20 ways in which you can increase sales if you use itim’s omni-channel platform

All retailers want to increase sales, but how can you do so?

There is NO MAGIC BULLET. We all know RETAIL IS DETAIL.

So how do you increase sales?

We are trying to avoid the obvious answer – BETTER PRODUCTS.

Well in as much as that is true, its not something you can turn off or turn on.

We focus a lot of small things, which are more about HOW YOU DO BUSINESS, as opposed to WHAT YOU SELL.
It’s a lot of small things, each of them gives the business a little more OOMPH!.

But if you do all of them CUSTOMERS NOTICE. Suddenly you are a much more attractive retailers to shop with.

1.
Shop Local

Allow retailers to shop your store online, not just your central web warehouse. If you take most retailers all their ACTIVE range is on the website and stocked in the web warehouse. However shops often have a large tail of stock, that never gets exposed online. By allowing shop local you are making shopping more convenient and you can also sell tail-end stock

2.
Despatch from store

Everyone is doing ‘click and collect’ but not everyone is doing despatch from store, if you can connect to local courier services you can offer 1 hour delivery. Customers will notice.

3.
30 Minute Click and Collect

Everyone is offering click and collect but offering 30 minute click and collect is a real differentiator.

4.
Don’t sell products – sell PRODUCT SETS

Selling products in combinations, toys + batteries, shirts plus ties, etc, creates convenience if you get the product sets right and you price them attractively. It increases basket value, and profitability. Doing that easily is not easy online and in-store

5.
Sell Subscriptions

Proving very attractive if you can create product sets or shopping baskets people can subscribe to receive once a month, or quarterly. Easy to do in our platform. Brings the power of recurring revenue to retailers.

6.
Sell Memberships

This is a clever way to attract customers who become sticky or long term customers. You don’t have to be an Amazon to do so. One of our small retailers has done this and their sales are growing rapidly. A real secret of ours.

7.
Not all customers are the same

The biggest mistake retailers make is in thinking that all customers are the same. They are not! Most retailers have VIP, Regular and Casual customers. If you focus on these groups, differently you will get smarter at selling, targeting and personalising your business. But of course you need better CRM to do so. See later.

8.
VIPs are the most important customers

You lose them at YOUR PERIL. In most retailers 10% of customers account for 40% of sales. If you do the maths and you could get them to shop 20% more each year, it DOUBLES YOUR PROFITS. Most retailers have not done the maths. We believe the answer to better VIP management is using a VIP app, that connects VIP customers to staff members in store. Basically turning your staff members into personal shoppers for VIP customers.

9.
Personalised cross-channel promotions

Every promotion should be cross channel, it should be designed to demonstrate you are an OMNI-CHANNEL RETAILER. If you know your customer segments, then promotions should be based on customer data, and should be personalised and targeted. Most retailers think of using promotions to clear stock, they are PRODUCT FOCUSSED, they need to be CUSTOMER FOCUSSED.

10.
Vouchers Management will save you money

Vouchers are great way to incentivise consumer behaviour. Retailers however have been using them indiscriminately. In addition many retailers do not have systems to track voucher redemption, so are open to voucher abuse. Voucher management and redemption, have to be cross-channel to be effective. Many retailers have used bounce-back vouchers in stores. But unless they can be tracked across all sales channels they lose effectiveness. Of course we want to use vouchers to attract customers back into stores, so they need to be genuinely OMNI-CHANNEL

11.
Cross channel gift cards and digital wallets

Retailers have often sold gift cards and used gift cards as a tender types, allowing consumers to pay for sales with Gift Cards. In todays systems platforms like itim’s, Gift Cards are more like digital wallets. You can top them up digitally. We believe by using Gift Cards more creatively you can encourage consumers to shop more often with you.

12.
Rich Customer database and CRM in stores

A single view of customer at all points of sale is now a pre-requisite of sales in Retailing. However providing store staff with an effective CRM system that allows them to upsell-crosssell and service customers in their local community, is key to driving sales. We believe getting store staff re-engaged in sales is critical to driving sales growth in an OMNI-CHANNEL world.

13.
Improved Customer service

Most retailers have call centres to deal with Online Orders. These are normally served from central call centres, with call centre platforms linked to their web-site. This continues to strengthen the SILOS retailers have created in their business. A key point of customer service in an OMNI-CHANNEL worlds is that store staff should have the access to the same functionality that a call centre has, so it does not matter where as a customer you go for service.

14.
Cross Channel Loyalty programmes

Loyalty capabilities should come straight out of the box in any OMNI-CHANNEL business. If you have VIP and Regular customers, surely Loyalty rewards are key to retaining loyalty of those customers. They need to be imaginative and yet effective.

15.
Better focus on Range Management

More and more its becoming clearer that to retain brand awareness, you need to have a range that encourages retailers to shop 12 times a year. Better range management based on customer data is key. But this also links to having better recommendations engines, that are customer driven. So we believe increasing range is critical to retaining customer attention, yet increasing range must not be a barrier to shopping, so with that comes an obligation to personalise across all sales channels.

16.
Increasing Range 1 - Drop ship from suppliers

Many retailers are doing so, and we believe this has to be integral to all OMNI-CHANNEL strategies. We make this easy.

17.
Increasing Range 2 – Becoming Marketplaces

This goes beyond drop-ship from suppliers. Many retailers are engaging with suppliers to enable them to provide ‘consignment stock’, into their premises. This is a sale or return model, but allows particularly international brands/suppliers to enter new markets. This includes allowing suppliers through collaborative portals to do ‘vendor managed inventory’. Afterall this should not be the right of Amazon alone.

18.
Pre-Order Products

This is a capability we provide that enables retailers to launch products ahead of the arrival of stock and be capable of taking orders, and sales which then automatically get released for home delivery or click and collect as stock arrives.

19.
Credit Accounts

We have all seen the fast growth of Buy-Now-Pay-Later (BNPL) business models based on the likes of Klarna. However this is not something new. If you go back 40-50 years many local retailers would keep a ‘slate’ of your purchases, like a credit account in store, which you pay up monthly.
We provide the capability for retailers to do so directly themselves, rather than going through to Klarna and their likes. Of course you could do this for ‘commercial’ accounts or for ‘VIP’ customers. It is yet another service that would be easy to provide, and would not be seen as providing ‘credit’ in the sense of a bank or Klarna.

20.
Increasing sales channels – Curated Wholesale

If you dominate a category, then there is no reason you should not explore other sales channels. It increases your distribution capability, and gives you more dominance with suppliers, increasing margins and getting better access to stock. By acting as a curator for other retailers, essentially managing concessions in their stores is a clear growth pattern that we support and we see as growing in retailers who dominate/create a brand.




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