Cross-Selling & Up-Selling: Examples, Ideas & Strategy Templates

8min.

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Cross-Selling & Up-Selling: Examples, Ideas & Strategy Templatesd-tags
04 January 2024
Looking to boost your sales without breaking the bank? Well, selling more to your current customers through cross-selling and up-selling might just be the trick. Read on to discover effective strategies and tips for convincing your customers to add more products to their carts. PLUS Over 10 cross-selling and up-selling examples!

8min.

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You want to increase your sales in a smart way, without spending much (preferably nothing at all). Luckily for you, there are two clever sales techniques – cross-selling and up-selling – that can help your cash register ring more often than it is used to.

The main goals of cross-selling and up-selling? Well, there are four things that will improve when you create the right strategy. You will

  • make your customers happy,
  • increase customer lifetime value, and
  • provide a better shopping experience, but most of all
  • sell more of your products and/or services.

source: giphy.com

Here’s how to do use both sales techniques without the risk of annoying and, eventually, losing potential prospects.

What’s Cross-Selling & Why Does It Work?

Cross-selling is when you encourage your customers or clients to buy additional products or services that complement the ones they are already purchasing from you. It’s a way of telling your customers: “Since you like this item, you may also enjoy this one!”

Cross-Selling Example

Who likes washing their shoes? Almost nobody. Vans knows that. Therefore, when this brand’s clients want to buy Vans sneakers, they can throw a Water & Stain Shield into their e-cart for as little as $10.00.

example of cross-selling on Vans website

source: Vans

This cross-selling option is featured on the product page. However, if you happen not to add it along with the sneakers, Vans gives you a second chance at the checkout stage when finalizing your purchase.

cross-selling example on Vans e-store at checkout

source: Vans

Why Does Cross-Selling Work? 4 Psychological Factors

Relevance, convenience, and FOMO are simple examples of how neuromarketing can help you with cross-selling.

These basic psychological factors are likely to encourage your customers to buy more when you present them with additional products related to what they originally wanted to purchase.
  1. People are more likely to buy something if it’s related to what they already have or want.
  2. When you offer additional products at the checkout, it feels convenient simply because it makes it simpler to get everything a customer needs in one go.
  3. Offering a bundled deal or discount for purchasing a combination of products can make customers feel like they’re getting more value for their money, especially if this allows them to avoid shipping costs.
  4. If customers believe they might miss out on something beneficial or exclusive by not adding the suggested items to their cart, they may be more willing to cross-buy.

How to Use Cross-Selling: Tools, Campaigns, Strategies

You dedicated you want to increase your sales through cross-selling – way to go! Now, let’s see how to integrate it into your website.

  • How to cross-sell effectively: Analyze your customer needs, track purchases, and measure your cross-selling campaigns.
  • What tools to use: Marketing automation tools
  • What the tools do: They help you monitor your customer behavior and segment them to create personalized offers. They do that by gathering and analyzing customer data taken from various sources (eg. CRM, website, email, and social media).

When you have those insights, you may group your customers based on their characteristics, preferences, demographics, or buying behavior.

Tools that help you create effective cross-selling campaigns also track customer actions, so you can observe how customers respond to your offerings, messages, and ads.
cross-selling on Amazon

example of the cross-selling section on Amazon

Cross-Selling Example: A 5-Step Campaign Idea

An effective cross-selling campaign consists of five steps:

STEP #1: Analyze your customer needs. Use marketing automation tools to gather essential information on your prospects so that you can segment them according to the category you find useful:

  • Demographic segmentation based on age, gender, income
  • Behavioral segmentation based on a purchase history or preferences
  • Geographic segmentation based on the location (tip: perfect for cross-selling products useful in for a specific climate/region)
  • Psychological segmentation based on lifestyle, interests, and values
  • Product-based segmentation based on the type of items the prospects usually order
  • Life-stage segmentation based on whether the prospects are students, parents, or retirees

STEP #2: Identify the products from your offer that the prospects falling into the segments you create may be interested in that complement what is in the customer’s shopping cart.

