Published: 29/06/2018

How to get customers to put more in their basket and buy more

Business Growth

As a store owner, you will have a very good idea of how people behave in your store when it comes to spending. You’ll undoubtedly be pretty clear on what’s selling well; what isn’t; and how customers might add to their basket spend.

Getting customers to put more in their basket can be a tricky tightrope. On the one hand you want more business but at the same time, you don’t want to appear to be too pushy - as this might put them off completely. It’s not easy and people will react differently to certain things. We are all individuals with different tastes and preferences. Therefore, it is not always easy to predict how each person might react to a particular promotion, sale or new item.

But there are ways that could potentially help persuade customers to increase their basket size. Here are some of them:

Know your products

We can’t recommend this enough. You and your workers should make it your aim to really understand the products in your store. For example, if someone is buying pasta for their dinner, why not recommend a lovely bottle of Sauvignon that has just come into store. This is not being pushy at all. What you are doing is suggesting a way to enhance their experience. It shows authenticity - something a customer will really appreciate. And why not recommend a cheeky dessert before they pay - that lovely eclair will go down quite nicely.


A very obvious way to get customers to increase their basket size is by promoting good offers. Whilst it may be obvious, it’s not always easy to know what to offer promotions on. As a rule of thumb, why not look at the items which are selling best. Why not offer 2 for 1 on some of your best selling items - for a limited time only. This will get people buying and it will encourage people to spend now. There is value in offers for items which people genuinely need. So you are more likely to get people ‘doubling up’ on what they are buying leading to bigger baskets and more cash for you. Again, we recommend doing your research thoroughly before deciding if promotions are right for you.

Be seasonal

Be aware of seasons and what products best represent them. For instance, if Easter is around the corner, make sure that the eggs are put in the most visible part of your store. Be creative with signage, you could put some of the products in a giant Easter basket - potential customers won’t miss this. Apply the same type of thinking to Christmas, Halloween and Mothers Day. These are items that people will be looking for in the run up to any event or occasion. So make these special items as clear as humanly possible.

But don’t just think in terms of seasons. Always be aware of:

Product placement

Ask yourself: what do you have in your store which will amaze potential customers. Besides the bare essentials that people have come for, what do you have which is different. If you have products which are a little bit ‘left field’, place them in a visible part of the store. It might just catch a customer’s eye. It might even make them purchase an item that they hadn’t intended to buy. Surprise the customer, it could lead to some unexpected impulse purchases.

Unique products are all great, but don’t forget the essentials which you know will sell. Make sure that the products which sell the most, and which people need, are easy to find. As a shopper, there is nothing more frustrating than looking for the milk or eggs and having to walk down to the very end to find them. Be mindful of this. Don’t make these types of items difficult to find. If you do, customers will be less inclined to buy from you in the future.

Loyalty schemes

Now this is really worth looking at, not just for bigger basket spend but also repeat purchases. Getting customers to sign up to loyalty schemes can be incredibly advantageous for both you and the customer. They can stand to benefit from new products, deals and promotions - it’s like belonging to an exclusive club, whilst you will stand a better chance of getting repeat business from customers.

Offer additional products

But there is more that you can offer besides food and drink. There are other essentials that people need. Have you ever considered offering customers the chance to top-up their mobile phone in your shop? How about having a facility that allows customers to pick up their parcels? Not everyone has a car - so many people will need to get around by bus. Try and think about these small things, because they could have an impact on what people decide to spend at your store.

David Goulden Copywriter
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