Conversion – Know What is Happening

Everyone in Retail Management seems to understand that Conversion is HUGE….so why do I keep having to go searching for a sales associate to sell something to me?
It’s a great question.
Recently, I arranged some focus group meetings, with Regional Managers, of small and medium sized chains, to answer questions about various retail topics.
Before the meetings I had done some ‘shopping’ or, you may call them mystery shops, to get an idea of the way these Regional Managers were running their stores. I wasn’t in any position to judge them, nor did I want to. 
But, I did need to understand a bit about their perspective on retail operations.
I’ve chosen two examples to tell you about today because the importance of Conversion cannot be overstated, particularly during busy times when selling steps often go out the window due to increased traffic.
One Regional Manager went on, at length, singing the praises of a particular store team in his region. He said they were his highest volume store, they never missed target, they functioned like a well-oiled machine and had true team spirit. 
To his mind, they were, indeed, an incredible team.
Well, it just so happens that my visit to that particular store was among the worst I experienced during my work on this project.
The store is about 5,000 sq. feet, free standing, large front entrance with the cash desk situated quite close to the front entrance doors. 
They sell educational materials and toys for children.
I entered the store and spent a full 15 minutes walking around the store, stopping to look at and touch 20 different items in different locations within the store. 
There were three staff members and 3 to 4 customers, including me, at any given time.
As I approached the front of the store, just as I was passing the cash desk…clearly walking in the direction of the doors to leave…a young man at the cash desk said “hello”. 
I said “hello” pleasantly and kept walking.
The other store used in this example was, again, touted as a fine example of the stores in a particular region. 
It is a women’s apparel store serving a target of 35-55 year old women. The price point is moderate. It’s an indoor, covered mall store; about 3,000 sq. feet with the cash desk situated at the very back near the fitting rooms.
On the day of my shop, the store was very clean and well merchandised. It really did look amazing and I can see that plenty of customers would be drawn in.
There were two staff members on duty and both were at the cash desk. I was the only customer. They did not greet me. 
I’m not even sure they saw me enter, although I made no attempt to sneak in.
I began looking around and touching merchandise – taking a couple of items off the racks to look at. I even tried a jacket on and sought out a mirror to have a look.
After 8 minutes, a sales associate approached me, greeted me and began a conversation about current promotions. 
We had a nice chat and then I continued looking around and, after about another 5 minutes, I left the store.
I should mention, at DMSRetail, we do not advocate anyone trying to catch store personnel doing something wrong. In fact, we generally advise against surprise visits altogether.
A planned visit does much more for the morale and professional development of the Manager and team.
However, as a Regional/District Manager you’ve got to be on top of how your stores perform. Clearly, conversion cannot be as high as it should be in these stores in the example. 
Two fairly senior Regional Managers were telling me things that I knew were not completely true. They were generalising and it was surely costing them sales dollars. 
For the sceptics out there, we’ve seen enough to know that these were not isolated incidents.
Conversion is critical.
You won’t convert at a high rate if shoppers are left to wander around by themselves. Well, except in a convenience store or grocery store…
If the shoppers who are left to wander around do convert to buyers, there’s a really good chance that the amount of the sale and the number of units per transaction will not be what it could be.
Focus on conversion and prove that you 
know what is happening. Don’t just think you know.
There’s too much as stake!
For those of you looking ahead… Don’t miss this webinar:
14 Things You’ll Learn When You Attend the Webinar

Online Marketing for Retailers

Tuesday, December 6, 2016 

1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. EST (6:00 p.m. London)

All Registrants will get the recording and slides.

  • What is social media and why do you need it?
  • 15 facts that make social media an absolute necessity for your offline and/or online business.
  • What exactly is a social media page?
  • The most important step to take before building your pages.
  • The exact questions you should be able to answer in order to choose the right approach for your business.
  • How to avoid getting lost when you are creating your page?
  • Tips on how to create the perfect profile.
  • Effective techniques to make your activities more productive.
  • Step by step process to maximise your visibility.
  • How to correctly use the 3 core posting activities that will virally spread the word quickly.
  • Meet the marketing weapons you can utilise.
  • Important tips that will get the most out of your Profile Settings that will boost your search engine power.
  • Quickest and safest ways to get the followers you want.
  • How to mimic the masters of social media.
to register and make payment by credit card or PayPal.
Online Marketing for Retailers…it is not as scary as it looks.
Learn skills that are critical to the success of both your online and offline business.
Get the know how you need to get on top of your online marketing.
Join us for the webinar!
 TUESDAY, December 6, 2016
1:00 P.M. – 3:00 P.M. EST (6:00 P.M. LONDON)
No need to worry, even if you miss the webinar.
Every registered attendee gets the recording and the slides!

