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8 top tips to get your customers to spend more

Get your customers to spend more

We all know attracting new customers costs much more than selling to existing customers. But how do we sell more without using pushy sales tactics that are likely to get customers running a mile rather than reaching for their wallet?

8 tips for increasing basket spend

  1. Make staff your brand advocates

Your whole team need to be experts on the products you sell.

  • Get them to use the products. Ask suppliers for free staff samples as it’s in their interests too for you to sell more, so ask them for retail support!
  • Inspire your staff. Create retail training nights where you (or your suppliers) share knowledge with your staff.  Make them fun!  If you sell clothes get your team to do style challenge showing how they’d create an outfit with different products.  If you sell furniture paint have an evening doing a paint project so they can see for themselves what it feels and looks like.
  • Involve your staff on buying trips or tell them what new products are arriving. This in-depth knowledge will really help them to effectively sell to customers without the ‘hard sell’.

  1. Free gifts

The power of reciprocity.

Everyone loves something for free.  It makes customers feel valued, but it also encourages them to return the favour.

  • Ask suppliers if they can give you free stock for giveaways (they often have promotional merchandise leftover from trade shows).
  • Samples are brilliant in food outlets as a way to encourage customers to linger and encourage them to buy.
  • Also don’t shy away from giving something of high value. We persuaded a retailer to giveaway free £5 vouchers.  The offer had a great response rate. They had a few items in store that were under the £5 price point but over 80% of customers that redeemed the voucher spent much more than the £5!
  1. Loyalty schemes

Loyalty programs are a great way for independent retailers to encourage repeat customers

  • Create something that is simple with a reward that builds quickly.
  • Each time a customer shops show them how much closer they are to the reward.
  • Capture data – even if it is just ensuring that you’ve got email addresses. Email newsletters are an incredibly cost-effective way to remind customers to shop with you.  In regular newsletter emails you can let customers know about new products, offers and content your think they will enjoy.
  • Once signed up to a loyalty scheme, most point of sale software will also capture the customer’s buying history as well so you can drill down on your best customers and tailor your emails/communications with them.

  1. Link selling

What products go hand in hand in your store?

  • Display them together – paint and paintbrushes, cardigans and dresses
  • Give staff a list of link selling opportunities to talk about that could be helpful to the customer e.g. If they’re buying a gift ask if they need a card or some wrapping paper as well
  • Review your product range – a local store who has sold plant pots for years has just started selling houseplants and found them a roaring success.
  • We are working with an eco zero waste company who mainly sell plastic-free food and toiletries but we spotted the opportunity to sell ‘naked cards’. The customers that shopped with them were interested in their eco-credentials not just food and toiletries
  1. Impulse buys

Your countertop is one of your most valuable selling spaces.

  • Clear the counter of anything you don’t need.
  • Display two or three popular lower price point items.
  • Remind staff to show them to customers when processing their transaction
  • Use the space for special occasions like Valentines, Mother’s Day or Thank you teacher gifts. Customers often appropriate being reminded of these events!

  1. Multi-buy offers

Give customers a price incentive to buy more than 1 item.

Don’t think you need to give too much away.  We set up an ongoing promotion on £10 earrings – 3 for £25.  Over half the customers that bought into the earrings choose 3 pairs rather than just one.

Greetings cards are a great opportunity to do multi-buy offers as customers have so many occasions to buy them for but unless we encourage them, customers will just buy the one they need now.  If you have a set price point for some cards such as £2.75 – why not do a 4 for £10 offer?  You’re only giving away £1 but the opportunity to put almost 4 x through the till.

Talk to the customers about offers!!  Don’t just rely on signs – it’s amazing how immune we’ve become to reading them.

  1. Provide a basket

So simple but it really does encourage customers to put in more than one item!

Make sure you hand a basket to anyone you see carrying something around the store – once their hands are free they can pick up lots more!

Already have baskets?  Get larger ones!

  1. Visual Merchandising
  • One of the things that annoys me most when shopping is spotting something I love in the window but not being able to find it in-store. Make life easy for your customers – if it’s in the window make it right in front of them when they walk into store.
  • Create displays of complimentary products not just products in the same category.
  • Change your shop displays regularly and move fixtures and fittings around. It keeps your displays fresh but also tricks customers into thinking you’ve had a big delivery of new stock.
  • Work out which spot in the store is most lingered over and most shopped? Keep this place topped up with best sellers and the best margin products.  Don’t waste this space on duff lines or products that don’t add much to your bottom line.

Visit for more tips for independent retailers, what’s going on in the retail world an opportunity for you to share what great things you’re up to.

Want more help creating a loyalty scheme or turning your store into a thriving destination?  Stories Marketing can support you.   We run workshops and retail training for indie retailers but particularly love working one to one with our retail consultancy to help you create powerful marketing, exciting merchandising or figure out how to tackle problems you’re facing. Get in touch at

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