Retail mistakes that prevent sales from growing during a crisis
13.05.2015 10142

Retail mistakes that prevent sales from growing during a crisis

Crisis is a psychological concept rather than a financial one. The fact that during this difficult period people do not stop shopping is a fact. The question arises, since people never stop buying what then stops them? Together with practicing expert Vladimir Thurman, we figure out how to attract a buyer to the store and motivate us to buy what mistakes retailers make when trying to escape from reality.

Since the crisis is a psychological concept, people stop making so-called spontaneous purchases. They start to approach their spending more meaningfully. And here, again, the creation of the concept of a unique selling proposition, the materialization of values, which makes business, comes out on top. Since 99% of shoe companies are not ready for this, of course we will now see that traffic decreases, sales decrease, staff problems arise because more prepared people leave and thus profits fall and the business launches the so-called "downward business development cycle" which can lead, in principle, to bankruptcy. Therefore, our task now is to launch a "bottom-up business cycle" in this situation, which begins with attracting customers to the store. In order to understand how to correctly do this, it is necessary to avoid a number of mistakes, failure to adhere to which can lead to irreparable consequences.

Error No.1. Inability to work correctly with the client base

There are several reasons for this. The first reason is the lack of time. The second reason is that the people who should be in charge of this part of the work don't really do it. The third is that work with the customer base is put on some secondary places and is not a priority. All this leads to the fact that natural demand begins to decline. Most of our companies rely on natural demand, that is, people just came, bought and left. The lack of spontaneous purchases results in empty sales areas. The head of the company is not able to influence the situation. Conventionally, in such bad times, the client base is reduced to 30%. It is probably not worth mentioning that the base should be divided into segments for different groups of clients: new clients (one-time), existing (which can be divided into "regular" and VIP clients), and lost clients. And only after a clear understanding of your customers can you start working with the base.

Error No. 2. Lack of a clear, consistent system of interaction with these customers

How many times has it happened that you came to one good coffee shop and every time, over the years, the staff asked an absolutely stupid question: "Do you have our card?" “No,” you answered. After that, the staff silently punches the check, calculates you and, at best, wishes you a good day. I have never seen more "squandering" of money in my life. What should have happened according to the canons of retail? As soon as the client says to you “No, I don't have a guest card,” he immediately needs to be given a questionnaire, a small discount or maybe a cup of cappuccino as a gift, or whatever. Trust me, there are countless worthless bonuses that you can use to keep a customer. You just need to "turn on the brain" in order to figure out how to make the client want to leave information about himself. That is, one way or another, a system of repeated contacts should be built with him. There are a large number of competitive offers, and therefore it is very important to make sure that a person, having entered your database, is likewise immediately connected to the repeated contacts system. And here in the first place does not even come to contacts with existing clients (we will talk about this later), but contacts with those clients who did not buy anything from us, because, most likely, these people, having come to us, were interested in some information and for some reason unknown to us, right now the purchase was not made. Therefore, it is necessary to systematically interact with them so that, perhaps after the eighth or ninth contact, a real purchase is made.

Error No. 3. Do not take on the risks that the client is experiencing

How many times have you observed that when buying, for example, shoes in a store, you are told that the warranty for shoes, for example, is two or three months? Although under consumer protection law, the warranty is two years. And even after two years I can prove my case. Thus, a kind of vicious circle turns out. On the one hand, business does not trust customers; on the other hand, customers do not trust business. Because of this lack of trust, everyone suffers - both customers and, of course, business in the first place. Therefore, if now you show, or come up with (and we know that big money in business is not earned, but they are invented!) That you can offer some kind of additional guarantee, then, of course, the problem will be solved. And we again dwell on the fact that not using guarantees, unwillingness to take on and not inform the target market that you are ready to take on additional risks (precisely during a crisis), of course, leads to the fact that the company again loses money. And as soon as the demand decreases in the market, accordingly, new customers stop coming to the company. A crisis comes to the company.

Error No. 4. Lack of customer acquisition channels

Many Russian companies find themselves defenseless in the face of our internal crisis or maybe even an external crisis. This is what, until now, aleatherg the question: "Where do your clients come from?", We hear the answer: "We are recommended to everyone." If you ask the next question - "Name at least one, two, five ways of active recommendation marketing", the answer is complete silence. That is, despite the fact that an entrepreneur knows that the best way to attract customers is through recommendations, he does not use any active tools to develop this communication channel.

