How to boost sales and take your e-commerce business to the next level? 

There are two ways:

  1. you attract new customers. 
  2. you strengthen relationships with existing customers and sell more to them. 

A common e-commerce entrepreneur devotes more than 80% of their budget to acquisition. It’s unusual when you consider that 40% of an e-commerce store’s revenue is generated by 8% repeat customers

But there’s more: it’s much easier to keep current customers than to attract new ones (about five times easier, in fact). 

That’s crazy, right?

E-commerce giants like Amazon, Apple, Sephora use upselling and cross-selling techniques and convert like crazy (think billions of dollars!)

These rules, tips, and tactics can help you explode your e-commerce conversions and take you a few steps closer to success. 

In this guide, I’m going to uncover for you:

  • What upselling and cross-selling are
  • How to get the most out of upselling and cross-selling (4 core rules)
  • How to boost sales through upselling and cross-selling (3 proven tactics)
  • How to put these strategies into action 

Let’s do it!

Here’s a table of contents if you want to jump ahead.

What’s upselling, cross-selling, and the difference between the two?

It’s a good question!

Upselling is when a merchant or a recommendation engine suggests an upgrade or premium version of the product that has already existed in the cart. The goal of an upsell offer is to increase the dollar amount of the entire purchase and to introduce shoppers to products that might better suit their needs. Cross-selling has the same goal – increase the Average Order Value – but it does so through offering complementary products. 

Instead of recommending upgrades, expensive items, or other add-ons to the purchase, you suggest additional accessories or related items. 

Here’s how upselling is different from cross-selling:

Here's how cross-selling deffers frm upselling

Which is better: upselling or cross-selling?

They both concentrate on improving customers’ shopping experience and getting more sales. But it’s worth noting that upselling makes up much more online sales than cross-selling – about 20 times more based on PredictiveIntents

In this article, we’re going to talk about the two tactics together. But even still, it’s worth keeping in mind that upselling is more effective than cross-selling. 

How to get the most out of upselling and cross-selling?

Before creating upselling and cross-selling recommendations to uncover revenue opportunities, it’s important to understand 4 core moments:

#1. Be relevant

Personalized recommendations are a key feature of websites for upselling and cross-selling. Suggest products your customers may be interested in. For instance, if a customer is looking at a coat, there’s a good chance they’ll like the same coat in a new color. 

When you recommend items you think your visitors will love, you improve their shopping experience and maximize your sales. 

Customizing recommendations for each shopper will increase their engagement and give them a sense of importance.

Take it from Lancôme, their product recommendation box is designed to meet each user’s specific needs and wants.

Personalize product recommendations

It helps a customer to find what they actually would like to purchase or gives them more options if they still haven’t been able to make up their mind. 

So, what’s the takeaway here?

Add personal touches to your customer’s experience. Even small details like “Inspired by your browsing history” or “Recommended for you” can be enough to make your shoppers feel like at home and incentivize them to buy more. 

#2. Be tactful

Bombarding your customers with upselling and cross-selling offers, page after page may hurt overall conversions and damage customer perception of your company. 

Some specialists believe that the more recommendations you incorporate into your webstore, the higher the opportunity of making a purchase. But critics of the approach claim that featuring too many suggestions distract from the message of the page and risk getting on customers’ nerves. 

It bears repeating: the mission of upselling and cross-selling is to convince your customer that your suggestions will be of real benefit to them. 

You can choose the “quality over quantity” approach and carefully plan where to locate widgets. Alternately, you can incorporate them across the entire webstore, but do so skilfully, locating them below the fold or in the sidebar. 

#3. Be reasonable

Customers think about your upsells from one perspective: “How much does it cost?” If your product recommendations are too expensive, they won’t bite. 

Here’s a general rule: upsold products shouldn’t increase the purchase total by more than 25%. The lower the cost of the recommended product, the easier it is for the customer to think “Why not?” Similarly, don’t try to cross-sell to many products at once.  

#4. Be credible

Provide customer reviews products being upsold or cross-sold. Headings like “Cult Classic”, “Best Seller”, or “Top Pick” lend credibility to your products and nudge shoppers towards purchasing it. 

Use social proof

Some webstores inform their customers in real-time when someone purchases an item they’re interested in. For instance, “Laura in Twin Peaks just bought a T-shirt.” This creates a sense of urgency and can incentivize shoppers to either buy or explore other items.

Okay, now you know four effective upselling and cross-selling rules, it’s high time to reply to the question “How to drive more sales through upselling and cross-selling?” 

How to use upselling and cross-selling to stand a better chance of success?

