selling. Congratulations! You have successfully crossed the first hurdle in running a retail store, which is getting customers into your store.

Most of your first-time visitors like you and your store so much that they can’t resist but make a purchase. These customers are extremely valuable assets because they have got a good impression in the first time itself. Now comes the next challenge– you have to retain them. You have to make them keep coming to you. This is where most retail store owners fail, including many online e-commerce stores. But don’t worry, you can follow the tips below to retain your customers:

Connect with customers on a deeper level

It might seem hackneyed but personalization is the key to customer retention. You, as a store owner, have to consider your customers as people who have emotions. Try understanding their deepest desires and needs so that you can offer them a solution. Give them thank you notes, discount coupons, and other forms of on-boarding rewards so that they get a reason to come back to you for the second time.

Engage them on social media

 One good way to establish emotional connections with your customers is by reaching them on social networks like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, What’s App and a host of others. These platforms are now home to millions of users who you can reach in a matter of seconds and provide updates, discounts and offers. It’s even better if you can leverage location-based marketing for the purpose. Engaging your customers on social media helps you generate word-of-mouth, increase brand awareness and drive foot traffic to your store.

Consider their criticism

 You can’t please every customer that visits your store. There will be some who would be disappointed because of something or the other. Be open to such people and listen to their criticism. Whatever they say may give you an insight of what needs to change. You can use it to improve your store’s experience. Be open to their suggestions and ideas, and open a forum for them to come and express their opinions.

Hire passionate salespersons

You will be needing help to run a retail store. So why not hire somebody who can actually help you achieve your customer retention goal? Engaged and passionate salespeople who can communicate well tend to provide highly personalized experiences to customers. Train them on how to talk to customers and share your mission with them so that they are able to refine, motivate and dedicate themselves.

Increasing customer retention can be challenging during the initial stages. It’s particularly becoming tougher as competition in the market increases. But you can follow the aforementioned tips to make your first-time customers coming to you for more.


4 Proven Ways to Drive Foot Traffic to Your Retail Store

Are you an owner of a brick-and-mortar store? Then perhaps you may be concerned about foot traffic. Don’t worry, you are not alone. Driving foot traffic is a challenge that every retail store owners face. It’s clearly understood that unless people visit your store, you won’t be able to survive. You need to adopt certain strategies that will increase the visibility of your retail store and draw people towards it.

Foot traffic is actually a very important measure of success for retail stores. More foot traffic means more customer engagement, which ultimately contributes towards higher sales revenues. As store owners, you should strive consistently towards increasing foot traffic to your store. But how do you do that? This can be a tricky question to answer. Don’t worry, there are ways you can do this.

Here are five proven ways to increase footfall to your store:

Improve your store’s appeal

Before anything, you need to make sure your store looks great. While this is quite a subjective topic, you should at least ensure that your store is well-maintained. Keep it clean and organized always. Nobody wants to enter a store with peeling wall paint and broken window panes. Evaluate your store’s physical appeal and make repairs wherever necessary to make it look attractive and neat. This is one good way of getting more visitors into your store.

Use location-based marketing

Location-based marketing is becoming big in the present age of mobile technologies. Geo-fencing and geo-location services backing today’s mobile devices have changed the marketing process by allowing marketers to deliver targeted ads to audiences based on their geographic location. You can leverage location-based services to track a prospect located close to your store and deliver a push notification promoting your offer. This is seen to lure a number of people and encourage them to visit your store.

Focus on search

 Search engine marketing is becoming big these days. If you want to promote the visibility of your store online, you need to invest in search engine marketing. PPC and CPC advertising are good examples of search engine marketing, where rank of a website is pushed higher in the search engine results pages by creating keyword-based ads for a charge. You need to plan relevant search terms (keywords) which people can use for looking up your website, products or services. Search engine marketing is something no brick-and-mortar store can ignore for driving web traffic, which ultimately helps them drive more foot traffic.

Don’t forget social media

 Digital marketing without social media is incomplete. Besides big brands, small retail stores are also leveraging the power of different social media channels to reach audiences and boost engagement. As a store owner, you can promote it on various communities on social networking sites. The choice of social media channels, however, will depend on your audience and budget. You can even get in touch with influencers on Instagram who would spread positive word-of-mouth about your store. Not only will this create awareness of your store’s existence but also inspire people to pay you a visit.

4 Secrets About Location Based Marketing That Nobody Will Tell You

Location-based marketing is not a new concept in the present age of mobile technologies. The Global Positioning System (GPS) present in smartphones and hand-held devices has made it possible for marketers to deliver highly-targeted advertisements to people based on their geographic location. But this requires people to opt-in for the ads by allowing a mobile application to access their location. Location-based marketing leverages the geofencing feature to send alerts and push notifications as a part of their mobile marketing efforts.

The objective of location-based marketing is simple: it seeks to capture the attention of prospective consumers and turning them into actual customers. Whether it’s a retail store, a restaurant or any other business, location-based marketing is a good way to boost reach, acquire more leads and increasing consumer footfalls. As such, location-based marketing is becoming an important part of brands’ marketing strategies.

If you are new to the field of location-based marketing, here are a few secrets about the domain you should know:

Mobile coupons are crucial to location-based marketing success

It’s actually rare to see people without a smartphone these days. Smartphone penetration has jumped considerably in the recent times, giving ample opportunities to brand marketers to reach a wide audience. Marketers can actually make use of people’s smartphone usage patterns and target them with attractive coupons. Such a strategy entices people to visit the store and make a purchase. Mobile coupons are, thus, important for the successful of location-based marketing campaigns.

Location-based marketing requires creativity

Just like any other forms of marketing, location-based marketing also demands creative thinking from marketers. Most of these campaigns use geofence, virtual boundary that limits a geographic location. Geofencing allows marketers to present a promotional message to consumers within a select space. It’s natural for brands to use geofencing close to physical stores. But a little creative thinking in setting target locations can actually help marketers reach a wider market.

Social media is powerful in location-based marketing

 Let’s face the truth: everyone seems to be on social media these days. Unless a brand leverage social media channels, it won’t be able to meet its marketing objectives. The success of location-based marketing largely depends on how a brand uses social media. For example, you can offer special incentives to those consumers who give a “check-in” status on their profile. Using social media is a surefire to boost brand visibility in the local market.

Personalization holds the key

 Last but certainly not the least, marketers have to strike a chord with consumers in order to succeed in a competitive scenario. The best way to do so is by optimizing reviews and push notifications. Positive reviews given by customers paint a good picture of brand and empowers its position. It can boost search engine rankings, drive website traffic and influence consumers’ buying decisions in a positive manner. It’s also important to pay close attention to the content, context and timing of push notifications so that the campaign proves effective in terms of reach and conversions.