The Upselling and Cross-selling in eCommerce can influence your customers to buy more from your store

Up-selling and Cross-selling strategies can help you to make more money from a sale which you have already made. Technically speaking, up-selling and cross-selling help you to increase your average order value.

So, in this article, we will see how exactly you can sell more, using up-selling and cross-selling strategies. Also, we will discuss how to implement up-selling and cross-selling strategies without distracting the customer’s purchase experience.

You can increase the average order value of your online store by implementing Up-selling and Cross-selling strategies.


Here is the content line-up:

  1. What is up-selling and cross-selling?
  2. What is the importance of using up-selling and cross-selling in eCommerce?
  3. How to up-sell and cross-sell?
  4. Up-selling and cross-selling best practices
  5. What’s next?

Learn digital marketing tactics to sell better in eCommerce

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What is up-selling and cross-selling

1. What is Up-selling in eCommerce

Up-selling is the process of persuading your customers to buy an upgrade or an expensive version of their initial purchase intent.

So, up-selling can make their initial purchase more costly and valuable. When you do up-sell, you have to act before your customer makes the purchase. For example, if you are selling mobile phones, you can either encourage your customer to buy additional 128GB storage space, instead of the default 64GB storage space. Also, you can persuade them to buy a newer version of the same model. So in this way, you are trying to make that sale more expensive.

2. What is Cross-selling in eCommerce

Cross-selling is suggesting and selling complementary products to the first sale.

The customers can use these “related” products to have better user experience with their initial purchase. If we use the same mobile phone example, cross-selling is when you are trying to sell a phone cover for the mobile phone which your customer has just purchased.

35% of the Amazon sales attributes to the “cross-selling” through their “Frequently Bought Together” option with the product listings.

Do you know?

Why do you have to implement up-selling and cross-selling strategies in eCommerce?

Up-selling and cross-selling can help you to make more revenue from the customers that you already have.  So, why do we have to spend time and money, trying to sell again for someone who has already bought something from us?

It is much easier to sell to the customers that you already have

Your chances of making a sale to an existing customer are more than 50%. However, when it comes to a new customer, your conversion rate can be less than 10% in eCommerce. If someone has already bought from you, that means their purchasing behaviours more or less match with your business model.

Apart from that, since you already have data about the interests of your existing customers, you can create better suggestions to match their interests. As we have discussed in this article about modern digital marketing trends, by providing personalized content, you can increase your hit rate of making a sale.

It costs you more to acquire new customers

Getting traffic to your eCommerce store costs you money. On average, acquiring a new customer to your store is around 25 times more expensive than having a returning customer. Unless your eCommerce store is not ranked in the top of the Google search for your niche, most of your leads are generated from ad campaigns. So, if you take this ad costs in the account, the ROI for your new customers can be lesser than for the returning customers.

Additional reading – Why your Facebook ads are not working? And, how to fix them?

Returning customer spend more

Usually, repeat customers are more confident in buying from your store. So, they feel more comfortable to spend more on their subsequent orders. Therefore, if you create happy customer experiences for your returning customer, they are more likely to come back and spend even more on your store. Because they know that they can trust the products and services you offer.

All these points make it obvious that your chances of making more sales on your existing customers are high. Also, since they are willing to spend more, you can easily implement successful up-selling and cross-selling strategies for your existing customers.

How to implement Up-selling and Cross-selling strategies in eCommerce

You can implement up-selling and cross-selling strategies at different stages of your customer’s purchasing journey. For example, you can implement up-selling and cross-selling strategies with your content marketing strategies, in the product pages, and even with the after-sales processes.

Below, we will discuss your possibilities and best practices in implementing up-selling and cross-selling strategies for an eCommerce business.

Up-selling and cross-selling with content marketing

If you have a good content marketing strategy, you should already know the interests and personas of your target audience. With this information in hand, you can seamlessly integrate cross-selling and up-selling suggestions into your articles or videos.

