Upselling in a convenience or retail store is an important and effective way to increase profits within your business. Upselling is vital to the health of your business and can add a significant amount of turnover. However, you don’t want to potentially lose a customer by annoying them with continuous and overzealous attempts to upsell. A subtle but carefully planned approach at the till point will succeed here.
What is Upselling?
The definition of upselling according to Google is to "persuade a customer to buy something additional". Whether this something is an item more expensive, an upgrade or solely an item which wasn't initially include in the purchase. For your context this could be a sharing bag of Popchips crisps being added to evening meal top-up shop or a Barebells protein bar, just out of pure impulse, included with the morning coffee purchase. Funnily enough the most common search term associated to 'upselling' is "how to upsell without turning off your customer". Quite clearly, you're not alone in wanting to find out more!
Why Upselling Matters in Retail
Your till point counter is where a shopper becomes a paying customer. It might feel like your biggest challenge is getting people to the checkout counter to in the first place — and that’s definitely a big retail accomplishment.
A simple muffin or snack bar upsell to a customer buying a coffee - the additional spend can be 100%.
You can optimise and display the checkout counter itself to make more sales. Interactions with customers offers opportunity to add value to the shopping experience, promote customer loyalty, and of course, to sell just a little bit more and increase that basket spend!
Businesses looking to increase the per transaction can use upselling to increase profits and develop deeper relationships with their customers. While upselling can have the oppostive effect and backfire if it comes across as an aggressive sales pitch, the practice can help retailers learn and enhance their customers tastes and preferences.
How to Increase Customer Spend
When upselling, the key is to focus on satisfying your customer needs and wants, rather than solely on potential sales and tips. Here's five ways you can use to boost the sales-generating power of your checkout and the employees who work it:
- SIGNPOST Put your most popular ranges on the counter and make it impossible for your customers to resist! Even better if they’re a brand new flavour from a proven seller
- SAMPLES - Offer customers a tasty tester and they’ll be hooked. Some reports have found that food samples can increase sales by as much as 2000%!
- REWARD LOYALTY Customers like to feel special and be rewarded for their loyalty. Hand out loyalty cards and give every 7th coffee for free or a in store points card to encourage additional spend to receive a reward . A small price to pay for gaining a repeat customer.
- EMPOWER STAFF - Instead of trying to upsell in the dark, strike up a conversation and engage about new tastes or flavours. Ask your customers what they’re currently craving and then recommend. We recommend hiring mystery shoppers and additional training to help staff get past the idea that it is rude to sell at the till point, to overcome any natural reluctance to upsell.
- MAKE IT INVITING - Place only relevant, reasonably priced, and impulse items at your checkout. Make good use of the space to encourage customers to pick up items and leave plenty of room for shoppers to actually conduct their transaction.
With these strategies in mind, savvy store owners can maximise the potential of upselling at the checkout and use the space to make more sales by upselling tasty snacks.
Making Upselling Work for You
Instead of anticipating shopper’s impulses, anticipate their needs and provide useful solutions people actually want. Make it easy to support customer curiosity at the till by signposting and samples. Educate shoppers and staff alike to key upsell options whilst empower customers through loyalty schemes and encouraging engagements and interaction. Do your own research on making social media work and how it can build your audience even before the upsell.
If we can change the mindset of our teams so that they see an up-selling opportunity as an opportunity to make someone’s day, then we will see a significant improvement in our bottom line and well as the number of happy customers.
What upselling techniques do you use in your store? What do you do in your business that ensures everyone upsells automatically for you? How have healthy snacks helped define dispelling? Please let us know if you have nailed it or if it still frustrates you.
How to Work with Epicurium to Upsell