💡 Cross Selling Example #1: a customer adds running shoes to their cart – they may like to get reflective shoelaces or a running belt
💡 Cross Selling Example #2: a customer adds photo paper to their cart – they may like to get a photo tape or a photo album
💡 Cross Selling Example #3: a customer adds a bag of coffee beans to their cart – they may like to get coffee filters or a coffee grinder

STEP #3: Highlight the practical benefits of the additional product/s so that the prospect feels more encouraged to buy it/them.

💡 Cross Selling Example #1: Those reflective shoelaces not only make you safer when running in the evening but also look awesome. And with a running belt, you can easily carry your keys and phone while jogging.
💡 Cross Selling Example #2: The photo tape makes sure your pictures stay put, and a photo album keeps your memories neat and pretty.
💡 Cross Selling Example #3: Pair your coffee beans with filters for easy brewing. And a coffee grinder makes your coffee taste even better by grinding the beans fresh.

STEP #4: Keep the cost of the extra products reasonable. Make sure the items you try to cross-sell are affordable for the customer.

STEP #5: Track certain indicators to see if your cross-selling campaign brings you more sales. Do it by measuring:

  • Sales data – check if there’s an increase in overall sales and specifically in the suggested additional products
  • Conversion rates – see if more customers are buying the recommended products after the initial purchase
  • Average order value – monitor if the average amount spent by customers goes up through the additional purchases
  • Customer feedback
  • Repeat purchase behavior – check if customers who accepted your cross-selling suggestions come back for more
  • Click-through rates – check how often customers click on your cross-selling suggestions
  • Customer segmentation analysis – analyze data to see which customer groups respond most positively to the cross-selling products

Take your time to regularly review these metrics and compare them over time as this will help you determine if your cross-selling campaign gets you closer to increasing your sales.

The good news is that introducing a cross-selling module to your e-commerce is not that complicated. You may, for example, add it at the bottom of a product or category page, just like we did for one of our clients who reached out to us to increase their sales:

cross-selling sales technique used on one of our clients' webiste

source: zKlocków case study

Check out our case studies to find other sale-boosting ideas we came up with and used on our clients’ e-commerce websites.

What’s Up-Selling & Why Does It Work?

Up-selling is when you suggest that customers get a better, fancier, or more advanced version of what they’re planning to buy. It’s like saying, “For a bit more money, you can get something even cooler.” Up-selling is all about offering customers an upgraded option that comes with extra features or benefits.

Up-Selling Example

You want to get access to the Disney+ movie library, which brought you to their website. As you check out the pricing plans, you notice that for just an extra $6, you not only become a subscriber but also enjoy an ad-free experience and the ability to download movies for offline viewing. Doesn’t that sound like a great deal for just a few extra bucks?

up-selling example on Disney+ webiste

source: Disney+

The above is the perfect example of up-selling in action: You have your mind set for a particular product/option/service, yet you see that if you spend more, you will get more features. It’s tempting, even if you don’t necessarily need those extras.

Why Does Up-Selling Work? 4 Psychological Factors

Up-selling works because it satisfies your customer’s desire for better quality, triggers a fear of missing out, creates a sense of value, and builds trust by guiding them toward choices that suit them best. Adding the up-selling module to your product pages is one of the best ways of putting psychology and UX design into action.

  1. People naturally want better things. When you suggest an upgraded option of the product they already decided to spend money on, it strikes a chord with the desire for improved quality or advanced features.
  2. People don’t like missing out on good things. Up-selling makes your customers feel special like they might miss out on something amazing or a better product if they don’t go for the upgrade.
  3. Offering a more advanced option at a slightly higher cost makes customers feel they are getting a better deal. The perceived value of the upgraded version can outweigh the additional expense.
  4. When you recommend an upgrade, it builds trust. Customers feel confident that you’re steering them toward a choice that will meet their needs better, improving their overall satisfaction.
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How to Use Up-Selling: Tools, Campaigns, Strategies

  • How to up-sell effectively: analyze your customer’s preferences, buying history, and engagement to make more personalized up-selling suggestions.
  • What tools to use: up-selling software or CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tools

Up-Selling Example: A 5-Step Campaign Idea

An effective up-selling campaign consists of only five steps:

STEP #1: Start by analyzing your product range to identify the items that come with a few versions.

