The best place to start is with the question – ‘Would you like fries with that?’ Confused? Ok, let me explain. ‘Would you like fries with that?’ is a sales technique 

credited to McDonald’s Restaurants. It emerged at a time when their customers were purchasing burgers but little else. Wanting to increase the turnover and profitability of their restaurants, research suggested it could be achieved simply by increasing the number of items purchased by existing customers. The same research indicated this solution would cost less and require less effort than what was needed to attract more customers. So, staff were instructed to ask those who only ordered a burger – ‘Would you like fries with that?’ and overnight the sales of fries, soft drinks and sundaes went through the roof. 

Since then, this sales technique has been adopted by retailers across the world. So, if you were to purchase a pair of polished leather shoes from a store, you can expect to be asked if you would like shoe polish or spare laces with your purchase. Even online retailers have adopted this principle by using auto pop-ups to suggest related merchandise to what customers are purchasing before they checkout. 

Insight into consumer buying behaviour can help explain why this technique is so successful:
• The main purchase decision generates the most objections. Once this decision is made, additional related items are much easier to sell.
• Consumers forget to purchase related items or may not be aware of them unless prompted.
Now, we all know salons don’t sell burgers or fries. But replace the burger with a treatment or service and fries could be a cosmeceutical treatment cream; products that help maintain or continue to improve skin condition between salon visits. 

To answer the question of importance, you only need to look at the money Australian consumers spend on beauty products. According to research published by Mordor Intelligence Pty Ltd in November 2016 – the Australian cosmetics market was worth $4.98 billion in 2015 and is projected to grow to $ 7.76 billion by the start of this year. 

Now, that is a lot of products that promote, maintain, or improve skin condition. So, if consumers are not buying these products
from a salon, they must be shopping elsewhere – and that’s from supermarkets, department stores, pharmacies and on-line. 

To read the rest of this article, download the current issue of Professional Beauty.

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