Tips To Increase Average Retail Basket Size


The goal of every retailer is to increase sales and the quickest way to do that is to encourage each of your existing buyers to spend a little more. The power of up-sell and cross-sell is one of the most vital lessons you need to teach your employees. Not only will you achieve bigger sales you are in fact improving customer service by intelligently suggesting related products to suit their taste and goals.

The Art of Up-Selling

With up-selling you are encouraging your customer to increase the amount they spend. We all know the old adage ‘Would you like fries with that?’ – a classic example of an up-sell. With this method you could also be suggesting a larger quantity, better model or additional extras. Make sure you think about your products & identify any up-sell opportunity. For example a 16Gb iPhone could be up-sold to a 32Gb iPhone. The customer may see the value in upgrading their original choice and appreciate having all available options to consider.

For greater success with this method, always wait till the major purchase decision has been made before mentioning an add on option. Plan some easy up-selling options for your staff to always suggest at POS.

The Art of Cross-Selling

Cross-selling is all about making customers buy more products with each purchase by suggesting a related item. If a retail assistant suggests a product that will complement their choice, the customer who is already swept up in the enjoyment of buying will often see the added benefit the additional item provides.

Make a list of related products that will be complimentary to each item in your store.  i.e. offer a buyer who is purchasing a suit, a dress shirt and a suitable tie.

The goal is to significantly increase average basket size and improve the total transaction value. Consider the sale of a dress at $150, simply by encouraging the customer to buy a matching accessory at $25 will mean you have achieved a 16%  increase in the sale value.  The opportunity is ripe to tempt a customer with an additional purchase when they are already in a ‘buying mood’!

The Importance of Staff Training

Get staff to role play and practice bridging statements or leading questions to help them up-sell and cross-sell when making a sale. By investing time in training and having regular briefings on what to recommend, you will be employing informed, motivated staff who automatically use these sales skills in their everyday customer service.

Using retail POS software that encourages this behaviour will make these methods habit

Make sure you have a POS program that recommends up-sell and cross-sell options to lead and support your staff. This will also ensure your employees will remember to ask the customer and never miss an opportunity. Your POS system should enable your employees to be more efficient and proactive as well as make the up-sell / cross-sell technique simple.


As well as using an intelligent POS system that encourages staff to up-sell or cross-sell you can also reap the benefits with considered visual merchandising.

“Great visual merchandising displays and layouts are a retailer’s best friend and silent salesperson. Make it easy for your customers to find what they are looking for by using adjacencies to assist with the up-sell. Put belts on/with pants, bags with shoes, phones and appliances with their accessories, etc, so that the merchandising is up-selling for you”, advises Brian Walker, founder and CEO of retail consulting company Retail Doctor Group in Smart Company.

Using these techniques online will also achieve higher sales amounts. Consider using pop-up suggestions or headings such as “customers who bought this item also bought” or “you may also like”, based on the customers chosen purchase item in your online store. E-commerce surveys have found 30% of buyers will make an additional, last minute purchase when shown another item that complements their original choice. Promoting the incentive of free delivery with an additional purchase at check out will also result in more sales.

Imagine the benefits of your retail staff embracing up-sell and cross-sell techniques, which if done in the right way can even entice customers to return to your store as your staff offer such knowledgeable, helpful and positive service. If your staff aren’t attempting to up-sell or cross-sell you are missing out on untold extra sales with every single transaction!

Visit or call 1300 732 618

POS Software for Growing Retailers

Retail Express gives you the clarity, visibility &control you need to grow your business.

Aaron Blackman is the CEO of Retail Express. Follow Aaron on Google+

Topics Covered: ,,

Author of Post: Bamik | Date of Post: 2014-05-05

Is your retail business on the fastest track to growth?

Arrange a free personal tour of Retail Express POS software today and let’s explore how we can turbo-charge your business