5 Types of Customers

smart ideas Barb pic

  

Increase Loyalty to Increase Sales!

 


 

In the retail industry, it seems as though we are constantly faced with the issue of trying to find new customers. Most of us are obsessed with making sure our advertising, displays, and pricing all “scream out” to attract new business. This focus on pursuing new customers is certainly a good idea and necessary but, at the same time, it can wind up costing you money and having anything to show for it.  Therefore, our focus really should be on the 20% of our clients who currently are your best repeat customers.

In retail, this idea of focusing on the best current customer should be seen as an on-going opportunity. To better understand the rationale behind this and to face the challenge of building customer loyalty, we need to break down shoppers into five main types:

  • Loyal Customers: They represent no more than 20 percent of our customer base, but make up more than 80 percent of our sales.

  • Discount Customers: They shop our stores frequently, but make their decisions based on the size of our markdowns.

  • Impulse Customers: They do not have buying a particular item at the top of their “To Do” list, but come into the store on a whim. They will purchase what seems good at the time.

  • Need-Based Customers: They have a specific intention to buy a particular type of item.

  • Wandering Customers: They have no specific need or desire in mind when they come into the store. Rather, they want a sense of experience and/or community.

  solving_loyalty_equation  173  red-haired-woman-pulling-cash-from-wallet

If we are serious about growing our businesses, we need to focus our effort on the loyal customers, and merchandise our store to leverage the impulse shoppers, the other three types of customers do represent a segment of our business, but they can also cause us to misdirect our resources if we put too much emphasis on them.

Best,

Barb

 

Prevent Shoplifting

smart ideas Barb pic

Thinking that someone doesn't "look" like a shoplifter might lull you into a false sense of security.  Prevent shoplifting by removing as many opportunities to shoplift as possible.

Merchandise: Arrange aisles and displays so that employees have a clear view of a much of the store as possible. Utilize convex mirrors for areas that are blind spots.2 Put less expensive items closer to the door, more expensive items further away. This prevents a shoplifter from being able to grab expensive items and be out the door in a matter of seconds. Put security tags on merchandise that can only be removed at the cash register.

Learn Shoplifting Techniques: Limit the number of items that can be taken into the fitting room. Lock all fitting room doors so that customers must have an employee them. Require your employees to note how many items the person is taking into the fitting room. Shoplifters will sometimes use a fitting room to put on stolen merchandise under their own clothes. Note anyone who seems to be wandering in the store, or who seems to be watching employees and other customers closely. They may be looking for an opportunity to shoplift when no one is watching. Take note of a person wearing a baggy coat, especially if the weather doesn't call for it. They may be hiding stolen merchandise underneath.

Involve Employees: Have your employees greet each customer as they enter the store. A shoplifter is less likely to go through with his crime if they think someone might be able to identify them. Offer bonuses to employees who catch shoplifters and alert security. Let your employees know that shoplifters often work in teams, with one person distracting the employee while the other one shoplifts. Tell your employees avoid distractions and to watch other customers at all times. If you have more than one employee, train them so that only one deals with a dominant customer while the other watches the store floor.

  Good-luck! -Barbara

Performance Review -Tips For Managment

smart ideas Barb picPerformance Review Tips Are Beneficial To Managers!

 


  Strike the right balance between praise and constructive criticism to achieve that elusive balance and make the review a productive one, start preparing for the next round of performance appraisals once the last round has been completed. performance reviews If you’re dissatisfied with the reviews you’ve given in the past, take steps now to improve the process before other priorities and deadlines force you to put it on the back burner. Performance reviews are a lot like walking a tightrope. If you withhold positive feedback, you’ll discourage and demoralize employees. On the other hand, if you hesitate to point out problem areas, you’ll never see improvement. ...

   

Maintain A Consistent Review Schedule


Performance appraisals should not be a one-time event. In addition to providing ongoing feedback throughout the year, let employees know what time of year that reviews typically take place. Seventy-seven percent of employees polled said they consider performance reviews valuable, so providing them with adequate time to prepare is critical. Give your staff the opportunity to identify their achievements from the past year and areas where they would like to improve. 

