Retail management best practices demand that you demonstrate restraint and humility — and support your employees so they can also thrive.
2. Have a well-oiled supply chain
Retail best practices include maintaining a solid supply chain so you have enough merchandise in stock.
Customers shouldn’t arrive at your store to find you are out of the product they could just as easily have purchased from their smartphone without having to use their car.
3. Limit discounts and promotions
The best retailers limit price reductions and promotional sales. They keep a tight reign on inventory to maximize turn and margin.
It doesn’t mean you don’t put on sales, but they are not so frequent customers can time their purchases to wait for the deal.
4. District managers know employees’ names
The best district managers know the names of all employees in their stores. They make sure to talk to all of them on a store visit.
Too many come in on a beeline to the manager where they meet in private and leave without any interaction. At its heart, retail is a people business, not a process business.
The best district managers are able to have a face-to-face dialogue with their individual managers instead of just holding conference calls. The worst of them just pass along what all stores need to do and set goals that are unrealistic for many.
5. District managers as a buffer
Retail best practices should include having a district manager act as a buffer, standing between corporate and managers so neither has a chance to get mad at the other.
It is far better to be encouraging dialogue than to let things devolve into us versus them. No one wins in that game, especially your customers.
6. Have enough payroll budget
The best managers have a high enough payroll budget. They can complete all business tasks but also train employees on how to sell the merchandise. You manage down your sales by having fewer employees on the schedule and expecting those employees to do more with less.
But you can’t do more engagement with less staff, you simply lose your employees to completing tasks, not helping customers.
7. Recognize individual employees
Retail management best practices should recognize individuals, so everyone feels valued and appreciated. From the daily morning huddle to the weekly store meetings, the best managers make their employees’ day so their employees will make the customers’ day.
8. Hire teachable employees
The best store managers are able to hire employees who are teachable and let go of those who aren’t. They know if they don’t hire the best, they’re pretty much left with employees who put it out and hope someone asks to buy it.
9. Have managers on the sales floor
The best store managers are easily found on the sales floor. There on the sales floor is where they can most affect sales goals.
10. Hire associates who like people
The best retail sales associates, at their core, really like people. They don’t have to try to coerce them to go help someone. Retail sales training sticks.
11. Teach associates to juggle customers
The best retail sales associates can juggle customers. More importantly, they can do so without making the customer experience feel compromised.
12. Train associates to sell
The best retail salespeople are able to romance a product a shopper hadn’t even considered.
They know selling is nothing more than a transference of feeling and because they are excited and passionate about it, they can easily spark that in a stranger.
See also: Retail Sales Tip: It’s Not About How Neatly Your Merchandise Is Stacked
Instill good retail practices in all levels of the store
Look, there’s nothing I have to drive to your store to buy that I can’t buy online from the comfort of my own couch.
But when I do show up, my business is yours to miss.
If you’re crying the blues, you don’t have to look far to see why. You can’t blame it all on your shoppers when many times it’s your fault.
But you do get a chance to start over with the next person calling you on the phone or walking through your doors.
Use this list of best practices to create a corporate culture that isn’t technology or bean-counter first but exceptional customer service first.
Do that and as other retailers fail, you’ll see the opportunity for you to do even better.
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