The Art of The Up Sale Part 1: Upselling, Cross-Selling, and Related Products

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Getting lots of traffic to your store is great, but do you know what can be even better? Getting the most out of each and every sale. Too many businesses focus all their attention (and budget) on attracting as many shoppers as possible instead of looking at ways to maximize the value of those who decide to proceed with a purchase. If you’re not maximizing the potential value of each purchase you could be losing out on revenue.

In this article, we’ll explore some of the ways you can leverage the considerable power of upselling and cross-selling to increase your average order value and customer lifetime value across the board.

Customer Lifetime Value Whitepaper

Successful Upselling

Upselling is when you convince your customer to purchase a more expensive item, add-on, or upgrade that will increase the value of the sale. This could be as simple as offering a newer or more premium model of the product they’re considering.

In both eCommerce and brick-and-mortar retail, you want to make sure your upsell recommendations are relevant to the purchase at hand. If you’re selling laptops, for example, you’ll want to offer your customers the opportunity to purchase a faster processor, more memory, or a better graphics card. This can be done both before and during checkout—the goal is simply to increase the value of the sale being conducted.

While it can be tempting to show your customers every possible upgrade and add-on, presenting too many choices could cause decision paralysis and endanger the sale. You can avoid this by limiting the number of recommendations presented during the purchase process and restricting these to only the most relevant items and upgrades.

Pro Tip: Use this cross-selling tactic to sell off select inventory and low-stock items.

Effective Cross-Selling

Cross-selling is when you convince a customer to purchase a product associated with a product that they have either already purchased or are in the process of buying. A practical example would be a kitchen supplier suggesting a whisk and oven mitt to someone purchasing a baking pan.

Just like upselling, it’s important that the products you offer in your cross-selling attempts are relevant to your customer. Otherwise, you may end up distracting or even frustrating them. To amp up your cross-selling efforts, consider offering a bundled discount on products related to the item being purchased.

Cross-Selling in Action: Related Products

We have only to look at Amazon to see how effective the marketing of related products can be. Amazon pioneered a wildly successful approach to cross-selling by using the buying behaviors of their customers to suggest relevant products. Their algorithms focus on suggesting items to customers based on what they have bought, what other customers have bought, what customers have recently viewed, and more.

Interested in learning more? Check out The Art of the Up Sale Part 2: Checkouts and Check-Ins.

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