There are many ways to increase sales; from boosting customer loyalty (Why Keeping Customers Is Important) to changing the layout of your store. This article is going to focus on the ways to increase sales during the customer’s journey to the checkout. It will go through some of the best tactics to use to encourage impulse purchases and just make the most of that final part of the journey; both for you and your customer.
Optimise the checkout journey
The walk to the checkout is the most likely time for a customer to impulse buy, so it’s important to make the most of this opportunity. Once a customer is walking to the checkout, they have committed to buying something, meaning they’re willing to queue up. While in the queue, they are in a buying frame of mind and this means they’ll be more open to adding to their purchase. Consider placing useful or fun small items on one side of the queue, perfect for a last-minute addition.
Allow for & encourage impulse buys
Encouraging impulse purchases is arguably the easiest and least time-consuming method of upselling for retail. As well as placing relevant and inexpensive items near the checkout, allowing for credit/debit card payments is also a great way to allow for, and encourage last minute purchases. This is because there is less of a psychological constraint for customers paying with card in comparison to cash.
Placing useful, fun, inexpensive and relevant items on the queue line is a great way to kickstart upselling; but you should also anticipate customer’s needs. The type of store you own will dictate the needs you should focus on; if you sell shoes you should anticipate a need for insoles or even socks. Light snacks and drinks are often a good idea towards the checkout because if you’re rushing from shop to shop sometimes you just need something on the go. If you’re a clothes store, it might be a good idea to sell some refreshments; after all, trying on clothes is thirsty work. Another good idea is placing gift cards for sale at the checkout, these act as a perfect reminder of upcoming birthdays that you might need a present for.
While having products at the till is a great way to encourage sales, it’s important to make sure your counter space is not cluttered or crowded. Your checkout should be an inviting space. The last thing you want is for your customer to have a negative or stressful parting impression of your store. The checkout is a great place to maximise profits, but a cluttered counter can leave the customer feeling rushed and closed off to extra sales. Make sure to leave plenty of room for shoppers to complete their transactions. Try to focus any upselling efforts on enhancing the customer’s experience rather than being pushy and profit orientated.
Your staff are your upselling superstars
Upselling is a great way to increase your profits, but if done wrong it can actually put customers off. It is important to strike the right balance between increasing sales value and increasing customer experience. Customers don’t like to be sold to, but upselling can actually be a way to offer value to your customers and improve their overall experience. If you train both your cashiers and your floor staff properly and make sure they have the right product knowledge, they can both up your profits and help your customers to leave happy. Cashiers have an ideal opportunity to engage customers in conversation and make suggestions based on their purchases. One really effective way to implement this is to have special offers and promotions. If you have a ‘buy 2 get the 3rd free’ deal on in-store, make sure your staff know about it. Customers don’t always notice the deals and having an employee point it out to them, means more profits for you and the customer feels like they’ve got a bargain.
Another way in which your employees can optimise your sales, is by promoting your loyalty cards. Simply asking the customer whether or not they have a loyalty card, encourages customer retention. Your loyalty reward programmes may encourage a return trip. Branded cards keep your business in the customers mind and depending on how your reward scheme works; customers may return regularly in order to earn their rewards. A good tactic is to send personalised offers to dormant users encouraging them to become repeat customers. For a deeper look at the pros and cons of introducing loyalty cards to your store, check out our article ‘The Value of Loyalty Cards for Your Business’.
Funding Your Training
It’s important to remember that your staff, in particular your cashiers, are an important part of increasing your profits. This means, investing in having them trained properly is beneficial to both your customers and your profits. However, if you think you may need a small injection of cash to cover the rollout of this training, why not consider a short-term finance option, like a cash advance? Repayments are a daily percentage of your card machine takings, meaning this works with the ebb and flow of your business. This takes the pressure off your cash flow until your higher profits start coming in.