Creative Ideas for Upselling at the Till

Upselling at the till

Upselling at the till also known as cross-selling, can be crucial to your bottom line, increasing average transaction values at point-of-sale. But get it wrong and you could be losing customers to pushy sales techniques. So how do you get it right?

Here’s everything that you need to know about how to upsell in retail.

Retail upselling and cross-selling techniques

We take a look at the different upselling techniques for retailers, exploring how well they work. The best upselling techniques successfully grow sales while improving customer experience.

Scattergun Selling

Upselling at the till at its worst can be irritating, intrusive and irrelevant. Trying to sell the same item to everyone who comes up to the till, regardless of what they’re already buying, is a prime source of irritation. The scattergun approach to upselling is the perfect example of this, as it is not designed to suit the customer’s preferences and is likely to damage reputation.

We’ve all been there; being offered a discount bar of chocolate whether we’re buying a bottle of water, a health magazine or even another a bar of chocolate. Retail staff hate having to promote offers to customers at till point as much as customers hate having it done to them. You might be making a few extra sales, but are those customers coming back to you? Are they raving about you to their friends? Probably not.

Take Aim When Upselling at the till

The secret to successful upselling can be uncovered by three key questions:

  • Does it BENEFIT the customer?
  • Is it of RELEVANCE to the customer?
  • Does it demonstrate staff KNOWLEDGE?
  • Offer products that add value to their visit to your store.

Knowledge + Product

This is the key to successful upselling at the till. Allow staff to use their enthusiasm and knowledge to tailor the up-sell to the customer. Buying a pair of shoes? Which suede cleaner do they swear by? A new phone or tablet? Which cases are well made? By basing the sale on staff knowledge, you’re adding extra value for the customer in return for extra transaction value for you.

Fewer items, not more

It seems counterintuitive, but offering less choice can increase sales. Customers don’t want to be bombarded with a stack of random products at the till. They are more likely to be open to curated products, chosen because you think your customers will benefit from them. Instead of 20 types of muffin, offer the best three and tell people why you selected them.

Offer Price Packages

This is particularly applicable if your customers are likely to be buying just one or two items from your store. If you sell a popular product for £7, the customer is already subconsciously rounding up to £10, so having an item by the till priced at £3 still fits into their idea of how much they’re spending.

Change Your Offer Regularly

If your customers return to buy from you often, always offering the same item will soon start to grate. Use the till as a showcase for products they might not have considered. Rather than a random jumble-sale of products, instead curate items that genuinely benefit customers, whether it’s because they compliment high-ticket items or because they are being offered at an attractive price point.

Tell Customers Why You’re Upselling at The Till

Customers are likely to spend a few minutes at least at the till, so signage counts. Use it to communicate your three key-upselling criteria; BENEFIT, RELEVANCE and KNOWLEDGE.

Benefits of upselling to customers

Benefits of upselling to customers include:

  • Increased profits
  • Greater Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)
  • Balancing business growth between existing and new customers
  • Helping customers to discover new products

Cons of upselling to customers

Most disadvantages of upselling to customers occur when it is not done in a tailored or suitable way for customers. Cons of upselling to customers include:

  • Requires training to upsell effectively
  • Can be perceived as aggressive if not approached well
  • Irrelevant upsell recommendations can damage customer loyalty

Retail upselling FAQs

What is an example of upselling?

An example of upselling would be a sales assistant seeing that a customer has a pair of £50 trainers in their hands at the till. They could ask the customer what they came instore to find. If the customer mentioned that they were looking for a pair of trainers that would be comfortable for their running, the sales assistant could recommend a pair of £80 trainers that are marketed as having extra comfort for long-distance running.

What is an example of cross-selling?

Superdrug is a retailer that is well known for its cross-selling, as they have retail customer offers at the till. Customers typically reach the till and before they make a payment, the member of staff will ask if they would like to add on a low priced item at the till, such as shampoo, or makeup removing wipes. This is a great example of upselling at the till, to encourage impulse buys that increase the total sale price.

Why is upselling so important?

Upselling results in increased Customer Lifetime Value (CLV). This means that every individual customer spends a greater sum of money with you, reducing the need for new customers, as you can encourage greater sales values from your existing customers.

What is the difference between upselling and cross-selling?

While upselling and cross-selling both offer value to customers, they are different.

Upselling involves selling a higher-priced item than the one a customer is considering buying. Cross-selling involves selling additional items that complement their purchase.

How important is knowing how to upsell in retail?

Knowing how to upsell in retail is essential in providing an outstanding customer experience. It ties in perfectly with understanding product ranges, allows the team to show off their knowledge and boosts sales significantly. Customer till point marketing is the last opportunity to sell more before a customer leaves the store and if this is done well, it can create a positive and memorable experience.

Image Credit

Apotek Hjartat,