How to Add Top Line Sales Using Your Current Database

 How many times have you said to family and friends: “If only I had more foot traffic”? If you’ve been doing this retail thing for a while, too many to count, I’m sure.  Steady foot traffic and new customers are a wonderful thing, sometimes the four walls cave in on you and it is hard to only see a handful of people on any given day when you were hoping for them to come in droves.  So, learning how to add top line sales using your current database is crucial.

More traffic doesn’t alway mean more sales. Imagine if you had 100 people walk in and only 5 people buy something. You would have to staff the store to handle the traffic with a 5% conversion rate. This is a hard thing to manage AND buy for since often the people coming in aren’t necessarily your “regular” customer.

Let me ask you this: what if you used your actual data daily, weekly, monthly to create opportunities to sell?

There are only two things you can control in your business: your inventory & your people. My point in mentioning this is the significance of using your data to empower your people. The world is your oyster, it’s what you do with your information that can make an immediate difference in your store traffic and sales.

Customer Touches

Instead of wishing you had more traffic and new customers, create traffic by touching your current customers. If you are not assigning a customer to every sales transaction you must do so immediately. There is so much information you have that creates opportunity to understand what they like to buy from you. I hear all the time things like “they don’t want to give me their information” or “we were too busy to add her info at check out”. Train your people on two things.

  1. Unless there is a fire in the building, we all have two minutes to take the time and engage the customer and create excitement about your new arrivals, events and sales.
  2. Training them on what do to with the information when there is downtime to create buzz around all of the fabulous things in your store.

There is so much power in knowing and understanding your customer by having data that tells you things like what brands they buy, when the last time they shopped with you was, if they are a sale shopper.

Important Steps

Here are three simple ways to add top line sales using your current client list:

  1. Run a customer list that shows you all customers that haven’t been in in 90+ days. Create a “We Miss You” campaign where you give them a call back – 20% off one full price item or $25 gift card to redeem. A general personal message with a nice surprise is a great way to let them know you have been thinking about them. This is an on going effort and should be done monthly.
  2. Each day you receive merchandise, run a customer report that is filtered by the vendor/ brand you just received to identify customers that have purchased from you in the past. Have your salespeople make personal phone calls/texts or send personal emails. Personal outreach goes a long If they provided their contact information to you, they are absolutely interested in hearing from you. This is an on going daily, weekly, monthly thing.
  3. Every time you do a maintenance markdown or you are having a sale, run a custom report that identifies your “sale” Send an email blast to this segmented list to let them know. This helps eliminate the worry that you are bothering your customers with too many emails, or too much sale messaging. Every retailer has a sale customer. Use the data to your advantage to get them in and shopping.

For all the above, make sure to keep track of who has come in so you can track conversion rates.  Set goals for yourself that are achievable and reward the team when they reach them! All of this will help you add top line sales using your current database.

Knowledge = POWER

There are so many things you can do with what you know by looking at your data differently.  Engage your current customers to grow sales instead of hoping for new ones, because the happier the current customers are, the more new ones you will find!

CARES Program blog contributed by:

Margo Kopman, owner of Project Retail Boutique Consulting Firm, is a veteran marketing speaker and workshop leader with over 200 successful events under his belt. Event organizers and attendees frequently comment on the nature of the practical, actionable “takeaway” value of his presentations.

Learn more aboutMargo’s seminars:, Financials / Breakeven / Cashflow (Retail), Sales Forecast / Merchandising Plan (Retail), and How to Best Use and Incorporate Client Data into Marketing/Promotional Plans and Customer Outreach (Retail) and how to access customized consulting through the Collin SBDC CARES Program.