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The art of the add-on: 3 tips

The art of the add-on: 3 tips

Selling add-on items can improve your store's total revenue, but they won't sell themselves.

Here are three tips for improving your shop's rate of add-on sales:

1. Train your staff to evoke imagery when selling

Retail displays are effective because they show shoppers something. A beautiful dress on a stylish mannequin helps customers visualize how the piece would look on them.

Add-on items don't always get this same level of attention, however. Often, these items are placed near the register where shoppers can choose to ignore them or browse while waiting for another shopper to check out. This situation represents a missed opportunity because an efficient register workflow penalizes add-on sales. In other words, if there's no time to browse add-on merchandise, shoppers are less likely to buy.

Retail expert Bob Phibbs recommended training your sales staff to draw attention to add-on items with evocative imagery to circumvent this issue. For example, if a customer is buying a hat, the cashier could draw the shopper's attention to a rack of sunglasses by saying something such as "A wide-brimmed hat is great for keeping the sun out of your eyes, but I find that a pair of sunglasses adds another layer of protection."

2. Take time to organize your add-on items

Add-on items are best utilized when they are displayed near relevant merchandise. Therefore, one potential way to improve your add-on sales is to audit your store's organization. Your store's inventory management and sales systems can provide great data on which items shoppers tend to purchase together. This way, you can move those items closer together to promote this shopping behavior.

For example, you could use acrylic jewelry displays to highlight rings, bracelets and earrings near your formal summer wear section. Or you could display merchandise and associated add-on items on a multi-tiered display table to send a clear message that these pieces go together.

3. Use social media to follow shopper trends

If you're not sure how to pair merchandise and add-on items, it's time to do some market research. One way to get this information is to browse social media for the products you sell. For example, you can use Instagram to find branded hashtags and track how users are talking about their purchases online.

For better results, you could establish a unique hashtag for your store and encourage shoppers to use it by offering discounts or in-store specials. This way, you can see how people interact with your products out in the real world. Then, you can take what you learn and apply it to your shop.

In fact, Vend noted that store owners and sales representatives should strive to learn as much as they can about their products to become better sellers. Equipped with detailed knowledge, your sales staff can make informed recommendations, rather than simply telling shoppers what's on sale. The more genuine interactions you can have with customers, the better.

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