Suggestive Selling Presents A Measurable Solution For Retail Revenue Growth

December 10, 2013 by Kevin LeiferComments

Suggestive Selling

In today’s complicated retail environment, companies are experimenting with more ways to engage their shoppers than ever before. As online and mobile innovations continue to disrupt the traditional retail model, many are left scratching their heads when it comes to outfitting their brick-and-mortar stores to satisfy the more empowered consumer. While retailers try new strategies in hopes of improving their customers’ in-store experiences, one tried and true technique can’t be ignored: suggestive selling.

If you’re constantly looking for a better way to increase sales in the store, one solution may be simpler than you think. Suggestive selling is by no means a new concept to sales strategies in any industry, but many retailers even today fail to realize its potential as a long-term revenue booster.

Combined with technology designed specifically around calculating the ROI benefit in specific scenarios, it’s one of the only sales strategies you can use to accurately forecast growth. Let’s explore how this traditional strategy fits into the important themes of employee motivation and broader customer engagement inside the store.

Boosting Revenue With A New Employee Engagement Strategy

One of the biggest advantages to investing in a suggestive selling strategy is the relative ease of implementation at the store level. Creating an internal incentive program to motivate store associates to gently push customers who’ve already committed to a purchase can often be all it takes to start seeing more products leaving the store in shopping bags and better numbers in your sales reports.

In addition to the immediate sales benefit, suggestive selling can also play a vital role in a broader customer loyalty effort by showing customers that the in-store experience is more than just browsing shelves and clothing racks––it’s about entering an environment where you can ask questions and receive useful product information from expert associates. It’s this kind of experience that customers are coming to expect when they enter a store.

Exploring The Concept Through A Real-World Example

Let’s take an example of a well-known retailer in the fitness apparel industry. A man enters the store looking for a pair of workout shorts, but isn’t quite sure what’s going to work best for him. An associate approaches to offer help finding the item he’s looking for, and after getting some background information from the customer, the associate learns he has recently purchased a gym membership and plans to begin a workout regimen for the first time.

The employee––an experienced fitness expert himself, puts his knowledge to use by suggesting a weight belt and a pair of training shoes designed specifically for the routine he’s interested in. Explaining the safety benefits of a specialized belt and the extra foot support provided by the shoes, the customer leaves the store not only more equipped to succeed in the gym, but also comes away with an experience he would have never found online or in a store with a passive engagement policy. It’s this kind of personalized product packaging that provides a win-win for the customer and the retailer.

What You Can Do To See Results Today

If you’re in need of a simple way to boost your revenue without radically changing your in-store environment or investing in a totally new customer experience strategy, start with simple employee reengagement:

Design your associate training program to focus in part on suggestive selling

Although you won’t see results overnight, you can begin engraining the suggestive selling mindset into your company culture by adding it to your employee-training program now. While not every in-store associate is going to be an equally proficient salesperson in the traditional sense of sales, it’s important to keep in mind that customers who respond to product suggestions are almost always already committed to make a purchase, making it that much easier to point them towards more of what they need.

Today’s selling atmosphere is rooted in product expertise and resourcefulness when it comes to solving problems and offering helpful advice. Focus on turning your employees into product specialists and give your customers the kind of experience that will keep them coming back for more.

Measure the revenue benefits of suggestive selling with our online Suggestive Selling Calculator, or download it right to your iPhone with the ICC ROI Calculator app. If you’re interested in finding out how a boost in your conversion rate can help your bottom line, try out our conversion calculator today.

Topics: Customer Experience, Blog, Brand Experience, In-Store Marketing

Written by: Kevin Leifer

Kevin is passionate about retail, specifically aligning a brand's expectations of their customers' experience with consistent execution in-store. With expertise in leading clients toward a transparent omnichannel (on-line, in-store, call center and mobile) experience, Kevin and the ICC/Decision Services team work with clients to define the desired customer experience and use a suite of tools (including Mystery Shopping, Customer Satisfaction Surveys and Customer Intercepts) to measure that experience.


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