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Add-On Sales Contest Encourages Higher Transactions

Add-On Sales Contest Encourages Higher Transactions

Add-on sales are adding up fast at Mark’s Ace Hardware. General manager Camille Gibson knows her employees play a key role in encouraging customers to make add-on purchases, which raise the average transaction size.

But to keep that top of mind for her employees, she takes it a step further. At different times throughout the year, Gibson has an “Item of the Week” contest.

She selects an impulse-type item to feature, something that she thinks would make an easy add-on sale that most customers would be able to use. Then, she encourages all employees to suggest it to customers. The employee with the most sales of that item at the end of the week gets a prize.

“Every week, we come up with an item that would make for an easy add-on sale; something that’s cool and new and that we think every household should have,” Gibson says. She also gives her employees a few pointers or product knowledge tips they may need to know to help sell that product.

The idea started when Gibson was using her co-op’s mystery shopper program. “The program recommends you suggest an add-on sale during each customer transaction. You get a point marked off if you don’t do that,” she says. “That’s when I decided to find a way to make more of an effort to encourage employees to make add-on suggestions.”

The contest is mostly honor-based—employees need to report when the customer they’ve been helping purchases the add-on item—but Gibson is able to check results on her POS. Last year, there was an average 500-percent sales increase on the items used in the contest.

“Employees get creative and competitive, and they have a lot of fun with the contest,” she says. “They will move the add-on items to different departments where they think they will sell better. Some of them even carry the products around with them so they remember to suggest the sale to the customer.”

About Jesse Carleton

Jesse Carleton

Jesse Carleton has visited independent hardware retailers, conducted original research on the industry and written extensively about the business of hardware retailing. Jesse has written for more than a dozen of NRHA’s contract publishing titles, all related to the hardware retailing industry. He also was instrumental in developing the Basic Training in Hardware Retailing courses now used by thousands of retailers across the country.