The Sims 4 Get to Work: Retail Guide

Making Sales and Attracting Customers

The Sims 4 Get to Work: Close the Deal
Close the Deal is available only when Sims are Confident. This is a great interaction when a customer's sell bar is over half full.

We've covered the the Basics of Operating a Business, as well as Employees. Now we'll look at Customers and Sales. Next up, Retail Perks.

Interacting with Customers
Many customers will not make a sale unless you interact with them. The customer's bar will rise as they are in the store, and if it meets certain points (50, 75%) it is more likely they will make a purchase when done shopping. The customers' bars will rise faster the lower your markup. Look at the rates they rise and target those who are moving slowly. Talking to customers meets two objectives - accruing Retail Perk Points and improving sales rates. When you interact with a customer starting with greeting them, a business-based social context will appear, starting with 'Just Window Shopping'. Stay on the topic of making a sale, and more dialog options will come up as the context changes. It can occasionally turn negative, at which point you might want to move on to another customer. When dealing with a customer, I'll often pause and queue up 2-3 of the retail interactions to prevent them using normal socials in return. Use the more advanced interactions once you've raised their bar to 50-75%, and they'll eventually move on to purchasing and be ready to be rung up. If your Sim gets tied up in a group conversation and is the one you're relying on to ring up customers, be sure to cancel the group conversation so that you can get the customer taken care of before they leave in frustration. Here are the dialog options, for your reference.

Just Window Shopping:

  • Answer Questions
  • Ask About Price Range
  • Discuss Shopping Preferences

Receptive to Sales Pitch:

  • Enthuse About Store
  • Offer Information
  • Suggest Options

Interested in Purchasing:

  • Endorse Products
  • Enthuse About Prices

The Sims 4 Get to Work: Retail Interactions
The array of Retail Interactions at your disposal. Use higher ones as they unlock, and queue up multiple interactions at once to keep the sell bar moving.

Spread the Love
Customers seem to like it when you or your employees at least interact with them a bit. You can raise their blue bar and make them more likely to make a purchase before leaving, without going all the way to 100%. The bar will raise some on its own over time. That means you don't have to push a sell, but rather greet them and offer some advice then move on. Moving them up to above half full then switching to another customer seems to increase the likelihood the first will make a purchase. Do this when you have employees set to ring up customers just in case more than one is ready to check out at once. When there are 3 at once, it's almost impossible to get them all so again: prioritize high-value sales.

The Sims 4 Get to Work: Sure Sale
The Sure Sale interaction is unlocked via Perk Points. It guarantees a sale with just one click, though it may only be used every four hours.

Ringing them Up
Ringing up a customer should be done within 45 sim minutes, or else you'll lose the sale. That customer will no longer be targetable with retail interactions and leave your store. It doesn't mean they won't come back, but it's a lost sale. Prioritize those customers who are standing in front of expensive items. It's really a bit like a game of whack-a-mole when you have multiple customers at once ready to go. You can sometimes try to direct an employee to ring up customers when there are multiple to do at once, then go after the one that is most important to you to ring them up yourself. Ideally, the employee will take care of that other customer. It's a risk worth taking, as it's only a minute interaction to tell them what to do, versus the 20 minutes or more it takes to ring up a customer. You can increase the rate you ring them up with the Faster Checkouts Perks (450 small and 1400 large) as well as having employees with higher levels in Sales.

The Sims 4 Get to Work: Ringing up a customer
Ringing up a customer. Playing manager means doing a lot of the work, while your employees support you. Not the other way around.

Dealing with High Demand
While you may be tempted to lower prices to sell more overall, it'll be hard for you to keep up with that demand for your team's attention and you need to turn a profit to maintain the business and cover wages. It's better to leave it at default, and maybe even raise the prices if your people still can't keep up - particularly if you are using advertising to increase attention from customers. Later, with a full team of three employees, it may be good to lower them again to maximize revenue. Overall look to optimize how many items are being sold and how well your team can handle them, and use price to adjust the flow. This is what real businesses do to a degree, so it works in the game as well. With raised prices, you should spend a little more time talking to customers. What isn't done by real businesses is to bring in more expensive items to overall increase the amount of money earned per sale. You can do this in the game as you acquire Retail Perks, amass money to reinvest in more expensive objects to sell, and improve the levels of your employees.

Attracting Customers to the Business

The Sims 4 Get to Work: An Expensive sell
Gradually buying more expensive items for your store will increase your odds of a super-profitable day.

