Tough Trading: How to Boost Your Retail Store’s Performance in Bleak Times


You don’t have to be an avid reader of the Financial Times to realize that life in the eyes of the typical retailer is very difficult at the moment.

In fact, in a lot of cases, difficult doesn’t do the situation justice. It’s become untenable for a lot – and we’ve seen some huge names disappear off the high-street.

Bearing this in mind, taking the plunge to venture onto the high-street can be a very brave move. At the same time, trying to stay afloat for those of you who already have businesses, is just as daunting. While we can’t make any promises, the purpose of our guide today is to take a look at some hard and fast tips that you can implement to give your store the best possible chance of success during these bleak moments.

Target the “switchers”

In tough times, it goes without saying that your options are limited. You’ll have loyal customers, who will stick with you thick and thin, but there’s every chance that these customers are spending less.
It means that you need to target other types of customer. The problem is, your competitors also have loyal customers, so these are immediately off the table. What’s left? It’s the “switchers” – the customers who will never show any alliance to a particular brand and are happy to switch at a whim.
Sometimes, these switchers will make a choice based on price, while on other occasions it might just be about customer service. Regardless, find out how you can sneak into their market – as they can be the difference during these tough times.

Don’t cut back on your marketing efforts

Your income is stalling, and this can sometimes result in managers making drastic actions. Cutting back on your marketing efforts tends to be one of the most common – but this is a tactic we would really urge against.

When times are tough, footfall gets smaller. It means that there is less passing trade, and you therefore have to rely on your marketing to get people through the door. You need to create a reason for people to firstly visit the area that your retail outlet is based in, but then actually step foot in your store. Without any marketing, this is going to be almightily difficult.

Use upselling techniques as a matter of priority

The other couple of points we have made through today’s article have looked at strategy. This final issue is about the day-to-day running of your store, and making the little things matter.

When someone arrives in your shop, you’ve done the hard work. Getting a customer to buy more items after they have committed to one has been found to be easier, and this is where you need to turn to upselling. It might be through digital signage which showcases bundles (visit for more information), or it might be about the classic tips of placing cheap and common items near the cashier. Either way, upselling needs to be a major part of your strategy to drive those average order values up.