Think about the line at the grocery store. When was the last time you didn't at least consider buying a pack of gum? Big retailers experiment with the positioning their goods constantly and small business can implement a few of their merchandising tips too. The global beauty chain Sephora, for example, is a master of maximizing these mini purchases. Their checkout line is like a corral filled with trial size goodies. Just small and cheap enough to inspire people to throw a few into their basket on the way. These are products you'll find all over the store (a store that will give out free samples of everything, no less), but miniaturize them and throw them near the register and they become irresistible.
1. The people buying things are already there. Your customers have already decided to make a purchase, so it's the best time to subtly encourage them to make more purchases by prominently displaying the things they might want. Try showing off some of your newest products near the register so that your regulars will take notice of something they might pass by while browsing.
2. It adds urgency to the purchase. While wandering around a store, it's easy to put something down and pick it up later. But it doesn't feel that way while waiting in line at a register. Simply being in line creates a mental time limit for a person's buying decision, which is often the difference between "maybe another day" and "I'll take it."
2. The extra $2 adds up. People get excited when they see little "deals." They are also more likely to buy easy edibles or drinkables like candy or a bottle of water or even a day-old danish, so don't be afraid to stock some chocolate bars near the counter even though your bread and butter might be fair trade home decor.
3. You'll engage with your customers. There's nothing that solidifies a good customer experience than actually having a conversation, so put those conversation pieces near the register or get creative with your display. Even if they don't buy anything extra, you've made a personal, hopefully memorable impression.