The Sims 4 Get to Work: Retail Guide
Making Sales and Attracting Customers
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 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 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.
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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
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 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
Retail: Customers and Sales
Retail: Employees and Managing
Retail Perks in Get to Work
Baking Skill Guide
Photography Skill Guide
Doctor Career, Diseases and Diagnosing Patients
Planet Sixam (Alien World)
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