Of course your product is great – you love it and so the rest of the world should love it too. But if your product isn’t selling as well as you hoped here are five things you can do to address the issue.

1. Track what you sell

You may have a whizzbang EPOS system that does everything but make the tea, but it’s how you use the information it spews out that matters. Being aware of what’s selling, as well as what’s not, will help you in making those all-important buying decisions. It’s easy to get caught up in the day to day busyness of running your shop so that you don’t really notice key product trends.

Top tip

  • Take 30 minutes at the end of the week to look at your sales reports to find the good, the bad and the ugly! Look at the top 10 products and the bottom 10 products. Walk through your stockroom or back area to see what’s there. When you do this regularly with a critical eye you will notice what’s still there week after week.

If you don’t have an EPOS system then have some way to track what you sell. It could be a simple spreadsheet tracking line by line sales each day. An EPOS system would make this easier and they are very accessible for small businesses today, but more of that in a future blog post.

2. Not just what but how

If you have an e-commerce site then the sales there may be very different to your shop sales. Most independent retailers don’t have a full e-commerce offer but will have some online presence through a website and/or social media. How are sales affected by what you promote? Do you only promote your new or best-selling products? They are probably going to shift anyway.

Top Tip

  • Promote your slow lines too, with a discount if necessary. Someone out there will love it! And it will help you to clear slow stock.

3. Consistent quality

This is a must. Don’t be tempted to buy inferior quality stock because the price is good and you can make a good margin. It won’t be profitable if it sits on your shelves for months and you have to discount it to clear it.
Consistency in quality across your product range is key to keeping your brand identity. Stick to your particular quality offering and USP and be the Green Duck!

Top Tip

  • Decide where your product range sits in the market (luxury, value, mid-range etc.) and be consistent with your chosen level in your buying decisions.

4. Innovate – anticipate market trends

Keep up with what’s happening in your market sector and be prepared to try new products or ideas. Follow key influencers in your sector as well as any trade blogs/e-zines or even good old fashioned trade magazines. This will give you information about what’s new in your product sector and provide ideas as to how you can interpret this for your business.

Top tip

  • Try new products (within reason and consistent with your brand). You may stumble upon the Next Big Thing before your competitors

5. Be one step ahead of your competitors

Easier said than done. You have enough to do running your business without worrying about what your competitors are doing. But knowing what your competitors are up to will help you to stay ahead and innovate. Your competitors are not always the obvious businesses that are exactly like yours. Look at who sells the same products/services as you do. It could be a large multinational as well as the shop down the road.

Top tip

  • Follow your competitors on social media to find out about them and their new products or services.

If you’ve read my other Top Tips you’ll realise that retailing is an art as much as a science. I hope that these tips and tools help you to run your business more successfully and more profitably.

Happy retailing! © Retail Renewal 02/05/18

Retail Renewal offers a comprehensive retail consulting service. Find out more on www.retailrenewal.ie/service/ If you’d like to get in touch with Retail Renewal about your shop or retail project please give Linda a call on 086 8146949.

Why some fashion stores like Penneys and TK Maxx resist selling online See Retail Renewal quoted in this Journal article http://www.thejournal.ie/fashion-retailers-online-shopping-3-3981621-Apr2018/

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