When you walk into a hardware or grocery store, you usually have a few items you are shopping for. You might spend an hour knocking every item off your list until you get to the check out line. Then a diet coke, pack of gum, or your favorite candy bar stares you down. You quickly grab it, put it on the belt, and pretend it was part of your list.
Congratulations, you were successfully upsold! Don't feel bad, strategic upsells are all around us, and we bite on these sales because of basic human behavior. Yes, Homedepot runs a profitable candy shop, aside from selling hardware supplies. Restaurants do it every time we order food. They ask the simple questions, "Chips and a Drink?", "Make it a combo today?". These low hanging fruits are key revenue streams for large corporations. You should think about your business similarly.
While you probably won't offer candy bars with your t-shirts, or offer to supersize it, here are a few ways to add revenue and profit to your already existing orders:
"Can I get you a higher quality shirt for just a few bucks more?" This million dollar question needs to be added to every order because premium items generally have a higher profit margin. Train your team to ask for shirt upgrades everytime they make a sale. If they are using a basic tee, get them into a soft style, or a nicer brand. Your customers will appreciate it, and your top line will increase, adding some incremental value to your order.
Embroidered items are often more profitable than basic screen printed items. Do you offer these to your customers regularly? Have they seen what premium embroidery looks like for their team, company, or organization? Offer to digitize their logo for free if they order 12 polos in addition to their screen printed t-shirt. This way you are enhancing their brand, and opening your customers to new options for future purchases. Once that logo is digitized, it's plug and play, every winter when they come back for more.
A baseball team spends thousands of dollars on new uniforms. Do they have a banner to hang at their games? What about the company that just ordered trade show attire? Do they have a pop-up banner or matching tablecloth? Help your customers by offering sign & banner printing. If you don't have a wide format printer you can easily outsource these to companies that do, and still, make a profit.
If you are selling decorated goods, get into the promo product business. You can use tools like ASI, SAGE, or Distributor Central to offer promotional products. For a nominal fee, you have access to millions of promotional products to make your business a one-stop shop. These are easy revenue streams with simple drop shipping options.
A week before you are about to reclaim a screen reach out to your customer and give them a reduced price reorder opportunity. Let them know that you still have their screens, and once they are reclaimed their prices will go back to normal. For 10% off you can run another set of shirts for them! You save that time in burning those screens, and can quickly satisfy a customer with a quick addition of shirts!
Regardless of strategy, create an action plan for upsells and teach it to your staff. Track their average job size and see if they can begin to increase revenue by asking customers for simple additions. Reward your employees when they are successful, teaching them how to tastefully grow your business, and enhance the customer experience.
Image source: ED'S T-SHIRTS & PRINT SHOP
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