Outfitting, Upselling, and Cross-selling

These three selling techniques are the basis of a successful retail store. Learn how to do them effectively, and you’ll build a most trusting and loyal relationship with your customers that will keep them coming back - and buying from you - time and again.

Outfitting + cross-selling


Ask lifestyle questions to get an idea of your customer’s activities, interests, and hobbies. Build on one piece that the customer is interested in, and outfit around that piece - but make sure the customer goes into the fitting room with no less than three pieces, so they feel they’re able to make a considered decision.

Outfitting holds the image of the “finished look” in the customer’s mind. Even if the customer purchases one item, they can envision how that piece will work in their wardrobe.


By shopping and extending the customer’s item/outfit with other relatable goods from other departments, you are cross-selling. For example, if a customer chooses a ready-to-wear piece, you can team it with a pair of heels. Using cross-selling with outfitting helps to set up trust and a long-term relationship, converting them from a customer to a client.



Take a piece that the customer has chosen and show them different price points and options for similar products within the same department.

Use the rule of 3: Requested, Alternative, and the Dream.

  • Requested: The starting price point a customer gives or indicates towards; a product that is accessible, easy to wear or use, and can fit in various different lifestyle situations.
  • Alternative: A product that relates to the requested item; meets the same requirements, and likely has a mid-point on price.
  • Dream: A store favourite, a curated item, and likely has a higher price point. Use education on the product, such as the designer or it’s background and origin, and engage the customer on how they would feel if they owned it.

Use what you know

Share your knowledge of the product with the customer to inspire pride in their choice, the collection, the materials the product is made from. Customers are often interested in and inspired by what they learn about the product, which in turn builds trust in their relationship with you.

Remain genuine

Play to your audience and be genuine in your approach with your customers. By asking lifestyle questions to learn more about your customers wants and needs, and sharing your knowledge and expertise, you create an experience for your customers that is not pushy. In the end, it is not about the total of the transaction, rather, it is more important that the customer leaves with a piece that they love and that they understand the value of. And this means they’ll be more likely to come back again.

Maximizing the sale

Avoid buyer's remorse

The time at the register or sales desk can be the most stressful for customers. Ease their state of mind at the time of purchase by reassuring them, and making sure that they feel great about what they are purchasing.

Keep in touch

Get your customer’s updated contact information to keep them up to date with what’s happening in your store, e.g. notify them of sales, special events, or ideas of a new item that would compliment their initial purchase.

Make the moment count

Make sure the last moment the customer has in your store is the most memorable. By executing all the steps - upselling, cross-selling, and outfitting - you create return clients and not just one-time customers. These steps do not always result in added units sold, or high transaction totals, but help you build a loyal customer base.