Do you strive to retain the customer in your store and sell him even his shirt? Error. In the face of a consumer concerned with savings, it is better that you abandon aggressive strategies. New trends in cross selling look to the long term. That’s how they are and how they work.
Today, cross selling is more than an opportunity: it has become an obligation. ” This is stated by the expert Enrique Martínez. “In a time of very sharp decrease in traffic to stores, in which the cost of discovering new buyers is higher, we must increase the value of the customers we already have.”
The question is how to do it. The manuals say that the goal of cross-selling is to make the customer buy more items than they initially ask for. But consumer habits are no longer the same as before and sales techniques are changing. The keys?:
Do not impose. Aggressive styling no longer works. “It is not about inflating the sale, but offering the customer what may be of interest to him,” explains Martínez. The consultant Patricia Peirote stresses that it must be “a friendly sale. It is about suggesting and dragging: if someone wants pants, you can also show them a belt and some shoes ”.
Yes, dialogue. Neither sell for sale, nor act as a simple vending machine. Sellers must move from picking up the order to being consultants. You have to establish a dialogue with the client, ask intelligent questions to enter their universe and make appropriate proposals. Perhaps at that time the sale is not finalized, but it is possible that later he will evaluate the suggested items and return, “says Patricia Peirote.
According to all the experts consulted, cross-selling actions must always be related to a broader objective: customer loyalty. Marketing expert Fernando Rivero suggests three steps to achieve this:
Know the customer. “It is the key to cross selling. If your SME manages around 500 clients and you know 100 personally, take the opportunity to get to know them even better. Talk to them. With these data, large companies draw patterns of behavior. Now that SMEs unfortunately have more time, they should be dedicated to analyzing them ”.
Communicate regularly. “You have to keep in touch, proposing interesting offers or providing valuable information. Many businesses have the name, telephone or e-mail of their clients: the video store, the dry cleaner… If this is not your case, ask them in exchange for some added value, such as sending them the weekly menu. But ask how and when to contact, so as not to disturb. ”
Offer him something. “When you have already got the customer to be in the store, you can offer them what you know interests them, with the usual cross-selling techniques.”
One of the newest cross-selling trends in SMEs is the search for different merchandising. “The online world, where it is so easy to change the order of presentation of products, has revolutionized merchandising, also in physical stores,” explains Martínez. “We have gone from an industrial arrangement, by categories, to presenting the articles according to the needs of the client.” The most common options are:
Clustering: “The big trend is to segment customers, associating products and categories that can be very different, but suitable for them, as in the case of diapers and beers” (marketing legend according to which a supermarket increased beer sales among young parents by placing them in the baby section).
Thematic universes: “We can discover topics that interest the customer and show them the associated products. In Fnac they took advantage of the launching of the Tintin movie to gather very diverse material, related to the character ”. Festivities such as Halloween or Christmas lend themselves well to these types of performances.
Multispaces: Sometimes, the sale of a category of products can be reinforced if a corner is included with different products or services, but that attract the same public. A good example is that of the Imaginarium toy chain, which has opened Danone yogurt shops in some of its stores.
Another effective trend is online recommendations. They act as the clerk, but in a virtual store. These programs, increasingly sophisticated, cross data on the product catalog and customers to detect patterns of behavior and, from there, make personalized recommendations. “The result is that they increase the average value of the cart, by showing the customer products that complement those they are looking for,” says expert Borja Monsalve. But, beyond the punctual sales that they can achieve, they provide a fundamental value: detailed information about web users, which you must take advantage of to adjust business strategies, both in the online store and in the physical one:
Don’t be afraid to innovate: A great advantage of these systems is that they sometimes find relationships between items that are not obvious and would not have occurred to you (like diapers and beer). Although they seem risky, it can be interesting to try them.
Offline campaigns: “Some systems let you know if the user has removed items from the cart that they wanted to buy. Consider sending him an e-mail a few days later reminding him of that product or even offering him a discount, “suggests Monsalve.
Customize: “The store manager can configure the system to suit the profile of his customers. The objective is to show a showcase for each one ”.