4 steps to increase your in-store conversion rate

"You walk into a retail store, whatever it is, and if there’s a sense of entertainment, excitement and electricity, you want to be there."

-Howard Schultz, Chairman and CEO of Starbucks

Any successful retail business attracts customers with quality advertisement and the general ambiance of their retail stores. But without an understanding of what drives their in-store conversion rate, investment in marketing can be a waste.

First off, the key to calculating your conversion rate is looking at the whole picture of traffic in your store, and not just focus on your transactions alone. That way, you’ll be measuring customers and non-buyers. Retailers know that in order to increase that conversion rate, they have to identify what’s keeping your visitors from buying. All you need are some observational skills and the right tools to take action.

Schedule and train your customer service team for success

To convert store traffic into revenue, align your sales team to the demands of customer traffic. In order to turn a visitor into a buyer, they require proper handling and help, which means having the staff on hand at any given moment to give your customer that personalized experience.

Related: 9 Proven Tactics to Improve Retail Employee Performance and Sales

So if you know you have certain higher-traffic days, but don't schedule any additional sales people ahead of time, customers won't be getting the attention they deserve because other customers will already be taking up your staff’s time. More often than not, those customers will leave the store empty-handed, ready to tell their friends and family what a negative experience they had.

And this might seem like a no-brainer, but the sales team on the floor should know where every product is located in order to help clients avoid the hassle of searching for what they want. Even if the whole store is properly marked, your team should know the location of products in order to reduce any inconveniences and streamline a potential purchase.

Lose less over lunch

Usually the rush hours for retailers are during office hours’ typical lunch time. We’re perplexed as to why so many retailers give lunchtime to their floor team during those same hours! This leaves the floor relatively unattended and increases the probability of customers leaving without buying. Understand the best time to schedule lunch breaks or other breaks in order to properly fulfill customer demand and maximize your conversion rate.

Check up on your checkout line

Long queues at checkout are also a great hurdle for increasing conversion rate. Customers with full carts or baskets will tend to leave their items and walk out because of long queues or slow staff. It’s crucial to have the appropriate staffing levels to meet this customer demand, especially at a point in the buying process where they've already made their decision to buy.

Anchor your products

Anchoring is another way of saying establishing value. There are plenty of ways to anchor a product: in-store displays, highlighting product features or even allowing a customer to test the product out -- think beauty counters at Sephora and sleeping mat testing areas at R.E.I. The most effective way of anchoring the product is to have an authentic conversation with your customer. Find out what's important to them and align the product's features to the value it will deliver to them.

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