Unexpected purchases are often the items that add the most profitability to your retail store. If you rely on only purchases backed by careful calculations and analytics, a lot of opportunities to make a sale will pass you by.
It’s important to know how to anticipate these unexpected purchases and set up your store to draw customers’ attention to more products. This has the dual benefit of giving your staff more to do, keeping them engaged and motivated.
Here’s how to do it.
The Surprise Factor – Using Discovery to Raise Sales
The discovery of finding a precious new treasure is what makes shopping so fun and exciting for many people. If you want customers to buy more products from you, try to incorporate an element of surprise.
Here’s an example: when you walk into a clothing store, do you enjoy seeing the same types of clothes lined up on a rack like expressionless military uniforms? Some might, but most shoppers would rather see a little diversity and enjoy discovering something unexpected – like a retro, 1980s shirt among the newer items.
Be creative, and mix up your wares a little. Still keep your products in a logical order, but adding a little surprise here and there will get shoppers interested in looking around some more, even if the surprise in question is not necessarily what they came into your store to purchase.
Set Up Your Store to Look Great
If you own a store, you already know that appearance is extremely important. The creativity you plan to employ in using serendipity to improve sales should therefore, also be added to your store’s design – both interior and exterior.
Add unexpected contrasting colors to racks and displays you want your customers to look at first, or even deliberately add a “fault” or a visual “mistake” in organizing products and placing your displays.
You will find that these unexpected visual details will grab hold of customers’ attention and enhance your store’s ability to draw traffic to the elements you want people to see.
It would also be a good idea to remove clutter, especially from your decompression zone (the area comprising the first 5-15 feet shoppers take as they walk through the door). When customers see that this area is neat, tidy and containing a few welcome surprise products to sink their teeth into immediately, you’ll already have them hooked.
Staff Your Store According to Incoming Traffic
Many retailers make the mistake of calling in more cashiers and helpers during times when they know they get the most profits. This is a big mistake that could cost you a lot of money due to lost opportunities.
It’s far better to staff according to traffic, rather than profit. By doing so, you will not only maintain your profits, but you can actually increase them.
Imagine having a lot of people helping out when a large number of customers walk in to look for something – or even not knowing what to look for, like when you have a sale. You will then have enough employees to comfortably assist everyone to find what they need, and your store’s reputation for being friendly and helpful will grow even more!