So, whenever someone is reading your blog or watching your YouTube channel, they get to know about the related products and upgrades to the original product in focus. This is a non-intrusive way of creating up-selling and cross-selling leads. Rather than shooting your customers with tons of suggestion during a sale, you can use your content base to refer to these suggestions. This practice will provide more time for your customers to make decisions, especially for up-sales.

Up-selling and cross-selling on your product page

There are two ways to develop engagements for your up-selling and cross-selling products at this stage.

  1. Creating conversations to up-sell and cross-sell
  2. Direct suggestions through pop-ups and suggestion boxes

At this stage, you can grab the focus of your customers by creating a conversation with them. For example, when you suggest an up-selling, you can design a chatbot to build a discussion about the usage and advantages. Also, in this way, you can design a frictionless path for your customer to stay engaged with your business.

Suggesting up-sellings and cross-selling right before the check-out can also trigger the impulse buyers. For example, when you buy an older version of the mobile phone, and if you see a limited time offer for a newer version, there is a higher chance you would go for the newer version thinking it as a better purchase option.

Up-selling and cross-selling after making the sale

Don’t think that you are done after making a sale. Still, there is plenty of room for you to up-sell and cross-sell even after you made a sale.

The best way to do this is by conducting feedback surveys after making a sale. In this way, you can precisely understand your customer’s interests and spending patterns. Once you get to know the people who are happy with their purchase, you can easily send them more cross-selling and up-selling suggestions. Also, even if you find an unhappy customer, you may find a chance to suggest the up-sales which can solve their issues with the current purchase.

When you send suggestions of up-selling and cross-selling to those who have already purchased the primary product, you have to focus more on the usage of your suggestions. For example, explaining the advantages of having a robust back cover to their newly purchased mobile phone can work better now.

Up-selling and Cross-selling best practices

Here I have listed down some important points to keep in mind when you up-sell and cross-sell.

  1. A good product page should be able to create a frictionless path for your conversions. Sometimes, if you try to over-do up-selling and cross-selling, it can create a distraction, and there is a chance for you to lose your sale.

  2. Understand your audience during a sale. This is the most common and popular way of up-selling and cross-selling.  During a sale, you can accurately understand the buyer’s intentions, interests, and spending range. With this information, you can create a highly customized suggestion for up-sales and cross-sales.

  3. When the customer is in your store they are already in the mood for action. so, your suggestions can trigger quick reactions. Therefore, at this stage, you have to be more focused on creating suggestions which trigger the impulse actions. For example, a discount to add something related to their purchase to the same cart can trigger a sale by stimulating the greed for a price saving.

  4. Demonstrate the Value of your Suggestions. You might have already come across with many eCommerce sites, who just throw tons of product suggestions with their listings. Unless these suggestions have an obvious usage or relationship to the primary product listing, the customer could get annoyed with these suggestions.

  5. If you are at pre-sales or after-sales, try to describe more about the values. You can use customer testimonials, reviews, and case studies to describe the usage and value. At this stage, the customer has more time to research and come up with a logical decision. So, you need to cater to that behaviour by providing more information to support his thinking. Do not use a lot of sales pitches with your content. However, try to develop logical reasoning to support the customer’s purchasing action.

  6. If you are at the sales stage, then the customer is already in the active mode. They are focused on the primary product, and they might not be interested in researching for a different product right there. So, the best way to demonstrate the value of your suggestion is by presenting it more graphically.

What else to do after up-selling and cross-selling

The strategy of up-selling and cross-selling does not end after making a sale. You have some follow-up tasks to handle.

If you made an up-sale or a cross-sale, do not treat it as a secondary sale. Whatever you sell, that becomes a primary sale again. Design a pleasant way to keep your customers engaged even after the secondary sales. You can send them a thank you email or offer them a coupon code for future purchases.

Additional reading – How to build an amazing email marketing campaign

In this way, you can keep your customers engaged for a long time; and, they become loyal to your brand and business. Also, in return, they help you to grow your business by spending more on your store and by promoting your brand on their networks.

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