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What Is Upselling And How Can It Help You Grow Your eCommerce Business

Posted by Murray Sye

on Fri, Jun 6, 2014 @ 09:27 AM

What Is Cross-Selling And Upselling And How Can It Help Your Grow Your eCommerce Business"Would you like fries with that?"

"Would you like to super-size your meal?"

The concept of cross-selling and upselling may be synonymous with the fast food industry, but many experts agree that cross-selling and upselling are a great place to start as these concepts represent one of the most significant unrealized opportunities for so many online retailers, from the biggest to the very smallest.

Upselling vs Cross-selling

Upselling is the practice of offering customers an upgraded or premium version of a product. Upselling usually involves marketing more profitable services or products but can be simply used to expose the customer to other options that were perhaps not considered. For example, you can book an economy class trip to Maui for $850, but for an additional $300, you can upgrade and enjoy the comfort of business class.

On the other hand, cross-selling means persuading somebody to buy items related to their purchase. "Do you want fries with that?" A cross-sell occurs either during or immediately after a purchase, where the customer is made aware of ways to accessorize the deal. For example, now that you've booked your trip to Maui, you can, for an additional $450, get four nights at an upscale hotel on the beach along with an economy class rental car.

Using these techniques are simple concepts to understand and can provide lots of value to your customers, enhancing their shopping experience while increasing your eCom website sales volume. It's a win, win.

Here are 5 recommended tips to help guide you in your efforts to upsell and cross-sell products and services on your eCommerce site:

1) Understand your product: One of the cardinal sins of cross-selling is attempting to offer unrelated items to the customer. Unrelated product suggestions are simply not helpful for your customers and only serve to distract them with additional noise and clutter while they're on the buying path. Keep your (potential) customer on target with relevant recommendations.

2) Location is very important: Two of the most effective locations are the product pages and the view cart page prior to checkout. However, you can employ cross-selling and upselling anywhere on your site, but you should experiment, however, with other locations to see what works most effectively. Your home page and product category pages, for example, are effective locations for a "Most Popular Items" list that might be worth testing.

3) What do your customers have to say: One way to cross-sell and upsell successfully is to cite specific recommendations or "top-rated" suggestions from customers, professionals, or experts. Displaying review content and recommendations from customers who have actually purchased, goes a long way to build credibility and trust for those items.

4) Bundling works: Bundling discounts is a common tactic to incent shoppers to purchase not just a single item, but a whole set of complimentary items that can go together. Offering a price break on bundled items will certainly make this tactic more effective.

5) Customer service goes a long way: One of the best ways to encourage repeat sales is by providing excellent customer service. Cross-selling and upselling will be much easier with repeat customers after providing an initially positive eCommerce experience.


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Flickr Photo Credit: by Brave Heart
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Written by Murray Sye

Murray is the CEO and Creative Director with the award-winning
Toronto HubSpot agency partner, WhiteSpace. You can
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