fbpx [vc_row][vc_column][minti_testimonial author=”Mark Denkler” company=”Vince Canning Shoes and Tootsies Shoes”]“Information is money. If you have information, then you can use it to improve your business and increase profit.”[/minti_testimonial][vc_column_text]Data is a key ingredient for the success of your business. But, it doesn’t mean anything until you can analyze it and understand what it’s telling you. If your technology can’t help compile, store, analyze, and report on your data, this can be detrimental toward growing your business. Mark and LaRonda Denkler from Vince Canning Shoes and Tootsies Shoes experienced this before switching to RICS. It wasn’t until a vendor came to them, excited about how well their brand was doing, that Mark realized they lacked true insight on product performance. They had thought that specific brand wasn’t selling well until the vendor told them otherwise.

Background on Vince Canning Shoes and Tootsies Shoes

Located in Delray Beach, FL, Vince Canning Shoes opened in 1952. Their business has been passed down three generations. Mark Denkler and his wife, LaRonda, bought the store from his uncle and have now been working in the footwear industry for over 20 years! Vince Canning Shoes became a partner with RICS in 2003. The Denklers chose to switch to RICS after their current system went out of business. “Time was the main focus- we needed an efficient solution to get business done,” says Mark. When they bought Tootsies Shoes, across the street from Vince Canning Shoes, the store didn’t have a retail management system in place. They choose to implement RICS because, without it, they lacked insight into how their products were performing.

Why RICS Software?

Before using RICS, Mark explains “you don’t know what’s selling; you have your daily recaps and look at the inventory wall.” Without inventory data, they didn’t have enough information to know how the business was really doing. After implementing RICS, they accessed important metrics like turns, gross profit margin, ROI, etc. This insight showed them inventory trends right away. Mark from Vince Canning Shoes and Tootsies Shoes recognizes RICS has greatly improved their business by stating how it, “allows us to do our buying better. We had no idea we were missing sales. Now, we know we have the information to make a sale.”  
Learn more with our customer case studies.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row] It’s almost that time again… all the kids are heading back-to-school in August and you have an opportunity to end summer with a bang by hosting a back-to-school event! Now is the time to start planning. Not sure how to start? Here are 3 tips for hosting a profitable back-to-school event.

How to host a back to school event?

1. Promote with a purpose

Use your customer list to invite loyal customers to your back-to-school event. Make the coupon or invitation specific to your customer segments (2-4 customer groups). If you haven’t already, consider a Frequent Buyer program to maintain customer loyalty. Start promoting the event 2 weeks before to ensure you give your customers enough time to mark their calendars.  Connect with customers through their preferred communication channels (email, text, social, etc.). Examples include having an event hashtag on Twitter, creating a Facebook event to share on your page followers, and posting a photo to Instagram with the event details. Post about the event on social media during business hours for optimal visibility (consider Hootsuite to automate the posts).

2. Utilize data on inventory transactions

Analyze the previous performance of your products.  What products sold well last year? Which ones are stale on your shelves? Do some sell no matter what? Use this information to arrange your store. For example, move the stale product to a prominent display or out onto the sidewalk. Stock up on well-performing products or consider moving them to the back of the store. This means your customers will walk past other products to find what you already know they will purchase.

3. Consider an additional POS

Long lines are discouraging, so enable a temporary POS to get through a spring sale or just a couple of busy months to ring out customers quicker. This will reduce tension and frustration in the store, providing a more pleasant shopping experience. It will also allow you to sell more in less time.   Now you’re equipped to host a profitable back-to-school event. Want ideas for other events to bring in customers? Well, the good news is, we’ve put together a calendar of monthly occasions that you can add to your marketing plans to attract more customers. Although online shopping is becoming increasingly popular, customers are continuing to shop at brick and mortar stores at a steady rate. Yes, online shopping has its benefits: it’s easy, it’s convenient, and sometimes it’s less expensive. But you lose the face-to-face customer experience that you can only find when shopping in the store. Often, it is the positive interactions with salespeople that keep customers coming back to your store for more purchases. These happy customers are also likely to talk about and recommend your store to their friends. Are you looking for more ways to enhance your customers experience in your store? Read on.

1. Make a great first impression.

It is always a nice feeling when someone acknowledges your presence. A simple “hello” or “welcome” usually does the trick.

2. Get to know your customers.

Ask them questions: Can I help you find something? If the answer is no, then skip to #3. If the response is yes, get answers: Is it for you, or someone else? Is it for a specific occasion? Make sure you can help them find what they are looking for.

3. Understand some people just want to look around.

Be okay with that, but let them know you’re there to help.

4. Offer to help.

It can be difficult to know how something is supposed to be worn or used. Make sure you are assisting your customers if they are having difficulties with trying something.

5. Provide a consultation or a recommendation.

People don’t always know what shoe would be the best for their lifestyle, or if they are wearing the right size. Customers appreciate receiving honest advice from a salesperson before making a purchase decision.

6. Implement frequent buyer plans.

This keeps customers coming back into your store and incentivizes them to continue making purchases.

7. Have a referral program.

This is the ultimate gift that keeps on giving! Person A tells friend B to go to store C. A gets a reward, B gets a discount, and C gets a new customer!

8. Give out free samples.

Because who doesn’t love free stuff?   One of the easiest things to remember is the Golden Rule: treat others as you would like to be treated. Or, think of great experiences you’ve had in another store and reflect those in your own store. If your store is on point with its customer experience, then you’ll likely be better off than your competitors. Looking for more advice? Check out our guide: 3 Simple Concepts to Enhance In-Store Experience.