What does the buyer want? What is long-term customer loyalty and what is its benefit? What are the main principles for increasing sales? What needs to be changed in your store for sales growth right now? All these questions are answered by SR expert in the field of management and development of fashion retail Maria Gerasimenko.
What does the buyer want?
A huge number of specialists are studying consumer behavior throughout the era of consumption. Research, observation are continuously conducted, special equipment and software are developed, and all this in order to conquer the market, fall in love with the buyer in their company, achieve their loyalty and regular purchases. In other words, make more money.
Studies show that consumer preferences are constantly changing, and it is not surprising: generations, communication channels, fashion, and worldview are changing. And our task is to understand what the buyer wants today?
The former consumer trend: to clearly demonstrate their capabilities, to strive every time to come to crowded places in new clothes and shoes, to wear spectacular shoes at the expense of comfort. Experts note that for the past 5 years, it has noticeably changed to convenience and reasonable consumption. And the economic situation in the country is increasingly pushing customers instead of buying a new pair to once again take their favorite shoes for repair. The introduction of labeling and, as a result, price increases can serve as a catalyst for strengthening these trends.
Thus, the buyer began to buy less, less often, it was better to take care of shoes and more often go to shoe shops. This is the main reason for the decline in sales in the shoe segment.
How to keep the profitability of the store? Make efforts to increase the conversion and complexity of the check.
Two main principles of increasing sales.
First of all, these two parameters are affected by the professionalism of store sales managers. The necessary skills are acquired by regular training and certification of personnel on the product, sales and customer-oriented service.
A common mistake of many retailers is to hope that the seller will be motivated by a percentage of sales. In the secret dreams of such owners of the shoe business, the seller initially knows how to sell, he seeks information on the product himself, regularly reads books on customer focus and sales. However, reality is different. The "ski effect" is working: "I already know that you won’t earn much in this store," "This customer certainly won’t buy it!" I’ll only waste my time. I feel like a mile away! ” As a result, when a director or owner enters the store, sellers in chorus declare that there are no buyers.
In fact, there are buyers, but there are fewer. At the same time, competition has become higher. You have only one way out - to make your employees better, service in the store and make as many customers loyal as possible.
There are manufacturers who conduct full training on their product. Some suppliers have at least a collection of materials (brochures, presentations), which describe in detail the properties of the product, its quality and advantages. Even if the situation is such that your suppliers do not have materials, the search for information and the training of employees will fall on your shoulders.
The task of the store manager is to provide sellers with all the information about the product (find, collect, structure, conduct training) and regularly check their knowledge.
In addition to knowledge of the product, the seller must be well versed in sales techniques. Unfortunately, people are not born with effective sales skills. There are rare representatives with a high level of emotional intelligence, however, even they need training.
It’s like with a car license - it’s impossible to drive a car safely without knowing the rules of the road, driving skills, a sense of size and driving experience. It seems strange to us to expect from a man who first got behind the wheel that he will show the skill of a racing driver. However, it is precisely these hopes that we pin on new and untrained sellers.
Long-term customer loyalty - what are the benefits?
A simple example: on average, one person purchases 3 pairs of shoes per year. The average cost of a pair is 4 rubles (you can substitute the numbers of your store in this calculation). It turns out that one person spends about 500 rubles a year on shoes. For 13 years, the amount of purchases of one person will be equal to 500 rubles. The number of buyers of a shoe store over this period of time is measured by thousands of people. The higher the customer loyalty to your store, the more profit you will get!
What needs to be changed in your store for sales growth right now?
1. To begin with, we’ll find out if your sellers are really motivated to change, love their work, respect the management and customers? At first glance, the question may seem trite. However, this situation has recently occurred in my practice. The name of the store owner and the name of the city have been changed.
The story of Anna, the owner of a shoe store from Samara
The shoe and bag shop “N” has been operating for 7 years. The store staff was hired almost from the opening. The first 3 years, the “N” store was invariably the best among a small network of shoe stores. However, further store sales creeped down steadily.
At some point, sellers began to increasingly ignore the comments and instructions of the head. Gossip began with sellers of other shopping mall stores. The store owner often complained about their hard share, lack of customers and lack of money. Anna saw them as guilty of this - that she cannot provide a suitable assortment (in their opinion), she invests too little in advertising and promotion, and much, much more.
There were no counters in the store, it was not possible to track the conversion. Anna was afraid to lose employees, motivating her fears that "it’s better not to find it anyway." So the store owner finally lost credibility with the staff.
Once Anna received a call from the manager of the shopping center, and she was informed that a complaint had been written to the store. A customer who wanted to buy boots and asked for the right size received an answer: "We don’t have your sizes, go to another store!" By the way, the woman had the 40th shoe size, and there were enough models of this size in the store. It turns out that the buyer was literally kicked out of the store.
Anna turned to us for advice in order to understand what to do next. Fear of losing sellers did not leave her.
What we recommended to do:
Having dismissed the employees, Anna decided to work for several days in the store on her own in order to feel the atmosphere, personally communicate with customers and, finally, to understand whether the traffic had really dropped below the permissible limit and the store should be closed.
On the very first day, she noticed that there was a mess in the utility room. Parsing a bunch of things scattered around the corners, she found interesting gizmos that could well become worthy exhibits of the capital show “Field of Miracles”: esoteric books, printouts of women's leadership trainings, knitting sets, several crossword puzzles, yellow newspapers and much more. Downloading the history of site visits from a working computer showed that sellers watched movies, took part in webinars and corresponded on social networks. Conclusion - the employees simply had no time to work.
In the few days that Anna worked herself, sales grew three times!
New sellers were found within 10 days. They have a desire to work, they have been trained in the product and very soon they will undergo sales training.
Did you recognize yourself in this story? Act immediately!
2. Train the staff in the assortment with which you work. In some cases, suppliers direct their ambassadors to train retailers. Find out if your suppliers have this option. If there is no such option, study the history of the brands, designers presented in your store, the properties of the materials from which shoes, bags, accessories and shoe care products are made. Find out the features of caring for your range. Make a bright, colorful presentation, print and distribute promotional materials to staff, conduct training with your company.
3. Conduct sales training for employees. It is important to choose a business coach not by the price of training, but by the feedback of your colleagues, competitors and market reputation. You will see that the cost of an effective training will pay off many times.
4. If you still do not have visitor counters, install them immediately! They will tell you how effectively your sellers work. Counters are inexpensive, and the information they provide is priceless!
5. Develop a system of effective staff motivation. Down with the salary, consisting of a fixed part and a percentage of sales! Yes, hello payment for the result in the form of increased conversion and complexity of the check!
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