Curb Appeal: The Store Front
Curb appeal is the metric that determines how likely your store is to get customers. The higher this is, the more you'll see on any given day. While the basic design of your store doesn't matter, the contents of the lot do have an impact. There are signs that you can place on the outside of the building to help attract people to the store. There is an 'open' sign, and a variety of other objects in build mode that indicate they will boost the chance of customers visiting within their descriptions. This raises the curb appeal mechanic. Try to use the store front as an advertisement of sorts, which means not having only windows up front but also some room for signs. You may also place a couple of stand-style signs out front on the ground. Incorporate these things into your design to make it aesthetically pleasing to you, while also working the gameplay mechanics of the retail system. Having pretty objects, paintings, as well as some seating inside your store may help customers be more likely to visit as well. These things, combined with advertising (which provides a short burst for cash) will raise curb appeal and attract customers to your business.

The Sims 4 Get to Work: The Register of Tomorrow
The Register of Tomorrow doesn't do much, but adding more pretties to your store helps make customers happy and thus it's easier to market to them.

Sims who have level 4 handiness can upgrade the neon signs that can be placed on the store front. Flashy animations will attract more customers, while a surge protector can prevent the sign from breaking. If you deploy one of these, check on it from time to time because a broken sign makes your business look silly. Fix it right away, and work on that Handiness to get the extra curb appeal from a better sign. You can make it completely unbreakable at level 7.

Sims may come into your store in a bad mood. Given the way Mood works in The Sims 4, negative emotions can be overridden by positive ones. Gradually boost your business' environment score to +3 by placing items that - whether for sale or not - have an environment score on them. Items like paintings, statues, and miscellaneous decorations will serve to give your store some personality while also giving the nicely decorated moodlets for all visitors as well as staff. This will help your employees' success rates with retail interactions, as well as your own Sim's.

Advertising can be expensive but provides a huge boost to traffic to the store. I was possibly experiencing a bug with this, however. A full two weeks after advertising campaigns ended, I was still unable to use this again. There are two types: internet and television advertisements. Internet provides a bigger boost that quickly trails off toward the end of the campaign, while television will provide a steady boost. You can select between long and short for both types of advertising, but may only run one of each duration for television and internet ads. It clearly affects the foot traffic to your store in a big way. However, I would save this for later until you are more experienced with dealing with customers. Also, consider running only one type at a time. I will get more information on advertising costs to the amount of days and post it here within the next week. Can't be hung up on minor bugs!

Forward: Learn about Perks
Now that we've covered the Basics of Starting a Business, Employees and now Customers and Sales, we're ready to learn about Retail Perks.

Other Get to Work Guides

Expansion Guide
Retail Guide
Retail: Customers and Sales
Retail: Employees and Managing
Retail Perks in Get to Work
Baking Skill Guide
Photography Skill Guide
Detective Career
Doctor Career, Diseases and Diagnosing Patients
Scientist Career
Planet Sixam (Alien World)

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Is there a way to check out your curb appeal?
I never saw anything like it in the form of a metric, but it's obvious when it's high and you're getting plenty of visitors.