Keep  Files On Each Employee


Whenever you hire a new staff member or immediately after your review the performance of a long-time employee, set up a file in which you will document the good, the bad and the just-average aspects of that employee’s job performance and work habits. You can use the file not only to catalog accomplishments but also to track performance-related issues such as tardiness or consistent failure to meet deadlines. By keeping a performance file on each staff member, you won’t have to rely on memory when you find you need to discuss something that occurred months before the actual review meeting. 

Solicit Third-Party Input


Although the appraisal will be based on your observations and assessments of an employee’s performance, you shouldn’t rely solely on your own perceptions – particularly if your interactions with the individual have been limited. Seek input from colleagues and others who work closely day-to-day with the employee. Inquire about the person’s strengths, weaknesses, areas that have improved over time and special abilities. Ask specific questions. For example, how does this employee handle challenges and overcome obstacles? What contributions has he or she made to team-based projects? Does the employee seem committed to continuing professional education and skills development? Compare the feedback you receive with what you’ve directly observed. 

Allow Sufficient Time To Make An Assessment


Don’t wait until the day before the review to start tracking and critiquing a staff member’s performance – this is unfair to the individual and will not give you an accurate, comprehensive picture of his or her abilities and achievements. Instead, try to observe the employee in a variety of situations over an extended period of time. Ideally, you want to see how well he or she manages both independent and collaborative assignments. 

Create A Conducive Setting


Choose a quiet, private place for the review and try to schedule it at a time when interruptions can be kept at a minimum. When structuring the session, incorporate time for a two-way dialogue so that the employee can respond to your feedback and offer input of his or her own. To prepare for the meeting, organize all documentation – previous evaluations,  comments you’ve gleaned from colleagues and your own notes. Give the employee sufficient advance notice so that he or she can also prepare. 

Performance Reviews

Set The Appropriate Tone


The review itself should be handled in a professional manner and treated as a conversation, not a lecture. Open the discussion by talking about the employee’s accomplishments and positive attributes. When it’s time to shift to negative or problematic areas, focus not on mistakes but on ways to improve performance. Most employees will not be surprised by anything they hear during a review. However, if there’s a gap between an employee’s perceived versus actual performance, be sure to explain the difference and suggest ways performance goals might be met. As you speak with the employee, invite comments on your observations. Once you’ve reviewed past performance, begin talking about future expectations. Clarify his or her job requirements and responsibilities as these can change over time. Also inquire about the employee’s professional development goals and discuss how you both might work toward meeting them. Throughout the meeting, be courteous and tactful. If you must criticize, focus on behaviour rather than personality. Remember that encouragement is the best incentive for improvement. 

Maintain An Open Door


Because employees may need time to digest the feedback from a review, encourage them to come to you afterward if they have questions or concerns. If you show that performance is not a once-a-year issue but a matter of ongoing importance, your staff will focus less on the formal review itself and more on the feedback and guidance they received. They’ll be motivated to see feedback as help with their performance. By preparing well in advance for performance reviews and developing a systematic, consistent appraisal process, you’ll turn what could be an uncomfortable time into a chance to dialogue with team members and set goals for the future. Who knows? You and your employees may start to look forward to these feedback sessions and your employee may improve.  BestBarbara

Building Professional Window Displays

How to Build Professional Window Displays...A Few Great Tips

Picture courtesy of Cloud Nine Pyjamas

Picture courtesy of Cloud Nine Pyjamas

Focus Attention

 Have you ever tried to persuade someone who wasn’t really listening? It doesn’t work.People only have so much attention to give. Show a customer one product and you’re dealing with 100% of their attention. Show them two products and you’ve got only half as much attention on each. That’s called splitting attention. And the more products you add, the worse the math. Some store owners violate this principle hoping that something in the window will catch the eye. In practice, however, the normal result is to catch nothing at all. So little attention is available for any given item, the average passer by sees nothing at all.On the other hand, there’s nothing wrong with grouping related products together and selling them as a package. 

Mask Distractive Background

 What else can the customer see through your window? If they can see into the store, you must ask yourself if this is going to enhance the overall effect or detract. Depending on the setting, this could go either way.If viewing above and around the display is distractive, if it looks cluttered, use a backdrop of some sort to wall off distractions. Cover the background panel in fabric or display vinyl. This could be a large panel, or even fire-resistant seamless photography paper. 

