Retail Selling For The Holidays – Increasing Impulse Purchases

Increase Impulse SalesOne of my most vivid memories is of working in one of my retail stores on Christmas Eve.  We were closing at 6pm and, after 6 weeks of holiday stress, everyone was looking forward to going home and spending a much deserved day with our families.

At 5:45 a customer walked in and one of my sales representatives, if Colleen, promptly greeted him.  As per usual he gave the traditional “Just looking” response.  Colleen – who if my memory serves me correctly had assisted over 100 customers that day, turned to him and said “Just looking???? You do realize that every store in this mall closes in 15 minutes don’t you?”

We all know that was not the best response for a sales rep to give to a customer, but the situation may have been exacerbated by a simple fact of retail life.  That is, that many holiday shoppers struggle with coming up with creative gift ideas and that many retailers do not make it easy for customers to buy on impulse.

The reality is that most holiday customers do not know what they want to buy until they see it.  In fact, over two-thirds of the purchases made in shopping malls and other stores during the holidays are made on impulse.   With that in mind, here is an example of a retail sales program that you can implement to drive of impulse purchases in your retail store.

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Using Item Of The Day To Drive Impulse Buying

1. Suggestive Sell — Train your team members to focus on selling an “item of the day.”  This should be a reasonably priced item that is easy to talk about and easy to carry.  Each sales rep should carry the item and when a customer says “just looking” they can reply with “if you are looking for a great gift idea, you should take a look at this!”

2. Make Buying Easy — Retail experts agree that impulse buying comes down to two basic needs – avoiding pain and experiencing pleasure.  May sure that you are making the purchasing process each and simple so that your customer can avoid the “pain” of shopping and can gain the “pleasure” of buying and gift giving!  The best way to do this is to have a ready supply of your “item of the day” at the sales counter.

3. Focus Impulse-Friendly Price Points — The average US consumer has about $40 in their wallet when they go shopping.  While they likely also have credit cards, when they think whether or not they can afford that impulse item they are thinking about that $40.  So make sure your “item of the day” falls below that amount.  Price points like $9.99, $14.99 and $19.99 are the hottest targets for impulse buying.

4. Rotate Your Items Daily — During the holidays, customers will visit their local mall or shopping center multiple times.  Give them a reason to come back to your store in order to see “what’s new!”  You do this my having your team members pick a new “item of the day” every few days.  This keeps your presentation fresh for both the customer and them.  In fact, along with online product training courses,  it is a great way to improve your team member’s product knowledge!

5. Make Sure Your Team Can Execute Flawlessly — Your leadership on the sales floor is critical to your team members’ success.  Each morning have a five-minute sales huddle so your team members can select their items and give you a two-minute sales presentation.  Then get commitments for the number they will sell that day.  Finish up by ensuring that they set up a display of the item at the cash counter so they can offer it to every customer.

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The “item of the day” program is one of many proven retail selling strategies that our team reviews in our online retail courses and classroom-style retail seminars.  These courses have helped many retailers increase their team member’s productivity by 10%, 15% or more, so give the “item of the day” program a try in your business this holiday season!