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Driving Retail Store Metrics

Retail stores leave a lot of money out on the table every day. So how can stores drive up their sales?

Let’s start with the most important equation in retail used to produce sales: Take the number of people walking into your store (traffic) and multiply that with conversion rate percentage (what percentage of people are making a purchase) and then multiply that by average sale.

So, if you want to increase sales, you have to drive up one or more of the metrics in the equation.  However, retail stores really have only two options left since in-store traffic counts have gone down due to the pandemic and will likely continue in that trajectory for some time. Drive-up conversion rate or increase the average sale.

Retail stores need to be more productive in selling to more customers and increasing the average purchase amount from each customer. Let’s break it down and see how retail stores can increase these metrics.

Increasing Traffic at Retail Stores

I’ve mentioned that traffic has taken a hit due to the pandemic, but there are some steps you can take to increase footfall.

Raise the bar: If you want existing customers to come back, everything you do (service, displays, etc.) has to be better. If a retail store is still operating as it did in 2019/2020, it’s moving in the wrong direction. Customers are smarter, more demanding, and there are more options now.

Windows: Windows need to be outstanding because these drive customers into the store. Ask yourself, “would your windows excite you enough to come into your store?”

Storefront: These need to be fresh and exciting and are especially important for stores in mall-type environments. People are inspired to enter a store based on what is happening at the storefront.

Look busy: Retail stores that are busy end up getting more walk-ins. Stores can achieve this by making sure the entire team looks busy instead of just standing around at the cash register.

Reaching out: Keep reaching out to your customers. Stores should email their customers and connect with them over social media.

Increasing Conversion Rates at Retail Stores 

Wait on customers: Sales teams at retail stores need to have warm, genuine, and friendly conversations with customers. Conversion rates will not increase unless sales teams wait on customers.

Better rapport: Success rate on the sales floor is tied to an employee’s ability to establish rapport with the customer.

Better questions: When teams ask customers questions, they learn about their needs. It is much easier to sell customers a solution when you know what the problem is.

Have a goal: By defining a goal, retail stores know what is required to meet it.

Know best sellers: Retail stores should focus on their best-selling products and promote these to customers.

Closing the sale: Your sales team should be ready to offer recommendations to customers and have multiple ways to close the sale in a soft and non-confrontational manner.

Be informed: Product knowledge is essential. On a scale of 1-10 from ‘no knowledge’ to ‘expert’, your employees should be at least an eight on most every product. If they are not, there needs to be a strategy in place to increase their product knowledge. Retail managers should be responsible for passing this knowledge onto their team members.

Get moving: Operate with a sense of urgency. Get hustling and moving!

Increasing Average Sale at Retail Stores

Most efforts are to sell more items to customers, not necessarily have them trade up to more expensive items. However, these are both important to drive up the average sale.

Selling more expensive items is one way to drive up the average sale, and here are some ways retail stores can achieve this.

New products: Staff at retail stores should be excited about selling new products as soon as they come in at their original prices and not on a markdown later on.

Clearance items: Hold off on showing discounted items right off the start; instead, clearance items should be sold as add-ons at the end of the sale.

Product knowledge: Increase staff product knowledge on the higher-priced items. They can’t sell it unless they know it! Customers looking for high-end products want their salesperson to be just as passionate as they are, at least from a knowledge perspective.

Practice sessions: Managers need to have practice sessions and do more role-playing with their team on how they should be selling.

Work your way down: Always present the most expensive merchandise first and then work your way down.

The second part of this metric is to get customers to buy more items at retail stores.

Cross-sell: Everyone should be trained to cross-sell. The sales team should be able to sell from one department into the next department. They should know add-on options for products and what goes better with what. For example, if a customer purchases glasses, your team should sell them a cleaning solution, anti-reflective coating, case, and more.

Slow down: When there is time at the store, your sales team should slow down with the customer, take a consultive approach, and understand their needs. However, we always sell to the speed of the store.

Don’t just clerk the sale: If you want to stop this, start tracking how many one item sales are being made at your retail store.

Sell the right solution: Your sales team should point out the right solution and all the items a customer needs to achieve this.

Sell from the customer’s perspective: Staff should think about best serving the customer. For example, sales teams at clothing stores should focus on selling an entire outfit rather than just one item.

Impulse items: Sales teams should suggest impulse promotional items at the cash register. This is an easy sale because the customer is already buying something.

Strategy: There should be a clearly defined add-on strategy. This could include, what makes the item look better, perform better, and what makes it last longer.

The challenge is putting these ideas into play. How we write an action plan is important to driving retail store metrics. The plan should address the following factors:

  • How to keep focused on the plan (daily, weekly, monthly)?
  • How will it be measured?
  • Who will be accountable, and for what?
  • How will training take place?
  • How do you gain commitment?

If you want to hit your targets, you should only work on one or two metrics at a time at your retail store and focus on them daily.

Need help driving up these metrics? Get in touch with us today and learn how you can increase sales at your retail store.


At Graff Retail, we create leading-edge retail training programs specifically designed and customized to increase staff knowledge and performance with innovative teaching methods to drive sales and revenue for businesses.

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