menu

Does The UK Shopping Experience Warn Us About The Future Of Upselling?

Does The UK Shopping Experience Warn Us About The Future Of Upselling?
Retail

On a recent trip, the PSFK team kept seeing over and over again a sales tactic everywhere we went in this 'Upsell Knation'.

Piers Fawkes, PSFK
  • 14 september 2011
On our recent trip across Europe there seemed to be a regular theme that popped up in Britain. Wherever we went, every store and service seemed to be trying to sell us the next product or upselling us for just a little more. In the newsagents WH Smith at Newcastle Airport before the women scanned the bottle of water we were trying to get for the flight to London, she asked if we wanted any sweets or other candy. Then as she scanned the item, she let us in to a ‘secret’ about our £1.79 bottle — ‘You know that with 2 bottles the price is only £2.29?’ she said.
There wasn’t any signage around the store to let me know this — it was a last minute sales tactic that we kept seeing time and time again in this ‘Upsell Knation.’ Subtle suggestions kept cropping up, such as the: ‘Do you need some chocolates?’ we were offered as we presented our credit cards.
Above the Virgin Atlantic check in at London’s Gatwick airport there was a proud billboard suggesting that travelers pay an extra £30 now to get a seat with extra legroom and security, and at Newcastle Airport they offered any passenger the fast track through security for an extra £3 (when I asked if there was a family lane I was told there was if I wanted to pay £12!).
Also, we noticed that instead of telling airplane travelers on big screens how many minutes until their gate closed at Newcastle Ariport, the authorities told people how long they had left to shop before they had to go to their gate! In the travel space particularly, there seemed to be a soft sell to get some extra service for little bit more. The Eurostar train we took from London’s St Pancras station to Paris’ Gare Du Nord had four different classes – standard, standard premier, business and first class. Standard Premier was about 20% more in price than the Standard, had a few less seats per carriage, offered a light meal with wine and free magazines and papers (but actually there were no newspapers offered!).

The spirit of reeling people in seemed to be everywhere. When we did some tourist stuff, we found that the London Eye Ferris wheel offered a Fast-Track system which helped us skip the queue and get our own pod.

Of course we understand the tactic of the upsell, but when it’s applied to nearly every aspect of a shopper’s journey does it reduce the overall experience? British readers (and visitors) — have you noticed this? What do you think?
Trending

Genetics Startup Is Working To Create A Completely Personalized, DNA-Based Range Of Products

Health
Technology Today

The PSFK Holiday Gift Guide 2016

Based on a year of research by PSFK Labs, we curated a list of innovative and unique holiday gifts

Food Today

Minute Maid Opens A Store That Sells Nothing

The beverage company opened a pop-up shop that encourages customers to write letters to their parents instead of buying a gift

Trending

Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Retail 2017

See All
Entertainment Today

Samsung And Viceland Partner For A Virtual Reality Documentary On The Syrian War

The White Helmets film uses VR to immerse viewers in the everyday conditions of the war-torn country

Design & Architecture Today

These Designs Bring Modern Architecture To The Humble Birdhouse

Artist Douglas Barnhard has imagined a series of designs emulating the work of architects such as Frank Lloyd Wright and Joseph Eichler

Related Expert

Andy Hobsbawm

Internet of Things

Mobile Today

Nine Technologies To Invest In When It Comes To Retail [Future Of Retail]

Retailers are leveraging assistive technology to help employees in their daily tasks and customers on the sales floor

Travel Today

Acura Cockpit Envisions The Future Of Autonomous Travel

The car brand has built a proof that offers a sneak peek of the self-driving vehicle experience

Retail Today

How Artificial Intelligence Is Enabling Anytime Shopping & On-Demand Support

Retailers are leveraging advanced technology to relieve associates from mundane tasks, while better assisting customers

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Retail 2017
Transformation Strategies For Customer-First Business
NEW

PSFK Op-Ed december 1, 2016

Communications Officer: What This Holiday Season Means For Millennial Shoppers

Dallas Lawrence of the Rubicon Project shares why holiday cheer is all about likes, views and retweets

PSFK Labs december 1, 2016

Retail Spotlight: Home Depot Reimagines How Employees Conduct Tasks

The home improvement retailer puts the customer first by initiating local fulfillment centers and simplifying freight-to-shelf inventory management

Syndicated Today

NYC Map Calculates Economic Benefits Of Every Tree

TreesCount! maps all the greenery in the five boroughs and even figures out how much money it saves the city

Fashion Today

Create A Perfectly Tailored Shirt Using Just Your Phone

UKYS has created an application to get accurate measurements of buyers through a few simple pictures for custom shirts

Technology Today

Tiny Home Robot Turns Switches On And Off

The miniature device attaches to the side of an appliance or switch to enable remote control through a person's phone

Design december 2, 2016

Why Nest Doesn't Get The Holidays

PSFK founder reacts to the damaging effects of poor email marketing

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders
NEW

Travel december 2, 2016

Parka Hides And Charges Portable Devices

Bolt is a jacket that lets people carry and charge their various electronics without the need for an outlet

Food december 2, 2016

Machine Printer Uses Coffee Drips To Create Intricate Portraits

The Coffee Drop Printer uses a large canvas to design these unique images

No search results found.