Thought Leadership

Maximising Store Performance | 10 Tips from Retail Leaders

Stores are the heartbeat of your retail operations. In fact, studies show that in supermarkets, in-store purchases still make up 90% of revenues. Needless to say, retail isn’t dead. And the store is definitely here to stay. When shoppers visit your locations, it’s critical that your marketing is on point to drive revenues. Here are our 10 tips for maximising store performance.

1. Set the foundations

Step one to maximising store performance is reviewing and simplifying behind-the-scenes workflows and processes. Retailers that are focusing on current customer demands, like increased convenience with great click-and-collect services, and positive in-store experiences, from interesting displays to cleanliness, have already seen the return. Make sure the basics are working well before you start to invest in more complex and interactive in-store experiences.

2. See what you say

Visibility of in-store operations is vital. Customers are more likely to be loyal if you create a recognisable environment and customer experience. From tracking staff performance to checking campaign implementation, technology that gives you on-the-ground information and real-time communication with stores enables you to pinpoint and resolve localised issues rapidly. When you know that your head office guidelines are being put into action, it’s much easier to see what’s working across your store estate.

Traditional retail audits are often out of date as soon as you complete them, making it difficult to accurately execute in-store marketing campaigns. We prefer a dynamic store profiling approach which allows your teams to update a master store profiling database when changes happen. 

For more information on maintaining, saving and utilising comprehensive store data, don’t miss your chance to download a free copy of our latest ebook: Store Profiling: The Complete Guide here.

3. Embrace Change

In our experience, some traditional ways of working are unnecessarily laborious, particularly when it comes to planning in-store campaigns and communicating marketing to stores. Aside from cutting costs, there are additional benefits to reassessing store processes, like reducing waste and driving a more sustainable way of operating.

4. Know your customers

Harness every opportunity to learn about customers and listen to their feedback. Store associates are constantly receiving valuable information about in-store experiences, problems and successes. Check this on-the-ground knowledge can reach the departments that will benefit from it. Central online platforms are a great way to communicate and collaborate across large remote teams and with third-party suppliers. With comments, actions and progress updates easily stored and accessible, nothing gets forgotten or lost in translation.

Check out our full article on targeting different shopper demographics.

5. See the signs

Your signage helps to sell your products and improve your customer experiences. In fact, research has found that 68% of customers believe a store’s window sign is a reliable indicator of the standard of their products inside. Not only that, items advertised by nearby signs have been found to outperform those without signs by an impressive 20%.

The need to deliver effective and accurate in-store displays, from reassuring health and safety posters to clear promotional materials, is always important. With busy lives, many people are opting for the convenience of buying online and collecting in-store at a time that suits them, in-store marketing is a brilliant tool to drive additional sales once they get there.

There are a lot of options to consider, so if you’re new to retail marketing, why not check out our breakdown of the different types of retail displays and when to use them

6. Become a master of compliance

Mistakes on the shop floor can be incredibly costly – be it in reduced sales, a damaged reputation or even fines. Monitoring the execution of marketing materials and new visual merchandising displays in stores not only allows you to identify risks or errors and rapidly correct them, it can also highlight discrepancies in the planning of campaigns or your supply chain.

With many stores to keep track of, things can easily get missed. Particularly if there is limited communication between the shop floor, marketing teams and head office. Tracking in-store compliance can improve your store performance by introducing accountability in stores. It also allows you to collect, update and cleanse your information on fixtures and fittings, POS requirements and layouts.

7. Focus on the experience

When it comes to maximising store performance, the customer’s experience is key. Online and offline interactions need to work hand-in-hand to support the customer on their buying journey. You need to be certain your in-store campaigns mirror your marketing efforts elsewhere. Customers like consistency and familiarity.

Retailers still have the opportunity to provide a service that can’t be replicated online. Make it memorable for all the right reasons: great merchandise, clear signage, impeccable service from knowledgeable staff and eye-catching displays.

Given the growth of omnichannel, we’ve dedicated a complete, detailed guide to cross-channel marketing campaigns.

8. Think local

Unfortunately, what works in one of your stores won’t necessarily work for all of them. Online shopping, digital marketing and e-commerce have changed the game in buyer expectations. They now expect an experience tailored to them. And while this isn’t possible in stores, it’s important to bridge the gap. Being able to quickly plan for local, national and even global changes in product demand is a game changer. Clever software and open communication channels with shop floor staff will help you to make this a reality. This could be switching out your window posters to advertise umbrellas when it rains, or promoting your latest party food and drink when there’s a local event or celebration.

If you haven’t got the resources to ensure your campaigns are relevant on a hyper-local level, make sure you capitalise early on the larger upcoming trends or events. Timely participation of every store is key, so it can be beneficial to introduce staff incentives if you don’t already have them in place.

Here are 8 local marketing tips for multi-site retailers

9. Maintain Loyalty

The true cost of online retail is becoming clear. Customers now expect free delivery and returns from their favourite online retailers. And, with heavy fulfilment costs and more returns from online orders, profits are restricted.

If you have loyal customers returning to your stores, let them know how valued they are. Many retailers have return visit incentives and loyalty schemes to keep their customers from switching. With businesses 60-70% more likely to sell to an existing customer than a new prospect, it’s important that repeat shoppers feel valued and are rewarded.

10. Stay relevant

Our last tip for maximising store performance is to show your customers that you are aware of what is happening in society. In an industry that evolves rapidly, it’s crucial that retailers are at the forefront of consumer affairs.

Climate change, sustainability, and environmental awareness are all high on the agenda for shoppers. Brands and businesses showing that they are making steps in the right direction have been extremely well received. When you make efforts to reduce your environmental impact, communicate this to your customers. Keep them updated as you introduce new eco-friendly products, suppliers and ‘greener’ ways of working.

Maximising store performance with Colateral.

At Colateral, we’re helping retailers to deliver localised, targeted in-store marketing campaigns that support buyers on their journey through your store. We help you align your marketing and merchandising by getting campaign planning and execution right. Our in-store marketing platform allows campaign managers, creatives, suppliers and stores to collaborate through a single platform so you can work together to get the right messaging to the right stores at the right time. 

Learn more about how Colateral can help you maximise store performance. 

Request Demo.

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