A Guide to eCommerce Upselling & Cross-selling Strategy

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you are visiting a website thinking that you are just going to go on there to purchase a certain item, but actually end up buying more than that?

For instance, you visit Ali express and you want to only buy a new laptop, but then you see a recommendation being advertised for you to buy a headphone so you end up purchasing the product as well?

Salt Lagos Website Home Page Upselling

SaltLagos.com Home Page

Well, what has actually happened is that you have fallen into the trap of cross-selling strategy of that website and ended up spending more than you initially planned for.

Upselling and Cross-Selling is an art of sales strategy where you introduce/recommend complementary or better products to your customer according to their need and what they are currently interested in.

According to Forrester research analysis, upsell and cross-sell strategies are solely responsible for an average of 10-30% of e-commerce business revenues.

In 2006, Amazon reported that cross-selling and upselling contributed as much as 35% of their revenue.

Upsell and Cross-sells are an essential part of eCommerce that we outlined in our 10 Key Features of a Good eCommerce Website series of article.

What is Upselling?

Upselling is a sales technique in which a seller offers the customers to purchase a more expensive product – upgrades or other add-ons, in an attempt to make a more profitable sale.

Upselling includes:
Related products
Choosing several similar products with better features and higher prices and put them on the product fly page.

Free shipping
Research has shown that expensive shipping is what typically keeps users from finishing their purchase. You could provide a free shipping option to motivate users to make a more expensive purchase.

Comparison lists
Upselling works best when it shows how users will benefit by paying more. Introduce extra features available for more expensive options or provide social proof. The beauty of this upselling trick is that the benefits you list outshine extra expenses for the user.

Deals of the day and popular products
Indicate a list of the most popular products or services among your customers and display them on the page. Emphasizing the most appealing or trending products is another strategy on how to improve your bottom line as people tend to trust the opinion of the majority.

What is Cross-selling?

Cross-selling is the technique of selling an additional product or service to the existing customer at the time of shopping. Cross-selling is used to gain more revenue by showing products related to the purchased product to the current customers.

Cross-selling includes:

Frequently-purchased-together items
Advise the customer about the ways they can complement their order based on their purchase activity.

Trial products
Offer users some trial products in return for their orders.

Additional services
Think of a list of goods or services that would go well with the current version of the product. The user is browsing for a laptop on your website? Come up with setup offers, so the customer is able to use their device right after the purchase.

Upselling Vs. Cross-Selling

Let’s clear that up with the help of this example.

Suppose, a customer is buying a phone.

Upselling strategy: A customer selects a phone, offering a phone with a bigger screen, better camera, upgraded features, and, thus, a higher price.

Cross-selling strategy: A customer selects a phone, suggesting a screen protector, phone case, or headphones.

The basic idea here is to sell more products to the customer of the current consideration at the same time.

Benefits of Upselling and Cross-Selling for business growth

Increase online revenue
Increase Average Order Value
Promotion of products
Discourages churn and improves customer loyalty and experience
Develop more leads
Offers convenience and flexibility
Improves customer service
Easy to sell an unwanted and undesired product

For every advantage, there is a corresponding disadvantage. Below are disadvantages of Upselling and Cross-selling

Disadvantages Of Using Cross-selling And Upselling Strategy?

Cross-selling
It always involves one element of risk which is, it can disrupt the relationship with the existing customers.

The customer might not be interested in the offers or may feel that you are compelling them to make the purchase.

Upselling
It offers a more expensive product or higher quality product of the current product or service.
Convincing the customers that a higher quality product is more valuable than a low priced product is not easy.

Hot spots to leverage cross-selling and upselling

Below is a list of website and inbox spots to hit with your cross-selling and upselling deals:

product page;
checkout page;
thank-you page;
transactional email.

To conclude

Using the tips and inspiring examples, you will be able to build an eCommerce marketing strategy that boosts your income and keeps your customers pleased.

You can start by finding your best-selling products or more expensive items — then look for related products that would directly interest those customers, and present them on the product page or during checkout.

If you are yet use upselling and cross-selling in your web store, it would not hurt to try.

What product will you upsell and cross-sell first? Let us know how it goes in Comments!

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