Are you looking to increase your average order sales? Getting customers to spend more in your store can be challenging. However, you can encourage them to buy more of your products by utilizing cross-selling techniques. Plus, you can persuade shoppers to spend more money on their existing purchases with upselling.
In this post, we’ll take a closer look at upselling and cross-selling and how these strategies can benefit your store. Then, we’ll explore four scenarios when it makes sense to use them. Let’s get started!
An Introduction to Upselling
Upselling is when you encourage customers to choose the more expensive, premium, or enhanced version of a product. What you’re offering is essentially the same item they want to buy. However, the value of the sale will be higher.
For example, if you’re buying a television, you can spend a bit more to get a larger screen size:
Upselling can also involve securing warranties and guarantees or offering repair packages with your product. Alternatively, customers might spend extra on limited editions.
Most people encounter upselling in their everyday life. For instance, when paying for a small or medium coffee, you might be persuaded to spend a little more for a large cup. Similarly, when you buy a burger, you might be tempted to add extra bacon, sauces, or cheese. As you can see, it’s still the same product—you’re just getting an enhanced version of it.
An Introduction to Cross-Selling
Cross-selling involves encouraging your customers to buy something else along with the primary product. This additional item will usually complement the initial product.
For example, if you’re buying a mattress, a duvet cover or bed frame might be suggested:
For businesses, cross-selling is an excellent way to earn extra revenue while adding value to the customer’s buying experience. The important distinction between upselling and cross-selling is that the latter is not offering shoppers an alternative. It simply informs them of separate (but often related) products that work well together.
When to Use Upselling and Cross-Selling in E-Commerce (4 Cases)
Now that you know the difference between cross-selling and upselling, let’s explore some cases when it makes sense to use them.
This is a useful cross-selling strategy that is particularly attractive when the bundle works out cheaper than buying the products individually. It’s common to see this in e-commerce stores like Amazon.
For instance, when you go to add an item to your cart, you’re sometimes presented with a group of related products that add more value to your purchase:
With bundles, you can increase your average order size. Plus, since you’re helping customers save money, this strategy can also help you build trust and loyalty.
You can take advantage of cross-selling and upselling opportunities by either recommending complementary products or suggesting upgrades. For a cross-sell, you can display related items using phrases like “you may also be interested in” or “other customers viewed”:
You can tailor your recommendations to the visitor’s interests, based on other items they’ve viewed or purchased on your site. This enables you to personalize the user experience, which can lead to more conversions.
For upselling, you can simply show similar offerings to the ones your shoppers are viewing. For instance, you can display different versions of the same product:
An excellent way to implement this is to show similar products before shoppers add items to their carts. That way, it’s convenient and accessible, and customers won’t need to scour the website to find additional products they might need.
Alternatively, you could include recommendations on your checkout page, giving visitors one last opportunity to tweak their orders before completing their purchases. You can also display these suggestions after a customer posts a review for an item they’ve bought from your store.
Comparing products side by side can be a great way to encourage customers to spring for an upgrade. This is often used on websites that sell electronics or software, where the same product might have multiple models or plans:
With this strategy, visitors can easily view the price difference between items and see the benefits of choosing a higher-priced product. This can be especially effective when there isn’t too much difference between prices, as many shoppers might be willing to pay a little more for better quality.
Shop the Look
If you run a lifestyle or fashion store, a Shop the Look feature can help you spur additional purchases. You can use high-quality images or create videos that show people wearing your items.
This can inspire shoppers to purchase these extra products in order to achieve the same effect:
IKEA employs a clever cross-selling strategy using an “As seen in” section. Here, visitors can see an interactive image of the product they’re viewing, arranged within a room that features many related items. All users have to do is hover over product images to find out the name and price, and access the product directly from that page.
For instance, when viewing a wardrobe, you can see a room with a lamp, bed, basket, and duvet cover along with the primary product:
This provides a visual, engaging experience for customers. Plus, it can also add more value, as it helps shoppers to picture the product in their own homes. As a result, they might continue browsing the store to see what else they’ll need or what other items will look good with that product.
Solving Customer Problems
Although we don’t recommend using upselling during customer support exchanges, cross-selling can be an excellent way to present additional products as solutions to problems. For instance, if you run a cosmetics store, you might encounter a customer who says that a product made their skin oily. In this case, you could recommend a similar product, but one that is better suited to the customer’s skin type.
In fashion retail, it’s common for shoppers to get in touch regarding problems with the fit or size of a product. Perhaps a customer expected a clothing item to be baggy, but instead, they’re finding it tight. Here, you could suggest a different product that matches their requirement.
Your cross-sell can be a way to resolve issues and complaints. This enables you to build brand loyalty, improve customer retention, and provide an excellent user experience (UX).
Encouraging customers to spend more in your store is often a tall order. However, this can be easier when you implement upselling and cross-selling strategies within your website. This way, you can boost sales by recommending complementary products and enhancing a customer’s initial purchase.
Do you have any questions about upselling and cross-selling in e-commerce? Let us know in the comments section below!
Photo by Marques Thomas on Unsplash
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