A site with low curb appeal and few items can expect to have only 2-3 Sims in the store at a time, and maybe worse, while one with plenty through decor and advertising may have a dozen in the store at once.
21st August 2015 3:31pm
Please help, the blue bar goes all the way up. Is that bad? How do I know that people want to buy and how do I ring them out?
Please help if you can Smile
26th November 2015 10:38pm
Once the blue bar is filled the customer will then get a 'sale icon' above their heads and a message will pop up telling you (the player) that they are ready to be rung up.
As your sim talks up the sale to the customers the blue bar will steadily rise, this lets you know your sales talk is working.
18th February 2016 6:51pm
I'm having a problem with my customers. They kind of call out for help and wave, and above their heads in a bubble is a picture of the warming display case. I don't know what they want.
29th May 2016 3:05pm
It sounds like maybe you are experiencing the bug around the Lice Cold fridge. There is a bug report on the Sims 4 EA Bug reports thread which might be of some use to you.
Broken Freezer Sims can't route to buy anything and so stand waving their arms before the purchase fails.
Here's the list of known retail bugs too.
Known Bugs
29th May 2016 7:01pm
I'm having major problems with my retail store. The customers just walk in and start having conversations. They don't browse at all. Not even after I do the retail interactions with them. Have you any ideas? I'm about to give up because I'm just not getting anywhere.
19th June 2016 1:26pm
Seems converse but try having less items for sale. Customers seem to behave better when there is less choice. Don't buy any advertising for a few days and hopefully less customers will mean more purchases and less chatting. If possible have a focused aura in the shop. Break away customers from group chat by asking them to cloud gaze and then cancelling the action once they have walked away a bit and then hit them with all the retail conversation options. I would also not have any stereos/music playing in the shop, that kills sales as sims will just want to dance or listen to the music.
19th June 2016 7:52pm
Thank you! I gave this a try. It worked the first time, but the next (sim) day, I was back to the same problem. Could it have anything to do with it being a store I created from scratch? I purchased an existing retail store and everything worked much better than that. So I'm not entirely sure if it's creating your own store that's the problem or that I had a small store with not many items...
20th June 2016 4:08pm
It might have been something to do with the layout/design of your store, difficult to say without seeing it. Smile Sims do need room to view and browse the items that are for sale. The mechanics seem a little lopsided at times. For example the most profitable store I ever ran only had one type of item for sale but about 12 of them to choose from! I would close the store as soon as the last item was sold and then restock and then take my sim home. I would only need to open the store for about 4 sims hours a day and my sim made a fortune without ever using any perk items or staff. It wasn't the most interesting store to run though.
20th June 2016 7:26pm
I reckon that's probably what the problem is. May give it a go at another point once I get a hang of it a bit more. Thank you so much for your help!
21st June 2016 12:33pm
I'm having a lot of trouble closing my store I can't close it so I can never ever manage it and set the prices please help ! Sad
25th June 2016 9:44am
Is it that the option to close the store is missing? Try traveling to another lot away from your retail store and then back again. Deleting the localthumbcache.package file from your TheSims4 folder can also help clear out bugs.
26th June 2016 8:27pm
i have a business on sims 4 and my employee comes and and stay for a few secs. and then leave to say i made them stay over the qualified hrs. and they havent even done work yet
and i dont understand why its doing that
9th August 2016 2:38pm
Try closing your store and traveling away from the retail lot. Travel back to the retail lot, open your business and see if that has fixed it.
9th August 2016 10:41pm
Kids boutique open for 4 months and I have no customers. Things appear to be right with signage, layout, prices, etc. but nothing. They walk by but never stop inside. I need help!!!Sad
9th September 2016 6:48am
Have you tried closing the store and then reopening it? Have you designated the lot as 'retail'? Do you have any mods that may be causing issues? Are items definitely set for sale? Is the door locked accidentally? Maybe delete the door and replace it with another one. Maybe try traveling to the lot with some non-household members.
It is a little bit of guess work with so little information to go on.
9th September 2016 5:48pm
how do you ring up customers?
3rd December 2016 10:54am
im having problems with getting customers at first i was getting customers then after a few days they are not coming anymore ,my employees are coming but i dont have any customers ,i have lots of advertisement and curve appeals i tried changing doors traveling out of the retail and it is still not working out,.this happen before until i uninstalled and installed origin but i cannot just keep doing that it takes so long is there anyway to fix this problem?
3rd December 2017 10:17pm
There is a bug around only adults visiting retail lots. EA Bug Report Link. Might be worthwhile adding your problem to that post. Make sure you have removed all mods and cc and have tested in a brand new game before making a bug-report though.
You could also try starting at a different lot and making a group of sims then traveling to your retail lot and opening the shop. Then disband the group and see if anyone buys anything.
4th December 2017 9:23pm
Hey I have a question for retail stores.
Is it possible to also disallow more customers from coming over to a retail store? It's overwhelming when sims keep coming and coming!
17th January 2018 4:06pm
Certain things you do bring in more customers. Many of the posters ans signs actually bring in more sims so reduce the number of those you have around your store, also paying for advertising brings in more sims. The only way to stop customers is to close the store, which also means the customers in your shop will also leave.
18th January 2018 4:05pm
When a customer buys from me, I get the message that so and so bought whatever for $0. Why? I've closed and reopened the store. I've even sold and rebought it. I've marked up prices. I don't know what else to do.
5th September 2018 2:35pm
Are you using any mods? If so remove them and delete the localthumbcache.package file and see if that sorts it. Have you tried deleting all the for sale items and replacing them with new items?
5th September 2018 9:54pm
Thanks! I was trying to sell what came with the bakery instead of baking my own stuff. It’s all good now. Thank you!
6th September 2018 7:23am
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