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How Shopping Baskets Are Proven To Increase Sales

As we all know, humans only have two hands and when it comes to shopping this can present a bit of a problem. If a customer in your store tries to buy more than 3 items then they are already struggling - and once that person has run out of hands and elbow crooks to hold their products, they'll stop browsing and head for the checkout.
The bad news for retail managers is that less than 10% of customers pick up the basket they need to end the juggling act - meaning potential sales are lost just because of our human anatomy. The good news is that our tips listed below can help you recoup these missed opportunities and increase retail sales by strategic use of shopping baskets.

Put baskets where customers need to use them

Though it seems intuitive, it's crucial to not only place your shopping baskets at the store entrance. Customers who are only going into the store for bread and milk won't pick up a basket here, as they only need a couple of items. As we all know and probably have experienced , it's only when running around the store and seeing all those other things we forgot we needed, or the fresh produce that looks so good and specials we want to take advantage of, that we realise we need a basket! Place the baskets further inside your store at integral spots where people will notice them and have them at hand when they need them.

Scatter shopping baskets throughout the store

There's a reason people end up juggling a few items in their hands -it's because they didn't expect to be buying more than they came in for. Your customers often enter your retail store with one purchase in mind but become lured into buying more things, either out of impulse or because they suddenly remember they need an extra this or that. You want to accommodate these rapid changes in plan by dotting shopping baskets around where they are most needed. A critical area is close to the greeting card section; after all, how many people go in for a few items and then remember they need to buy a birthday card?  With their hands full it's too difficult to browse the cards, so if there isn't an available basket close by they will leave the store and head to the newsagent to purchase that birthday card! Remember also to keep your stacks of baskets high enough so as not to inconvenience your customers - nobody likes stooping when they have their hands full.
Also, how often do you grab a basket for a couple of items, then get carried away by a few multi-buy deals and before you know it the basket is unbearably heavy? This leads to an urgent rush to heave the over-stuffed basket to the checkout, often forgetting to buy the bread you went in for! This is when a shopping trolley or second basket needs to be handy to grab; which brings us nicely to our third piece of advice...

Have your employees offer baskets to customers carrying more than 3 items

The likely response is a smile from your customer (people like being helped) and a grateful acceptance of the shopping basket. After all, holding a basket is preferable to having no hands left to examine other items in the store. When this technique was trialled in a discount chemist, customers almost unanimously accepted the baskets and the average sale value increased too.

Put the basket to the test

Put yourself in your customers shoes and think about how the shopping baskets feel for the user. Are you still using metal mesh baskets? Do they bash against your thigh when they get too heavy? Or perhaps the two straight handles that meet in the middle cut into the palm of your hand? Is it possible to put a slim, small item like chewing gum inside without it falling through the gaps?
If this is the case, think about making the switch to plastic baskets. They are lighter, the handles are more comfortable and the gaps are smaller. Some even come with wheels!