14 Step Time Management Process

Work with To Do Lists – Daily or weekly, a ‘to do’ list must be created. It must include only those things that you have deemed to be priorities based on your top success factors. Others may inadvertently influence your ‘to do’ list unless you are very careful. Just remember whose ‘to do’ list it is.

Why is it important to use a to do list?

We can’t necessarily keep everything in our memory and, even if we could, why waste the brain space when you can jot it down on paper? Seeing the list of things written down on paper helps you to prioritize. Any possible duplication of effort can be seen at a glance. You get the satisfaction of striking things off the list as they are accomplished.

Appointments – Make a plan for your day, week or month as if you are creating appointments. That is to say, if you plan to do something at 9:30 a.m., and have scheduled that activity as a 45 minute appointment, then do it in the 45 minutes you have scheduled it for. Appointments should have a start and finish time and cannot be left open ended.

Reduce time allotments – Any activity, task, project or meeting can easily expand to use up all of the time allotted to it. For this reason, schedule on the short side. Things tend to be handled more efficiently and effectively when a tighter time frame is in place.

There is more about productivity in retail at

Organize – In retail, you must be highly organized. You need a system for reducing clutter (of your space and your mind) and for easy retrieval of documents and information. If your life is full of clutter, your brain is confused and is probably actually preventing you from getting things done.

Make a point of regularly clearing out junk that you don’t need or use anymore. Stuff at home and work should be thrown out if it is not useful to you. You should actually schedule this ‘clutter removal’ appointment once a month or even as often as once a week.

Delegate – Presumably you have competent people working for you so you should be able to delegate according to their particular strengths and availability. Even if you need to break a larger project down into smaller, more manageable pieces it will help you and it will help in development your people.

You’ll need to consider these things when deciding what to delegate:

-Is it a repetitive task?

-If a bad decision is made regarding this issue – what is the impact? Is it easily reversed? Will it negatively affect others? Will it be expensive, for the company, to correct or reverse?

Say “no” – Although it is not always possible, you need to know how to determine what you should say “no” to. If someone asks you to take on a project or task that will not necessarily advance your cause – or contribute to your top success factors – then you need to say “no”. If you find there is no alternative but to accept the project or task, then you need to look for items on your to do list that can be moved to another time slot or ‘appointment time’ or delegated.

There is more about productivity in retail at

Remain flexible and reschedule often – You will need to allow for the unexpected. The idea of planning your work and working your plan is a very good one, but sometimes you will just have to be flexible. So, when the need arises, be prepared to reschedule.

Allow yourself some scheduled unproductive time – It doesn’t sound right but it’s important. This is what will keep you going. We can’t have every minute of every day pinned down – sometimes we have to just enjoy ….whatever.

Don’t let what you can’t do stop you from doing what you can do – Sometimes it’s impossible to embark on a big project. Maybe you have limited resources; maybe the expected outcome is still a bit uncertain. For whatever reason, you just know you can’t get the big project done. You can, however, start on small parts of that big project – the parts that you are able to get done and that will be useful when it comes time to get the big project underway. In fact, if you work at it that way you might just find that the big project has suddenly taken care of itself.

Sleep early, wake up early and take good care of your health– The early bird gets the worm! In our case, the early riser gets more done while they are still energetic. It’s a great feeling to know that some people are just lounging around – still in their beds – while you have already accomplished half of your to do list.

DMSRetail Press Release – Singapore

DMSRetail brings 4 Top Performing Retail Management Workshops to Singapore – For the First Time! October , 2016 – Sheraton Towers, Singapore

Toronto, ON September 22, 2016 — DMSRetail, a leading Consulting, Training and Services company for progressive retailers, brings leading edge retail management techniques to Singapore for the First time.

Senior Consultant and EVP for DMSRetail, Matt Parmaks says “Over the past two or three years we have seen huge growth in our business coming from the South East Asian Market.

We decided it is the right time to offer our premium Retail Management training programs over there where people could attend without incurring the huge cost of travel that is usually associated with getting the benefits of leading edge retail management training.

From sophisticated retail business success methodologies and analytics to good, old fashioned customer experience strategies as well as performance management techniques that are so crucial for these tough times, DMSRetail brings it all together in a fast paced workshops designed for retail managers and retail business owners alike.

