The right high-margin gift and novelties add-ons can significantly increase sales order value (Hint: put them near your cash wrap).

There’s a secret among successful retailers that they hate to share with others…but among the cool crowd, everyone knows what this secret is.


If you want to make more money, you need to incorporate the right gift and novelties items into your inventory assortment to consistently increase your sales order value and average units per sale.

I know, I know…you think this is impossible. But trust me. I’m spilling the beans on what some of the most successful retailers do so that, like them, you can be in the cool crowd.

Introduce Stylish, Affordable Items Near Your Cash Wrap

Retail items at cash wrap One of the main reasons merchants like Kitson are so successful is that they constantly keep their consumers engaged. This means offering a fun assortment of inventory not only in the main space of the store, but also at the cash wrap – a.k.a. the checkout area, near your registers.

Another way to look at this is to consider how big box stores like Target and Walmart stack their checkout aisles with impulsive buys. How many times have you added a few more things to your shopping cart when checking out at stores like this? Too many, I’m sure, and yet you can apply some of these tactics to your own store for stronger sales success.

Consider how other stores – such as Kitson and yours – can use the checkout area as prime space to merchandise affordable, trendy and necessary items that your customers can’t resist. Mixing everything from small glass perfume jars to iPhone cases, to kitschy sticker sets and mugs can help keep your customers curious and – more importantly – shopping. The catch is to go beyond the ordinary, which is exactly what Kitson has done to successfully gain more sales-per-transaction thanks to a fun variety of items near their checkout area.

Looking for Gift + Novelties to fill your shop for the holidays? Check out these 6 product trends.

While Walmart may sell Kleenex, you can consider selling stylish tissue holders or coin purses that can hold anything your customers can dream of. And if Target is selling random toys for kids, consider novelty items that will make the perfect present for your customer’s niece or even themselves. In other words, go beyond the ordinary and yet…stick to the basics. Stock your shelves with more whimsical versions of items that customers need and want every day.

Keep the Price Points Low & the Margins High

Kitson coffee mugs are great high-margin items for retail stores. Another secret that only the best retailers know is that their key to success isn’t just inventory assortment alone. It’s the right inventory at the right prices that are marked up with the best margins possible. (More on why high margins are important.)

Novelty coffee mugs are a great example of this.

You can purchase novelty mugs that are perceived to be $20 plus at retail, but your cost could be as low as $3. Depending on your customers, you could also buy a $1 plastic cup at wholesale and retail it for $10, an affordable price that won’t break the bank for most customers and yet still gets them excited about what they are getting. More importantly? Your markup is outstanding, and that, friends, is the key to making lots and lots of money at retail.

Items to Increase Sales

Vintage perfume bottles are great items to increase sales order valueFortunately, finding high-margin, stylish items that make great impulsive buys and increase sales order value  is easy to do at ASD Market Week. Among the fun finds you can expect include:

Candles | As identified in ASD Market Week’s recent lifestyle report Introducing candles that have a nostalgic theme to them or are in this season’s hottest colors – including maroon red, tans, rusts, pewter and muted grays – can definitely add value to your average unit per sale.

Irreverent, Lettered Mugs | This is a great place to show some personality with funny, irreverent mugs (and even pitchers too).  These will make your customers smile and deliver huge returns.

Vintage Perfume Bottles | Smaller bottles and glass jars are trending in a big way - and easy for a customer to grab on line waiting to pay.

Want to find on-trend Gift + Novelties products that will get your customers excited, your cash wrap area stocked with fun finds, and your cash register ringing up more than ever? Join us in Las Vegas for the next Gift & Novelties at ASD! Register Here for ASD Market Week to get your free ticket to the largest, most affordable gift and novelties B2B trade show in the U.S.

By Nicole Leinbach Reyhle

Nicole Leinbach Reyhle is co-founder of the Independent Retailer Conference (which takes place inside ASD Market Week), a columnist for Forbes, and publisher of online magazine Retail Minded.