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How to improve conversion rates in your retail store

By Jackson Versitano, Regional Manager, UK & RoEMEA for Lightspeed Commerce Do you know how much money you make from window shoppers? Or, people who walk… View Article


How to improve conversion rates in your retail store

By Jackson Versitano, Regional Manager, UK & RoEMEA for Lightspeed Commerce

Do you know how much money you make from window shoppers? Or, people who walk into your store and don’t buy anything. You guessed it. Nothing. And, that’s no good if you want to run a healthy, successful, and profitable business. What you need to do is learn how to improve your in-store conversion rate. We’ve written up a short crash course on how you can optimise your in-store layout, employee performance, and retail offerings to ensure you’re driving sales for years to come. Let’s get started.

How to work out your conversion rate

Conversion rates sound scary to work out but they’re actually pretty simple. You’ll need to invest in a ‘footfall traffic sensor’, or a ‘people counter’ in layman’s terms. You’ll also need a point-of-sale system that can show you how many sales you’ve made in a specific period of time. Here’s how to do it:

  • Gather footfall data over a period of time (we recommend a month).
  • Take the total number of sales made during that month.
  • Divide: total number of sales / total number of visitors.
  • Multiply the number by 100 (this will give you a percentage).

There you go! Not too difficult at all. Once you have this percentage, you’ll know how you’re currently performing, and you can start to put together a plan to improve your conversion rate.

How to increase conversion rate

We understand that your conversion rate can feel like some intangible number you might not know how to improve. But, it’s not as difficult as you might think. If you focus on optimising your store layout, employees processes and behaviour, and providing retail offerings to your customers, you can get your customers buying from your store in no time.

1. Set up your store for success

The layout of your store is critical to get right when it comes to improving your conversion rate. If your store is poorly laid out, it’s not optimised for success. Unless you’re a big discount retailer, like TK Maxx for example, your customers don’t want to spend their hours sifting through your merchandise. Clean things up, and make it easy for them to find what they’re looking for.

Optimise your power wall, too. In the UK, people drive on the left-hand side of the road, which, subconsciously, means we do the same thing when shopping. Consumers will, without realising, turn left when they enter your store. So, make use of this and ensure your items displayed on the left-hand side promote your best products, and things that sell quite well.

Also, clean up your ‘decompression zone’. This is the area five to fifteen feet inside your front door. Don’t make it difficult to walk into the store, and don’t distract customers with clutter as soon as they walk in.

2. Hide your queue

If customers that come into your store see a busy queue, they may be inclined to leave. And, you’re not guaranteed to see them come back another time, or even try and find the item they were looking for on your website.

Put your registers to the back, and make sure you have enough tills, and sales associates, ready to handle any queues you might encounter. You can use a point-of-sale system to view historic sales data to see when your businesses busiest time of year is, so you forecast when you’re going to be busy in the future. This can allow you to plan your employee schedule in advance so you’ll always have enough staff on hand to deal with large queues.

3. Recognise that your employees play a huge role in boosting conversions

Train your employees well. Sales associates who are attentive without being pushy, and can offer valuable insights and opinions on the products you sell will help your conversion rate skyrocket. Have sales associates greet and engage customers as they enter the store, and even if you don’t want someone standing around doing nothing other than saying ‘Hello’ all day, you can place someone near the front of the store so there’s always someone available to welcome customers.

Also, train your employees on increasing sales, and offer them incentives for doing so. This is nothing special. We all know sales people receive commission per sale, but you could consider upping the stakes a little. Prizes, additional annual leave, and other benefits can help drive your employees to have a real stake in your businesses success.

4. Offer flexible payment options

Don’t make it difficult for your customers to pay. The fewer options you give your customers to pay, the greater the chance they won’t bother. Accept debit, credit, contactless, and cash. You can even offer your customers the ability to pay in instalments, using Buy Now, Pay Later schemes like Klarna and ClearPay.

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