Merchants, marketers, and entrepreneurs in every niche have relied on upselling and cross-selling strategies for ages to get an instant boost to revenue.

If you don’t use these time-proved tactics, you are losing your best chance to earn more money and establish trust with customers. In this article, I will explain the difference between cross-selling and upselling and give some suitable examples to understand how simple tricks can bring significant additional profit to your company. 

What Is Cross-selling?

The concept of cross-selling is to encourage a customer to spend more money by buying additional items that might complement an initial purchase.

Example: Remember those wireless headphones you wanted to buy? Right below them on the product page, you may have been displayed images for accompanying items like an earbud case, ear hooks, or AirFly transmitter. 

In many cases, cross-selling involves purchasing products you need (like a case for AirPods) but that might have slipped from your attention. A skilled salesperson (or the webstore that delivers cross-selling recommendations) can help ensure you make an additional purchase to your original one.

The example of cross-selling

What Is Upselling?

It’s easy to confuse cross-selling with upselling. Upselling is a marketing ploy used to get a customer to spend more money by buying a high-end alternative to an initial purchase. 

Example: When you add a product to the shopping cart, the webstore can offer you to extend your warranty so you effectively guard your item against something going wrong. Yes, the Protection Plan is one of the upselling tricks. 

So, why does it work? If you’re purchasing something expensive, it makes sense to protect it from damages such as liquid spills, electrical surges, and drops. You hope you’ll never break your smartphone, tablet, laptop, or AirPods but accidents happen to all of us. Accidental damage protection brings you peace of mind. That’s powerful.

The example of upselling

How Is Upselling Different from Cross-selling?

Upselling and Cross-selling are the two extremely powerful marketing tactics wherein the sales representative inspires the customer to spend more by buying a premium/upgrade version of the product (when it comes to upselling) or a related product/service (when it comes to cross-selling). This not just increases your online sales and revenues but also provides maximum value to customers. 

Look at the comparative chart for the sake of clarity. Here are briefly presented the differences between upselling and cross-selling:

The comparative chart of upselling & cross-selling strategies

What Are the Benefits of Cross-selling and Upselling?

Cross-selling entails several benefits for retailers including:

🔺 Increases revenue by 35% on average.

🔺 Introduces new products that some of your customers are unaware of.

🔺 Increases customers’ level of satisfaction with your brand.

🔺 Builds customer loyalty.

What are the overall benefits of incorporating the upsell technique in your sales strategy? Upselling has the following benefits:

🔺 Deepens understanding among your brand and customers.

🔺 Helps your company gain a higher CLV (Customer Lifetime Value = a net profit that you get from a customer over the whole period of their relationship).

🔺 Improves current customers’ experience.

How to Put These Strategies Into Practice ?

If you know how to code, hats off to you. But many merchants don’t have the necessary skills to build an upsell and cross-sell processes into their online shops. So the Shopify Upselling & Cross-selling app is a good variant. You just install the app, determine the best products to upsell and cross-sell, automate performance, and track down the results! No technical and design skills are needed. 

Intrigued? Let’s dive in! 


Say YES to plainness! 

It takes less than 2 minutes to set up special blocks with upsells and cross-sells. On top of that, the app has some cool features such as the ability to deliver smart recommendations wherever you like – a product page, shopping cart, checkout – to create a memorable journey for your visitors and of course seriously increase your revenue. Win-win-win. 

Sounds great, right? It is. So keep reading! 

Based on stats of one of our clients, upselling and cross-selling recommendations had a WOW add-to-cart rate. Of those shoppers who added the upselling & cross-selling products to their cart, 144 people purchased them, generating $13,339 (!) revenue in 16 days.

The impact of upselling & cross-selling strategies on your add-to-cart  rate


When it comes to putting cross-selling and upselling marketing strategies into the practice, begging the question, “What should I upsell/cross-sell?” 

Here are some ideas: 

What should you upsell & cross-sell? Example number one.

✔️ Offer related and recommended items: Customers Who Like This Item Also Like; Related Content; People Also Bought, etc.

What should you upsell & cross-sell? Example number two

✔️ Recommend the most popular products on your online shop: Trending at; Trending Right Now; Best Sellers; Cult Classic, etc. 

What should you upsell & cross-sell? Example number three

✔️ Inform about new arrivals: New Products; What’s New; New Arrivals; New Collection, etc. 

What should you upsell & cross-sell? Example number four

✔️ Allow a customer to compare the product with similar items: Compare With Similar Items; Similar Look Products, etc.

What should you upsell & cross-sell? Example number five

✔️ Offer products that complement each other: Style With; No Look Is Complete Without These Items; Complete Your Look; Complete Your Beauty Routine, etc. 

Expert Tip: Why not combine an upsell AND cross-sell offer? First, recommend your customers to a more expensive item. Then, deliver a second recommendation for additional accessories! How to use this “offer both” strategy? So I’ve created the article “Powerful Examples of Upselling & Cross-selling” with 6 extra upsell & cross-sell examples from companies that are actively using it. Take a peek at their examples for inspiration!


Your possibilities are nearly endless. To improve the customer’s perception of your brand offer upsells and cross-sells wherever you like: Product Page, Cart Page, Or Thank You Page

The example of upselling & cross-selling blocks' location on your site

✔️ Create upselling & cross-selling recommendations on a product page.

The example of upselling & cross-selling blocks' location on your site

✔️ Deliver smart and relevant offers on a cart page.

The example of upselling & cross-selling blocks' location on your site

✔️ Thank You Page is a perfect location for upsells & cross-sells. 

Note: Approach every new visitor like a new relationship and display upsell and cross-sells in static blocks, sliders, or popups, using a selection of pre-defined outstanding designs for the most popular themes.


If you ran your upselling and cross-selling campaigns, congratulate yourself. It’s not easy!

But it doesn’t end there.

You need to make sure your offers are still relevant. The easiest way to do this is to keep an eye on your conversions and see what people are clicking on and what are missing. analytics allow you to track what types of recommendations work best and optimize them for better performance. 

Track down the results and try new offers. Most importantly — have fun with it!

Before I Say Goodbye

Sometimes a line between cross-selling and upselling is blurred. But in any case, product upselling and cross-selling recommendations are one of the easiest ways to boost conversion rates and average order value, extend your e-commerce platform capabilities, and deepen your relationships with your customers.

Additionally, it’s SO easy to implement that it doesn’t make sense not to try it. All you need to do is to install, set up, and run. It’s gonna take you a little while.

If you’re ready to give it a short, grab the Shopify Upselling & Cross-selling app and launch your first upselling & cross-selling campaign. And remember: our responsive technical support is always happy to help. We won’t rest until everything is perfect!

Good luck!