6 tips for upselling and cross-selling in ecommerce | Heart Internet Blog – Focusing on all aspects of the web

In a recent Heart Internet survey, we discovered that 51% of our customers have experienced lower sales during the past year.  

With the knock-on effects of Covid-19 still being felt, we understand how important it is for businesses to make those extra sales to help boost their margins. 

When it comes to ecommerce sales, upselling and cross-selling are essential tactics for gaining those extra sales. 

In this blog we reveal some top tips for offering upsells and cross-sells that really work.  

Upselling vs cross-selling; what’s the difference? 

Upselling is encouraging your customer to purchase an upgraded, and therefore more expensive, version of a product they’re already buying. 

Cross-selling is recommending additional, related products to your customer to get them to purchase more items than they had originally intended. 

With both approaches, you can utilise personalised recommendations in the form of pop-ups, additional pages during the checkout process or even follow-up emails that target specific customers with relevant products. 

The benefits of upselling and cross-selling 

According to a study by conversion optimisation specialists Invesp49% of consumers say they have purchased a product they didn’t initially intend to buyafter receiving a personalised recommendation. 

For ecommerce giant Amazon, an estimated 35% of purchases can be attributed to personalised product recommendations.

Shoppers that clicked on recommendations were also found to be 4.5 times more likely to add items to their cart and complete their purchase.

And it’s not just the extra purchase on one transaction that makes upselling so valuable. Invesp reports that 37% of shoppers that click on a recommendation during their first visit return to the site, compared to 19% who didn’t click a recommendation.

In addition, 52% of consumers reported that they would be happy to exchange personal data for personalised product recommendations – giving you the opportunity to further market to these customers.

How to upsell and cross-sell effectively 

We’ve talked about why you should upsell and cross-sell to your customers – now we want to showcase some tried and tested tips for doing this effectively and driving sales for your ecommerce business. 

1. Make it relevant 

You could be offering the most incredible product available online, but you’re never going to sell a fishing rod to someone who’s never seen a lake. 

Think carefully about your customer base and which demographics are purchasing which products, and tailor your recommendations to these customers. 

For upselling, think about the features available on different versions of a product – why might this demographic be tempted by the extra features? Show them the extra value and functionality they’ll get for spending just a little more. 

For cross-selling, think about the products you have that might complement what the customer is already buying and show your customer how the two products go perfectly together. 

For example, if a customer is buying a birthday card from you, they might be pursuaded to buy chocolates or flowers, too.  

2. Don’t overwhelm the customer 

The trick with upselling and cross-selling is to make the decision easy for your customers. Giving them too many options to choose from can cause them to switch off. 

In fact, a consumer report by SMARTASSISTANT found that 54% of shoppers have stopped purchasing from a brand because choosing was too difficult, and 42% admitted to abandoning a planned purchase because of too much choice. 

By offering just one or two upselling or cross-selling options alongside their existing purchase, you’re giving them just once decision to make and increasing the likelihood that the decision will be the one you want. 

3. Give a discount 

Talking of making decisions easy for your customers, by offering a discount on a recommended product you’re giving them an ‘exclusive’ opportunity to save some cash. 

It also adds a sense of unspoken urgency to the purchase – if they decided to come back later, they might not benefit from the discount currently on offer. 

4. Offer free shipping 

As with offering discounts, by throwing in free shipping you’re giving your customers an extra incentive to upgrade or add an extra product to their basket.  

According to HubSpot24% of consumers would spend more to qualify for free shipping. By putting a suitable, convincing product in front of them and adding the extra pull of free shipping, you could be looking at one in four of your online transactions being bigger than the customer originally intended. 

5. Choose the right time 

For upselling, you’ll want to get in there before the customer has committed to their decision – before they reach the checkout. Make sure to highlight the benefits and value versus cost of upgraded versions of your products to entice your customers. 

For cross-selling, think of your product recommendations as those extra few bits you see by the tills in a physical store – something you make a quick decision on just before hitting buy. Consider adding a step during the checkout stage offering customers a suitable extra product, reminding them of what else they could be buying. 

When recommending additional products, you can also market to customers who have already checked out. Sending a follow up email with further recommendations – including those exclusive post-purchase discounts and free shipping we already mentioned – can encourage your customers to make a return visit to your site. 

6. Upsell what already sells 

Take the hard sell out of upselling by looking at which of your products have consistently high sales already, or products that are trending. Depending on your industry, you can also consider upselling items based on the season, or any events happening throughout the year. 

WordPress ecommerce hosting – making upselling easier

Our ecommerce WordPress hosting packages come with £4,000 of free WooCommerce extensions, including powerful tools and plugins designed to help you upsell and cross-sell with ease.  

Drive incremental and impulse cross-sell purchases with cart add-ons, and offer upsells at the point of sale with checkout add-ons. 

With a host of other great features like a free pre-installed SSL certificate, a one-click staging environment for easy testing and 24/7 support from our expert team, you can start upselling and cross-selling quickly and easily knowing all your bases are covered. 



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