Error No. 5. Neglecting Affiliate Programs

Our entrepreneurs, unfortunately, do not know how to use, or simply do not use partner alliances. They keep investing in useless ads that don't get them any customers. At the same time, they do not take the advertising budget that they literally throw into the air and make some special offers out of it, consult with marketers, consultants, and, accordingly, make a good affiliate program. The situation repeats itself literally in a mirror image, if we recall the past economic crises. That is, now the entire restaurant business, entertainment centers, nightclubs are already closing. Nobody actually walks in them. We saw the same thing in 2009. It was in the midst of the economic crisis, using only partner programs, that we tripled the size of the client base of one of the entertainment establishments in our city. The size of the client base was small, but it should be noted that the loyal customer category at this establishment included people who came two or more times a week. That is, they are frequent guests. It is precisely the number of such guests that has tripled from 200 to 600 in four months. And this is only an affiliate program. Not using affiliate marketing tools in this regard will significantly reduce the profits of the business. That is, for a pretty penny, a ruble, five hundred, a thousand - companies are losing very serious money.

Error No. 6. Inadequate sales staff sales skills.

The company, which during the crisis begins to cut the payroll, begins to cut bonuses, privileges and so on. As a rule, this leads to the fact that the most powerful and trained sales managers, who do not want to lose the level of comfort that they had, start either on their own or due to certain circumstances, to look for some alternatives. That is, the companies have the least qualified sales personnel, who in the overwhelming majority of cases communicate absolutely disgustingly with the clients of this establishment. Which is immediately reflected in size, sales volume and repeat purchases and calls. Unfortunately, in most organizations, the leader has no idea what is really going on, as they say, on the front lines, on the line of fire where the last interaction between the client and the business employee takes place. And it's not always sales staff. It can be security guards, a cleaner, accountants ... Here the "rudeness" of these people is often outrageous. And we think "of course, the customers stopped buying", although in fact, the main reason is the staff, staff and again staff ...

Error No. 7. Not understanding the target customer

Many entrepreneurs do not understand which category of customers they need to concentrate their advertising impact on. That is, in this case we are talking about the fact that most advertising calls do not create a reason for the best customers to come to this store, to this company. We trade everything for everyone, but it's impossible to be everything for everyone. If you know that 80% of your business comes from 20% of your target customers, then it’s most logical to make a special offer to identify the target customer before he makes or does not make a purchase in the business.

Mistake # 8. Lack of controls for upsell, crosssell and downsell.

Unfortunately, some companies have not implemented these already well-known marketing tools; they still do not know what upsell, crosssell and downsell are. Upsell is selling more of the same product. Crossell is an additional sale to the main sale. Downsell is when a person refuses upsell or crosssell, and this is an additional sale, the purchase size of which is less, but the profit for which is actually greater. And even if there is any company that is convinced that they have it, then they usually have no control over these instruments. Let me give you an example. The restaurant manager did not have the opportunity to install video cameras, any bugs in the restaurant, but it was necessary to analyze the work of the staff. Then it was decided to put an included dictaphone in the breast pocket of each waiter. On the “dead” Monday in the restaurant business, sales increased by 14% thanks to the voice recorder. This manager says, "I didn't even listen to these tapes." I described this story on my Facebook page, which has been actively discussed for a long time. People asked: "How does it happen?" It happens. Therefore, it is precisely the lack of control tools that is a critical mistake.

Error No. 9. Not using the phone as a sales tool

They may now object to me: “What about grocery stores? How to use the phone there? " When your staff has nothing to do, they get paid, they get paid, plus they get a percentage of the sales, most likely (that is, whether they work or not, they get paid). If you really see the customer reduction rate at such hours, then your task is to give the staff phones, give them some special offer that they can make even in the grocery store. If imagination is not enough, just take and simulate what Metro or other large federal chains does. Use telephone marketing to actively regulate customer demand. That is, you need to use the telephone and telephone sales.

Mistake No. 10. Lack of so-called "backend" in any kind of business

A "backend" is typically the next offer that is usually offered to a customer after they have made a major purchase in your business. I repeat once again - it doesn't matter what kind of business you have, it can be a shoe store, it can be the sale of luxury real estate, whatever. In this case, if you know your client, if you are in business in order to make money, and not in order to sell concrete, then your task is to come up with what he will buy after he buys your main product. What should he buy. It is clear that not everyone will buy, but there will be some percentage of 10, 20, 30, 40, and if this is a really valuable offer, it will be much more expensive.

Error No. 11. The use of so-called image or commercial advertising

This type of advertising does not use direct response advertising. It is rather difficult to explain in such a short piece what is the difference between image advertising, or a simple commercial offer (selling offer, product offer) from advertising built on the principles of direct response advertising or “direct response advertising”. Image advertising only offers a product, but "direct response advertising" makes a special offer, it necessarily sets its expiration date. She definitely establishes some special, special way of contacting the business, so that you can very clearly track which channel of attracting customers and how many sales we received. That is why it is precisely the replacement of image advertising or just such a selling product advertisement with “direct response advertising” that can also bring a plus there and additionally, of course, customers. And also prevent the further waste of money.