Keep It Clean

 A dirty or dusty window display lowers not only perceived value of the product, but also the integrity and control of store management. Five minutes with a feather duster can make a huge difference. Window glass is best cleaned before the display is done, using a solution of clear ammonia and water. Wipe edges with clean paper towels or newspapers. 

Present The Correct Quantity

 Now that you’ve selected an item and limited distractions, you need to decide how many products to put on display. This decision may pivot on price. Generally speaking the less involved the customer is in the purchase of the item, the more you may want to display a volume of the items on display. For example, a potato does not require a lot of thought on the part of a buyer, whereas an expensive watch does. So display only one of the watch, but offer potatoes in a huge pile. 

Elevate

 Get your items off the ground. To put something on a pedestal or platform is to glorify it. Remember the old idiom about putting someone on a pedestal. You can cover a box in velvet or display felt, buy a plastic column from a display supply, or use a table. Never place items on the floor in a display. Make it special. Elevate.  

Use Signage

 The use of signage in a window display gives the chance to reinforce the purpose if tasteful and clever. You want your display to be as powerful as possible but since the ultimate goal is to sell there are times when the whole composition will benefit from a word or two. Or perhaps a brand name or logo positioned somewhere. In fact, there are times when the omission of the brand name would be sheer idiocy. Take, for instance, a series of window displays interpreting a new fragrance. Such a display would make no marketing sense without the name of the brand somewhere visible.But in most cases, unless you have a really good idea for a sign, leave it out. As a comparative, advertisements sometimes include a tag line or slogan. Today the rule is, unless the tag line is spectacular leave it out! Like a bad haircut or botched plastic surgery, a mediocre tag line will do more harm than good. Many advertisers don’t understand this. “What’s our slogan for this campaign?”,  they think they have to have a slogan -not true.  ... The moral of the story, use signage, ( Link to Shoppetalk to Buy! ). 

Add Trim

 Foliage, flowers, ribbon, a velvet pillow, rusty steel, a wicker basket... in the display profession, props such as these are called “trim.” Older dictionaries give a definition of trim as a, “decorative addition.”In fact, it might interest you to know that for decades, a display artist in the apparel industry was called a “trimmer.” In the main, trimmers worked with wires instead of mannequins, making clothes appear to hang, float or fly in mid air as if by magic. They habitually added in decorative additions such as dried foliage, flowers, ribbon, and all manner of things to tell a story.

Picture courtesy of Cloud Nine Pyjamas ..… Robyn hand made all the butterflies . Nice Trim!

Send me pictures of your window displays. Best Barbara

Make A Web Design Look Good

Seven Key principles:

Seven-KeysVery excited to share  Roxanne's Reflections Book & Card  Shop ….. brand  new Website. Designed by Retail Makeover's very own Web Designer, Steve Crowhurst.  www.retailmakeoverweb.com

The Seven Key Principles:

  1. Balance
  2. Grid
  3. Color
  4. Graphics
  5. Typography
  6. White space
  7. Connection.

1. Balance

Balance is all about ensuring that your design does not tip to one side or the other. It is like the balance of weight in achieving symmetry or asymmetry.

2. Grid

The concept of grids is closely related to that of balance. Grids are a series of horizontal and vertical rulers that help you “compartmentalize” a design. Think of columns. Columns improve readability, making a page’s content easier to absorb. The Rule of Thirds and Golden Ratio account for why sidebars. We won’t get into why this is, but it does seem to hold true in practice. It is also why the subject in professionally taken photographs is usually positioned not in the middle but at the intersection of an imaginary nine-square grid (three by three, with two horizontal and two vertical lines).

3. Color

Picking nice colors is as important as picking the right colors (that is, the right colors for the job).  Every color sends out a message, and it is up to you to get the message right. At first glance, the color choices may look somewhat arbitrary, but when you look closely you notice a strictly defined color palette, which is necessary to ensure that all of the elements get along well. The website, and especially its background, also demonstrates a good combination of colors and graphics, which brings us to number four…

4. Graphics

Okay, great design doesn’t need fancy graphics. But poor graphics will definitely hurt a design. Graphics add to the visual message.

