As the economy slowly begins reopening and businesses begin operating under a new normal, the industry is left with one big question: Now what?
After months of reduced operations and social distancing restrictions, we are phasing back into relatively normal activity. Many are working hard to undo the damage caused by the virus, and retailers are working hard to maximize their profits in this time.
In order to do this successfully, you need to understand how priorities have changed for consumers. What are your customers focusing on now and what needs can you address? Things will not be exactly the same once operations have resumed, and it’s important that you understand your customers and their new demands.
Be sure to adjust your retail upsell strategy to cater to this shifting consumer behavior and boost your sales during this critical transition back to full retail operations. Here’s how:
Make Relevant Recommendations
Many consumers will still be very cautious, and will continue to utilize conveniences like online shopping and curbside pickup. Their purchasing patterns will likely change as well. It’s not enough to rely on old customer data to sell. Be aware of what customers want in the here and now, how it may have changed from before, and why.
Analyzing customer data from your retail management software can help you make these connections and draw conclusions to help you better understand your customers and make more relevant recommendations. Utilize loyalty program data for more accurate information on specific customers to increase your chances of upselling.
It’s important not to be over eager and show customers items that don’t fit their needs. Remember—many of your customers are also coming back from financial hardship, and won’t appreciate the added stress they can experience from pushy salespeople that don’t understand what the customer needs or wants.
Customers are likely to be more careful about their purchases. They will consider them and weigh the pros and cons before making large purchases, and are less likely to purchase items they don’t need on impulse. Try to sell based on the needs of individual customers specifically, rather than focusing too much on the products you specifically want to move.
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Bundle Product Suggestions Appropriately
Because customers are more cautious about their purchases, it’s important to make it logical for people to spend more money. Bundle your product suggestions based on items they have purchased or will likely want to purchase in combination with other items. This doesn’t just increase your chances of a sale, but it becomes a smart financial move for the customer themselves.
It’s critical that you have a wealth of sales data that can help your employees understand more about the customer and their desires. Look at the items they are likely to purchase and inform staff of the relevant products they will want to recommend to your customers and how they should bundle products together to increase the likelihood of a sale. Employees should offer recommendations that make sense based on the customer’s intended purchase.
Equip Staff with the Right Tools
Staff will need contactless technology in order to upsell even more effectively. With mobile POS technology like rugged tablets, they can look up customer and product information instantly and are equipped to answer customer questions and inquiries faster.
With this technology at hand, they can easily and quickly search inventory effectively and know what inventory counts are in real time. They can look up loyalty information and see what items each customer is interested in so they can make more informed recommendations. They can also look up product reviews and specs to help customers make the best choices.
If the items customers are interested in aren’t in stock, mobile POS tablets allow employees to place orders for customers right then and there. If the order is for in-store pickup, this motivates customers to come back to your store later, and increases the time they spend looking at your other products.
You may also want to consider installing self-service kiosks in your establishment as well. Contactless technology, such as self-service kiosks will reduce the amount of contact that your customers have with your staff. Customers can search your inventory and place orders for pickup or delivery at a later date themselves. Make sure that you are adhering to a strict screen sanitation schedule and keep hand sanitizer nearby to make customers feel safe and to reduce the spread of disease.
Train, Train, Train Your Staff
Lastly, but most importantly, if you aren’t training your staff well, you’re setting yourself up for failure. You can offer the best and most coveted products in the world, but if your sales associates aren’t delivering the very best in customer service, your sales will still hurt.
Make sure your staff understands the shopper’s journey—who they are, how they plan their purchases, and how they prefer to shop—so that they know when to pitch a sale and when to pull back and simply provide more information. Employees must know how to make a sale without coming across as too pushy or worse, disengaged with your customers.
It’s also a good idea to provide a little extra training to staff on the software they will need to utilize to answer any customer questions. If you’ve had to cut hours or furlough employees during the pandemic, many will require a refresher course on the technology they will be utilizing, as well as any other standard procedures.
A New Normal
Once customers are back in your stores, it’s important to make a great first impression. Many will want to go out and purchase items after being stuck in isolation for so long. Make sure that their reintroduction to brick-and-mortar stores is a positive one, and set yourself up for maximum success by paying attention to how shopper demands have changed, and how you can meet their new needs.
The right technology will help guide you through this transition to the new normal. Touch Dynamic offers innovative, contactless retail solutions. For more information, contact the experts at Touch Dynamic today!