Monday, 13 October 2014


Up selling is a well known sales technique in the retail trade but it’s also a dirty word to many shop keepers. They feel somehow it's dishonest to the customer. Like many people I’m not a lover of the hard sell, I don’t want the special offer on chocolate when I’m buying fuel or extra pastries with my coffee, no thank you!

We’ve all experienced the scripted sales patter, no thanks! This selling technique is well past its best, most customers hate the hard sell; we don’t want to be bullied into buying. I think some retailers forget customers need to feel in control. They need to be left to make up their own mind about what they buy. But, this doesn't mean retailers can’t tempt customer in more subtle ways.

One of the golden rules of retail is that it’s easier to sell more to existing customers than it is to find new ones, so on this basis ‘up selling’ is an important part of any retailer’s business model.  Employing a few visual tricks can do much to tempt customers to spend more, without the hard sell.

Remember good old Woolworths and their ‘pick & mix’ sweet offer - shop display units full of containers of individual sweets with scoops, empty sweet bags and scales allowing customers serve themselves. How clever, create a tempting selection of merchandise within a ‘shoppable’ display unit that adds fun to the shopping experience and puts the customers in control, letting them decide what they want to buy. Of course, ‘pick & mix’ was hugely successful because customers always put more sweets in the bag than they needed. For Woolworths it was a win win situation, happy customer, huge profit margin and higher spend per head, up selling at its finest!

So you can not only improve the customer shopping experience but discreetly up sell at the same time. It all comes down to the product edit, the merchandising and making sure the finished display or shop unit is as ‘shoppable’ as the ‘pick & mix’ example above.

The merchandise from Dille & Kamille on the table in the photograph is another example of how up selling can be achieved through what we see not what we’re told. Let me explain further
          1.  Themed product selection with tight product edit
          2.  Lots of levels making the display unit ‘shoppable’
          3.  ‘High Tea’ - the title for the piece is on the book cover (subtle point
               of sale)
          4.  Good selection of products across many price points
          5.  All the products relate to each other making it more tempting for the
               customer to buy more than one product
          6.  Restricted colour palette creating a strong visual impact

And of course, when you’ve done all this, if you provide the customer with a basket they will buy more, that’s a given…

All the best

#retail   -consultant  -designer  -visualcommunicator  -educator
tel      07907 691711

*photograph Dille & Kamille

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