 5. Typography

The art of type is a tricky subject to talk about because it encompasses so many elements. While it can be regarded as a branch of design, one can spend a lifetime mastering all of its aspects. This is not the place to provide a complete typographic reference, so we will limit our discussion to what will benefit you in the short term.Web typography is handicapped compared to print typography. The biggest difference is our lack of complete control over the appearance of type on the Web, due to its dynamic character. Obviously, dynamic rendering has its strenghts, but Web designers have little control over the results, at least for now. Missing fonts on the user’s computer, differences in browser and platform rendering, and generally subpar support in CSS make Web typography a daunting if not frustrating task. But while we may have to wait for CSS 3 for Web typography to reach its full potential, we have the means now to make it look interesting and, more importantly, pretty.A Word About Image ReplacementWhat about image replacement (the technique of replacing fonts with images)? We’ve talked about font stacks, but aren’t they inferior to image replacement? Well, that depends on what you think is more important: being able to display the exact font you want or having dynamic, accessible and SEO-friendly content? Certain image replacement techniques have gotten pretty advanced, but they still aren’t as flexible as plain text. Image replacement lends itself well to headers and excerpts, but it is hardly a solution for body text.

6. White Space

White space, or negative space, has to do with what is not there. Like measure and leading, white space gives text some breathing room and spatial peace. You can make elements stand out by adding white space around them. Copy, for example, shouldn’t look cramped. To ensure readability, make sure paragraphs have sufficient padding.

7. Connection

“Connection” is a bit of a made-up term here, but it seems to be the best one for what we mean. Connection here refers to a Web design that has both unity and consistency. These two attributes demonstrate the profesionalism of a design (and thus its designer). They are very broad attributes. A design should be consistent in its use of colors, in its range of fonts, with its icons, etc. All of these aspects count; a design can look great and still suffer from inconsistencies.When a design is inconsistent, its unity can be lost on the user. Unity is slightly different from consistency. Unity refers to how the different elements in a design interact and fit together. For example, do the colors and graphics match? Does everything contribute to one unified message? Consistency, on the other hand, is found between the pages of a design.Unity is perhaps the more important of the two. Without unity, having a good design is hard. Inconsistency, however, may look a bit “sloppy” but may not make the design “bad.”Of the seven principles addressed in this article, connection is the most important. Connection has to do with how all elements come together: balance, grid, colors, graphics, type and white space. It is sort of the glue that binds everything together. Without this glue, the design falls apart. You could have pretty type and a brilliant and meticulously chosen color palette, but if the graphics are awful or simply don’t match or if everything is crammed together without thought, the design will fail.

Conclusion:

Good Web design is not limited to the seven key principles discussed here. Aspects such as accessibility, readability and usability play a part, too.This is the reason why Web design is so difficult. But truly mastering all of the facets of Web design takes time and, let’s be honest, talent.  Congratulations Roxanne. Your website is a very  effective on line sales and marketing tool. Best:Barbara

Day #150 - The Customer Experience

The Customer Experience

Key reasons shoppers choose to come back to your store and shop:It's all about your staff:

Action points for you to take to increase sales and margins:

  1. Increase the number of staff you have covering peek hours. More staff means  more customer attention and higher conversion rates.
  2. Invest in sales training.  A better trained sales staff provides the service that customers are looking for. A better trained staff  participate  more directly in the sales culture of the  store. Retail Makeover University Online
  3. Be the expert. A  knowledgeable staff  is what customers want. Product knowledge training is vital to your success.

Best;Barbara

Day #149 - Effective Use of Signage

Order you Shoppetalk window signage today :Shoppe Talk  will be featured at the Wall Talk Booth   at the  CGTA August Show from 11- 15 , 2012Please visit and meet with Ronda Pegman to review product line.Booth # 8118 in Hall 8 Toronto Congress Centre .BestBarbara

Day #148 - Independent Retailer Month & Cloud Nine Pyjamas

Celebrating the  successful launch of Independent Retailer Month in Canada with our last retail profile:

