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You’ll Never Have Enough Staff Until you _____ Enough Stuff.

Business Friends,

I’m taking the liberty to call all of you friends as some of you have taken the liberty to give me a new name when I checked out at your store. But before I tell you about that let’s begin at the beginning of my visit and work to the end.

As I shop this spring it is obvious that one of the biggest opportunities you have is to sell more stuff to the customers in your store right now. So what’s getting in the way of that?

Just the same as in previous years, I walk through stores from front to back and then back to the front and repeat the process. I am NEVER (okay, rarely) spoken to even though there are plenty of employees that I walk by as they are busy adding more stuff apparently for someone else who arrives after I leave to buy.

Instead of selling more of what you already have to customers already in your store, everyone is focused on adding more stuff that won’t be bought by the customers who are already there.

In my estimation, the lost opportunity from this lack of proper focus is in the 15-25% range. Can you really afford to miss that much? Are you confident that enough customers will keep on coming in to make up for what you’re missing now?

When you’re really busy you can’t have enough people to help every customer. I get that. Still, there is opportunity, but you’ll have to stop making it harder for the customers already in your store to shop. As I fight to get my cart through your stores I have to think that it might be better if you saved some room for me to get through to see more of less stuff. Think about it.

When I do manage to buy something and go to the checkout I am essentially ignored there too. The most recognition I get is to have my apparently new name printed on the receipt – “Cash Customer”. Since this is my last impression of your store, it is the most recent impression. If it is underwhelming I am highly unlikely to return soon, much less to excitedly tell friends why they should come to you.

So, what are you going to do about it?

What Would Happen If You Could . . .

High Average Sale 2008 The Garden Center Group

What does it take to get the dramatically higher average transactions shown by the green line on this chart from The Garden Center Group ?

What would happen if you could increase your average transaction dramatically THIS year?

To find out what would happen do the Merchan+ Ma+h

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Hoping for a Rising Average?

Boiling The Frog

Boiling The Frog,
originally uploaded by purpleslog.

Still Comfortable?

Like frogs in a pan of water with the temperature rising, our comfort with increasing sales revenue from an increase in average transaction dollars is not feeling so comfortable in recent years. Here’s why:

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Use and Enjoy, or Own and Enjoy?

judy-stapler-100x100-low-res

Guest Blogger

Judy Stapler, Qualitative Insights

“Times have changed. Today people are more interested in what they will use and enjoy than they are in what they will own and enjoy.” Judy Stapler 11/08

You don’t need me to tell you how stressful it has become to live in this great country. While we serve a broad range of consumers, disposable income is becoming a thing of the past and every purchase can now be a major decision for some of them. Gas up the car? Buy food? Keep the home at a comfortable 70°– 72° or a more efficient 65°? Buy the art object or new car we’ve admired for months (now at a greatly reduced price) or decide to spend for something you can actually use. The net effect of this is that consumers at all income levels make decisions more purposefully. It is my opinion that come spring, we will see more people choose to buy those items they perceive that they actually need and can use and enjoy immediately rather than those they simply look at and enjoy owning over time.

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