Let’s continue with the most important and most fun KPI there is -Transformation or conversion rate
As much as I hate to say it if this one is bad – it mostly is up to and your team. Whereas bad means underperforming within your peers.
Of course there are huge differences between industries and also some major cultural differences: Selling Chocolate to Swiss tourists in Zurich is something else then selling Swiss Cheese to Asians in Taipeh, if you understand …
Yet – you can control and even better, actively WORK on your Transformation rate from both ends – as a Boutique Manager and also as a brand (which means for Boutique Managers to have a level of maturity and perserevance besides trust from the HQ).
Let start with the undisputed easy ones again we play on the 4 keydrivers you control like noone else:
Boutique Visual Identity – use your VM as a tool to increase the atractiveness of your Boutique – there are several choices to make:
- how do visitors behave – is there a stopping point, a logic way to walk right or left, a strong selling place, where are the strong selling points
- Where do you put entry price level objects, where to place promotions, where limitied and seasonal articles.
- What story do you tell so that the eye of the visitor can smoothly understand what he sees
- do you want to create a seemless flow or do you want to create a stopping effect and if yes, where
- do you have your bestsellers at the same place to ease the selling or do you want to keep the visitor occupied and searching.
- how many products do you want to show? – are you a discounter or a luxury store?
Stock Management – only if you have it you can sell it – shortages are toxic, especially for the bestsellers not of the brand biut of your boutique
- Target follow up and communication:
Previous day rate announced in the briefing
Monthly rate and target announced in monthly meetings
- Floor organization:
Ensure that always someone is available to greet a visitor entering the boutique no matter if people are busy or not
- One to One:
Review individual capability to welcome a visitor and to transform him into a customer – identify strong and weak points of each team member and build individual action plans
to have an open and dynamic “on-stage” attitude
to be a host, taking care from the first to the last moment of the stay of a visitor
the art to start a conversation in a polite, warm and natural way – provide your team with open questions
to use the opportunity to transform service clients into buyers
to ensure the entire selling ceremony is known and applied and that enough time is taken for each step
to ensure the necessary product knowledge is there AND also on how to use it in an individual way
more to be seen later in the selling techniques part…
- Plant a seed, create an occasion to recontact the customer later-on with a precise message and a personal link to the visit
- send your team to mystery shop at other stores – competitors or other industries and identify the best the worst and the deadly
Some more blabla on the transformation rate:
Do you know the feeling customers know more than you on your product? if yes you have a problem, eventhough they can focus on only the product they are interested in, you need to know them all and you also need to be very prudent in using this knowledge – not every personality is the same – thus not every one has the same communication style – thus pure knowledge is a double edged sword.
For now, it is about to create the best and memorable experience.
The transformation of a visitor into a buyer is nothing for lone wolves it is team sports. All of your staff have to have the same excellent attitude, have to understand what it is about and how to influence this KPI, otherwise your efforts are useless, as you can be sure the right person is getting into contact with the wrong sales associate. – Murphy doesn’t sleep. Set targets – help them to understand the actions behind, analyse and communicate.
If you can – hide your cash registers somewhere, you do not want to show that you are selling, you want to transmit an experience. Anything reminding that you at the end of the day want their hard earned money might kill the sale.
Match to traffic – a little planification KPI and the best reason not to cheat on your traffic. It is all about to ensure that you allways have enough people to serve on the floor – in other words it is not wise to send 50% of the staff for lunch at noon, when you know that over noon you have a traffic peak. Also if you have cheated in the past on the traffic in order to increase the transformationrate artificially, sooner or later the beancounters will tell you (and yes they are right to do so) that for the traffic you have you employ to many people thus bye bye FTE and wellcome issues in other words they want you to staff for the turnover and not for the traffic at a certain moment – so never cheat on traffic, but have the match to traffic present in your neocortex. And yes match tor traffic is calculated by the hour not by day.
Make your customers hang around – transform your store into a destination. The more value time visitors spend with you and your team the closer your relation gets the more easy it is to convert them into customers. To make them hang around little microevents help, such as a tasting of what so ever, a small brunch from time to time in short any activity the creates some interest and that has nothing to do with the actual product you sell – remember it is about spending value time.
As a Boutique Manager you can’t, bt as a brand you can offer payment plans, leasing options, credit sales etc. in order to make customers spend money they didn’t earn yet.
Use some psychology!
Anchoring is great. This means you have a product a customer wants together with a product that is similar but at a higher price and suddenly the initial price is not as pinful anymore – the masterclass of in anchoring is taught at Apple by the way… and I strongly recommend to study them.
Use the social proof in sharing anecdotes of previous customers, who commissioned the product and whose happiness you know about. If thousands of customers use something it can’t be wrong. Next level: What the Kardashians use/do/like/hate – must be usefuel/necessary/good/bad. Or as they put it at Amazon: people who … did also …
Limited/New/Rare is the vademecum for many – so give it to them, place these items prominently and don’t dare to not mention them several times. In watch industry but also with luxury handbags this seems to be a powerseller – look at Louis Vuitton and Panerai to learn more. If you are not at all in luxury but very price sensitive why don’t you maker a countdown just as in teleshopping “only xyz left at that price”. The reason for this is that we all like to be special and thus want products or services that are not available always and to everyone.
Features tell, benefits sell and this for the simple reason that everyone thinks the feature is available elsewhere as well, may be even at a smaller price. This feeling kills the likeliness to buy. The solution is to make the customer understand his personal benefit from your product. now. at the instant. This makes it way more difficult for him to reflect on the price; one’s benefit or convenience often is at a higher value and seems to be strangely more difficult to compare with than the feature of a product or service.
Be a tease – don’t offer all the products and information on a silver tray, but make the customer have the impression to need to dig for further information or benefits so that he understands you might consider not to sell to him as it could well be the wrong product/service for him. – This my friends is the basis of Parisian Chic – the humble buyer graciously is attributed a product, selected by the salesperson as to be the right and only product for him/her, of course the customer bursts into tears over so much kindness…
If you are familiar with the concept of mimicry use it – in short – and I tried it out in a store – all you have to do is to let the staff wear/use a product that you want to sell. works fantastic in fancy jewelry or with scarfs and other little money products. At a time in Louis Vuitton every client wanted the small pouches the staff was wearing crossbody, which was not for sale until some smartass salespeople created combinations of a necessaire with a long leatherstrap and created a very successful LV-hack. It follows the logic: when staff uses it, it must be good.
Final words on TR
What you find here as always is just what I have experienced – there are better and wiser people out there, but for me the above worked quite well. The one advice I would like to give you is that it is ahelluffawork to get TR up and keep it there and with all the external factors ignored, I am convinced that only the structured target fixing, action setting and revising of the results is what counts and I also strongly advice to formalizes these targets and actions.
The biggest single driver for your transformation rate is the way your people talk to visitors – and this subject only has been dealt with very superflue here, as I plan in the future to do a whole section with. It comprises above all the hiring process, attitude, trust building, communication as such, sales techniques and motivation.
Let it be fun and start gently but firmly and you will be astonished about the achievements possible within short time.
Enjoy! and Happy sales!!