Error No. 12. Ignoring the Internet as a way to attract customers

Now there is not a single business left where it is impossible to use the Internet to attract customers. Private kindergartens, dry cleaners, flower shops, wedding salons, tourist travel, sales of household appliances, cars, apartments and so on. That is, everyone now, one way or another, is trying to use the Internet to attract customers. But since most companies, unfortunately, are not yet competent in how to properly attract customers from the Internet, they are forced to maintain large staffs of salespeople, or give money to some more expensive types of advertising, and not use the Internet to attract customers. Now there are services that help in literally an hour and a half to make a one-page site yourself, even if a person does not understand anything about site building at all. In this regard, I really liked the service that I can recommend - Very simple and convenient service. I can say that if you want to test the service and see how quickly and easily you can make a website with your own special offer, then just go to the page and enter the promo code. You can get a free monthly premium account. A premium account allows you to create an unlimited number of one page sites. Enter promo code "TurboThurman". Once you have made a one page website from its page, simply post a link to this offer on social media

Error No. 13. Not using direct mail

Despite the fact that now we have the era of digital communications, many have stopped using direct mail. And if you use it, then use, of course, badly. At some negotiations, I met with the owner of a fitness center, which is a candidate of economic sciences. He is a fairly wealthy person who has his own marketers and so on. As a result, their fitness center is not that it ceased to exist, people simply stopped going there. Everyone knows this fitness center, it is located in the city center. And this man proved to me, blushing and turning pale, that he had a brilliant marketer, who is also a candidate of economic sciences, made the right direct campaign, which did not work. I asked to show me this letter. The first thing I saw was this letter in a white envelope. No one will open a white envelope. Most likely, they will take it somewhere to put it, or it may immediately be lowered into the bin. I opened this envelope. There was no personal treatment. That is, it was an advertising selling product. There was no personal appeal, there was no valuable information for a person that could help him solve some of his problems. There was no special offer for him to use it (maybe a free trial workout). I know now they offer months of free training, months. Come, three months of free training. Just come! There was nothing like this in this letter. And while this man continued to be confident in his innocence. But nothing happened, and therefore this fitness center went bankrupt.

Error No. 14. Inability to use PR tools to increase brand awareness

When the company begins to engage in PR, they PR only themselves. And business, no matter how much it promotes itself, is not interesting to any target client. Who is interested in the target customer? He is interested only in himself and no one else. Therefore, if you want your PR to work, your PR should be about your customers. These should be articles about your customers, these should be events about your customers, these should be comments from the stars, but again about your customers. And it should always be reflected that you are a carrier of information that provides this value to your market.

Error No. 15. Lack of special events

Both to attract new customers and for existing customers. Three categories of events that could be used: events for attracting new clients, for existing clients and for VIP clients. Here are three categories of activities that you just don't use. And if someone uses them, then such events have no history. Here's a look at how small unknown cities are promoting themselves. For example, in Western Europe. Some kind of a beer festival and everyone goes to this small city once a year on the same day to attend this celebration. What do you think this holiday is? This is a special event to attract new customers, brand new customers. Therefore, not using such events is a very serious mistake.

Error No. 16. Non-use of hidden reserves and assets

It can be business contacts, it can be suppliers, it can be other customers of suppliers. That is, it may be some kind of intangible resource, which is in business, which could be turned into money in a difficult economic situation. This may be the non-use of your knowledge and your professional experience. If you, for example, are the director of a car service and know how you can take both two and three times the volume of sales, then the moment will come when you can’t double the volume of sales already in your car service. And then you stop growing up, but you can grow horizontally. You can develop some kind of system of seminars, or superclasses for other car service managers and help them increase sales, and earn even more money on this than if you were involved in increasing sales in the business.

Error No. 17. To take money from business at the peak of growth

If you correct all previous mistakes in your situation, this will inevitably lead to the fact that you will have much more opportunities than your competitors. You will have much more customers, there will be much more sales and you will accordingly have much more profit. The biggest mistake is if, for example, sales went up, even during a crisis, the business owner or owner begins to take out this money. Therefore, you can just multiply and become a monopolist, or increase at least the market share.

Error No. 18. Not using barter

Not using barter to receive, perhaps, some advertising products, services, and so on. If you do not use barter in order to cover your needs in business, then you lose profit. You must use the money. And, as a rule, the cost of money is much higher than the cost of barter, because when paying for barter, you are laying a certain share of profit. So you get products or services at a lower price than if you paid in cash for them. Thus, when you do not use barter, this leads to the fact that you spend your cash and, accordingly, lose the financial potential that you could use if you used barter, and your money would go to some other more important questions.

If your business doubles, then this should not even be surprised. Why? Because, even if the sales volume increases by 10%, thanks to each instrument, it is not something that will double, but increase by 180%.

Crisis is more of a psychological concept than a financial one. It is a fact that during this difficult period people do not stop shopping. The question arises, since people never stop ...
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