Management Memos

Making Measurably More For You Since 1985

November 2019

November 2019 But What About Now?

'Christmas is coming, and the goose is getting fat..'
Whoa! Sales are flat - not fat!
Whatever can we do in the time left, to make the most of this peak shopping season?

The reasons are all too clear. Economic commentators tell us why shoppers aren't buying. We can't change any of that, so we're powerless. The season is slipping by.

Some traders have a really peak season, and it's now. They're pumped with store activity. The problem is that, although this peak season is frantically busy, turnover's still not high enough - when you look at the whole year.

All through this year we have highlighted trends and opportunities in 'New Retail'. These have the potential to dramatically change your business for the better. But that takes time. Yes - it is true. We have a client working now on their new retail strategy for 'Summer 2020'. And yes, getting it right will take that long!

That's OK for 2020, but what about now?


The Answer Is Three Key Words...

1. Merchandising


Merchandising makes products appealing

The great unsung hero of retail sales growth - and profit.

Merchandising suggests 'buy me now' to a shopper you want to turn into a customer. Merchandising can be magic, but it doesn't have to be hard.

Long ago, a friend passed on this gem. A chocolate bar wasn't selling from his POS counter - even though it was a popular variety. Putting these bars in a basket on the counter with a sign "Only 99c" made all the difference.

That wasn't a price-off - the RRP was, at that time, 99c!

Simple, but effective! The chocolate bars looked different in that basket, and the price reminder (not discounted, mind you) showed that this enjoyment comes at a very small cost. That simple sign made those chocolate bars leap off the counter.

Be adventurous! In a tiny licensed grocery in a country town, a young store worker built a display of wine 'ends' around a bale of straw. Her boss was angry that the store looked untidy - until people came flocking in like never before - to buy the stock that otherwise would be 'dead'. Imagination, and daring - that'll do it.

What's your 99c chocolate bar? You can get it moving, with a few simple moves. It doesn't cost much - but it makes such a difference!

2. Value

Customers love value. That's not news, but sometimes we forget to press the point!

Show Value - not price

Show the value the customer gets

There's your special for this week, sitting on the showroom floor or shelf, and sprouting the sign '20% Off!'

Now that's a sign to yourself - not the customer. It reminds you of how much you're giving to get it moving. What does it mean in value to the potential buyer? Not much at all.

It's so easy to advertise or promote in ways which suit our minds and understanding. To merchandise value, stand in the customer's shoes!

It will pack a lot more weight when you say "Clean Easy for only 50 cents a day!" In this way, you're offering a real benefit at a price everyone can afford - so why wouldn't you make cleaning easy?

That's offering real value that's easy to understand.

3. Service

Make Great CX

Careful customer anticipation makes a great CX!

Let's be frank. 'Service' won't win you customers - it's expected these days. But great service will create an exceptional Customer Experience (CX) that does keep customers coming back. On top of that, people buy more when they're feeling good, so a great CX can increase sales on the day. Bank on it!

But what makes a great CX? You can't do it in time for this Christmas, but there's still a chance. Rev up what you're already doing!

  • Your staff always smile, right? Make a point of checking, and you'll find how often they really aren't being open and really friendly. So get out there, always coaching, or coaxing, for that smile.
  • Has your customer booked for this visit? Just say, as well as your normal welcome, "we've been expecting you". The customer is important to you - now they feel important too, and we all like that!
  • Every customer will benefit by coming back - next week or next month. Try to get a phone number for a follow-up call (or an email or SMS) when that time comes, and use the expression "Would you like us to call you when your next 'whatever' is due?

Of course you wrap carefully, help carry the parcels, and exercise all those courtesies. But what is the parting word? Try "We'll look forward to seeing you next month (or week, or whatever suits),"

They know that they're important, that you genuinely feel that you've done the best for them, and that the bond has been established. Now that is really important - and it's important that they know you feel that way!


Here's The Three Point Wrap

Merchandise: Do something different to put your offer in front of your visitors

Show Value: Demonstrate how your offer improves the life of your customer

Service: Find new ways to interact with your customers - and show you really care


These are simple steps that will work almost at once. They're easy and inexpensive. All it needs is you to coach and coax!


We can help you explore the challenges you face, and the opportunities they represent.

Let's discuss it on a phone call. After that, you can just hang up - if that's what you'd like to do. No Strings Attached!

Phone us (see the numbers below) or use the contact form here to get help. Absolutely obligation free.


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Any advice, information or comment contained in this document is general in nature, and should not be relied on as the basis for any specific commercial, business, employment, or financial decision. Specific advice should always be obtained for each individual circumstance. Accordingly any advice, information or comment contained herein is for general guidance only.