Employee Incentive Strategy

08 Feb 2022

Here's Why Top Retailers are Launching Sales Incentive Programs in 2022

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Isabel Carter

Ask any successful retail operator how they made it and one thing is sure to keep popping up: incentive programs. Incentive programs result in greater company loyalty, higher customer satisfaction, and improved sales performance that benefit you and your store employees.

As a business owner, you could also start an incentive program to motivate your employees and increase your revenue. Offering your team sales incentives shows them that you appreciate their hard work and can help you retain top talent amidst the Great Resignation and attract new talented team members.

What are the Benefits of Retail Sales Incentive Programs?

Retail sales can be very demanding, and with this comes a high turnover rate and more opportunities for disgruntled employees. Incentives make the daily grind more bearable and provide great motivation for your employees to stay focused and productive.

An incentives program can help your retail employees understand their performance, prioritize sales metrics, and appreciate how their hard-work helps the business, and their paycheck, grow over time. Sales incentives allow employees to be rewarded outside their hourly pay for their hard work.

Here are some benefits that come with starting a sales incentives program:

1. Incentive programs help attract and retain employees

Retaining dedicated employees is a constant struggle for retailers. To make things even more challenging, it's well documented that Gen-Z workers look beyond just salary or wages, placing a lot of weight on the availability of incentives and up-side opportunities. Companies that offer properly structured incentive programs can use this as a real differentiator, positioning incentives as a valuable benefit that's unique to your business.

2. Incentive programs improve employee engagement

Incentive programs can increase your employees' interest in work and help you achieve a higher level of buy-in from them. Offering customized incentives that drive sales and translate to greater take-home pay for your employees can help to promote the elusive "owner mentality" all business operators look for in their workers.

3. Incentives increase sales

If you've ever worked in sales, then you will appreciate how hard it can be! Your employees need incentives to motivate them to achieve their targets. Sales incentive programs result in enthusiastic employees that are eager to assist every customer that walks through the door and dutifully focused on maximizing the value of every transaction.

At the end of the day, sales incentives for store employees are a rare win-win for both you and your team. A clear sales incentive, like a sales commission or contest, is guaranteed to boost your sales and more than pay for the cash bonuses you pay out to winners for their hard work.

4. Incentive programs increase employee motivation

Profit increase is not the only benefit you get when rewarding good work. An incentive program increases employee motivation that helps keep long-term employee engagement and employee performance levels high.

For example, a team-based sales challenge like a goal can motivate employees and creates a positive work environment that nurtures collaboration and company buy-in.

5. Incentive programs help employees feel the love

Taking steps to appreciate and acknowledge excellent performance is powerfully motivating. You can reward employees who meet set targets by recognizing them publicly, giving them a voucher, a gift card, or even a simple trophy.

Knowing they'll be rewarded for their efforts makes employees feel good, motivating them to perform more efficiently and successfully.

6. Incentive programs improve performance

Starting an incentive program that provides cash or tangible rewards will boost your business performance by 22%. Providing your team with incentives can increase their productivity by as much as 44%.

Are Retail Incentives Programs Worth the Time and Effort?

While retail incentives come with enormous benefits for your employees and customers, you might still wonder if they're worth the cost or effort.

1. How much is an incentive program going to cost me?

What you'll spend on your retail incentive program will depend on the size of your business and the number of employees. There are many ways you can create low-budget incentives that reward your employees.

Here are some employee incentive ideas for every budget:

  • Allow employees flexibility: In 2022, employees value freedom and flexibility in their work. You can give your retail employees the freedom to set their work schedules, whether in terms of hours, work, or work.
  • Give employees coupons and gift cards: Employees appreciate coupons and gift cards. You could give them magazine subscriptions, movie theater gift cards, concert tickets, or pay for a class or course.
  • Tickets to sporting events: A ticket to a game can be an excellent incentive for die-hard sports fans. If several of your retail employees are fans of the same team, game tickets could bring them closer together. A great option for a team sales challenge!

3. How long will it take for an incentive program to produce results?

While it can take time to reap the benefits of incentive programs and collect enough data to properly analyze their efficacy, they come with long-term benefits by attracting higher quality employees and retaining valuable ones. Having a commission program, recurring sales contests, or even team-based goals are all excellent ways to reduce turnover and keep things interesting. Most businesses are able to evaluate the ROI of a new incentive program within 4-6 weeks of launch. If you're still not sure if an incentive is driving the growth you're looking for, consider mixing up the format or offering a different prize.

Bottom Line

A sales incentive is any valuable or desired item, object, action, or event that encourages a store employee to crush sales and delight customers. In retail, incentives can range from a financial incentive to non-cash recognition.

Rewarding employee performance and recognizing strong performers can support long-term improvements to business bottom-line profitability.

An incentive program improves employee engagement and employee performance--and customers notice these things! You can add extra elements to your incentive program by including gamification like points or encouraging your staff to compete with one another.

Contact us at SparkPlug, and we'll help you manage your business and get the best out of your employees.