There’s no shortage of marketing tactics you can implement to attract new visitors to your website. However, it can be difficult to encourage your existing buyers to make larger and more frequent purchases. If that’s your goal, cross-selling is a strategy that can make your customers happier while also growing your revenue.
In this article, we’ll introduce cross-selling and explain how it works. Then we’ll talk about five ways to implement this technique in order to drive sales. Let’s dive in!
Cross-Selling: An Introduction
Cross-selling is a marketing technique that involves selling an additional product or service to an existing client. For example, a customer might head to a brick-and-mortar store to buy new glasses. At the checkout counter, the cashier offers to sell you some sunglasses in addition to your current purchase, as well as cases for each pair (perhaps at a discount).
This looks very similar in an online store. At the checkout stage, you might see a popup suggestion listing similar items to the products you’re about to buy:
Instead of manually researching for additional items you might want to purchase, cross-selling does the work for you by presenting personalized recommendations. This tactic can increase the amount of products or services a customer buys, and can take many different forms on e-commerce sites.
Upselling is another marketing tactic that is similar to cross-selling. While cross-selling recommends additional items, upselling encourages buyers to upgrade the product they’re already buying, and get a more expensive version instead:
Both upselling and cross-selling are effective approaches to driving online sales. They can be implemented separately or used together (by upselling customers an improved product or service, while also showing them other options they might be interested in). As a result, customers are presented with many different product suggestions, and offered a more personalized experience.
Why Cross-Selling Can Benefit Your Business
Cross-selling is an excellent growth strategy for just about any online business. It can benefit both you and your customers in numerous ways.
Let’s say that a returning buyer is browsing your website. One of your cross-selling tactics exposes them to a product they weren’t aware of before—leading them to purchase a new item.
This results in an improvement in their experience, as well as an extra sale for you. Your revenue goes up, and their satisfaction increases. This tactic is therefore mutually beneficial to your customers and your business.
The key advantages of cross-selling include:
- Increased sales revenue: A visitor who buys more of your product or service is adding to your monthly sales.
- Increased loyalty: Buyers who feel a strong connection with your business are more likely to turn into loyal customers.
- Improved Customer Lifetime Value (CLV): People who feel understood by your brand have a higher chance of sticking around for the long haul.
Overall, successfully implementing cross-selling can improve conversions and build a stronger devoted customer base for your online store.
5 Tips for Implementing Cross-Selling to Drive Sales
Now that you know what cross-selling is and how your e-commerce store could benefit from this technique, it’s time to explore how it might fit into your marketing strategy. Here are five ways to include cross-selling on your e-commerce website.
1. Recommend Similar Products
One of the most common cross-selling strategies is to recommend products similar to what the buyer is already browsing:
Suggesting a similar product does two things: it personalizes the customer experience while increasing the chance that they will purchase another item. Research from Salesforce shows that buyers who clicked on a recommended product were over four times more likely to add the item to their cart and make a purchase.
You can implement item recommendations by adding a “related products” section to each of your product pages. You can also do this on other pages of your e-commerce site, so visitors can quickly jump between options they might find interesting.
2. Suggest Product Bundling
Bundling is when you group similar products or services people might buy together, often at a discounted price:
This creates an incentive to buy more products packaged together, instead of purchasing each one separately. A classic example of this strategy would be a McDonalds meal—if you buy a drink, a burger, and fries individually, it will cost you more than if you buy one of the bundled meal options.
Creating bundles for your products also increases their perceived value. You can accomplish this through creating groups of like products and offering them as package deals. For example, if someone is purchasing a toothbrush from your e-commerce site, you could also recommend toothpaste and floss at a discount.
3. Send Email Follow-Ups
After a customer buys something online, they typically receive an email confirming their purchase. These emails can be another way of marketing to your customers. You can use them to recommend products or services that are similar to what they just bought:
This is a non-intrusive way to leverage cross-selling in your followup emails. Presenting relevant products in the footers or margins of your messages is an excellent way to draw attention to them.
Email marketing tools such as Mailchimp provide you with the features you need to send emails to your customers. They also allow you to customize your messages, so you can feature the products each customer is most likely to be interested in.
4. Implement a Threshold
The threshold technique incentivizes people to buy multiple items in order to reach a specific quantity of products or dollars spent. For example, you might get free shipping if you spend $50 or more:
Alternatively, you might offer a free product once the customer meets a minimum purchase threshold. This kind of incentive encourages customers to add additional items to their carts. In turn, you can create a loyal customer while increasing your revenue.
To implement a threshold strategy in your online store, you might offer free shipping and other rewards—such as a discount or extra item—in return for spending a certain amount.
5. Add In-Cart Cross-Selling
One of the best ways to achieve cross-selling is during the checkout process. If a user has made it all the way to checkout, that’s a great time to propose additional items to complete the purchase:
There are numerous ways to include cross-selling at the checkout stage. If your site is built with WordPress and WooCommerce, a popup tool such as CartPops can enable you to easily set up product recommendations for your buyers. CartPops specifically lets you customize your Call To Action (CTA) button, and choose the type of products you want to promote.
Having site visitors make purchases is already a win for your business. Cross-selling allows you to propose other options customers might be interested in, which has the potential to drive sales even further. This technique enables you to increase the amount you make from each transaction, while providing more value to your buyers.
Do you have any questions about how to implement cross-selling in your marketing strategy? Let us know in the comments section below!