Meet Robyn Zechel, owner of Cloud Nine Pyjamas

It all started with books, drinks, food, and laughter…

Meeting after meeting, the ladies of one Edmonton book club were talking not about books, but how they couldn’t sleep! As many of them were (and still are) in the thrust of menopause, night sweats were disrupting their sleep and making them a little bit grumpy. They needed something that would help, but couldn’t find anything in Edmonton that would fit the bill.With this in mind, Cloud Nine Pajamas opened in Edmonton, Alberta in 2005.  Cloud Nine promotes a lifestyle of comfort by carrying everything from famous flannels, bamboo pajamas, Oprah’s Favourite Pajamas, “wicking” sleepwear for night sweats and traveling, buttery soft robes to bath and body products – they even carry footed pajamas for adults during the holiday season.  As Robyn (owner and manager) loves to put on her pajamas every day after work because it makes her feel relaxed and at her best, Cloud Nine provides the pajamas and loungewear for every woman and man to do the same.So lounge, love, put on your pajamas, and be comfortable!   

Cloud Nine Pajamas (2009) Inc.12511 102 AvenueEdmonton, AB T5N 0M4

Till Next yearBest;Barbara

Day #148 - Independent Retailer Month & Cloud Nine Pyjamas

Celebrating the  successful launch of Independent Retailer Month in Canada with our last retail profile:

Meet Robyn Zechel, owner of Cloud Nine Pyjamas

It all started with books, drinks, food, and laughter…

Meeting after meeting, the ladies of one Edmonton book club were talking not about books, but how they couldn’t sleep! As many of them were (and still are) in the thrust of menopause, night sweats were disrupting their sleep and making them a little bit grumpy. They needed something that would help, but couldn’t find anything in Edmonton that would fit the bill.With this in mind, Cloud Nine Pajamas opened in Edmonton, Alberta in 2005.  Cloud Nine promotes a lifestyle of comfort by carrying everything from famous flannels, bamboo pajamas, Oprah’s Favourite Pajamas, “wicking” sleepwear for night sweats and traveling, buttery soft robes to bath and body products – they even carry footed pajamas for adults during the holiday season.  As Robyn (owner and manager) loves to put on her pajamas every day after work because it makes her feel relaxed and at her best, Cloud Nine provides the pajamas and loungewear for every woman and man to do the same.So lounge, love, put on your pajamas, and be comfortable!   

Cloud Nine Pajamas (2009) Inc.12511 102 AvenueEdmonton, AB T5N 0M4

Till Next yearBest;Barbara

Day #147 - Low-Cost Perks That Will Motivate Your Staff

In order to provide the "above and beyond" type of customer service a retail store should deliver to be successful, it must begin by creating happy employees. Retailers that develop long-term incentives, perks, and rewards for its staff often see benefits like less employee turn-over and better customer service. A combination which can lead to an increase in sales.What perks can a brick and mortar retailer offer employees? Here are some low-cost perk ideas for any retailer, large or small:1. Discounts on Merchandise: This perk may be the easiest for a retailer to establish. Offer workers a small percentage off on any product you sell.2. Company Parties: Holidays, inventory, or exceeding sales goals are all good times to throw a party. Plan the party away from the store or host a small gathering in the break room.3. Personal Time: Show your generosity by allowing parents off work when school is out for teacher in-service or other holidays. Personal days off shouldn't be confused with vacation time.4. Event Tickets: Businesses often receive promotions on discounted on shows, sporting events and even movie tickets. Give these event tickets to your staff as rewards or incentives for meeting sales goals.5. Free Food: Who doesn't like to eat? This favorite low-cost perk can be as simple as bringing in donuts, or bagels, a few times each month. Some retailers even buy lunch every Friday for scheduled staff.6. Time Off for Charity: Providing time off for staff to participate in charity events not only shows goodwill towards workers, but it also helps build community involvement.7. Random Acts of Kindness: Not all perks need to be planned. A simple recognition of a job well-done can go far in improving employee morale.

Give Them What They Really Want

As you create benefits and perks for your staff, be sure they are relevant and appropriate for your staff. You may feel you're being generous when you buy pizza for employees staying late the night before inventory, but they may not see it that way. An extra day off or allowing the worker to come in later one day may be a better offering of goodwill instead.The best way to know what your staff would prefer is to simply ask them. Make a point during the next  store meeting to take ideas and suggestions for perks they would like to receive. You may be surprised to learn it is some simple perk you can easily implement in your retail shop.Best;Barbara