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How to Up-sell and Cross-Sell in Retail

June 4th, 2020

Chris Lynch, CA, Managing Director

With the current retail climate, it’s more important than ever to provide memorable value to your customers and maximise your sales.

Cross selling vs up-selling

One way to accomplish this is to increase your store’s average basket size and order value through up-selling and cross-selling. Many people confuse these two techniques. Cross selling and up-selling in retail are the foundation of raising the average revenue.

Cross selling is the art of suggesting additional, complementary products to someone who has already decided on a purchase.

Recently in Tier 3 lock-down, I reluctantly purchased a dried looking muffin to go with my coffee fix. If only the assistant had offered me whipped cream or yoghurt to go with it my experience and memory of that coffee experience would have been so much better. But he didn’t and I didn’t enjoy my stale muffin!

Up-selling is encouraging the purchase of anything that would make the primary purchase more expensive. Cross-selling is encouraging the purchase of anything in conjunction with the primary product.

For example, it would be up-selling to offer the purchase of ink with a printer, but it would be cross-selling to offer the purchase of a scanner with a printer.

Selling is nothing more than a transference of feeling, because I feel good about something, I can easily share that.

Cross Selling Tips for Retailers
Cross-selling is about giving a boost to the foot traffic that already comes through your retail store doors. You want to maximise your per-customer sales, and you want to give your customers more bang for their buck.
Suggestive selling isn't about trickery or misdirection; it's an honest effort to give customers valuable additions while earning extra revenue. A win win!

Here are some ideas to get you started cross selling and up-selling in your retail store:

  1. simple examples but if you know and understand what products and services are complimentary you can increase the amount of sales, but it is far from the only way;

  2. The management of just one order with several products will always be cheaper than administering different orders with just one product
  3. By foreseeing the user's needs you will make him or her feel more satisfied and more loyal to your brand since you are adding more value.
  4. With each sale you will be able to analyse how your customers behave and that will allow you to know your customer better which will also result in more sales.
  5. This adding-on sales technique only works when it provides additional value to the shopper. So make sure it is relevant to the primary product and the interests of the customer
  6. The rapport you build with your customers before you ever get to the product will help make product recommendations that resonate. They'll tell you everything you need to know about themselves and how they intend to use the merchandise. From there, you can choose which additional items are most relevant.
  7. Showcase Items. Complementary items and common pairings should be prominently displayed on the sales floor. It's easier to cross sell to customers from a display when they can clearly see how the pairings work together.
  8. Be reasonable. If a shopper buys a $500 dress, it makes sense to suggest a $50 scarf; but if a customer buys a $50 scarf, don't try to sell them a $500 dress. The suggested item shouldn't exceed more than a certain percentage of the cost of the original item.
  9. One thing to avoid is to simply ask the customer to look at a premium item without knowing the right selling strategies. The easiest answer for that customer to offer is How much? quickly followed by No.
  10. Take the initiative and add some enthusiasm to get your customers interested in the high-end items. Let them follow your lead and use your excitement to feed their excitement to build customer retention and profits.

Chris Lynch, CA

Managing Director

Email Chris

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