The Sales Data You’re Likely Missing
Part 2 of a 5-Part Series
You run a tight ship.
You know how many people come into your store and how many of those people buy. You know your profit margins and the ROI for your last newspaper ad. You know the busy season and what to stock because it will be in demand. You know the slow season and how to beat the bushes to generate foot traffic.
But have you ever stopped to consider the “why” behind the buy?
And, subsequently, how that “why” could exponentially increase your sales numbers?
Traditional data fails to inform retailers of sales lost because of factors outside of the retailer’s control – things like color schemes, size restrictions, weight restrictions and fabric options. That means that your furniture store could be losing sales because people don’t know what they don’t know. For example, customers need to know that you can, in fact, offer the chair they love in Cherry Red Velvet – even though it’s not on display on the day of their visit.
Yes, the answer to the customer’s question about the “cherry red chair” can be found in the imposing stack of spreadsheets sent over by the manufacturer. The problem is that no one on your staff has time to sort through the information and enter the product’s information into your point of sale system.
When the customer approaches a store associate and presents the query, the well-meaning associate searches the system and either:
Can’t find the correct answer fast enough to close the sale, or
Promises to get back to the customer after combing through the spreadsheets or calling the manufacturer. But then the phone rings, someone else comes in or it’s lunchtime and the promise made is now forgotten.
It’s not that anyone on your staff is willingly withholding key details that could close the sale. It’s just that your well-meaning employees are stretched too thin to upload key product details into your sales system. Even though that key detail could change a customer’s “Okay - thanks anyway” into an enthusiastic “I’ll take two!”
After all, the way people do business today is evolving faster than anyone can reasonably keep up. It’s hard to learn something new – like automated POS systems that update themselves – especially when your business has succeeded for this long without it.
But the future of furniture retail looks a lot different than the way people have always done it.
In the past, it was easy to shrug off the size, color, fabric and weight specifications of furniture and décor. But, now, people live differently and need those key pieces of information. For example, studio apartments call for smaller, smarter pieces or people want stain-resistant fabrics to stand up to kids armed with Kool-Aid.
Life has evolved and changed the way people shop for furniture. Shouldn’t the furniture industry evolve, too?
When you make product data (the sizes, colors, weights, fabrics, romance copy, etc.) of your inventory a priority, your entire staff is better equipped to answer customers’ questions and close more sales.
“Yes, that is available in Cherry Red. It can be built and delivered in 2 months.”
“This convertible dining table also serves as a desk. And it only weighs 10 pounds so it’s easy to move!”
“The kids could dump an entire cup of Kool-Aid on this sofa and scrub over it with crayons and it would still be okay.”
The result of prioritized product data is a more empowered sales team and a profit line that steadily inches upward across your earnings chart. Not to mention increased customer satisfaction and additional referrals earned.
So, the next time you’re pondering lift, take a moment to look at what’s missing from your sales data. Consider the parameters your shoppers are working with – whether it’s the size of their home, the color of their walls or the number of stairs they’ll have to navigate to get their new purchase in place.
When furniture retailers can quickly provide accurate answers for what your customers need to know before making a purchase, you’ll set yourself up for additional sales success. And who doesn’t want more of that?!?!