What Influence Do You Have In Retail?! Can You Make A Difference?!
Over the past year and a half, I have written a few posts that have focussed on retail (big surprise) in Ken’s Kool dot Com. I have shared my ideas with respect to marketing, big box stores, house brands, and many posts have showcased what I think are some kool products that are carried in London Drugs.
This post is going focus on the notion of “What can “You” influence in todays retail world?”
Whether you are store staff, store management, head office staff, or HO management; each of us can have a positive and or negative impact on our sales and profitability. We all share in determining whether customers leave our stores feeling good about their shopping experience or whether they even consider shopping us again.
What do you focus on? What are your responsibilities? How do you impact your customers (both positively and negatively)?
My thing has always been the same, focus on what you can control.
Some of the key things that will most surely piss off customers are pretty basic and consistent amongst most types of retail. Trust me, you wont need to brace yourself as these should not come across as revelations!
Here it goes:
1.) Keep a clean store.
Seriously! Don’t make climb through a bunch of s#%t to get to what I want. I don’t have a tonne of time as it is, please don’t make the experience worse by making me run an obstacle course to get to my purchase. Keep you ends tidy and your floors passable. I just may spend more!
2.) Stay in stock.
Nothing more frustrating or agitating that having a list of basics and hitting a store to find they are out of stock. Come on; a grocer that is out of milk on a Sunday evening! A drugstore out of Tylenol, anytime! Nothing more frustrating than knowing that I have been made to go out and shop, at not just one location! You are seriously going to make me drive around town!
Take ownership of the inventory. Whether at store level or HO, unless it is completely out of your control(train derailment, severe weather, manufactutrer issue…) Being out of stock is probably the number one issue as to why a customer will leave your store and possibly never come back!! You have to manage your inventory.
In the event of a mistake, as they do happen, tell me at shelf with a quick sign or better yet, give me a substitute where applicable. Please help me!!! I am here, not for shelter from the storm, but rather, I have this itch to spend money in your store. Are you going to let me do that?!?!?
3.) Price your product.
After out of stocks, this is my number one pet peeve. Dont make me try and find one of the few folks still in your stores to ask for a price! What a time killer, and what a great way to make me leave a purchase behind. I can’t spend if I don’t know what I am spending.
A quick sign or a quick label folks! That’s all it takes!
4.) Don’t be scared to sell me what I need, as well as what I might need.
As I write this, I am attending the London Drugs Store Managers Conference in the STUNNING Sonora Resort, and I have finished a presentation with Karim of Atlantia Holdings Inc. These are the guys that supply us with the Kool products for iPhones, MacBooks, iPads etc… You gotta know Karim to better appreciate this; Karim is the kind of passionate sales guy that can really sell ice to an Eskimo! I mean a lot of ice!!
His idea is that you don’t “upsell” per se. What you do is just sell me what I need now, and hopefully, what I “might” need later. What an awesome concept!
I will give one quick personal example of this one.
We buy an Apple MacBook Air for my Dad’s 75th (I know, pretty cool eh! Goes great with his iPad!!). Anyway, at the time of purchase, the only upsell that I am offered is MS Office, which I refused as I did not know how to use it as the MacBook Air has no cd-rom for the disks. I didnt understand the “upsell”???
Again, anyway, I spend the $1500 or so, and I leave. I am happy at this point.
Today, I go thru Karim’s presentation and I see that he has these seriously awesome MacBook covers for my Dads Air and these really funky neoprene cases for it as well! Had I known, I would have bought the case and the cover for my Dad for sure; if I had known!
Plus I would have bought covers for the 3 MacBook Pros that are at home!!! Had i known thay were available!
Seriously, I know I am cheap, but when I do decide to spend, I spend!
Why not sell me that at the get go! Do ya think that after dropping 15 bills, that another 3 would have killed me, especially if these were going to protect the new toy and help with the toys at home?!
Now I gotta go back and buy these. I could have been done a long time ago! Remember, Help Me!!!
5.) Don’t make assumptions.
This is another classic. This one really comes down to the old sales guys adage, “Don’t buy for me; with your wallet”.
How do you know what I am going to spend until you qualify me. Ask me what I want, and why. And never assume my budget.
In a presenatation yesterday with the Beats from Dr. Dre, they showed us some pretty cool headphones. Prices ranged from around 2 to 5 bills. Some pretty serious coin for headphones for sure, but if I am in the store looking at them, what the heck! If you were in a store and tried on headphones for, let’s say $100, why assume that is where I would stop? Ask questions and sell an experience. If I am an avid music listener, frequent air traveller, spend a lot of time in a gym, serious walker, runner or biker; and the iPod, iPhone, iPad or any other deivice is wit me most times, maybe I am the perfect candidate for the “upsell”. Maybe you will actually satisfy that future need we spoke of in step 4.
When I look at the cost per minute of use on these expensive headphones, maybe I am doing myself a disservice buying cheap ones; maybe or maybe not; point is, Don’t Assume!!! BTW, I LOVE my Bose Quiet Conforts and my daughter LOVES her Beat Solos! And those were the headphones that I said I would never buy as they were “too expensive”, as I listen to them as I write this,
6.) Get me out of here quickly, but make sure I am satisfied.
Help me, and then get me out of here! You got me to commit, now close the deal, quickly! Don’t make me wait longer to pay than it took for me to spend!
7.) Don’t do me any favors.
This last one is the cincher for me to NEVER come back to you, no matter if steps 1 to 6 were “rock star”.
Make me feel like you did me a favor, and I am liable to shove my purchase where the sun don’t shine! Get it! Make me feel good about my purchase and make me feel like I made your day, and you know that I will tell no one. Make me feel like an “inferior” or “bothersome” individual, and my Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and just good old fashioned friends, will ALL know – and know FAST!! The deal should feel good for both, but most importantly, I need to feel really good, no matter how much I spent!! Seriously, this is a future deal killer!
Well, enough pontificating, I have a pedicure and manicure to get to before the Canucks play. I am out of time! 😀
I told you this would not be rocket science! This is retail, not brain surgery!
Back to basics baby!!
Think about it, and happy retailing!!
Ciao for now @kootenayborn