I read an excellent little booklet recently called '5 proven ways to quickly improve profits in your Auckland retail shop.'

The booklet is written by Brian Clough the owner of Auckland Security Cameras and has a gold mine of practical ideas that any retailer can use to quickly increase their profits.

Here are the five ideas that Brian covers in his booklet...

Profit idea one: Generate more leads for your shop by doing a joint venture with another local retailer.


Profit idea two: Increase the number of people who buy something when they walk in.

Profit idea three: Collect people's details and then actually use them to get your best customers to come back to your shop more often.

Profit idea four: Get people to spend more in your shop on average by helping people buy what they need.

Profit idea five: Use CCTV to immediately increase your profit margin.

Let's take a look at one of these ideas to boost your retail profits...

Profit idea four: Get people to spend more in your shop on average by helping people buy what they need.

People love to buy but they generally hate to be sold.

Why not train your staff to help people do what they love by asking better questions.

Before we look at how to do it, here's a little Auckland retail story that Brian covers in his booklet:


I remember going into an electronics retailer one day to buy some batteries.

I found a pack of 4 and walked up to the POS to buy them. As he was about to ring up my sale, the young guy behind the counter casually asked me what I used the batteries for. I explained that I listened to a lot of old fashioned cassette tapes in my car, which being a modern car, only had a CD player.

"Oh, do you listen to a lot of tapes then?" he asked. I did. He then showed me this box of 30 AA batteries that was way cheaper per battery than my 4 pack. It was one of the easiest decisions I made that week.

I was very happy because I was sick of churning through the batteries but hadn't really given much thought to it. He got a $30 something sale instead of an $8 one.

No doubt you've got plenty of war stories of your own like that one if you've been in retail for any length of time.

The trick is how to make these types of questions happen more often.

Here's a really simple practical way to approach this.

If there's something in your business that you or your staff aren't very good at ( let's say your staff don't ask many questions for example), then there are really only 3 ways you can improve:

1: Get better at it yourselves.

In this case that means training. Even if you got your staff to write down 5 great questions they could ask people, and then talked them through that would be a start. Even better if you had these types of discussions regularly. Even better if they attend a training course etc, etc, etc. Your call.

2. Get someone else who's better than you to do it.

Recruit someone with the skills you need. Then work out what the 'star' does, and use that to train the others.

3. Systemise it so it happens on auto-pilot.

The Paint retailer who used a checklist called "11 Most Common Things People Need For Any Paint Job But Forget To Buy".

Or what about a display that simply asks "Have you got your X, Y and Z?", if X, Y and Z are important complementary items to what people normally buy.

The four top numbers in retail:

A group of retail experts watched thousands of customers and collected millions of data points over about 15 years.

They found these were the top 4 numbers for retail:

Conversion Rate - How many of the people who walk into your stores buy something?

Minutes in Store - How long do people spend in your store?

Wait Times - How long do people wait before being served?

Interception Rate - How many of the people who walk into your stores are greeted by an employee?

There is some remarkable new technology that allows you to track all 4 numbers easily in any retail store and it's called Profit Cam. (It's well worth checking out.)

To improve your retail profits you need to make a commitment to doing a number of small things really well. 'Retail is detail' is a great phrase to remember.

'Profit is not the legitimate purpose of business. The legitimate purpose of business is to provide a product or service that people need and do it so well that it's profitable.' - James Rouse

Action Step:

Brian is an expert in helping retailers improve their sales and profits using innovative camera technology. You may like to contact him to see if he can help your retail business as well.