Michael & Christa Richert Michael & Christa Richert

It’s winter outside and the cold air has a way of nibbling at fingers, toes and other body extremities. Yet your customers will still brave the chilly weather and hotfoot it to your store to get whatever items they need to finish their Christmas shopping.

So be prepared. Keeping a range of winter wear such as hats, gloves and socks could nudge your client into buying products they need – or impulsively buy as a gift – but didn’t know you had, from you, rather than from somewhere else. After all, you want to get most out of the foot traffic that comes through your retail store!

Always keep it honest and relevant – you can do that by being observant. Let’s say the customer is not wearing a hat; they will probably have lost between 20 to 40 per cent of their body heat by the time you see them. Are they wearing gloves? If not, their hands may be feeling a tad numb. Make a note of that.

In the meantime, be friendly, and once they have identified the part they came in for, the rapport you have built with your customers before they ever get to the merchandise makes all the difference. Right there is an opportunity for cross selling.

But stay poised, the art of the cross sell is in the timing. Wait until they are ready to buy their chosen part and then alert them to the warm winter garb you have on offer. Perhaps add a little tinsel to the display to suggest these make perfect gifts. You may get an impulse buy.

Don’t feel awkward about suggesting an upsell to a customer who needs the product you offer, either for themselves or to give as a gift. Think of it as helping the customer – beat the winter blues by getting more value from your business, and help your business get more loyalty and revenue from the customer. What better way to spread the seasonal cheer?