Let’s just be clear here from the start.
Sales per square feet are one of the most fundamental aspects of retail and are really the name of the game.
The problem comes in that it is also one of the most complex issues out there and there is no one-size-fits-all approach. There are just too many factors at play here.
First of all, a lot of it depends on the type of merchandising you’re doing. A jewelry store for example, has all high-ticket items and so naturally they’re going to have higher sales per square feet.
You’ve also got to consider whether you’re a single destination or not. I mean, if you own a shoe store every customer who walks through that door is there specifically to buy shoes. Your sales team’s job is only to sell them a better shoe than they originally were there to purchase.
Same is true of most service sector businesses, as well. All of the rules of retail don’t apply for the person who does dog grooming, because the person who seeks that service already needs to buy your specific service.
Given this, they’re going to seek you out whether you’re service is in an old barn or fancy shop uptown.
Most businesses don’t have this advantage and instead rely on the package sale strategy instead.
The customer wants a shirt, you sell them the pants, too, then you work them up to a sport coat to go with it and before you know it, you have a package sale.
So in this case, increasing your sales per square foot is really up to how well-trained your sales staff is and how good they are at packaging together a decent sale.
So the bottom line about increasing your individual store’s sales per square foot, you’ve got to be able to pick and choose the information that is going to benefit you and your stores.
I spoke with Edward Wendland, author of “Retail Survivor,” and president of the retail consulting firm, ELW & Associates about sales per square foot. There are several key elements involved that increase sales overall.
Here are just a few rules that almost always apply.
Good store location
This one is probably a no-brainer, but there’s a reason you repeatedly hear the age-old line of “location, location, location.”
A lot of large, multi-store retailers rely too much on engineers, city demographics and traffic flow for determining a new location. But they don’t do the obvious and gather enough feedback from the community on the viability of it.
How many times have we all driven down the street in our neighborhood and saw some business opening on a site that we as a local know to be the “kiss of death” in town?
It is surprising how many businesses; even well established, multi-national retailers don’t always adequately research the site before hand and then wonder two years down the line when their windows are boarded up, because the business flopped.
A good rule of thumb when considering new location for a store is that unless you’re Wal-Mart, if there is nothing else happening on that site right now, your store probably isn’t going to change that.
You’ll be starting off with one foot in the grave before you even open the door.
Before you open a new location take the time to drive the town, talk to some locals and learn the dead spots in that town and then stay away from them.
Motivate the customer
Almost every store has decent sales per square feet at the front of the store. Most often they place the items there that the customer needs most.
But that doesn’t help you store wide.
You’ve got to motivate that customer to move around the store and shop while they’re doing it.
A good retailer places the hot-items in toward the back of the store in order to do this.
You don’t want a customer walking out the door with one or two items-you want to see a full cart. That isn’t going to happen if the customer isn’t moving beyond the door.
A good place to start is through attractive displays throughout the store.
A customer eyes the display moves that direction and then sees another and moves to that, as well. Attractive displays keep the customer motivated to circulate the store.
Remember, there’s a reason the huge big box giants take the time to build their soda display with the colors of the state football team’s logo. It attracts the customer and they keep moving them on from there with one attractive display after another.
Great marketing is more than an ad on Google, it’s constantly reminding your customer that you have the absolute best deals.
You want marketing that keeps the customer talking about your store long after they left. You want everyone thinking that you are the place for great deals, so that they don’t even consider looking elsewhere first.
Always run multiple sales throughout the store, as this psychologically leads the customer to believe that all of your prices are this low, even when they’re not.
Use lost-leaders wisely by placing all throughout the store. This not only motivates the customer to circulate, it also motivates them to buy.
Where Wooqer comes into play
Wooqer can help with increasing your sales per square foot through tracking your actual sales, your customer and documenting their buying habits. Help you train and assess your frontline so that they are better prepared for your customers.
Wooqer can organize sales from multiple locations and then compare them so that you can see both strengths and weaknesses.
You can identify and address sales problems at individual stores immediately. Wooqer provides you with the tools and instant information that helps you make important daily decisions.
Maybe it’s a matter of shifting top sales personnel to a lagging location or perhaps shaking up your merchandising or improving displays. Wooqer is helpful because it provides you with all of the comparisons and sales figures instantly.
No other web platform for retail can provide this end to end execution platform. In the end, Wooqer is a valuable retail tool using 21st century technology.