The Power of The Upsell

A living room.

By technical definition upselling is ‘a sales technique where a seller induces the customer to purchase more expensive items, upgrades or other add-ons in an attempt to make a more profitable sale’.

Making the original sale can be fairly easy because many customers come into your store with the intent of making a purchase and not just to showroom your floor. However, taking advantage of upsell opportunities can set you apart from your competitors and very much impact your bottom line. While major sales can be exciting and a relief, we can always do better. In other words, there are always opportunities to upsell your customers.


My Very Personal Upsell Fail

I had a recent personal experience where the sales representative missed out on a chance to get more of my money. I was looking to buy a sectional and I had a good idea of what I wanted. I spent the weekend walking through different furniture retailers until there was one sofa sectional that checked all the boxes of what I wanted.

I returned later in the week one night after work. The first thing I said when I walked in was, “I know what I want!” I’m probably the ideal customer for sales people because I don’t like to waste my time or theirs, but it seemed that he was so relieved and happy to have a sale for the day that he wasn’t interested in even attempting an upsell.

He missed a major opportunity to suggest accent pieces and accessories like lamps and pillows. It would have been a benefit to myself and him. Having the furniture in front of me and being able to visualize if the accessories match is something I wouldn’t be able to do as easily once I got home.

“A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.” -Steve Jobs

Sometimes the assortment or presentation in a store isn’t ideal to facilitate the upsell. And sometimes the sales associate is not the greatest fit or trained well enough to lead the upsell conversation. Digital catalogs are a great way to allow customers to enhance and accessorize the desired piece. Allow your customer to browse and explore – adding more items as they go. Ideally a digital catalog is a centerpiece in your store – a large touch screen that allows both customers and sales associates to work side by side.


The Power Of Visual Shopping

Customers love the fact that they seem to be in power – browsing items on a large format touch screen is a great experience. Designer-recommended pieces and pre-built cross-sell opportunities make it even easier. Without in-depth product knowledge or years of experience, any regular sales associate can shine thanks to a clearly defined up-sell and cross-sell paths on the digital catalog kiosk.

In my case I would have loved to be able to browse items on a digital catalog kiosk that has preloaded accent pieces suggested by designers to fit with my particular piece of furniture. Jackpot! I’m no interior designer and I love an expert’s opinion. Plus I’m a one-stop-shop kind of girl. I like the ease of buying everything I need at one place at one time.


Woman's finger using a touch screen device.

The lesson learned here is to never be content. There are opportunities to increase the overall ticket size by introducing upsell items. Customers might not know they want it, but putting a product in context with the items they are already buying could provide a profitable opportunity. And as always, if you make it easy for them to navigate the path to purchase, the better for your bottom line. Talk to an expert for in-store technology if you would like to invest in smart technology to better up-sell and cross-sell.

Photo Credits: NeONBRAND timothy muza

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