The art of increasing the number of people who visit your store, whether physically or online, into paying customers is called “conversion rate optimization.”
Your conversion rate is calculated as the percentage of purchases compared to the total number of people who came into your store on a specific day.
There’s a few different tips and tricks for how to improve the conversion rate for your store:
- Upselling and add-ons: Selling products in a package or complete solution rather than a single SKU. The profit margin generally comes from the second product sold because marketing expenses and fixed costs eat away the margin from the first product. Also, at the point of checkout, either the counter or at the website checkout, provide a range of commonly purchased items as impulse purchases. Another principle of retail merchandising is to place one main product with two companion products next to it, making it easier to upsell.
- Staff Scheduling: The best way to schedule staff shifts is around the peaks in shopping behavior throughout the day. This helps ensure that customers receive the proper attention during these busier periods. Additionally, staff deployment to serve customers instead of tending to routines like stocking shelves or pricing is equally important. Finally, staff must be available to shoppers to encourage sales and improve conversion rates.
- Staff Development & Training: Helpful sales associates who listen to customers and make recommendations can significantly boost conversions. Effectively training employees to help a shopper explore product options, ask about concerns and make helpful recommendations pays dividends. It’s always a great idea to create a collaborative environment by holding regular staff meetings to get everyone involved and on the same page. Incorporating weekly or monthly sales targets with incentives is a great way to boost morale and get staff excited. Employees are the most effective at upselling because they are on the ground, talking to customers, building trust, and making recommendations to the customer based on their needs.
- Keep it moving: Reducing lengthy queues is vital because sometimes customers will avoid stores with long lines because they perceive the wait time will be too long. Unfortunately, long wait times often harm the customer experience. You can overcome this hurdle by placing registers at the back of the store or having multiple checkout counters so that there are numerous shorter lines instead of one long line. An alternative to this is ditching POS all together by going mobile.
- Plan the layout: There’s proven consumer psychology at play when a customer steps into a store. These insights can be bolstered by clever retail merchandising to improve conversion rates. For example, your store’s first 5-15 feet is the “decompression zone,” whereby the customer soaks in the store environment and decides whether to continue their journey. Additionally, studies have shown that people tend to turn to whichever side they tend to drive on when they walk into a store. For example, people in the US, you’re more than 90% likely to turn right when you enter a store, whereas people in Australia, the UK, or New Zealand turn left. This means the direction that customers turn towards is your “power wall,” where you should display high-margin goods and ensure it’s well-stocked, clean, comprehensive, and easily navigated. You should also aim to remove excess merchandise from the store by having just one size of each product on the floor to keep it from looking cluttered.
As a note, if you’re starting conversion rate is truly abysmal (think 15% or lower), you should check your marketing. You may be mis-marketing your store, bringing in shoppers expecting something completely different than what you offer.
With these tips and tricks in mind, you should rethink your marketing and communications if your starting conversion rate is 15% or lower.