Warning! Sidewalk sales can kill customer relationship building

Warning! Sidewalk sales can kill customer relationship building

Warning! Sidewalk sales can kill customer relationship building

West Seattle: Sidewalk Sale

Sidewalk Sales virtually move your store outdoors

Do you thrive on customers beating your doors down to get to your lowest markdown?

In a follow-up to my post on value Instead of lowering prices, add value, let’s talk about how to merchandise when you do indeed need to hold a clearance sale.

Danger! Discount Hunters about!

Be very careful with holding multiple sales and other frequent low price concentrated efforts. Your customers may cease to find value in your regularly priced merchandise.

Save sidewalk sales and blowouts for an annual event — then make it HUGE so that it becomes a tradition! Something those carnivorous customers can really sink their teeth in! They will become your “annual” bread and butter customer who’ll help you weed out junk that will never sell. Your regular customer most likely won’t attend…

So, let me reinforce, don’t become a discount destination.

Monkey see, monkey do

Ignore the common practice of holing multiple and many sales with ALL sale and clearance tables and racks front and center. Supposedly these tactics lure customers into the store, but instead it usually only attracts discount driven purchases and neglects your remaining product.

Ask your salespeople.

Your sales staff will confirm that on sidewalk sale days, they basically stand around and wait to ring up sale merchandise. You might as well give them the day off and just leave 1-2 to act as cashiers and clean up. In addition to wasting your salespeople’s talents, you are placing your lowest profit margin merchandise in your prime real estate!

Doubting Thomas?

You still think it’s a best practice keeping “unsellable” merchandise front and center on a regular basis? I challenge you to try keeping your sale events rare and therefore PR worthy events!

Survey says!

Try this informal test:

Hold 2 isolated small sale events. Track results using the 2 methods below using 2 copies of the list below.

Track your customers’ behavior for each test case:

(Put a hash mark by every behavior exhibited by the customers in both scenarios using the list below.)

During the sale, did customers:

  • Visit sale racks only
  • Purchase only sale merchandise
  • Explore other regular priced merchandise
  • Purchase regular priced merchandise (with or without sale purchase)
  • Interact with sales personnel

1 st sale: Place ALL your sale merchandise at your store entranceand use the 1st copy of the list to track results.

2nd sale: Place a teaser amount of sale merchandise and a sign “More great clearance in the back!” at your store entrance and place all the rest of the clearance racks in the rear of the store and use the 2nd copy of the list to track results.

Retailers, I’d love to hear your results! Customers, I’d love your opinion!

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