As a business owner, gaining customers and making sales is a pretty big deal. So, naturally you wouldn’t want to do anything to sabotage that!
The truth is, so many business owners have every good intention, and yet somehow fail to see that some of their common practices in their shop are exactly what’s preventing their own sales.
Here are 5 simple things you can avoid that may be preventing sales.
#1 – Being Distracted
When a customer enters your shop, what are you doing as the seller? Are you on your phone, checking Facebook? Maybe you opened a little later than expected and you’re sorting through price tags and putting out product? Well, I hate to say it, but the two women who walked in to find gifts left before you even said hello.
Remember, you don’t have to be a social butterfly, but a simple “hello” and “how are you” can go a long way to make someone feel welcome. On busy sales days try to take a moment and acknowledge people to let them know you will get to them shortly and encourage them to look around.
Doing this does two things. First, it shows them you care, makes them feel welcome and reminds them that you want them there. Second, it lets them know that you see them. As in, literally see them. It’s sad but true – small businesses aren’t an exception to shoplifters.
#2 – Not Enough Inventory
Your shop looks great and your product is on point, but things are looking a little barren. A lot of store owners forget that even if you have a plan on how your product will be merchandised, you must think about the empty spaces that will occur as things get sold. (That’s the goal, remember? You want product flying off the shelves!)
Having extra inventory on hand is important for when you sell out of bestselling items or get customers who are hoping to purchase multiples. Of course, be sure to have that surplus of inventory hiding out of site ready to refill as items are being sold throughout the week. If you start running out of inventory and notice an empty shelves or racks, just move things around. This is a great strategy as it makes your space look a little fresh and new each time customers stop by.
#3 – Too Much Inventory
Wait- didn’t I just tell you that having not enough inventory is the problem? Yes! But, having too much inventory can kill your sales, too!
Just picture that family member who has a million figurines, frames and who knows what else in their living room, so that you can barely find place to sit or set your coffee mug down? The same idea can be used here. When your shop has a surplus of inventory taking up space, it can be distracting for the customer and can take away from your product’s appearance and worth.
Think of a high-end boutique and what sets it apart from other stores. When you walk in, you can see all the product, but it’s merchandised to show negative space between items, and product is arranged to create interest and feel inviting.
Another issue with overcrowding is that you run the chance of having customers knock something over or cause damage. I suggest approaching different areas of your shop and reviewing displays to help you decide if something needs to be shifted to make for a cleaner appearance or easier reach.
#4 – Pricing Isn’t Clear or Consistent
Your shop is merchandised beautifully with your products visible for the world to see, but what happens when someone comes in and looks at an item that they are interested in? Typically, they’ll look for the price tag or signage to tell them the cost.
So, what happens when they can’t find one?
Sometimes you get lucky and customers will ask the price. Other times, you get someone who will simply put it back and walk away. People may make assumptions when they don’t see a price listed, especially if you’re selling specialty items like handmade goods or artwork. They may think it’s going to be out of their price range or that they must make an offer, both of which can turn them away. You want to make sure that customers can clearly identify how much your products cost, so be consistent keep the prices easily visible for shoppers.
#5 – Nobody Can Tell Who You Are or What You’re Selling
Being a Jack of All Trades is a compliment, but when it comes to your brand it’s important to know what you want to be known for. When someone walks into your store, can they tell what kind of business you are within the first five seconds? Or are you a little all over the place, selling a mix of products that don’t fall under a common category or theme? An example of this would be a shop selling dog leashes and accessories, but which also has exotic handmade soaps for sale. Do you see the disconnect?
When you’re setting up shop and planning out your product, spend some time thinking about what message you want customers to take away. Who are you trying to invite in to shop? How you set up and the kinds of things you sell will prove to be an invitation to passersby or a “keep walking” sign. You want to be sure your ideal client is seeing it as an invitation! Don’t try to be all things to all people. Be who you are most excited to be known for.