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If your non-retail business enjoys regular foot traffic, you may have the potential to increase your sales revenue by offering retail products to your existing customers. From hair and nail salons to professional offices, if your business is already set up to manage transactions from customers, adding a retail segment could augment your bottom line.

This is especially true if your customers often spend time waiting in a lobby area, and it can be a method to entice customers who typically wait in their cars to come in early, giving you more of chances to upsell your business. Here are just a few ideas.

Vending machines

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In businesses where people tend to wait five minutes or more for service, providing a convenient option for them to eat or drink while they wait increases customer satisfaction and retention. If you have a professional office in a business complex, adding refrigerated or hot food vending machines to your lobby is one way to bring additional foot traffic from surrounding offices. Just conveniently display your latest sales or specials in the lobby area, and professionals that came for a quick snack or beverage may be enticed to engage with your sales team to find out more.

If you’re not willing to do the legwork of purchasing and managing your own vending machines, there are companies that can manage this process for you. You may not make as much in vending machine profits, as a large percentage will go to the management company, but you’ll still get the chance to increase foot traffic and customer satisfaction. Additionally, if you’re in an office complex, you may need to check your lease or speak with your landlord first to see if there are restrictions that might prevent you from installing machines in your desired location.

Related merchandise

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If you manage a business that enjoys routine foot traffic, you can earn additional income by offering merchandise related to your business. For example, if you have a dance school in Naperville, IL along with a small dedicated space for merchandise, you can sell commonly needed items such as clothing, beauty or personal care items, common electronics like phone chargers or earbuds, or even school-related necessities. If you have a nail salon, designating a shelf in the lobby with high-end soap, lotions, or nail care items would be an easy sell, since you already have a point-of-sale system in place.

The most successful way to implement this strategy is to think about what items will save your customers time by not having to make an additional purchase elsewhere. One of the best ways to turn a profit selling related merchandise is to find a convenient liquidation vendor, such as Walmart liquidation. Major retail stores like Walmart box up customer returns into pallets and auction these items in bulk, which means you can often get merchandise for pennies on the dollar.

After carefully inspecting the items for quality and then offering them at a discount, you can further enhance your customer’s experience by saving them both time and money doing something they were going to do anyway: walk through your door. Depending on your business and the type of merchandise, you may even be able to provide co-branded packaging, gift baskets with multiple items, or package deals.

Help a starving artist

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If you prefer to maintain a certain ambiance in your lobby or waiting area, another option is to feature local artwork available for sale or consignment. This can include paintings, sculptures, textiles, furniture, or crafts, and this tends to give your customers a positive impression about how your business interacts with the local community.

The “buy local” slogan is not only popular in the food industry. Many customers gain satisfaction from knowing that money spent on local craftspeople and artisans tends to stay in the community rather than being transferred to a major corporation.

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