How to improve your Items per Sale when traffic is down

There is something important I want you to know:

YOU are NOT powerless!

It’s so very easy (I know, I’ve been there) to feel defeated when traffic is down, and your sales are suffering because of it.

It’s easy to blame this outside force – the weather, the economy, 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.

Items Per Sale is an average we look at for our clients 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 you make.

What many retailers don’t realize is that even a small shift in this number can be incredibly powerful in increasing or decreasing your overall sales (sometimes by thousands of dollars).

So how do you increase your IPS? By having an informed and trained team (even if that team is just you) who knows how to serve your customers better, by adding on to each and every sale.

Every item you sell in your store, has a connection to something else you sell – Ask your team to choose an item they love, and then find 5 items that can be connected to it in some way. 

It can be something that matches the item, or something that makes the functionality of the item better. Something that extends the longevity or enhances the customer experience.

This is all about better customer service.  It is NOT about pushing items on customers. 

For example, simply adding on batteries means the toy can be enjoyed immediately. Adding the right needles for the yarn they chose means a better knitting experience, or improved end result. Adding sprinkles to the ice cream makes it tastier, and adding two tops turns the one pair of pants into two or even three versatile outfits.
Make sure these items are suggested in your online shop as well.

By adding on, you are providing an improved shopping experience for your customers, while increasing your sales – even with fewer transactions.

So when traffic is down, take back control and take action by:

  1. Looking at your current average Items Per Sale (IPS)
  2. Setting a goal for your new, higher IPS over the next few weeks
  3. Leading a brainstorming session with your team to suggest items to add on, and teach the importance of improving this number

And then post your IPS goal in our RETAILMavens Revolutionaries Facebook group using the hashtag #ipsgoal for accountability support!

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