Many Zimbabweans are engaging in some form of hustle, business, or startup. The truth of the matter is that most of them are in retail space. When we are dealing with retail we are looking at the sale of goods directly to the consumer, encompassing the storefronts, websites, amongst other things; plus the corporate mechanisms, branding, advertising, and so on, that accompany them. You can see why I am saying most Zimbabweans are into retail. Since many of you are in this space you must know some tricks of the retail trade.

Lower Prices – Push Volumes

In retail, it is all about pushing volumes if you want to realize good revenues. Bear in mind that there are so many players in retail. This means there is a cutthroat competition to deal with. One way you can shake your competition is by lowering prices a bit. Customers generally tend to ruthlessly make price comparisons. If you are not the cheapest they will gladly rule you out. So the idea is to adjust your prices so that you are the cheapest. Then you ensure you are adequately stocked so that you never run out.

By so doing you will push volumes and realize more revenue than the others. The liberty to adjust prices like that comes from sourcing cheaply as well. Thus you must look for cheap but good quality suppliers. You can also explore strategies like negotiating for cheaper prices with suppliers. There is so much you can do but strive to reach a place where you can profitably lower prices for your customers.

Desensitization And Sensory Stimulation

If you look at some retail outlets you will notice some things that you probably never closely think about. For example, have you ever noticed that most retail outlets do not have windows? They are usually windowless and artificially lit. Do you think that is just random? Well, it is deliberate and for a purpose. It is called desensitization or rather the creation of a desensitizing environment. This is all meant to cause you to lose track of time and space. This will usually lead you to spend a substantial amount of time in-store without noticing time is moving. Plus it has the effect of causing you to laser-focus on your shopping activities in-store. At the end of the day, you will usually end up buying something or spending more.

Then there is the sensory stimulation – particularly for retail outlets that deal with food. It is smart to expose the food preparation area to the customers. At least just have it situated so close to the in-store space so that people can either see or pick up the aromas. This will result in sensory stimulation which will prime people to buy something. That is why you find that in supermarkets like OK or Pick ‘n Pay, you will pick up salivating aromas. This sensory stimulation aspect is not just confined to food retail alone. It can be tailored for literally any retail outlet dealing in anything.

Strategic Store Setups

How you set up your store space i.e. things like shelves, products, and what nought, must not be random. There must be a deliberate layout or arrangement framework that provokes certain things. One of such is to come up with a setup that ensures any customer who walks in gets to see everything you are selling. One way of doing this is by putting the most common products at the rear end of the store. That way when customers walk in they will most likely navigate the whole store space in search of those products. In so doing they get to see other products in-store which they might eventually end up buying.

Another strategy is to make product sections stand out. Let us suppose there are particular products you want to push. You can make them the centre of attention by creating outstanding displays. The use of bright lights, deco materials, banners, and the like aids in this. Just come up with a way to visually attract customers to that section. People are generally visual creatures and will easily get hooked by some outstanding display.

Additionally, another approach is to periodically change the location of products in-store. This is meant to force customers to move around the whole shop looking for products. This ultimately exposes them to more (even all) products in-store and even buy more. So you can also employ this trick – which means your base in-store layout must be flexible.

Instilling FOMO In Customers

FOMO stands for fear of missing out. People are so averse to loss so much that they act promptly to not lose or miss out on something. So this scarcity principle works well when pushing products. So things like ‘for a limited time only’, ‘promotion runs till Friday’, and the like condition customers to buy now. There are so many ways you can leverage this aspect to push your products.

The 5th trick I can share with you and in closing is making the check-out process faster. Have you ever noticed that if you get to a retail outlet and you see a long queue you explore another option? Have you ever noticed your choice of where to buy is swayed by where it is faster to check out? This is simply because no one wants lengthy check-outs. That is why having a mobile app where people can pre-order and pre-pay significantly drives sales. Figure out ways to lessen the time a customer spends after picking their products. If you streamline this end-line process you will be amazed how it can increase your sales. I am sure you will put these 5 tricks to the test for your retail brand and see how it pans out.