How can you learn from your customer behavior to arrange your store displays and how can these help upsell customers? There are several inherent challenges with upselling.

One issue is visibility. What do your customers see and when do they see it? By integrating advanced video surveillance that includes robust analytics software, you can know exactly what is happening in your store at any given time. Heat mapping can tell you where people tend to stop and examine certain items—the accessories wall in any Apple Store would be just one example. These systems also integrate with your point-of-sale data, so you can determine how often your salespeople are able to upsell a given product and rate their effectiveness and performance.

Another challenge is getting customers to equate brand name items with quality instead of cost. While this isn’t always easy, there are certain tactics for overcoming this challenge.


Understanding Preconceptions

Train your sales staff that if a customer comes in looking for the cheapest item to ask them why. Not only is this a great way to engage customers in general but it also helps you as a retailer gather information. When your sales staff gets customers talking about their experience with similar items, it helps reveal information about the sources of their low-end buying habits. Very often customers will have had bad experiences with a brand or they are simply using the products incorrectly. You may also discover that your customers have never considered a higher-end item and don’t understand the inherent benefits. Whatever the sales team learns will help them guide the customer to a higher value purchase.

Establising Hierarchhy

Once you understand why a customer always purchases the cheapest product, you can start helping them visualize the value of your high-end products. Your goal here is to clearly explain in human terms the differences between good, better, and best as well as the differences in terms of comfort, performance, longevity and applications. Demonstrate to them that luxury brand names earn their reputations by providing better products and that the long term benefit exceeds the difference in cost. It’s the difference between buying generic brand socks at Wal-Mart and buying a pair of SmartWool socks at REI that last four or five years.

Take the Lead

If you simply ask the customer to look at a better grade of product, the easiest question for them to ask is “How much?” quickly followed by “No.” In this instance, you haven’t done your due diligence in prepping the customer. While they may save money, they lose out on value that they did not recognize and your sales staff has missed the opportunity to upsell. By taking the initiative, adding some enthusiasm and talking to them person-to-person as fellow consumers, you are far more likely to get them interested in your high-end items. Let them follow your lead and use your organic enthusiasm for a product to feed their interest in buying it.

Have you been able to improve upselling by your employees? Share your results in the comments!