How to Improve Sales in Retail

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Advertisements are one way businesses try to increase retail sales.
Advertisements are one way businesses try to increase retail sales. (Image: manufacturer of lamp for advertisement image by TekinT from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>)

Retail businesses earn their profits from merchandise sales. Therefore, to increase their profits each year, they need to either increase prices or sales. The latter option is usually preferred, since increasing costs can often drive customers away. Increasing retail sales can occur through advertising, keeping accurate inventory records and many other methods.

Research your customer's needs. Doing so will help you sell more merchandise, instead of producing products and trying to create interest. One way to determine need is to review past sales. Check which items have sold best and if a particular product should be discontinued due to poor sales.

Keep a current inventory list. This will enable you to stock the right amounts. Without a list, you may have to dispose of considerable inventory, especially if it easily spoils or quickly goes out of style. You will thus lose profits. Knowing what needs to be purchased in large quantities versus small quantities can help when reordering inventory, ultimately saving you more money.

Explore new advertising methods. If your company primarily uses one method, such as television ads, you may only be reaching one consumer demographic. Consider branching out to other advertising methods such as newspaper and radio to reach new customers. Also, do not underestimate the power of word of mouth. Friends telling other friends the good deals they found at your store can be a powerful source of new revenue for your business.

Reevaluate the prices of underperforming products. It is true that some will not sell well due to product deficiencies, but price can also be a deterrent. Consider offering special deals to see if price really is the culprit.

Create product showcases and displays. Customers are drawn to products creatively displayed at aisle ends. You can also put them in the center spotlight of your store and create the illusion these products are superior.

Improve your return policy. Many customers develop shopping habits, frequenting familiar, reliable stores carrying products they love. However, if you can offer them significantly less hassle in the shopping process, you can win them over. Offering easy returns on unwanted merchandise is one way to do this, and it can be a deciding factor for some.

Offer various payment options. If you do not currently accept credit cards, update your technology. Shoppers today do not want to deal with needing the right amount of cash, especially when making impulse purchases.

Take customer suggestions seriously. If you are receiving numerous customer complaints or suggestions about how to improve your store, take action. They are the ones bringing you revenue, so give them what they want.

Update parking. Customers do not want to spend hours looking for parking, just to get in your store. They will simply go somewhere more accessible. Having plenty of available parking will no longer make visiting your store a complicated adventure.

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