Are you making the most of your post office? betterRetailing rejoins Post Office’s Peter Johnson and Mark Irvin with mentor Ramesh Shingadia as they work with two retailers with new branches to increase basket spend
Since 2012 Post Office has been modernising its network, transforming more than 7,500 into new modern outlets. Thousands of franchises became available creating an opportunity for independent retailers to offer more services to their local communities and since then, many retailers have opened branches in their stores. Here Post Office representatives, together with a successful mentor in the category, provide tailored advice on how to become the stores shoppers choose to go to and increase their basket spend.
Deputy director network transformation programme, Post Office
Local relationship manager, Post Office
Shingadia’s Londis Southwater & Post Office, Southwater
- On average, it takes less than 30 seconds to serve a post office customer
- 73% of customers say the post office was their main reason for being in-store
The Convenience Store, New Oxford Street, London
Amarjit says: “I would like to increase my post office sales. The shop is in a good location but it’s laid out over two floors. How do I get people to come downstairs? And because of the narrow shop front, another challenge is to inform people in the area of the services we provide.”
Peter and Mark advise: “Armarjit’s new post office is in a prime location and the only one in London open for 24 hours, seven days a week. Staff can recommend customers look at the great range of stationery downstairs, and floor markings would encourage customers to walk through the shop to inspire additional spend.”
Ramesh Shinghadia advises: Amarjit’s shop is in a very good location and the initial impression is great. He has to make sure the post office queue is managed properly at peak times and this will make a big difference.
Recommend other areas: Have staff suggest the downstairs area containing stationery to customers browsing the shop.
Develop online presence: Update your Google profile and create a presence on Facebook and Twitter, to increase awareness and attract more customers.
- Direct customers flow: Manage queues by using adhesive footprints on the floor and by guiding customers through the shop.
One Stop Jerry’s Lane, Erdington, Birmingham
Raaj says: “One of my main challenges is how to convert the extra footfall the post office brings into retail customers. I would also like to maximise the efficiency of my staff. I’m excited about turning today’s discussion into action, increasing the number of retail shoppers and upselling to customers.”
Peter and Mark advise: “Raaj’s branch has gone from zero to around 1,000 customer sessions a week since opening. To integrate post office further in the store, he can ensure staff are delivering the expected level of customer service, designating a post office champion to take ownership of this section and push the team to excel.”
Ramesh Shinghadia advises:
“Raaj knows retailing and Post Offices go hand in hand and he has to make sure the counter doesn’t operate as a standalone. Additional staff training on customer service will enable them to upsell products and services and make him stand out.
Upsell service: Ensure staff use the five W’s: “Where’s it going; what’s in your item; when does it need to arrive; what’s the value; would you like a signature?”
Dedicated staff members: Allocate specific employees to take responsibility for the section; they will be invested in its success, ensuring things run smoothly.
- Monitor success: Monitor employee performance using scorecards and offer small prizes as an incentive to maintain standards.
Post Office’s tip for your store:
- Market your presence in-store, online and on social media
- Cross-sell other areas of your store to get shoppers purchasing more.
- Measure and reward great customer service from your staff
Ramesh’s tip for your store:
Develop two clear strategies: one for the post office, and one for the retail side. The post office needs to create additional footfall, and the shop needs to entice the new customers to look at the retail side. Think about who your shoppers are, and who your prospective shoppers could be.
If you would like to add a post office and improve the performance of your store, please complete the form below and we will be in touch.