IS IT TIME TO TURN YOUR STORE INTO A SMART STORE?

This story was written by friend of the Revolution, Dan Pankratz.

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Do you know what your missing?

When only 23% of US retailers use people counting devices to measure traffic how do you know what you are missing?  Reports from Footfall and ShopVisible says, only an average of 20% of your stores traffic will make a purchase, this means 80% of your traffic is walking out the front door. Yet about 55% of the people walking out of your store were there to make a purchase. So for every 10 people that come in to your store, you are only making 2 sales, and 4 potential sales are walking out the door.  

What are you doing to find out what the 4 people wanted? Are you letting customers leave to buy somewhere else ? And will those 4 potential customers ever come back?

Empowering your sales staff in this day and age is more important than ever. The consumer now has more information about the products they want to buy than any other time in retail history. This makes the need for your sales staff to be equipped with the right set of skills and tools to be able to give customers the best service possible. 

If a customer walks into your store you have a chance to make them a customer for life or let them fall into the abyss of online shopping. It may seem simple to say good customer service is what your sales staff needs, but what does that really mean. Originally this would be a good greeting each customer, an open ended question to break the ice, and then finding out why they came into the store and help them find it. And these steps are still very much relevant today as they have always been. This all requires the sales staff to have knowledge of what is available to sell in the store. But what if the customer does not find what they are looking for? Maybe you have some backstock, maybe it is in a different location, but the chances are if you are a small business you don’t have it. 

Well you can special order it, right? Telling the customer to hold on while you search through a brands B2B site, call the rep, or send an email to have the product shipped back to the shop, is that the best customer service. In my experience this week in a store, I gave them my name and phone number so they could call me when the shoes would be in. And after a week I get a call to confirm the order, and it’s been almost 2 weeks and I still don’t have the shoe. I don’t want to support local I just want to shop local.  (note that store is closing at the end of this month)

It’s no secret anymore that the customer would rather have their orders sent to their home and why not if they ordered it from their phone that is what would happen.  So what now…. Do you just try to push the customer into only the product you carry? Sure you can do that but who wants to be “SOLD” these days when you can find what you want without a pushy salesperson.

What if you could make shopping in your brick and mortar store as convenient as buying off your phone with the amazing service of a real person? “I could never carry that much inventory” you say to yourself. “The customer is looking for the item cheaper than I could ever sell it for” is your next response. Both are good excuses, and just that excuses! 

It’s time to turn your store into a “smart store” and your sales staff into a “smart sales staff” if your customer does not see what they want their first response may be to look at their smartphone to find it, but if you have a “smart store’ and a “smart staff” they can now be the first place for customers to find what they are looking for. 

How the hell do I make my store a “smart store” or my staff a “smart staff”? Well it is giving them the freedom to use the resources that are available. Endless aisle shopping may seem impossible for a single store to offer and the idea of selling inventory you don’t own rather than what is in your store may not feel as profitable. But today Endless aisle shopping exists for the small retailer and selling others inventory, done right is just as profitable or more, as selling what you have…. Not to mention if you are saving a sale it is 110x more profitable!

If you really want to compete with online and big box retailers, you need to offer your customers a better experience. This starts with training your sales staff to treat EVERY customer like an old friend. Then you need to be able to give the customer what they want.   The first part can be done by training staff from day one that the customer is #1. And the second, well unless you have $45,000,000 in inventory you will never be able to have everything your customers want. But there is a solution! Exchange Collective is a company that has dedicated everything they have to provide you the turnkey solution you need.  

Small retailers using Exchange Collective can expand their product offering 1000x and they can create a new shopping experience that will keep your customers for life. Stop letting people walk out the door empty handed, turn your store into a “smart store” with a “smart staff”.

To learn more, email me dan@exchangecollective.com

More about Dan

After failing at his first business at the age of 19, Dan took the leap of faith in 2000 to buy a skate shop in Santa Maria Ca to give owning a business one more shot. But it was not the idea of creating a business that made him jump. It was the chance to create a culture that would change people’s lives. The vision that was shared by his Brother and him is what grew a 2000sq/ft store with 2 employees to 4 locations with over 50 employees at any given time, many of them who will say working at One Way made them who they are today. Starting a business was more than just Profit and Loss it was making a difference.

Dan is a true believer in the power of passion. Wherever he goes, passion leads the way. He’s the engine behind Exchange Collective’s industry-shifting product strategy; creating an intuitive user experience suited to the way people shop today. He takes a Mad Max approach to unforeseeable roadblocks and leads his team though the proverbial Thunderdome to thunderous applause. A father of two boys and two beautiful girls, some may say he’s crazy, but he knocks it up to a healthy dose of passion and a good night’s sleep.

 

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