Does it feel like customers are just in and out of your store in a matter of seconds? Here are 7 tips that can help keep customers in your store longer and buy more. The longer customers stay in your store the greater the chance you have to expose them to all your merchandise, develop a relationship and have them make a purchase.


1. Use Displays that Surprise and Delight

Half the merchandise is never seen by most customers because most customers just beeline to the merchandise they want. Your responsibility is to disrupt this path with speed bumps: displays at the front of your store that make a customer pause and expose them to more of what you have to sell. Typically, the products on speed bumps should be the latest trends and unique products. If their interest is piqued, they’ll spend more time in the store. It doesn’t always result in a sale, but it is always in the back of their minds and they may come back when it is time to purchase.

Mannequins | Display Tables 

2. Scatter Impulse Items throughout your store, not just at checkout

A recent study by the American Marketing Association found that with each unplanned purchase, it is more likely that a customer will make other unplanned purchase as the shopping trip progresses. So why wait until checkout? Also make sure you are cross-selling as much as you can. Do a brain storming exercise with your staff by holding up an item and ask “what would you buy with this?” Then take the time to sell these items together on the sales floor. If your checkout counter has a wall behind it, put high-profit items there, in the customer’s sightline. The idea is to present as many incentives as possible for the customer to linger and buy.

Impulse Displays | Countertop Displays


3. Give Shoppers a Basket

Or the very least, make sure your sales staff offers to hold the items they’ve selected while they continue to shop. Once the customer’s arms are full, they will stop shopping. Instead of having only one set of shopping baskets at the front of your store, position another set at the back of the store because as was said earlier, it is more likely that a customer will make other unplanned purchase as the shopping trip progresses and customers can only carry so much.

Shopping Baskets | Shopping Carts

4. Acknowledge the Customers, Never Ambush Them

Shoppers like to know that there is someone close if they have a question they don’t like to have a salesperson that is hovering over them. Don’t ask “How can I help you?” Just a simple “Hello” lets the customer know that you are aware they are in the store. When a customer to close by acknowledge them with eye contact or a smile this lets the customers know you are aware of them and willing to help if needed.

Door Alerts | Sidewalk Signs

5. Make the Customers feel Comfortable

Offer to hold heavy packages or coats from customers while they shop. Have chairs or benches located around the store for the tired shopper.

Entrance & Floor Mats


6. Use Events or Demos to Encourage Longer Store Visits

People may come to shop, but they stay to learn. Each month come up with a demonstration that can be turned into an event each month. Depending on the store it can be wine tasting, scarf tying, cook demos, etc. this event will build traffic and packs your store with customers.

Outdoor Signs | Indoor Signs

7. Merchandise to all five senses

Scent is powerful at evoking memory and can put a customer in a good mood. Free tastings are not just for food stores, have a pitcher of lemonade and some cookies at the front of the store to welcome the shopper on a hot day. Upbeat music energizes both the customer and the staff.

Retail Bags | Promotional Products

About the Author:

Stephanie Victor works for Specialty Store Services, a retail fixture and display company in Chicago, USA. We have everything you need to start and grow your retail business, feel free to reach us at 1-800-871-2768 or visit


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