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Steps to Increase Sales at the Checkout Counter

Impulse purchases are likely to account for a good portion of your retail store's profits. Recent research by A.T. Kearney shows that 40 percent of customers spend more money than they had planned when shopping in brick-and-mortar stores, compared to only 25 percent of online shoppers. Another study, conducted by Leo Shapiro and Associates for Marketing Support Inc., showed that one third of consumers make an impulse buy on a weekly basis with a median purchase of $30.

As a brick-and-mortar retail store owner, you have more control over your customers' shopping experience than an online retailer. Your store's layout, atmosphere, and sales team engage customers' senses on a more intimate level and influence their buying decisions.

The best place to encourage an impulse buy in your store is at the checkout. A customer who is at the point-of-sale terminal is already planning to spend money at your store; the chance of them making an additional purchase is higher. Are you maximizing your checkout zone for extra profits? Below are five steps to increasing sales at the checkout counter.

  1. Choose the Right Impulse Products

The best impulse items are small and inexpensive. Customers should be able to quickly grab the item and add it to their shopping basket. Frequently forgotten items, trial-sized products, promotions (i.e. buy two, get one free), and seasonal items make great impulse purchases.

  1. Maximize Your Wall Space

The wall space behind the checkout counter is an ideal place to display popular buys, new items, and impulse products. You can also use the wall space to display signs about your latest in-store promotions. Some customers may not have seen everything available in your store; use the wall space behind the point-of-sale to advertise your best deals.

  1. Make Impulse Products Visible

In order for impulse items to be effective, they must be visible to your customers. Be sure to clearly indicate any promotional items at the checkout counter with eye-catching signage. Experiment with colors and styles for your signs; instead of using your regular brand colors, for example, you can choose bright, contrasting hues to capture your customers' attention.

  1. Use Impulse Item Displays

Impulse product displays are irresistible to many shoppers. A brightly colored or seasonal display placed near the checkout counter is guaranteed to add to your overall profits. For best results, group similar themed items together and offer a special promotion on them.

  1. Upsell

Not all impulse buys are displayed at the checkout. A customer may want an additional accessory or extended warranty with their purchase. Train your staff to upsell appropriate products to customers on every purchase. Not only will you make extra profit, your customers will appreciate the added level of customer care.

Choosing the right impulse products and displaying them properly in the checkout zone is the key to increasing your profits from a sale. By offering the appropriate product or upsell to a customer who is already in the buying mood, you'll also ensure a positive buying experience for your customer. Follow the above tips to encourage impulse purchases and make more money from each and every sale.