opinion

Cross Selling – The Easiest Retail Trick on the Planet

Kim Airs

Ah retail. For many of you readers, you know that it’s a topic that’s near and dear to my heart. Always has been. I grew up on top of my father’s furniture store, started selling lemonade in the third grade at my father’s store’s sidewalk sale, sold gumballs from a defective gumball machine that would crank out two of them for every twist so I got a 200 percent return on my investment and resold them at a 200 percent markup. Worked in lots of retail environments: macramé jewelry I made and sold during my teens, blue jeans (where I could guess someone’s size by looking at them – I can’t do that in this business, though!), fine jewelry, cheese, men’s suits, cards and gifts, and lots of others. My two sisters are both retailers: one for an optical company and the other for a prestigious department store on Fifth Avenue. Yes, retail is in my blood.

Retailers know lots of tricks to encourage sales and I’m going to share some of them with you right here. Good ol’ brick-and-mortar stores need to stay on top of their game to keep bringing in the diñero to keep those buyers engaged and BUYING in your store.

Cross-selling is the art of combining several items into a purchase that the buyer might not have thought about putting together themselves. Let’s look at a few examples.

Perhaps you own a lingerie store. Think of why someone would buy lingerie… the ol’ “one thing leads to another” idea that when someone is wearing a daring, see-through teddy, well, most likely it’s going wind up on the floor and some hardcore hanky panky is sure to follow. But what would that take? Why not display some edible chocolate delights or even flavored lubes near the sheer onesies hanging near a counter? Or how about some non-black cock rings near easy-to-use cute clitoral vibes? And maybe some after-sex wipes just to make clean-up that much easier? Things can be on the milder side, especially if your store caters to a more “tasteful” clientele.

And what to do with all those women’s vibrators? There are plenty of “sub-divisions” in that category so let your imagination go wild here.

How about clitoral stimulation gel right next to the plethora of clitoral vibes? Might as well go all the way into Orgasm-land for those who love it on the outside.

Why should lubricants only be in the lubricant department? Certainly they can be in more departments than just one so put some of your best-selling lubes on shelves right next to those larger than life, realistic vibes. Instead of having your customer march to a different area of the store, they can pick up everything in one area. And what about adding batteries to that location, too? Sure, they might have some knocking around at home but most likely they’re in a drawer and they’ll need four instead of the three they’ll find in the bottom of that extra drawer in the kitchen. Easy upsell… oh, right. And cross-sell.

Let’s not forget books. Yes, books. Some stores have them and some don’t and there are plenty of titles out there that can be incredibly helpful when it comes to improving one’s knowledge of bettering their roll in the hay. Or taking it up the butt. Or knowing how to use sex toys. Or pegging. Or… the list goes on and on. Some books are a handy pocket-size and can easily be displayed next to the products they so carefully endorse. Who could pass up a book on pegging when they are buying their first strap-on to use on their guy? Easy cross sell and upsell. And oh, ya need lube with that, right?!

Speaking of taking it up the butt… just think of all the possibilities that lie with cross selling in the anal department. Lube. Vibes. Dildos. Butt plugs. Lube. Books. Did I mention lube? This is the perfect place to highlight those specifically blended lubes for unadulterated back door love. As we know, there are lots of them out there and this would be the perfect place to highlight them.

Let’s not forget about the guys, I mean, they still buy a bootyload of toys both for themselves and for their partners. But for those single guys, there are masturbators. And plenty of them.

So what gets guys off? Let me guess… pictures. Videos. A nice, tight… masturbator. So why not put a few best-selling DVDs next to those one-hand wonders with various lubes so a guy can sneak into a store, pick up a masturbator, lube and a DVD in one quick stop? And if you notice that guys are buying a particular photo book you have in stock, maybe put that title by the masturbators, too, because you never know what’s going to get them off. Recommend a lube next to those pocket pals and you’re sure to sell more.

By displaying products together that make sense, it shows that you think like your buyer and they’ll appreciate that. It will make them more engaged in your displays, your sharing of knowledge with your customers “This is a great anal lube to use with that toy you’re getting,” and make your store the destination you want it to be.

JOTB:

Who’s the most popular guy at a nudist camp on a Sunday morning?

The one that can carry two coffees and six donuts.

Why did the prostitute refuse to get her appendectomy sewn up?

So she could make money on the side.

Now back to thinking about all those cross selling possibilities...

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