Whether it’s the usual holiday slump or an unexpected slowdown in business, it’s always worrying when your sales dip. But there’s no reason to panic — here are several things you can do to get back on an upswing.
Figure out why
You’re not going to be able to solve the issue if you can’t diagnose it. That’s why the first step is to figure out why sales are dipping. Look to your data and analytics. Square Analytics has a wealth of information about your customers and sales numbers to help you determine what’s going on at your brick-and-mortar shop.
Perhaps you’re getting fewer regular customers. Or perhaps people are spending less each time they come in. Maybe this dip follows a pattern — your historical data could show that business always slows down this time of year.
Look at your online store analytics closely as well. Are people quickly bouncing from your homepage? It could be time for a redesign. Are they only buying one product? Consider incorporating related items on each product page. Are they abandoning their carts? Dig deeper to find out why.
Nailing down exactly what’s contributing to the downturn in sales lays the groundwork for your plan to fix it.
Run a flash sale
One of the easiest ways to get some insta-business is to run a flash sale — that is, a promotion that runs for a limited period of time. Flash sales instill a sense of FOMO (fear of missing out), so you can get a lot of impulse buys with this tactic.
Announce your promotion on social media and via email marketing. Square Email Marketing segments your customer lists into loyal, casual, and lapsed, so you can target specific groups of people with your messaging.
Start a loyalty program
Loyal customers tend to spend more than first-timers, so it’s worth doing everything you can to keep people coming back. One no-brainer way to do that is by starting a loyalty program.
According to a recent study by Bond in collaboration with Visa, 81 percent of consumers agree that loyalty programs make them more likely to keep doing business with a brand. And according to our data, participants enrolled in a Square Loyalty program spend 33 percent more after they join than before.
To sell more bigger-ticket items, try running a special offer. If customers buy a specific product, or hit a certain sales threshold, throw in a freebie or another hot item at a discounted cost.
Work on cost reduction
When sales slump, it’s a good idea to take a fine-tooth comb to your business operations. Are you running things as cost effectively and efficiently as possible? Maybe it could be time to renegotiate deals with vendors, cut back on extra expenses, or even change up your business hours (Square Analytics can tell you which times of day are the busiest and slowest).
Do some testing
With any initiative, testing is crucial. Before you start anything new, record where you’re at now. Then, as you change things, watch the numbers closely. If you’re altering your website, it’s worth doing some A/B testing — that is, serving one version of the site to one set of customers and a second version to another to see which performs better.
Once you’ve identified the issue, implemented a plan of action, and analyzed the results, don’t stop there. If you haven’t totally fixed it, try another plan. If you started with a sale, maybe try a loyalty program. And if you have fixed the issue, make sure you come up with a plan to tighten up your finances and prevent sales from dipping again.