Many responding qualified their response with comments like – only when it’s not busy and when it does not affect other customers.
The second question about the success newsagents have with up-selling recorded 7.4% of respondents saying they are very successful and 29.4% indicating they are moderately successful. Seven respondents qualified the answer indicating that it’s challenging to be consistent. Click on the image for details.
My sense is that the majority of newsagents aspire to up-sell but few do it with consistent success. I also think that when asking about up-selling newsagents tend to think of it as pitching something across the counter more so than configuring the shop floor to drive up-selling to existing shopper traffic.
It is one thing for the channel and its suppliers to want more traffic in newsagencies for up-selling and another entirely for newsagents to achieve success with this.
I have been thinking about up-selling more since the ANF sees this as an opportunity flowing from their endorsement of the Hubbed bill payment platform to newsagents – as indicated in their recent letter to me.
The survey response does not provide comfort that newsagents want or are committed to resourcing their businesses to make the most of up-sell opportunities that may flow from additional traffic. The ANF needs to do more than just to want the traffic for newsagents.
One challenge is the nature of shopper traffic a typical newsagency counter sees:
- Newspaper customers want to get in and out quickly. Many become frustrated by any transaction that slows them.
- Some lottery customers will wait in line while others will not buy unless the line is short.
- Magazine customers can vary: weekly shoppers want a fast transaction whereas special interest customers seem less stressed.
- Card customers can vary from wanting to lay and get out quickly to others who are happy to talk.
- Ink customers usually want time to help them get the right product.
Shopper preparedness to wait varies from high street to shopping centre and from city to country. Waiting matters as not all transactions can be done in seconds, particularly if someone has a question about a bill as could happen with Hubbed.
Up-selling in a newsagency is not as simple as would you like fries with that? No, we have no fries product just as we don’t have a small core product list like at a fast-food outlet.
Given the lack of consistency across newsagency team members, my preference is to use the store itself to drive up-selling, using the business to set consistency. At the counter, on the way to the counter and on the way from the counter. In structuring the shop for this the pitches are made to all shoppers and not only a certain type.
Newsagents who want more traffic need to have a plan for how they would make the most of the opportunity. Just wanting the traffic is not enough.