Thursday, February 13, 2014

Tips To Motivate a Retail Sales Team

Motivation is one of the most influential factors in determining the success of a retail business. Employees who show up to work each and every day with a lack of drive and determination will only hurt the business in the long run. Customers oftentimes need a little encouragement to buy a product, and it's the sales team's job to provide them with encouragement. This week, we're going to cover some key tips on how to motivate a retail sales team.

Tip #1) Drive Sales With Commissions

This should come as no surprise, but offering employees commissions on certain products is a highly effective way to drive sales. If an employee knows he or she will receive bonus money for selling a product, they'll likely pull out all of the stops to try and make the sale happen. It's important to note, however, that not all retail businesses are suited for the commission format, so carefully consider the pros and cons of commission sales before implementing it into your business.

Tip #2) Continue Training

Just because your sales team went through an initial round of training doesn't mean they should stop there. If you look at some of the nation's leading retailers, you'll notice their sales teams are constantly being trained on new sales techniques. The truth is that most sales employees would love to go through additional training programs, as it gives them a break from their monotonous day-to-day tasks. After going through the training program, they'll go back to work with a newfound drive and determination.

Tip #3) Show Appreciation

Recognizing and showing appreciation to your sales team is a natural form of motivation. Far too many bosses and manager avoid content with their employees, which leads to a general sense of dissatisfaction in the workplace.

Here are some simple ways to recognize and show appreciation to your employees:

  • Verbally thank them for their hard work.
  • Use employee-of-the-month programs to place top-performing sales employees in the limelight.
  • Reward employees with incentives such as gift cards, bonus checks, plaques, trophies, etc.

Tip #4) Hire a Motivational Speaker

Hiring a motivational speaker is yet another technique that many retailers and businesses use to encourage better performance in their sales team. A professional motivational speaker will spark a drive in your sales team, allowing them to work past slumps, seasonal changes or other hurdles. For the price, hiring one will almost certainly prove to be a smart investment that yields higher sales in the long run.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Boost Your Profits With Key Performance Indicators (KPI)

Business owners should use key performance indicators (KPI) to make smarter professional decisions regarding their professional operations. If you own or manage a retail store, you can use this data to boost revenue and turn a higher profit. Unfortunately, far too many business owners gather mass amounts of data, grouping it into one big meaningless mass. A smarter approach, however, is to look for specific data and metrics which hold the most weight in your line of work.


Shrink is one of the biggest KPIs in the retail industry. If you keep up with our blog here at, you're probably well aware of the importance of shrink in retail businesses. When a store if forced to write X amount of dollars off as “shrink,” their profits drop and they're forced to raise prices to make up for the loss.

Analyzing your business's shrink on a regular basis allows you to monitor the problem. If the numbers continue to grow over the course of several months, then perhaps you should make some changes to reduce your store's shrink.

Net Profit

Of course, net profit is a major KPI that business owners shouldn't overlook. Just as the name suggests, this metric is the actual profit that your business creates. Not to be confused with gross revenue, which is the amount of money your store generates, net profit is the actual profit that's left over after paying payroll, taxes, overhead, insurance, etc.

Return on Investment (ROI)

We really can't talk about KPIs in the retail industry without mentioning return on investment (ROI). Whenever you open a new store or launch a new business, you are investing your money into what you hope is a successful establishment. ROI is the percentage of money based on your initial investment that's returned.

ROI can be used in a countless number of applications. Let's say you want to purchase a radio commercial advertisement to drive sales to your store. You could announce a special radio coupon code during the commercial to track which sales came from this medium. Once the promotion is over, you can then measure the ROI of your radio commercial campaign by determining exactly how much revenue it generated.

These are just a few of the most commonly used KPIs in the retail industry.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Effective Cross-Merchandising Tips For Retailers

Cross-merchandising is a marketing technique where the retailer groups different products together to achieve more sales. When a custom notices the display, they may decide to purchase multiple products rather than just one. Unfortunately, far too many retailers overlook the importance of cross-merchandising, relying strictly on dated forms of in-store marketing and promotional displays. If you're struggling to grasp the concept of cross-marketing, keep reading for some effective tips to set you in the right direction.

What Exactly Is Cross-Merchandising?

Some people assume that cross-merchandising is some form of discount given to customers who purchase multiple products, but this isn't the case. It's actually a display marketing technique used in stores where different types of products are grouped together.

One example of cross-merchandising is a mannequin set up in a clothing store that's wearing a full outfit, along with a hat, handbag, jewelry and other accessories. Even if the retailer's primary objective is to sell clothes, they'll still generate some revenue on accessories, which is why they display them on their mannequins.

Another example of cross-merchandising is a luggage store that sells accessories like luggage tags and leather conditioner. Perhaps they'll group these accessories next to their luggage in an effort to encourage customers to buy them. The customer may have visited the store strictly for a new luggage set, but after seeing these accessories nearby, they may purchase them as well.

Cross-Merchandising Tips:

  • Group together products that are related in some way. For instance, an electronics retailer might display some popcorn or beverages near their DVDs and Blu-Ray movies.
  • Create your product display around a central theme. Cluttering it with unrelated products and no central theme will only reduce its effectiveness as a marketing tool.
  • Analyze your sales. After setting up a cross-merchandising display, pay close attention to your sales in the weeks and months to follow. If it's not performing well, don't be afraid to make some changes.
  • Think like a customer. Ask yourself: does this display make me want to buy the product? If you answered, redo your product display.

The Bottom Line

When it's done right, cross-merchandising can drive more sales and higher profits. It's a simple marketing technique that nearly all of the nation's top retailers use.

Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Gift Ideas For Employees

Looking for some do-it-yourself (DIY) gift ideas for employees? Whether it's a birthday, celebration for working X number of years with the company, holiday party, or a recognition award, there are tons of simple yet meaningful DIY gifts out there. DIY gifts are bound to leave a lasting impression on employees, which is why so many companies use them. As long as you are willing to invest a little bit of time and energy into the project, you can create some wonderful gifts; just see the list of ideas below for some inspiration.

Candy-Filled Coffee Mug

You really can't go wrong with a candy-filled coffee mug for your employees. Place some chocolate candies or baked goods into a small bag, tie it with a piece of ribbon at the top, and place it inside the coffee mug. The entire cost for this nifty little DIY employee gift should only run you a couple bucks a piece.

According to, over half (54%) of Americans 18 and older drink coffee everyday; therefore, you can rest assured knowing this gift will come in handy. And even if the recipient isn't a coffee drinker, they can still use it for tea, hot coco, etc. If you really want to go the extra mile with this gift, use coffee branded with your company's name and logo. You'll have to pay a little bit more for a custom-branded coffee mug, but it's a small price to pay for a truly memorable gift.

Fruit Basket

Another idea is to make a fruit basket for your employees. There are several companies whom specialize in fruit baskets and similar gifts, but they are actually quite easy to make. And opting to make it yourself allows you to choose the exact contents. You can toss some bananas, pears, apples, oranges and even a pineapple or two into it. If you know the employee enjoys a particular type of fruit, you can add it to the basket as well.

Stationary Goodie Bag

A third DIY employee gift that we're going to talk about here is a goodie bag filled with stationary. Let's face it, office workers can always use more pens, making this the perfect gift idea. Just take a small vinyl or cloth bag and fill it with pens, pencils, notepads, staples, paperclips and other office accessories.

These are just a few DIY employee gift ideas to consider using. Have some fun with your gifts and don't be afraid to experiment with ones not mentioned here.