Another Senior Consultant with DMSRetail, John Callaghan says “Doing well in a retail business is not as straight forward as it used to be.

There are so many fascinating ideas and new techniques that retail managers and business owners need to be aware of in order to really excel in retail these days and we want to share all of this with our fast growing customer base in South East Asia.”

With the overall economical conditions the way they are, South Eastern Retailers are buying in to the fact that they must do more about investing in their knowledge, leading edge techniques and their people.

DMSRetail is seeing a sharp increase in interest in their retail management training programs. Details of the programs can be found at





Don’t Miss These Game Changing Workshops!

To Your Success!


Programs for Higher Retail Success

Upcoming Webinars/Online Training Sessions

No scheduling issues. Ever.

Guaranteed…because we send you the recordings.

You and your teams are busy, busy, busy, right?

We totally understand. So, if you desire to get some great information huge insights, great tips and serious advice from experts but you simply don’t have the time to invest days, or even several hours, in training and learning then we’ve got the answer for you.

Our Online Training Sessions, also known as Webinars are jam packed with important information, tips and advice on myriad retail topics and they are always scheduled for only one or two hours… tops!

They’re informative and affordable. They’re easy to log into and they’re over-the-top convenient. Here’s the most important part for those of you who are time starved and feeling bombarded by information everywhere you look…

You never miss a session because…we send you the recording! You choose when and where to ‘attend’.

It doesn’t get more convenient than that.

3 simple steps.

  • Register.
  • Choose to Attend or Choose Not to Attend.
  • Receive the Complimentary Recording.

Simple log in details are sent 24 hours prior to the session.

Here’s the line-up for the week of September 4th…

 #1. Get 25% More from Store Visits

Just $97

Store visits represent an amazing opportunity…in fact, the very best opportunity…to increase performance and effectiveness, motivate store teams, impart wisdom and remove obstacles to doing business. If you and/or your Regional and District Managers are not getting the maximum value from store visits, then you are just visiting…which is really nice but it is not moving the business forward and doesn’t give you much of an ROI.

Learn how to get at least 25% more from every store visit.

September 7th

from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. Eastern

(6:00-7:00 p.m. London, UK)

Register here for Store Visit Webinar.

Get the complimentary recording.

 #2. Retail Math Online Training


Just $197 

Retail Math is considered an integral part of a Retail Manager’s skill set and can be found on many pre-employment screening tests.

September 7th

from 1:00-3:00 p.m. Eastern

(6:00-8:00 p.m. London, UK)

Register here for Retail Math Webinar.

Get the complimentary recording.

#3. Retail Category Management

Just $197

Learn how to increase profits by effectively managing categories based on your customer and market.

Category Management Highlights:

Better In-Stock Rates: 2 – 8%

Lower Inventory Levels: 10 – 40%

Higher Sales: 5 – 20%

Lower Logistics Costs: 3 – 4%

Retail Category Management Online Training is useful for all buying staff, including category managers, buyers and visual merchandising teams as well as for Suppliers of Retail.

September 8th

from 1:00-3:00 p.m. Eastern

(6:00-8:00 p.m. London, UK)

Register here for Retail Category Management Webinar.

Get the complimentary recording.

 #4. 7 Top Tips to Maximize Your Retail Profits

Just $97

7 Top Tips normally only divulged in our 3 day training program: The Retail Operations Management Workshop

September 9th

1:00 – 2:00 p.m. Eastern

(6:00 – 7:00 p.m. London, UK)

Register here for 7 Top Tips Webinar.

Get the complimentary recording.


Did you know that Exclusive Platinum Membership in the Retail Business Academy means you get All the Actionable Retail Information You Need – Wherever and Whenever You Need It?

Did you know that every one of our webinars is posted to the Retail Business Academy within a few days after the live session?

That means that you can always access them with your Exclusive Platinum Membership.

What is Your Management Style?

Have you taken our management style quiz yet? Hundreds of our members have.

Here’s the link:

EBiz Customer Satisfaction Data

ACSI just published their customer ratings for select e-businesses:


Survey Results

In a recent survey, we asked” What is your top concern right now?”

Here are the answers we received (in no particular order):

  1. Recruiting great salespeople
  2. Staff turnover
  3. Sales forecasting
  4. Merchandise planning
  5. Insufficient staff hours
  6. Pay for performance design

Please comment if you want to add yours or make your point about the issues above.

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Retail Management

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