💡 Up-Selling Example #1: For an online electronics store, find smartphones with higher storage capacities or advanced camera features.
💡 Up-Selling Example #2: In a subscription-based software service, find premium packages with additional features or more extensive capabilities.

STEP #2: Group your customers based on their preferences, buying history, and engagement with your brand. This way it will be easier for you to give the right up-selling suggestions.

💡 Up-Selling Example #3: Group tech-savvy customers who frequently order the latest gadgets and accessories from you.

STEP #3: Introduce a time-sensitive promotion offering a discount or exclusive deal for upgrading to a higher-end product.

💡 Up-Selling Example #4: Offer a 20% discount on upgrading to a smartphone with enhanced camera features for customers who make the decision within the next seven days.
💡 Up-Selling Example #5: Introduce an exclusive one-month trial of the premium software package at no extra cost for customers who upgrade their subscription within the next two weeks.

STEP #4 and STEP #5 closely resemble those in the cross-selling campaign. This means that you need to make sure that the up-selling suggestions fall within the price range of your clients. Additionally, monitor the campaign’s results to determine whether customers genuinely want the superior and more advanced products you picked up for them.

Final Thoughts: Choosing between Cross-Selling and Up-Selling

Cross-selling poses no risk to your customers – they can decide whether to add extra services/products or stick to the items initially in their shopping cart. In both cases, they still make a purchase. The same flexibility applies to up-selling – if an advertisement for an upgraded version of a product they already own doesn’t convince them, they can continue with the basic subscription.

So, what’s the bottom line? It seems like the best way to go is to mix things up and use both strategies. Throw in a bit of e-commerce charm with a subtle advertising message, and you’ve got yourself the winning combo. And yes, that’s perfectly possible to do both on the same product page! Just take a look at how Sigma does that.

Imagine you want to buy new photo lenses for your camera. Let’s say you after some wide lenses, 16MM, so you like the below model.

Sigma lens

source: Sigma

However, when you scroll down, you see that Sigma suggests two other lenses, which are a bit more expensive than the one you’re interested in, yet still match your camera mount, are wide, and have a high aperture for low-light performance – just like the lens you want to buy.

up-selling on Sigma website

source: Sigma

And if you don’t go for the more expensive and advanced lens option, there is always a chance you will upgrade your chosen lens with some additional, less expensive accessories like protectors or lens hoods, nicely listed below the up-selling module:

example of cross-selling on Sigma webiste

source: Sigma

And even if you ignored both sections, it was worth the try because, let’s be honest, it didn’t cost Sigma literally anything to show you those additional items.

Last but definitely not least, if you’re struggling to increase your sales, reach out to us. Apart from adding the cross-selling and up-selling modules, your website may benefit from a UX audit. Perhaps there are some other UX-improving changes that we can suggest to you, ultimately helping your cash register go ka-ching way more often than it does now.

This is an update of the article first published on September 7, 2020.

Author
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Author
Delante

Delante is an online marketing agency specialized in generating website traffic from search engines and paid ads (SEO / SEM). Over 80% of our clients are from rapidly growing e-commerce industry.

Comments

  1. Personally, I’d say that cross-selling is more likely to increase sales – people have less time to rethink the purchase decision and they often go with the instinct. Therefore, they’re more likely to buy more.

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FAQ

1. What is marketing automation?

Marketing automation is running marketing campaigns using dedicated professional software. Marketing automation tools are designed to gather information about consumer behavior, process it and then based on it create personalized advertising messages. The main goal is to understand customers’ needs, increase conversions and, as a result, improve sales effectiveness.

2. Is cross-selling and up-selling the same thing?

No. These are two different sales strategies. Cross-selling involves offering the customer to add additional products to the shopping cart, which are related or complementary to the originally ordered item. Up-selling, in turn, suggests that the customer should buy a more extensive, better, but also more expensive version of the same product.

3. What are the benefits of introducing cross-selling and up-selling strategies in an online store?

The most important benefits of cross-selling and up-selling strategies are:

  • building a good relationship with customers,
  • lower costs compared to winning new customers,
  • higher sales,
  • greater customer satisfaction with the purchase.

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