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5 ways to Increase Retail Sales In Your Boutique

Are your retail sales are slow and inconsistent?

Or are your retail sales are trending up and you’re wondering how to continue this sales increase?


Here are some tips on selling and store merchandising to show you how to increase retail sales:

1) Ensure you’re always in stock of your best sellers

The absolute worst thing that you can do is have an item that sells really well and you don’t have enough of it.

You’re missing sales immediately, and you may think you’ll recoup those sales when the product comes back in, but that is not always the case.  You may have missed that window of demand, and the customer may search online for the item elsewhere and you will be stuck with the excess inventory.

Always make sure you are in stock of your best sellers.  The only reason you shouldn’t, is if you planned for the item to be a one time buy that you purposefully won’t replenish.  The goal is always to sell through the inventory.

But merchandising is about having that balance of knowing exactly how much to buy so that at the end of the item’s lifecycle you will have completely sold out.  This involves skillful inventory purchasing and financial budgeting.

If the item is a basic item vs. a trend item, you always want to be in stock.  These type of items have a constant flow of demand. 

You need to regularly monitor the inventory levels for the item and set your safety stock levels for it in your inventory management system, so that you are alerted when your supply is running low and you need to place another order.

When you go to a website and see that the majority of the items are sold out or the available sizes are inconsistent and all over the place, that’s not a good thing.

It means:

  1. The retailer may be “testing” items before fully committing and stocking them
  2. The retailer is not managing their inventory properly and is not buying enough
  3. The retailer is leaving up old items they haven’t stocked in weeks / months to make it appear that their shop has high traffic and sales

Your goal should be to run out of inventory when you planned for it to – meaning the item hit its sales goal.

2) Learn customers’ names

This seems so small, but it’s a critical part of owning a brick and mortar boutique. Your competitive advantage against your online counterparts, is that you can have a personal, one to one relationships with all of your customers.

Think about the stores where you know the sales associates by face or by name. You love that right? You love having somewhere to go that feels like a second home. That should be your boutique for your customers.

3) Implement a customer loyalty program

If you don’t know the 80 / 20 rule, it’s that 80% of your business comes from 20% of your customers, and it’s true! It doesn’t matter what size your store or brand is, it is always true.

Customer loyalty programs are a way to reward your customers for shopping with you. There are billions of e-commerce websites and millions of brick and mortar stores that they could shop with, but they chose you. Say thank you!

It would be even more beneficial for you to have a higher tier loyalty program for your top customers (your 20%)!

4) Place impulse items near the cash registers
how to increase retail sales using the store checkout area

Have you ever noticed the way you’re forced through a mini maze to get to the checkout area of your favorite retail stores?

That wasn’t done on accident! The store’s merchandising team curates this area differently than the rest of the store.

This is called the impulse or next-in-line area, and if you’ve noticed, it’s filled with merchandise that you would buy on impulse, like candy, mini-sized items, testers, etc.

This is a strategy to get customers to add more to their basket right before they get to the register.

Which means more dollars per transaction, and more money for you!

This method of how to increase retail sales is used by all major retailers. Pay attention to what you see the next time you wait in line!

5) Create sales competitions among sales staff

Your sales staff should be the #1 champions for your brand and your message. They should be just as motivated as you are to make your company successful.

You should have regular competitions with them to help boost sales. Here are some topics you can base your sales competitions on:

  • Monthly sales volume
  • Number of new loyalty program sign ups
  • Number of personal styling appointments booked
  • Sales dollar per transaction
  • Specific item sales
  • Category sales (like accessories, dresses, etc.

For more tips on how to increase retail sales for your boutique or brand, click here to join our community of Retail + E-commerce Visionaries.

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Written by

DeAnna McIntosh, Global Retail + E-commerce Consultant at The Affinity Group International, is a driven, entrepreneurial, and creative Merchandising Consultant with a strong eye for design, and over 14+ years of progressive experience in retail merchandising, marketing, and event management. Her proven results as a strategist for numerous Fortune-ranking retailers will drive tangible growth for your business from day one.

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