There is something important I want you to know: You are not powerless!
It’s so very easy (I’ve been there) to feel defeated when traffic is down, and your sales are suffering because of it. It’s easy to blame an outside force — the weather, the economy or the pandemic. But you have more control than you might think.
There are several specific action steps you can take to counteract any of these outside forces and one of them is your Items Per Sale number. This is an average figured out by calculating the total number of items sold and dividing it by the total number of transactions during a specific time period. It tells us on average how many items you sell with each transaction.
What many retailers don’t realize is that even a small shift in this number can be incredibly powerful in increasing or decreasing overall sales — sometimes by thousands of dollars. Recently I chatted with a retailer who would have increased total sales by $9,200 by boosting average Items Per Sale by just 0.25! That’s equivalent to selling one more item every fourth sale.
How do you increase your IPS? By having an informed and trained team — even if that team is just you — that knows how to serve customers better by adding purchases to every sale.
So how do you increase your IPS? By having an informed and trained team — even if that team is just you — that knows how to serve customers better by adding purchases to every sale. Every item you sell in your store has a connection to something else you offer. Ask your team to choose an item they love and find five items that can be connected to it in some way. It can be something that matches the item, improves how the main purchase functions or extends its longevity. At the end of the day this is all about better customer service. It is not about pushing items.
For example, simply adding on batteries means a toy can be enjoyed right away. A new swimsuit for the beach? Better pick up some sunscreen and sunglasses too. Adding sprinkles to the ice cream makes it tastier. Adding two tops turns one pair of pants into several versatile outfits. The key: Make sure these items are suggested in your online shop as well.
By adding on, you improve the shopping experience while increasing sales, even with fewer transactions.
So when traffic is down, take control.
- Look at your current average IPS.
- Set a goal for your new, higher IPS during the next few weeks.
- Lead a brainstorming session with your team to suggest items to add on.
- Teach the importance of improving this business-driving number.
Ready to do some basic “addition” to elevate your IPS even if traffic is slower than usual? Let me know how these strategies work for your store. And if you need a nudge, RetailMavens offers accountability support. Post your IPS goal in our RetailMavens Revolutionaries Facebook group using the hashtag #ipsgoal. Happy selling!