Five Sales Metrics Every Shop Owner Should Watch and Why

As industry experts across the country have acknowledged for some time, customer experience is everything and, ultimately, what will determine whether or not a customer returns to your brick and mortar location. With the already escalated move to on-line shopping, brick and mortar has become the go-to place only for loyalty, proprietor interaction, product knowledge, and to touch, feel or try on items. Add in a pandemic, and it makes the customer experience just that much more critical. That said, coaching your associates to be the best of the best in service and salesmanship has never been more important.

Taking time to assess reports of your stores’ and individual associate’s sales metrics will identify all those hidden opportunities your store and team have for improvement. Throughout my career, each retailer had a different metric that they focused on in their sales improvement effort. The most common metrics retailers track are Sales Per Hour (SPH), Units Per Transaction (UPT), Dollars Per Transaction (DPT), Average Unit Retail (AUR), and Conversion Rate.

Explaining the Value of Each Metric

Sales Per Hour is the total sales volume for each hour as a store or associate for a selected period. It is usually tracked by day, analyzing the most productive hours for a day and comparing each day of the week. So, using this tool to analyze how many associates you need to have on the sales floor at any given time can significantly increase productivity. Just take a look at the forecasted sales per hour for your high traffic days and divide it by the average associate SPH.

Units Per Transaction vs. Dollars Per Transaction

Units Per Transaction is the average items sold on each Transaction for the period selected. Many retailers consider this metric the gold standard when comparing associates. When looking at each of your associates, how talented are they at suggestive selling? You can increase sales volume in your store quickly just by increasing the average number of units sold on each Transaction. And good news! Because it only requires skills training, you can achieve this without much additional expense,

Dollars Per Transaction is the average dollar amount you sell on each Transaction for the period reviewed. So, it’s closely tied to two other metrics; Units Per Transaction and Average Unit Retail per Transaction. Driving higher dollars on each Transaction is most often achieved by increasing the units sold. However, you can also achieve this by selling more of the most expensive items in your store. Food for thought, how accomplished do you think your associates are at romancing your high-end products?

Average Price and Conversion Rate

Average Unit Retail, or the average price of each item you sell, is something to pay close attention to when considering assortments. Do you have a high-end line that is down-trending? What are you replacing that with? Is it at the same price point or less? If an item’s average price on your floor falls from the fall season this year compared to last year, you’ll have to sell many more units to achieve the same volume.

Conversion Rate is possibly the most significant indicator of customer experience and customer service. What percentage of the customers that walk through your doors on a given day make a purchase? Conversion can be affected by the type of location of your store. Typically, the higher the traffic flow, the lower the conversion, while destination locations often can have higher conversion rates. You can improve on conversion significantly by honing two skills. Make sure to schedule enough salespeople for high traffic days. Coach your associates on customer service. The better the experience your customer has, the higher your conversion will be. Of course, exceptional service, every customer is the goal for every day. However, during times when traffic into the store has slowed, it is paramount.

Coaching for Greater Outcomes

As your team grows, the store performance grows. It’s as simple as that. What you put into your associates’ growth, you get back in performance and productivity. From a sales perspective, take time to watch your associates working with your customers. As an owner or manager, it is hard to find the time. However, not many duties on your plate matter more. What is the “why” behind each of their metrics?

If associates are struggling with Sales Per Hour, are they completing tasks pre-opening or after the close? Are they connecting with the customers, using open-ended questions, getting to know why they are shopping, and what they are up to? When associates know the answers to these questions, it allows them to put themselves in the customer’s mindset. So, it’s easy to offer complementing items that could make the customers experience much better and increase the units per Transaction. If an associate struggles with Dollars Per Transaction, do they understand what items complement each other in the store? And do they know the features and benefits and approach to selling the highest-priced items in the store? Are you unhappy with your stores’ conversion rate? Are your customer’s being genuinely greeted when they enter the store? Is it clear to them that you are grateful for their visit? Is the associate engaging immediately when the customer comes in and staying engaged in conversation and getting to know the customer throughout their’ visit?

These are just a few examples of coaching opportunities. You’ll find your team’s opportunities by watching, listening, and tracking metrics at least weekly. Associates that know their metrics daily and log them before leaving each day outperform those that are unaware. Try having them each log their daily metrics on your daily planner before leaving for the day. Try having a formal review of metrics with each team member quarterly. Share your praise, observations, and recommendations. Watch your team flourish.

Cheers to Creating:

Exceptional Customer Experiences

Every Customer

Every Day

L. Tucker, SG Retail Solutions