Retail Sales Hop 1.2 Percent, Fueling Hope for the Holiday Season – Plus 5 Easy Ways to Boost Your Sale

The Commerce Department reported that October ’10 sales for the retail industry jumped 1.2 percent from the previous month, the most important gain since March. The rise was driven by a 5 per cent spike in auto sales, which analysts said was particularly encouraging because it showed consumers were ready to tackle big-ticket purchases. In addition, September’s sales gain was revised upward from a 0.6 percent increase to 0.7 percent.

Still, people remained choosy about where they spent their dollars. Furniture stores and electronics retailers each suffered a 0.7 percent drop in sales. Department store sales also declined 0.7 percent, while health-care stores dipped 0.1 percent.

Instead, people returned to restaurants and bars, sending sales up 0. 3 %. On-line retailers, which have held up a lot better than their bricks-and-mortar counterparts, registered a 0.8 percent jump. People also bought more clothing, a 0.7 percent boost.

Excluding autos, retail sales rose a decent 0.4 percent, regardless of the mixed performance across sectors. Retailers hope that this momentum will fuel the all-important Christmas.

Based on a survey by the National Retail Federation, an industry trade group, nearly 11 percent of consumers have finished the majority of their holiday shopping, up from just more than 9 percent this past year. The group predicted shopper’s average spending would inch as much as $688.87 this year, a 1 percent increase over last year.

The NRF’s annual holiday survey found more shoppers are expected to get gifts for family and friends – and also themselves. The number of consumers who said they planned to indulge themselves rose eight percentage points to 57 percent this year.

The forecasts, coupled with the newest October data, paint a picture of consumers treading carefully on their way to the mall. Economists say that expenses are unlikely to rebound without a corresponding improvement within the employment market.

Though the unemployment rate remains stuck at nearly Ten percent, data released from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed hope. Mass layoffs have declined in proportions and frequency. And private-sector employment rose 0. 3 percent through the third quarter, compared with this past year, the first increase since 2008.

How could you increase add-on sales throughout the Holidays?

Below are a few methods to improve the units per transaction, and improve the average transaction as a result.

If you want this, you should buy that – Creating feature areas in your store which may have a couple of major things you desire to push for holiday surrounded by complimentary products helps sell not only that one item. Use signage and have employees talk with customers to help them know the way these products work together.

Stuff the Stockings – I still push stocking stuffers for holiday as customers are invariably seeking those unique, fun little items that round out their holiday gift giving without breaking the bank. Create a complete stocking stuffer display and make it interactive, being a stocking stuffer smorgasbord to get customers to buy one or more additional items.

Sample products – If they check it out, they will buy it. Make sure you’ve products intended for testing everywhere and use signage, or have employees interact to get customers to attempt different products. The opportunity for a sale rises significantly when you can position the product in the customer’s hand.

A warm drink is the solution to make them stay – offering a warm beverage like coffee or apple cider gets customers to linger longer. It offers them time and energy to scope out much more of your store as they walk around enjoying their beverage. And meaning they might find more gifts than that they had planned on, resulting in increased sales.

Wrap the Cash Wrap – You’ve made a number of different ways in your store to have your visitors to acquire more, and the cash wrap will be the final opportunity. Make sure you’ve got impulse items at your cash wrap that customers can grab and go. Products under $20 usually perform best. Bonus points for goods that can be sampled together with 8-10 of these available for purchase.

And you? What exactly are your favourite sales techniques to increase Holiday sales?

About the author

Cornelia C. Ortega is writing for the retail sales training ideas blog, her personal hobby blog centered on recommendations to help retailers to teach sales employees and keep our economy healthy.