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Making the most of every sale

With the festivities in full swing, here at the Good Till we hope all our retailing clients are having a prosperous season so far.

But, as the number of pre-Christmas shopping days decrease and shoppers start elbowing each other for that latest hot product, are you doing everything you can to make sure your store converts the extra footfall into extra sales?

If you’ve not done so already, now is a good time to consider a sales approach that could help all your last-minute shoppers tick off their lists, build loyalty to your brand and increase profits. We’re talking about the art of upselling and cross-selling.

First of all, let’s get those definitions clear:

  • Upselling means offering the customer a different item in place of their original choice (i.e. an upgrade with a higher price point or a better profit margin).
  • Cross-selling is when you recommend a product that compliments something the customer has already chosen (e.g. a tie to go with a shirt).

For the hospitality sector, these are standard practices. You’re offered an upgrade to that steak, fries with that burger, or a cake to go with your coffee.


But, when it comes to retail, getting a customer to buy more/ spend more can be trickier. Get it right and the customer will leave feeling satisfied with the value that’s been added to their purchase, but get it wrong and they’ll possibly leave with nothing.


And that, really is the key to successful upsell or cross-sell – it’s all about adding value!


Here’s a few key points to consider:


Get to know your customer – You don’t have to ask them their star sign but do take time to find out what your customers had in mind when they came to your store and what purpose any particular item might have. Is it a gift or on their personal wish list, for instance? If you’re faced with a customer who’s done their research and is committed to buying a specific product, don’t try to sell them something else! But, if they’re less sure or open to suggestions, find out what they might be willing to spend and then you can talk about some alternative options or relevant add-ons.


Be mindful about the budget – While the general idea of upselling/ cross-selling is to increase the overall spend, try to keep suggestions within a reasonable boundary. Anything costing more than 25% of a customer’s original choice is generally a no go. In other words, if someone has already picked out a mid-priced hairdryer, don’t offer them a top of the range styling gel to go with it!


Reward your customers – Incentives are a great way of helping your cross-selling and upselling techniques to be more successful. Offer multiple products for a fixed/ discounted price, run 3 for 2 promotions, throw in a free gift with purchases over a certain price, or give a discount code for their next purchase. Using an advanced POS system like the Good Till means you can pre-set discounts so that they’re automatically applied at the point of sale, reducing the potential for error and increasing the speed of transactions.


Know your product – When going for the upsell, make sure you can tell your customer exactly what benefits they’re getting for those extra pounds –  explain its design, discuss special features, highlight durability or warranties etc.


Feed the impulse – As the winter chill sets in, bring out anything that could feed that impulse to stay warm. If you can, create a hygge vibe with your promotional products – anything from handwarmers and fluffy socks to blankets, cashmere jumpers and spiced candles!


Promote it – When running a specific cross-sell (like a 3 for 2 offer) make sure customers know about it. Label the products at the shelf and, if you have them, use your POS customer facing displays to advertise the offer.

Keep track – Monitor the impact of your upselling or cross-selling techniques through the management features within your smart POS. Sales data and stock control functions should give you some great insights into what’s flying off the shelves and what’s harder to shift, allowing you to adjust the offers accordingly.


As we said towards the beginning of this article, upselling and cross-selling in retail environments is not always easy. It takes skill and practice, but the end result can be rewarding for everyone.

Your customer will be happy to walk away from your store with a shopping bag they feel has greater value than what it might have been.

By being more engaged with the customers, your sales team will feel greater job satisfaction (and perhaps have more money in their pockets if you have a performance related remuneration system).

And, as the business owner, we’re sure you’ll be happy with a healthier bottom line and the kind of buzz in your store that will bring customers back come January!


Contact us at the Good Till to find out more about how the features within our POS system can support upselling and cross-selling techniques so that you and your team make the most of every sale.


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