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Increasing Profits With Low Tech, Old School Tricks

In the world of consumer driven storefronts and service-type businesses, it seems that everything either has, or is on its way to going entirely digital. What businesses don’t realize is that digital marketing and sales – while important – is often the sole focus when there may be other ways of increasing profits that are right in front of your nose. While increased profits from digital sales, and marketing efforts that help your store attract new clients are great, you haven’t done all you can do until you maximize the amount of money spent once you actually get them. Business owners go through great lengths – and great expense – optimizing the shopping cart, the user experience, and the checkout and upsell process in their online stores, but completely disregard a lot of the Business 101 fundamentals when that customer actually visits your store.

We’re going to help you change that right now. Here’s how….

Optimize Your Displays

Grocery stores, big box retailers and electronics stores offer the most, and the most visible shelf space to the top selling items that offer nice margins. Some retailers are even paid extra by product manufacturers for this premium shelf space, and it’s no wonder. This prime real estate is often at eye level (or slightly above or below) and doesn’t require squatting, bending, or stretching in order to grab the item or give it a thorough visual inspection. This same strategy is one of the easiest to use at your own store as well. Save the best bits of shelf space for your best sellers and high margin items, while lower margin items fill in the gaps.

Image credit: wikimedia.org

Fill the Counter With Smaller Add-ons and High Margin Accessories

Every brick and mortar retailer needs to purchase at least a few creative displays for store counters in order to maximize impact buys or “I didn’t know I needed that” purchases. Counter space often isn’t given the importance that it needs, and it’s a cluttered mess, or completely empty. Those that do use this counter space aren’t often using it effectively, but those that do are reaping big rewards.

Don’t Ignore the Receipt

I see too many stores that print a receipt with nothing more than the item purchased, the store information (name, address, phone number, etc.), the time of your purchase and the payment method. The receipt is best used as a promotional item. You could just as easily print a small coupon for next time, a customer satisfaction number (with incentive), dates for in-store events, or any number of other things that could bring a customer back to your store. Don’t ignore the receipt… print something useful on it, and give the customer a reason to come back.

Think User Experience – Offline

Another common optimization mistake I run into semi-regularly is putting new release items, or big displays at the front door. This is a mistake, especially for smaller shops. The items that you want your customer to be attracted to should be at eye level, and directly in front of them as they walk into the door. These displays that create an aisle, or sit too far out of the peripheral vision of customers is often overlooked, and by the time they do see it (often when they’re leaving the store), they’ve already purchased something, or they’re on their way out and are unlikely to grab the item, and turn around to go back to the register, even if they want to purchase it. It’s hard to change the “leaving the store” mindset in the customer, and these displays don’t sell nearly as well as they could due to bad placement. When your customer walks in the door, where do their eyes go? This is where you want your big ticket, high margin items.

By utilizing these small tips and hacks, it’s not uncommon to add several percentage points of gross margin to each sale in your store. This increases both the average ticket price, as well as the margins, which lead to a much healthier bottom line. Maybe it’s time you gave your store the same attention that you gave your website. You’ll find that profits are everywhere, you just have to look for in-person optimization opportunities.

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Jyotsna Ramani is a passionate writer and an avid globetrotter. She had a knack for writing since her early years, though that was mostly letters to her penpals and jotting her thoughts down in her "Dear Diary". Over the years, she realized how her hobby could turn into a full time career and she started writing web content, books and pieces for local magazines. There has been no looking back ever since. Follow Jyotsna Ramani at Google+

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