Buying Group Hub: The Add-On Sale, Making a Big Difference With Small Sales

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Buying Group Hub: The Add-On Sale, Making a Big Difference With Small Sales

By Mike Dube, Director of Marketing, Lancaster

WHETHER IT’S THE combo meal or an extended warranty, if you weren’t planning on purchasing it when you walked in the door, you have probably been persuaded into an add-on sale. And if you feel good about your decision as a consumer, it’s a win-win. Customers look to you to let them know what they may need to complete the project correctly and efficiently. If you forget to sell them a drop cloth or roller frame with their four gallons of paint, you are doing them a disservice. The customer will need to make another trip to the store before they can start their project—only this time that store might not be yours!

Your goal as a retailer should be to increase each ticket sale along with your customers’ satisfaction. In lieu of raising prices, the best way to increase sales dollars is to increase each transaction size. There are a few strategies to create add-on sales, but it’s critical to sell them before they leave the store.

Sarasota Paint uses clip strips at the register to promote add-on sales.

Impulse sales are easy to execute. Set up a simple endcap with summer project supplies and add an off-shelf display of surface prep products near the checkout or counter displays at the register. These high-margin sundry items can add up quickly. Often, this type of selling happens with a “silent salesperson.” These are displays, videos or signs that customers interact with organically, without needing assistance.

Promoting your brand can be a fun way to boost sales, and it doesn’t have to be complicated. A weekly email to customers or a monthly sale can do the trick. Without being pushy, you can get your customers thinking about their next projects and give them an incentive to shop with you. A campaign as simple as “Purchase two gallons of paint and receive 10% off all your accessories” can easily help build your transaction size and start a conversation about what else they need.

Modesto Color Center uses counter displays to sell some add-on
ticket items.

Suggestive selling can be the most rewarding but is the most delicate. There is a fine line between helping a customer find everything they need to complete a project and overselling. We recommend having a project list to help your staff and ensure customers purchase the complete project. If done right, a customer will have all the materials they need from prep to cleanup. This can also lead to great reviews.

There are thousands of fringe sundry products to choose from, so working with a true paint sundry distributor to supply all the necessary products can be beneficial. Purchasing from a distributor allows you to control your inventory dollars, gives you access to multiple manufacturers’ products (and not just the A items) and in some cases, as with Lancaster, you’ll get next-day service. More turns, fewer inventory dollars and faster delivery will only add on to your bottom line.