Modern Retail

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?

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.

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 do it 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

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.


Image Credit

Apotek Hjartat,


Emily Cleaver

Emily Cleaver

Emily Cleaver is a blogger and content creator who writes on retail, business trends and creativity.

You can find her at