With the start of the new year (can you believe it’s already here?), now is the perfect time to start thinking of diverse ways to increase sales in 2021. 2020 was a challenging year for all of us, especially retailers, due to the coronavirus pandemic. Thankfully, many retailers were considered "essential" and did an unbelievable job providing to their community.
With the lack of foot traffic to most stores last year because of COVID-19, it's vital that retailers maximize every opportunity for sales. What better way to start than with the most visited place in any store, the front checkout counter.
A retail sales counter is one of the most crucial aspects of any retail store. It offers several unexpected ways to generate more sales and enhance the customer experience. As you’re creating your strategic plan for the coming year, it’s important to consider how you can utilize your checkout counter to meet business goals.
Keep reading as we examine three diverse ways retailers can increase sales in 2021 using a retail sales counter.
Entice Impulse Purchases
According to the U.S. Census, retail sales hit a $6 trillion record in 2018, a significant increase from $4.06 trillion in 2009. One of the many advantages brick and mortar stores have against their online counterparts is enticing customer impulse sales. Without question, the store's best place to allow for impulse sales is at the sales counter. Why? Once a customer reaches your checkout counter, they are committed to spending money and making a purchase.
Impulse buying consists of purchases from consumers that are not planned. Merchandise perfect for impulse sales varies significantly from business to business but often include food & drink, gift cards, small toys, and products such as car chargers or flashlights. It’s important to note that as a retailer, it’s your responsibility to keep on top of the latest trends in the industry you serve and provide a way to display these items effectively.
Promote Your Business & Establish Customer Loyalty
In many instances, the checkout process is the first time a customer will interact with your store employee. This initial interaction period makes it the perfect opportunity to establish loyalty between your business and your consumers by providing exceptional customer service.
Another way your retail sales counter can help facilitate customer loyalty is by providing them with an inviting space. Ensure the area around your sales counter is neat and clean, as appealing checkout counters are ideal for impulse purchases. It’s also crucial not to confuse customers and promote a stressful shopping experience. Trying to display too many things around your sales counters will provide a negative customer experience and work against what you’re trying to accomplish.
Sales counters also provide a terrific, affordable opportunity to promote your business. Looking for a simple, practical way to catch your customer's attention while they wait to pay for their merchandise? We recommend placing a television on the wall directly behind your retail checkout counter so you can highlight upcoming sales or promotions, along with any new products your store might be offering.
Take Advantage of Seasonality
Taking advantage of seasonality is not a new concept in retailing. In fact, it’s been a strategic tactic for retailers since the beginning of the century. Data shows as much as 20% of annual retail sales take place during the holiday season. Though holiday retail sales can mean different things to retailers across different industries, one thing is for sure — your store can instantly increase in profitability when you have a strategy in place for displaying seasonal merchandise at your checkout counter.
A perfect example of how retailers can leverage a holiday to increase sales is Valentine’s Day. A recent survey from the National Retail Federation discovered that the average consumer in 2019 spent $161.96 on Valentine’s Day — an increase of 13% over last year’s amount of $143.84. Another interesting insight from the study mentioned that these purchases were made for their significant other and their parents, children, and, surprisingly, pets.
Think about the most popular purchases that take place during Valentine’s Day. Candy, chocolate, greeting cards, wine, and flowers typically come to mind, but how can you leverage these items for your own business? If you own a liquor or convenience store (or any retail store for that matter), display these items on or around your sales counters leading up to the holiday. Small, seasonal additions like these can make a significant impact on your business.
These are just a few examples of how retailers can effectively utilize their retail sales counter to increase profitability. To ensure you’re maximizing every inch of your store’s layout, contact Handy Store Fixtures today and learn more about custom checkout counters.