Why Customers Would Happily Spend More Than They Intended

The question we must ask ourselves is this: How can we induce customers to buy more frequently and increase their purchase sizes?  The answer is to use a psychological tactic that motivates people to spend more.


Let’s first pretend you’re having a storewide clearance on seasonal items.


Next, you check your last six month’s sales to calculate the average amount people buy in a transaction.  For this example, let’s say your average sale is $55.   Knowing that, you decide if customers buy $75 or more of the clearance items, you will give them twenty extra chances to win the drawing.   Spending $20 over the average sale is not prohibitive for most customers.  But for your store it could move excess inventory.  Plus, 20 extra tickets per qualified sale will be negligible in cost to you and highly motivating to the customer.




The first and most important idea is to know your average sale. The second is to have the right prize.


First, check your average sale to see what you can realistically bump the required sale amount to for the extra 20 tickets.  If you set the bar too high, they will feel defeated and not buy.  On the other hand, if you make it too easy then you may not move as much inventory as you wanted.


Here’s a caveat.  If you have items with significant price differences, it could skew your average sale.  So you must be careful how you calculate the average sale.  For example, if a large part of your inventory sells for less than $50 but other popular items sell for $200 or more, that will inflate the average sale size.  And if that inflated figure is used as the average sale, it will inhibit some customers from spending more. The point is to carefully calculate your numbers.


As for the prize, it should be desirable, have a high perceived value, and be high quality.  Keep an eye out for special wholesale buys you can use as prizes.  Ask neighboring business owners to contribute a nice prize to your drawing in exchange for mentioning them in your advertising. If it is a restaurant, they could give you a coupon for a free meal.  The restaurant will break even since the winner will probably bring along a friend to eat with them.  Now the restaurant has an opportunity to woo these customers for more business.   Additionally, consider service business prizes such as carpet cleaning or oil changes.  The sky’s the limit.

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