There are 3 ideal points for cross-selling and upselling:

  1. Before customers purchase
  2. During the checkout process
  3. After customers have made a purchase

Now, let’s explore some of the tactics that may not only lead to an increase in your revenue but enhance the relationship you have with your customers when you recommend them products or upgrades they enjoy and receive a lot of value from. 

#1. Upselling and cross-selling on product pages

Here’s an example of how Apple upsell your customer on the product page. By demonstrating the items like this, shoppers can compare different options and evaluate all the available bells and whistles that upgrading will provide. It’s simple but effective.  

A product page is a goof time to present the benefits that upgrading will provide

Now, let’s look at ways to implement cross-selling recommendations into your webstore. 

One of the popular methods is to showcase a carousel of products at the bottom of the product page. “Complete the look” or “Frequently bought together” boxes encourage shoppers to add relevant products to their purchase, while “Others also bought” product lists appeal to human curiosity. So, customers are at least likely to discover new stuff, if not to add some of those products in their bag.

Also, you can remind your would-be customers what they have viewed during the shopping session. “Recently viewed” or “Recently purchased” strategies help your website’s visitors quickly return to items they’ve previously shown interest in. 

#2. Upselling & cross-selling on the checkout page

The shopping page provides a ton of opportunities for upselling and cross-selling. 

In the great example from K’ehls, once the buyer adds the product to the cart, the webstore provides them with complementary offers. 

Always offer an upgrade and complementary products

Ecommerce experts know the shopping cart and checkout process capitalizes on the impulsiveness of buyers and is a perfect time to tempt users with products you recommend that they will love.

#3. Upselling and cross-selling after purchase

Abandoned cart email is your opportunity to bring your customer back for the products they loved, but didn’t purchase. 

Post-purchase is a golden time to sell more

Many brands send thank you or follow-up emails after someone has purchased an item, offering products that might pair with it. If someone has viewed the same product several times, you can send them emails asking if they’re still interested and deliver similar things with a tiny price difference.

You can provide them a coupon or free shipping or create a sense of urgency by means a time-sensitive offer. 

Recom.ai helps you put upselling and cross-selling strategies into action

When you install Recom.ai – Upsell & Cross-sell, you’ll discover new ways to grow your business. Our app helps you promote your store’s products, encourage repeat purchases, and boost customer loyalty. 

Here’s how:

  1. Provide your customers with smart recommendations at every stage of the shopping journey.
  2. Offer an upgraded version of the product the user has already added to the cart.
  3. Deliver complementary and alternative product suggestions.
  4. Use a smart and simple rule system to maximize the accuracy of offers.
  5. Incentivize your customers to make a purchase through a discount. 
  6. Track what cross-selling combinations work best and timely improve your marketing strategy

In this subtopic, you’ll learn the basics of Recom.ai and get some ideas for achieving your marketing goals.

First things first, our app integrates with many popular platforms like Shopify, Magento, Woocommerce. After you install, you can start creating product recommendations. 

We get you several easy ways to recommend your products:

  1. Personalized product suggestions

Recom.ai can automatically predict which items your customers will love, but… A recommendation system is great but they need direction from you. Always assign related items for each product via a flexible rule system. 

  1. Highlight your bestseller and new arrivals

Make customers’ buying decisions easier by drawing more attention to popular and new products. 

  1. Amazon-style Frequently Bought Together strategy

Drives customers to add more products to their order and deliver complementary products that are typically purchased together with the item currently in-view. 

  1. Use special offers

Everyone loves a bargain. That’s why you can try putting on special offers and discounts for new and current customers. Our app showcases a beautiful and simple pop-up box when the customer clicks on “Checkout”. Thus, you allow them to discover more advanced or feature-rich products at a discounted price.  

  1. Recently viewed

For returning visitors, use a recently viewed tactic to give them an easy way to come back to products they’ve previously shown interest in. 

Ready to add personalized product recommendations to your website? Here is our support team supperot@exto.io to help you get started. 

Wrapping it up

Now you know what upselling and cross-selling tactics are and how to use them no matter how or the size of your business. 

Make a mental note, putting product recommendations in your store:

  • Tailor your suggestions and deliver only relevant items. When you showcase products that suit their needs, the more likely they are to buy – and come back again. 
  • Choose the “quality over quantity” approach and carefully plan where to place cross-selling and upselling widgets. 
  • The lower the cost of the recommended product, the easier it is for the customer to think “Why not?” Thus, keep your upsell offers to less than 25% of the total cart value
  • People trust products with reviews. Provide customer comments on products being upsold or cross-sold. 

You have three chances to upsell and cross-sell to your customers: before, during, and after purchase. Be sure to leverage the power of upsells and cross-sells at every stage of the customer journey. 

Finally, don’t forget to take advantage of our app – Recom.ai – Upsell and Cross-sell