Stock Management

10 retail tips to increase sales in your store

The modern convenience store needs to think outside the box now more than ever. With more competition, a younger customer base and new technologies, retailers need to approach how they run their business with new thinking and new initiatives. So, we’ve outlined 10 retail top tips on how to increase convenience store sales, below:

1. Marketing to customers 

Marketing to your customers is about standing out from the competition. What is it your shop offers the community? Look around your shop and think like a customer. Then, ensure you have a clean and tidy shop front and signage to attract passing trade. 

Other tips include: 

  • Set a budget and keep track of what works and what doesn’t.  
  • Advertise what makes you unique, including new products your competition may not be selling.  
  • Consider loyalty schemes for your customers to encourage return visits, increasing your store sales.  
  • Capture customer contact details so you can send them special offers/events. 

2. Shop layout and merchandising 

Ensure your shop layout is inviting to customers. Highlighting key categories will offer a better experience for customers, as well as help to increase sales. Is your store easy to navigate and work out where products are? 

Tills should give an ‘all over’ view of the store. This will help anticipate queues, help you see when certain stock needs replenishing, and spot any incidents of theft. Make the customer journey easy. Is it easy for a customer to decide? How easy is it for first time customers to find what they want quickly? And, can shelves be easily re-stocked without getting in the way of customers? Ensure your high margin products are at eye level and take the time to face up products regularly. 

3. In-store display 

Walk round your store - do your displays make you want to pick up more items? If not, consider adding more eye-catching displays in high traffic areas such as aisle ends and the front of your store to encourage customers to pick up items as soon as they enter. 

For more information on cross selling and upselling, please read 'What is upselling in retail and how do you implement it?' and 'How can cross-selling boost your retail sales?'.

Displays can support local events, seasons or products, and should take advantage of suppliers marketing initiatives. Be sure to rotate your promotions to give customers an exciting experience, and consider running trials on new products, tastings and giveaways to grab customers attention and help new products succeed. 

4. Digital engagement 

Ask yourself… 

  • Could using technology enhance the experience in your store?
  • Can your store take contactless payments?  
  • Would online ordering help increase sales?  
  • Would electronic shelf labels make your store more efficient? 

Consider how easy your store is to find on Google and make sure your Google My Business listing is correct. Have you got a social media account? This is a great platform to engage with your community. Ensure posts are engaging and relevant. Humanise your store by sharing photos of your team and help make them more approachable.   

5. Retail innovation 

Being innovative will help separate you from the competition. Are you implementing new ideas or new services? Are you making brave decisions to improve customer experience and add value? Make sure you’re not taking unnecessary risks before knowing it’s worth it. Ask yourself why you’re making the change and how you’re going to test it. Use what you’ve achieved in the previous year to benchmark your business activities for the upcoming year. 

Of course, one of the simplest ways to innovate is with an EPoS system like PayPoint OneThe next generation platform offers a total solution - EPOS, bill payments and integrated card payments in one device. With its advanced reporting and analytics, including a wide range of promotions – you can always stay ahead of your competition and make your business more profitable.  

6. Effective ranging 

Think about your customers and local community. What products would encourage them to continue to visit your store? Consider what is going to make an attractive product mix, and start with a core range that will give customers a good selection that fits their needs and budget.  

Remember to balance growth with margin and to utilise sales data to make calculated decisions. A good range may consist of 80% best-sellers and 20% new lines.  

7. Customer service and community 

Good customer service is more than just being friendly. It’s making customers feel welcome so that they want to come back, repeatedly. First impressions are important, so make sure the first display they see is pleasing and staff great customers, making eye contact.  

Deal with any customer complaints in a professional manner and let customers know what you’ve done off their feedback.  

Consider how you can support your community, whether you can run events in store or locally to thank customers, or maybe support local events or schools.  

8. Availability 

Ensure you have good processes in place for stock management. For example, start with a written target where ninety-five percent means having less than 1 in 20 products out of stock at any time. Ensure your staff are aware of this to hit targets regularly and look around your store, are there any gaps on your shelves?  

Gap checks and minimum stock levels are key as fresh categories will require further attention to avoid waste. Plan for seasonal events and changes in weather so you always have the right products available when your customers need them. 

9. Responsible retailing 

It’s vital to ensure your business is compliant with current legislation and regulations, such as selling age restricted items. Make sure your staff are all aware of these regulations and take time to walk around your shop and make sure your signage is in date. It will show your staff you run a reputable business and instil trust in your customers.  

10. Staff development 

Think about how you can make your staff feel valued and appreciated. Consider how you manage your staff and whether you are encouraging their best efforts. Develop an induction plan for new starters, share your vision for the business, and challenge poor performance.  

Your team are the face of your business and need to understand and uphold your valuesPeople are motivated by responsibility and need development to ensure they are working to the best of their ability. Preparing a staff plan with day to day activities will limit the risk of things going wrong and ensure everyone knows their responsibilities.