Monthly Archives: January 2013

How Big Does a Shopping Cart Need to Be?

pennies in shopping cart

pennies in shopping cart

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What if grocery stores only offered hand baskets? People would cram as much as they could into one, but the weight would cause them to shop shorter because of the heaviness. Heavy items like gallons of milk or jars of pickles would be more carefully considered and ultimately, less purchased. Mothers would bring their whole families along so that everyone could carry a basket, which would make the store noiser, whinier, and more crowded. Sounds like a fatal mistake for the grocery stores’ sales, right?

Of course, a paper goods store should only offer a hand basket, because their items are small and light, but as a customer walks throughout the store, it is likely they will want to choose more than they can carry all at once.

Apparel stores should offer shopping bags, the reusable sort. These are less bulky than baskets and are much more comfortable to carry about.

So consider your merchandise, and know that average transaction goes up when stores make necessary assistance more available to customers.

You can’t know how much shoppers will buy until you’ve made the shopping experience as comfortable and easy and practical as possible.

-Paco Underhill, “Why We Buy”

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Shopping Baskets – A Key to Increasing Sales

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Everyone nowadays has their hands full. We go shopping, we are carrying our briefcases, handbags, coats, gloves, etc. We do not have enough hands for everything. Chapter 4 of “Why We Buy” is titled “You Need Hands”. 

Their studies have shown that customers are unlikely to pick up baskets on their own, though almost always accept one when they are carrying at least 3 items in their hands. Once they have the basket, their carrying capacity increases and they are more likely to select more merchandise because they are not limited to what they can balance in their arms. Average transaction goes up, customers have been given excellent service, and another day passes in the world of retail. 

At my work, a clothing retailer, we have a similar notion about the volume someone will try on after they have selected too many items to carry. If someone is carrying at least 2 items, we offer to start them a fitting room. Their arms are emptied and ready to choose more items, they will go to the fitting room (which increases the possibility of a sale) and we provide excellent service all at once. It’s a win-win. 

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It’s Worse to Bend the Rules than to Break Them

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Wrapping up Chapter 3 of Paco Underhill’s “Why We Buy”! And I quote: “…Being first isn’t necessarily best…” in relation to store entrances.

There may be 7 types of shampoo on a shelf, and by the time the customer has looked at the seventh one, the first is easily forgotten. Simple principle of shopping. The best locations are not near the front. Especially for more personal or private items. People do not want to be seen purchasing toiletries or hair coloring kits, so choosing a spot at the end of the aisle, or better yet, nearest the end of that product’s section where another, less embarassing or personal item section begins. Never place a feminine item nearby to a masculine item, it is uncomfortable. 

Also, being visible as a customer is approaching gives an advantage. however, posting such an item directly in their face will shy them away. Instead, give a time for “visual anticipation” to build as the customer approaches the item. The first shall be last and the last shall be first!

Buy buy for now!

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