Most small businesses focus a great deal of attention on driving customers to their stores. But what happens once they’re there? Sometimes not much.
Conversion rates suffer when customers leave without making a purchase. And when conversion rates suffer, so do your profits. Which is why it’s important to track traffic in your store so conversion rates can be calculated–and you can improve your technique and make the sale.
Track Conversion Rates and Watch Business Boom
But if you begin tracking conversion rates, you also need to institute tactics that will get customers to buy your product. Which is why we’re giving you 7 effective ways to increase customer conversion rates:
1. Observe customers. Many small factors can have a huge impact on a potential customer. It is vital to observe customers to identify causes of lost sales. Customers are turned off by long lines, difficulty obtaining sales help from employees, items frequently out-of-stock, poor service, and confusing marketing techniques. Many other issues can turn potential customers away, and the only way to discover them is to sit back and observe.
2. Match your staff to your traffic. Staff schedules should match the traffic in your store. Customer traffic usually follows a pattern, with certain times of day being busier than others. Lunchtime can be a challenge for retailers–there is an increase in traffic because customers shop during their own lunch breaks, yet staff is diminished because of their own lunch breaks. Keep this in mind when scheduling breaks for your staff.
3. Learn to recognize conversion leaks. Studying traffic patterns and conversion rates will likely reveal that sales are lost during high traffic times. This makes sense because it is more difficult for customers to obtain assistance from staff when the store is busier. Study these patterns by day and hourly portions of time to help pinpoint the times of day when potential sales are lost.
4. Set appropriate targets. Set a conversion target for your store. Your conversion rate should move up according to your store’s performance, as each different store responds uniquely to different targets.
5. Involve your staff. The most successful retailers have a staff that works as a team. If you expect your staff to work as a team, you must include them in important decisions. Show that you value their input. Your staff has the most interaction with potential customers, and their knowledge can help you better understand the customer. Your staff can point out problem areas and collectively discuss how to improve conversion rates.
6. Understand what drives customers to your store. Retail expert Bob Phibbs states ten “spark” events that drive customers to stores:
- Recent relocation sparks need to replace their old retailer
- Need to replace old, worn-out product with new version
- Desire to inspect a new product in person that they’ve seen advertised
- Referrals from friends
- Promotional offers
- Customer starting over due to life-changing event
- Shopping for a gift
- Change of season
- Need to treat themselves
- Need to experience excitement of new purchase
All of these events will drive potential customers to your store, and it is important to approach each individual in the way that best fulfills their need. Understanding why they are there helps ensure that they receive the best products and services.
7. Train your staff. If your staff cannot answer customers’ questions in a knowledgeable way, you will lose sales. It is important to stay up-to-date on all new advances in the products you are selling. Frequent staff updates and training is essential in ensuring that your employees can offer customers the knowledge they expect.
Higher Conversion Rates Mean Higher Profits
These tips can help you reduce the number of lost sales that occur when customers leave without making a purchase. Increasing customer conversion rates will have a huge impact on your company’s sales and allow you to reach business goals. Please feel free to contact us for more information on increasing your conversion rates.