Window Shoppers: Turn them into Customers [Part 2]

How to turn window shoppers into customers

One of the previous articles published concluded that it is possible to turn window shoppers into customers. It didn’t go into the how’s or the why’s, but it did explain the who’s. Window shoppers have a variety of reasons why they are not ready – or willing – to purchase. Determining their openness to a sales pitch – or indeed, further conversation – is the primary step to establishing whether or not they can be turned into potential customers. Once that has been determined, the question is then: how?

How to convert a window shopper into a customer

In essence, any person who walks into a store is a potential customer. It is the purpose of the customer service representative to close the deal.

This begins and ends with one term: connect.


Connect is the first stage in any customer journey. It involves greeting customers, engaging them, and building a rapport with them from the moment that they walk into the store. It is sales staff’s job to connect with potential customers. This is true for every type of customer that walks into a store, be they a regular, an unpleasable customer, or a window shopper.

As we have discovered, most people are willing to wait up to 2 minutes before they are offered assistance. Essentially, that means staff has 2 minutes to establish a conversation with customers the moment they walk in.

How to Connect

One of the first things that staff needs to learn is how to not give a prospective customer the option of shutting down the conversation straight away. This mainly means not asking the ‘Can I help you?’ question. Why? Because this is a closed question, all the window shopper has to do is say ‘No’ and that’s it. Not the best way to start a conversation.

Instead, train staff to ask open questions that enable the shopper to answer in more detail:

  • “Hi there, have you been here before?” leads to “Let me show you around!” or “Welcome back, let me show you our new arrivals!”
  • “Welcome to [insert store name here], how are you?” opens the conversation to further small talk.
  • “Hi, I noticed you looking at [insert products here]…” this sort of conversation starter allows for staff to talk about product benefits and features, opening the conversation even further and hopefully sparking interest in the window shopper.

Developing these types of conversational tactics will also impact the sales pitch. Pitching becomes easier when staff has established a conversation with a customer. Things can go wrong at any stage in a conversation, however, and it’s important for staff to realize how to make their pitches. If the conversation has been about purple socks, for example, it makes little sense to suddenly start talking about the specials on tennis rackets. Common sense rules supreme: it’s vital to adjust the sales script to the customer.

Another thing that shouldn’t be forgotten is your unique selling point (USP). Giving customers, window shoppers or otherwise, a reason why they should make their purchase with your business and not the competition is the best way to convert them. It’s not always easy to put your USP into words, but it’s important to do so.

So, what makes window shoppers different from other conversions?

Nothing. The big secret to converting window shoppers into customers is to treat them like any other customer that walks in. All the tricks of the trade that staff learn when talking with customers, closing deals with regulars, can and should be applied to window shoppers – after all, you won’t know if they’ll become customers unless you try it out, and at the end of the day, isn’t that they point?

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