How to Improve Retail Sales

Written by louise balle
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How to Improve Retail Sales
Various strategies can help a struggling retail business thrive. (Sale Sign image by TekinT from

Retail selling is the practice of trading goods to end users (consumers) for money. Whether you're working as a retail sales representative or you manage or own a retail store, it's beneficial to constantly look for ways to improve sales. Because retail sales depend on the decisions of consumers, your strategies should involve piquing the interest of those end users directly.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Monitor your sales from previous months to identify which products are selling the fastest. Once you know which products customers are most interested in, feature them in your store advertisements to draw in more traffic and increase sales.

  2. 2

    Hire more experienced and savvy retail sales personnel or train your existing employees in advanced relationship selling techniques. Relationship selling is a very useful tool when it comes to retail sales---it involves relating to the customer on his level. For instance, if your 20-something sales person approaches a 20-something browser and connects with her in conversation about using a product to improve her skin, this could lead to a sale and possibly up-selling opportunities.

  3. 3

    Release at least one new special offer each week. For instance, you can offer "buy-one-get-one half-off" deals on popular items to improve your retail sales. As long as the half-off price will still net you a profit, on average you're benefiting from each transaction while spurring more sales. Another option is to feature one popular item at a deep discount each week to increase sales of that item and also bring new traffic into the store.

  4. 4

    Keep the sales floor clean and uncluttered to improve sales. When a customer sees a messy or disorganised store, it's more difficult for him to find what he needs, which could cost the store sales.

  5. 5

    Do a customer analysis to determine your customers' honest opinions about the store. Provide a survey for customers to fill out when they exit the store and encourage responses by offering a 10 per cent discount on the next purchase for a filled survey. Ask for the customers' age, sex, most desired items and their overall opinions of the store quality and retail employees. Use this information when you're creating new advertisements, training your employees and deciding on new products to purchase to stock your retail store.

  6. 6

    Consider modifying your return policy if you currently limit the customer's ability to bring unwanted items back. Provide the customer with a reasonable period of time to evaluate the purchase and bring it back for a cash refund. A marketing report by Dr. J. Andrew Petersen of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Dr. V. Kumar of Georgia State University revealed that a liberal return policy can actually improve retail sales and increase your customer base.

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