A guest blog post from our friends at Fit Small Business.

Every business wants the opportunity to grow, and yet in retail, you can’t always grow by increasing profit margins.

But imagine there was a small change you could make to your retail business that would guarantee you could increase the average sale of a customer. Would you be willing to make that change?

Of course you would!

Okay, so here’s how: enhance your cash wrap with impulse buys. The fact that 5 in 6 people make impulse buys means you have serious opportunity to cash in on those tiny, last-minute purchases people make when waiting to check out.

Admit it: you are guilty of picking up some small item at checkout when shopping. Those items are irresistible, and for good reason: they’re designed to boost revenues for that store.

Here’s how you can increase the likelihood of a customer adding on an extra item or two to their purchase in your shop.

Consider Location, Location, (You Guessed It) Location

Impulse buys are most successful when they’re positioned in a highly-visible location near your cash register. Cash wraps come in many different shapes and sizes. If you have one that has shelving to highlight products, you can maximize what you offer for sale in this area.

Don’t overlook counter space, if you’ve got it. While customers are waiting for you to ring them up is the ideal time for them to peruse your candy or accessory selection. Just make sure you do have the space for items, because if you over clutter a small counter, it will serve more as a turnoff than an opportunity to boost sales.
Consider also a turning display rack near the checkout to maximize space vertically. Sunglasses or bins of small items can easily be displayed without taking up too much space.

Choose Affordable Items

The items you sell near your checkout should be affordable enough that a customer doesn’t need to think hard about buying them. Typically, $5 is a good cap for how much these items should cost.

Items that are $1 always do well. Just look at the popularity of dollar stores, or Target’s section of $1 items at the front of its stores.

Include a variety of price points, from $1 or less to the higher-priced items (still $5 or under) so that, no matter a shopper’s budget, you’ve got something that catches their eye.

Consider the Display

The key to getting people to buy these impulse items is to display them in an aesthetically-appealing manner. That means no clutter! Consider their placement artfully. What would appeal to your customers? Consider color and how the item is positioned. And you’ll need to straighten these items throughout the day, since they likely will be rifled through regularly.

Rather than stuffing shelves or bins with products, make supplies look limited. Not only does this create a sense of demand (“I better get one before they’re out!”) but it also creates more visual appeal. Make sure to restock as you sell items.

Keep the Products Relevant

The products you sell near your retail counter should make sense for what you sell. For example, if you sell women’s clothes, it would seem odd if you sold baby toys or switchblades. Remember your audience, and select fun items that your typical customer would enjoy.

That being said, if your shop caters to parents, you can test out a few kid-friendly items. It may be taking advantage of the fact that a parent may have trouble telling a tantruming two-year-old no, but you can easily boost sales of affordable toys and treats!

Use the Checkout Process as an Opportunity to Upsell

As you or an employee is checking out a customer, make it standard practice to upsell specific products. The pitch should make sense. If a customer is buying a sweater, ask if she had a chance to look at the earrings next to the counter. Or if it’s a hot day, ask if she’d like to buy a bottle of water.

You can set up a reminder to the cashier to upsell in your point of sale system so that no opportunity goes by the wayside.

Likewise, if a customer is returning an item, invite her to check out the items on your cash wrap. After all, she’s already in your store, so it takes little effort to buy from you again. Keep her there, and you’ll increase the odds that she’ll spend the money from her return with you again.

Take advantage of your retail counter and cash wrap as an opportunity to get your customers to buy more from you.

About the Author

Kristian Rivera HeadShot

Kristian Rivera

Kristian Rivera is a digital marketing specialist at Fit Small Business, a rapidly growing website for small businesses. When not helping other small business owners, Kristian manages a startup where he utilizes his experience in product management, digital marketing, analytics and business development.