With modern retailers heavily focussed on the central control of space and compliance “Trading Your Store”, that autonomy and skill set to optimise local opportunities has become somewhat of a “Dark Art”. As such the skills and techniques required to locally increase sales, create a localised experiences and “buzz in store” for the customer are becoming somewhat lost. Studies show that the timely localising of your offer and presentation can create additional sales of between 10%-15% for those that are prepared to embrace. Certainly no store manager ever tires of hearing their customers saying at the checkout “I only came in for a couple of items and I ended up filling my trolley”.
Change is in the Air.
In very recent times we are seeing some organisations looking to introduce a shift back to a ‘store trading’ culture, allowing greater autonomy and authority for their retail teams to ‘localise’ their customer offer and relevance. Today it is about taking every opportunity to give customers an exciting and productive in store shopping experience, to balance the convenience of on line shopping and capitalise on sales opportunities. Trading a store isn’t just about merchandising, it is a mindset for those working in the store. It is about understanding the trading emphasis, how to to interact with the customers. This awareness of customers needs and taking every opportunity to ensure customers always get the products that they wanted and also the products that they didn’t realise they needed. Nothing worse then getting home and realising you forgot to get a paintbrush with your tin of paint…
Productive in store shopping experiences drive visit frequency.
The retail team at Sigma have strong trading backgrounds with the expertise and experience to provide insight, tactics and tools to help you design an effective store trading strategy. We can work with you to identify, trial, implement and integrate this into your store blueprint management process. Central control of stock, space and retail trading emphasis is essential for any retailer looking to deliver a consistent offering to their customers. However having the flexibility, capability and capacity to respond to local trading opportunities, not only gives the customer a better instore shopping experience, but also drives sales. The benefits of creating a store trading strategy along side your existing central control of space are significant and include:
♦ Significantly increasing spend per customer in store.
♦ Increasing store visit frequency.
♦ Creating a more rewarding in store customer experience.
♦ Increase seasonal sell through and clearance rates.
♦ Adding interest and local personality to the store.
♦ Creating a positive and engaging trading culture for store team members.
Loose Tight Controls.
We believe that localised store trading strategies will continue to evolve as organisations look to move away from a ‘one-fits-all’ approach. Such strategies allow rapid response to trading conditions, differentiation and the ability to capitalise on market growth. What is important is control, something we like to refer to as “Loose Tight Controls”. These refer to the rules, principles and use of space in stores which must be clearly understood and adhered to, ensuring store blueprints and the promotional activity remains centrally controlled and compliant.
Store trading should be clearly documented and understood.
The principles of any store trading should be moulded around your strategic central offering. They must be simple to interpret, quick to implement, effective and easily manageable at store level. To understand this in detail we have developed a practical process and a fully managed store trial program that sets out the trading plan, KPI’s and key measures. In these store trials we establish the opportunities for additional store trading. Specifically the rules, merchandising techniques, controls required and team members, trading and product sales skills. Using sales data from a selected number of stores (baseline) and the trial stores, we analyse this to understand the overall impact on customer basket spend and store sales. Having completed store trials, the process of documenting the techniques and guidelines and training programmes for the store teams to develop their skills and expertise takes place. All that remains is for a clear implementation program, with ownership to transition into your store estate.
Give us a call to find out more about how we can help you.
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