8 Simple Tactics to Increase Market Basket Size

The goal of any brick-and-mortar retailer is to sell. You want your customers to come in early and often, and you want them to leave satisfied.

Whether you achieve this goal or not can be summed up with one metric: market basket size. What is a market basket? It’s the total of a shopper’s purchases during one specific visit to your store. A small market basket size is one item—what counts as a large basket is up to you.

Even so, increasing the number of items a consumer buys during a trip to your store is incredibly important. More items are more sales are more money. How can you increase the average basket size? Here is what you can do today:

1. Reduce Out-of-Stocks

First up is a simple yet frustrating issue: out-of-stocks. You can’t have large basket sizes if your shelves are bare. Ensure your inventory management is working properly. Do regular spot checks of shelves to check for stock levels, and make sure you don’t have any phantom inventory messing with your data.

The good news is you can always leverage your own shoppers to provide feedback on out-of-stocks, such as with Wiser’s retail auditing and mobile crowdsourcing platform. Visitors to your stores can take pictures and answer surveys on shelf conditions. This can supplement your own data to provide so you’ll better understand inventory levels.

The important part of a solid promotional strategy is to ensure that these sales events don’t cannibalize the revenue from your full-priced items.

2. Offer Promotions

Sales promotions are another excellent way to increase market basket size. Once you have shoppers inside your stores, entice them to buy more with quality deals. What does a good promotion look like? Well, they can take the form of buy one get one free, X percent off, rewards for future purchases, and much more.

The important part of a solid promotional strategy is to ensure that these sales events don’t cannibalize the revenue from your full-priced items. Analyze historical promotional data and run smaller test promotions to see if consumers would have bought the items on sale at full-price. If so, you may want to rethink your sales promotion.

3. Optimize Category Management

Does your store stock what consumers want to buy? Big basket sizes are partly the result of optimal category management, where you sell the best items in the market across a specific range of categories.

To do this, you need to know what your audience wants. You need to stock the best assortment and create a healthy mix of top-sellers and niche items. You know which categories are your best, so make sure those are prominently featured inside stores. On the flip side, reduce the inventory of under-performing categories or bundle those with top-sellers to increase basket size.

4. Improve Customer Loyalty

Loyal customers are returning customers, and they’re the ones who will leave with more items in their baskets. You can increase customer loyalty by offering loyalty programs to your shoppers.

Several options that are popular among consumers are:

  • Freebies
  • Timed discounts
  • Exclusive access to products or prices
  • Discounts

Loyalty programs can be a big win for retailers, because not only do you get to reward regular customers, but you can also capture their contact information, incorporate them into your marketing efforts, and, of course, increase basket size.

Shopping cart

5. Competitively Price Your Assortment

One of the most important factors behind happy customers and large basket sizes is pricing. Are your SKUs priced competitively? Are they priced to sell? Do your prices protect your margins and brand reputation?

The first step toward winning prices is a strong understanding of the market. Analyze your competitor prices to identify opportunities for repricing. Track the prices and performances of each SKU. Armed with high-quality data, you can properly balance your prices to turn a profit and drive sales.

6. Innovate Your Store Layout

Your store layout can also support your efforts to increase basket size. For starters, think back to category management. Where are your top-performing categories located within the store? Are they all bunched together or spread out?

You may want to strategically locate categories to get shoppers walking around your store. You can place more niche items next to your best-sellers to try to bolster their sales. In addition, you should optimize the checkout experience to keep things running smoothly. Place displays and items next to registers to prompt last-minute additions. Make full use of shelve space with various end caps, sidecaps, pole huggers, and the like.

You can increase basket size by providing a holistic, omnichannel shopping experience.

7. Measure Consumer Sentiment

All of these efforts are great, but they won’t provide the desired results unless your shoppers actually like visiting your stores. This is where consumer sentiment comes in.

Talk to your shoppers. Conduct routine surveys (another way loyalty programs can provide you an avenue to reach out). Add requests for feedback to the bottom of receipts. Make sure your associates are available and willing to help inside stores. You can also leverage Wiser’s retail auditing platform to conduct consumer sentiment surveys. Get your questions answered by thousands of shoppers in your specific region or across the country.

8. Create an Omnichannel Experience

Lastly, you can increase basket size by providing a holistic, omnichannel shopping experience. Today’s consumers want to have the best of both worlds: the variety and competitive prices of online shopping with the hands-on experience and instant gratification of brick-and-mortar.

Your own store locations can support this by creating an omnichannel store. How? Kohl’s is a strong example, as the retailer allows shoppers to return Amazon orders in stores. This is a fantastic way to get them to add a little something to their shopping list from Kohl’s on the way out.

Another tactic is buy online, pick up in-store, or BOPIS. Let shoppers order from your webstore and grab their purchases inside your brick-and-mortar stores. While there, they’ll have to walk by your stocked shelves and promotional displays. This increases the odds that they’ll buy something else.

How will you get your customers increasing shopping baskets inside your stores?

Matt Ellsworth

Matt is the Content Marketing Manager at Wiser, the leading provider of actionable data for better decisions. He holds a BA from Salem State University.

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