Last weekend, I was at the mall and it was interesting for me to watch the tactics used by different stores to boost the end of the year sales and finish strong in 2018. As I walked through the mall, I saw some stores that had lots of people inside it and some stores that barely had anyone inside it. This got me curious as to what the stores that had lots of people inside it were doing differently than the stores that barely had people shopping. One of the answers that readily came to my mind was the difference in sales strategy. Let me quickly admit that I recognize that the reason why a store may lack customers might be much more than not having a sales strategy but not having a way to boost sales definitely ranks high on the list of causes.
The greatest mistake entrepreneurs make is to assume that once you set the business up, sales will be boosted all by itself. And when customers tell me about how their quality products are constantly being rejected in the marketplace, I ask them “where is your sales and marketing strategy?” Most will usually say they have none while few would say “social media.” Social media is not a sales strategy, it can be part of a sales strategy. I’m not going to dwell much on that today but since it’s festive season, I wanted to quickly share some ideas that you can use to boost sales in your business. These ideas will work whether your business is online or offline.
1. Use scarcity: As I walked through the mall this weekend, scarcity was a recurrent theme among all the retailers. Almost every shop had deadlines in which buyers could make a purchase or they risk losing out on the offer. This sales strategy works every time and can help you boost your sales this festive season. I remember years ago, I wanted a handbag and because the store stated in its advert that sale prices will be on for two days only, I made sure I woke up as early as possible to go and buy the purse. After my purchase, I traveled out of town and didn’t have any reason to go back to the mall until two months after. I decided to stop by at the store only for me to find out that the purse I so much stressed myself to buy two months earlier was drastically cheaper than what I paid for it. So, yes, scarcity works every time as it forces consumers to spend immediately.
2. Embrace cross-marketing: I’ve seen some stores engage in cross-marketing and I love the idea. Cross-marketing is when two or more stores come together to promote their businesses. For example, if a consumer makes a purchase at store A, at the end of the transaction, store A issues a receipt to the consumer which has a shopping coupon for store B. Who doesn’t love to save money? This works well for most stores because even if the consumer had no intention of stopping by the other store, the temptation of “saving money” using a discount coupon is almost impossible to resist. As an entrepreneur, you can also partner with other businesses and use cross-marketing as a strategy to boost sales during this period.
3. Upselling: This is one of my all-time ways of boosting sales. It works any time of the year and it could mean a big difference at the end of the day. Upselling is when you suggest an additional complimentary item(s) to a customer at the end of their purchase. Upselling works especially when the customer feels like they are saving money and there are different tactics you can use in implementing this. One way is when customers make a purchase and you offer them an additional item(s) in which the individual prices are higher than combined prices. This makes a customer say yes more than they say no. Simply put, irresistible!
4. Give something for free: It’s amazing what people do when they hear the word “FREE.” What you are giving away for free should not eat deep into your profit and it shouldn’t necessarily be something the consumer can use directly, but it should be free. Yes, you read that right, make it free and people will buy. Let’s say you selling children’s clothing, you can give away affirmative wristbands for free and this offer would be strong enough to boost sales in your business
5. Offer coupons that can be used at a later date: This strategy works so well and one retail store where I sometimes buy my children’s clothing uses this strategy and I fall for it every time. The strategy works in this manner. Make a minimum purchase of $50 and get a $25 off $50 coupon that you can use at a later date in the store. There’s no limit to the amount of $25 coupons you can get for a limited time only. The initial purchase is set for a limited time so also is the latter use of the savings coupon. This drives a lot of traffic to the store and people will go out of their way to buy items they don’t need just to get the coupons to be used some other time. 90 out of 100 times, people forget about the coupons and never come back to use them and even when they remember to use them, there’s usually nothing to buy as the stores would have jacked up the prices of most items.
Which of these strategies have you tried in the past and which ones will you try? Join the conversation in the comment box and remember to share this post with a friend.