Study: Businesses not upselling with authority

According to a recent Skillsmart Retail mystery shopping survey of more than 800 independent retailers, many proved that they are missing an opportunity to upsell.

According to a recent Skillsmart Retail mystery shopping survey of more than 800 independent retailers, many proved that they are missing an opportunity to upsell.

Despite scoring high marks across the board in product knowledge, maintaining eye contact and having an overall pleasant demeanor, it was found that only 29 percent of retail employees made an attempt to upsell their store's products to mystery shoppers.

Jane Rexworthy, Head of the National Skills Academy for Retail, notes that upselling is a challenge for retailers to implement because many consumers don't appreciate being pressured with a "hard sell" approach. However, she notes that if performed effectively, it could strengthen the link between consumer and retailer.

"Customer service is not just about polite or friendly service, it's also about ensuring customers get the best products for them in the easiest possible way," said Rexworthy. "Upselling is an important part of customer service and retailers must engage with it to really make the most of providing good service and see it pay dividends long-term."

After the mystery shopping concluded, retailers were asked what areas they felt needed improvement, and 24 percent of businesses noted sales as the primary issue.

According to the blog Sell It On The Web, common upselling techniques include offering discounted or free shipping on a purchase or encouraging customers to buy additional items.