If there is one thing to learn during recessions, it has to be that businesses’ weaknesses are exposed, prompting changes and the emergence of new trends. Probably, nowhere else is this more evident than in the retail business. The onset of Covid-19 dealt a heavy blow to traffic in retail stores.
Like in previous recessions, new consumer demands are likely to emerge after the pandemic is gone.
Amid all these dynamics, retail businesses need to be creative and boost retail sales to remain relevant. Why is this important and what is the approach?
What Are Retail Sales?
The meaning of retail sales can be derived from the two words. Retail refers to the act of selling firsthand to the public. Sales are the act of exchanging commodities (also referred to as goods and services) with money.
In line with these definitions, retail sales are the sale of goods to the public for consumption. These sales are often in small portions or quantities.
The retail business comprises firms that engage in the marketing of products for customers to consume. Retail sales can be categorized as soft lines, hard lines, food, and art. Hard lines are things like furniture and appliances while soft lines include shoes and clothing.
Retail Sales In 2022
From the onset, experts had predicted a growth in retail sales in 2022 and indicated that the growth rate would be slower than in 2021. However, there were concerns when inflation started biting this year.
Retail sales and inflation are inseparable, so it is expected that the soaring inflation would have an effect.
But the effect doesn’t seem to be serious in the United States, where retail sales have risen by 1% and exceeded expectations. This is combined with the pandemic prompting high amounts of online shopping growth.
This improvement is an indication that government relief during the coronavirus period helped people save, so they have something to spend now. The spending on items such as sporting gear and restaurant food is notable.
However, some places haven’t been so lucky, with inflation affecting retail sales. For instance, Ireland’s retail sales reduced by 6.6% and 1.3% for YoY and June 2022 respectively. Most of the sales decrease was in electrical items, but there was an improvement in furniture sales.
Boost Retail Sales For Improved Economy
The retail sales of a country can indicate the direction the economy is taking. A lot of the performance of an economy depends on the spending behavior of consumers. The items consumers use daily may look simple but think about the resources used for manufacture and distribution.
One could say that the economy hums to the tune of the spending capability of the consumers.
When consumers purchase food items and the retail shelves begin to empty, replacements are ordered. Manufacturers order more raw materials to produce the food items.
Similarly, consumers may decide to slow down on their spending and this hurts the economy. That’s why sometimes the government injects attractive tax rebates to raise the economy.
The hope is that with more money in consumers’ hands, a recession can be prevented. Good retail sales and a strong economy can also benefit the stock market, especially the retail type.
So there is every reason to boost retail sales.
Tips To Boost Retail Sales
As you seek to boost retail sales, remember that consumers look at the benefit before buying the item. So, make sure that your customer is aware of all the benefits they will be getting from the product.
Next, it is important to have a competitive edge. The service or product ought to offer something better than what the competition is offering. The ads and all promotions must carry this information.
Being seen regularly is also a way to boost retail sales. Some businesses make the mistake of being invisible to the point that consumers may assume they are out of business.
When you have been absent from social media then you suddenly bombard people with promotions, it may not have the desired effect.
When the economy is stagnating or in recession can bring confusion.
Everyone in the team, including the marketing department, can reach a point where they run out of ideas. Indeed, the first gut reaction when the economy tends to slow down may be to go easy on marketing.
On the contrary, this is the time when boosting retail sales is most important. Avoid going into panic mode.
Use these simple but effective tips for much improved retail sales even in the midst of a slow economy. The idea is to elicit customers’ empathy, be clearer in communication, and work on a more attractive store display.