If you’re the owner or general manager, the first step to increasing profits is to put on your customer hat. In fact, pretend you know nothing about the grocery retail industry. Take a day and visit several markets in your metro area.
What do you notice? Which market fosters the most memorable customer experience? Which store has best solved the problem of long lines and poor checkout experience? What store has created memorable or funny advertisements? Which grocery retail offers the best promotions and discounts? What store has a large following on social media? Take stock of what these stores are doing and implement them for your own location. After all, increasing sales doesn’t necessitate reinventing the wheel….
If sales are not as robust as you’d like, consider rearranging the flow of your store, especially if it’s been a while since you’ve reorganized the layout of your store. Are the aisles too narrow, thus inconvenient for busy times? Are they too wide, which can make the experience too overwhelming? Are best-selling items and product categories in just one central area of the store? If so, this can lead to neglect for other sections. Is the lighting friendly? Is the atmosphere conducive for consumers to spend the average 41 minutes in a grocery store? Is the background music a genre that your most common demographic (say, for example, a 50-year old mother) would enjoy?
If hiring a consultant to see whether your store is utilizing its floor space in the most effective way is prohibitively expensive at the moment, ask friends or family members for their feedback. They might not be able to talk supermarket speak (end caps, segregation, self-facing fixture, etc.), and be expert in retail positioning psychology, but their recommendations could lead to increased sales.
Is the interior of your store sterile? Can you do anything to spice up the decor? For example, hire a mural artist to paint a wall of your store that embodies a central theme of your town. Customers will appreciate buying groceries from a store that isn’t just another plain old grocery store.
Reward Loyal Customers
All grocery store customers are familiar with coupons. But those coupons usually come directly from the manufacturer or brand of a specific product? Why not directly reward customers yourself with a loyalty program? How about a $10 coupon if a customer spends $125? That $10 savings will be appreciated by your customers. They’ll keep coming back and spend more than they normally do if they know they will get rewarded. Either send discount codes via SMS text message or email. Have your cashiers ask customers if they want to sign up for the rewards program.
If you have a best-in-class point of sale (POS), the software manages the rewards program for you as well as manage your email marketing.
Ask For Feedback
Once you have an email list going, you can mail surveys to your customers. Offer a discount code for completing the survey. Ask customers in the survey how they would improve your store. Have one employee act as a roving store ambassador for an hour or so of their shift. The roving ambassador can greet customers as they enter the store. The customers can also be approached during their shopping experience and asked if they require any assistance. Have whomever is managing your social media to pose questions to your store’s followers. Examples would be “What’s your favorite thing about shopping at [STORE NAME]?” And don’t be afraid to ask on social media: “What do you dislike the most about shopping here?” If long checkout lines are the most common feedback, be prepared to apologize and execute a plan of action to correct it.
Analyze Inventory Stats
This is again where having a best in class POS comes in handy. This is because you need the best insights for store data-in real time. Our grocery POS software can notify you (or an inventory manager) well before supplies run low. That way, your shelves won’t be in jeopardy of being empty by Sunday afternoon.
Want to know what our POS systems can do for your grocery business? Contact us today to get your questions answered or for a demonstration.