cross selling
Chen Zissu
Chen Zissu

How to Use Cross-Selling to Generate More Ecommerce Revenue

Have you ever heard of cross-selling?

It’s a very effective technique for generating more revenue for your ecommerce business. 

In fact, it’s so effective that it’s responsible for 35% of Amazon’s profits.

What is cross-selling

Cross-selling is a sales technique that involves getting a customer to spend more money by offering them to buy a product that’s related to the one they’ve already decided to purchase.

Examples of cross-selling include offering a matching belt to a person who’s bought a pair of men’s shoes and selling an extended warranty plan to someone who’s looking to buy a smartphone.

The importance of cross-selling

Ecommerce businesses that take advantage of cross-selling can reap a number of benefits. Cross-selling allows you to:

  • Improve average order value and customer lifetime value – Recommending products that complement the product customers were initially interested in buying is a great way to boost the average order value of your online store and improve customer lifetime value.
  • Increase customer satisfaction and retention rates – By helping customers make better purchasing decisions, you improve overall customer satisfaction and make sure customers keep shopping with your business for years to come.
  • Generate more sales and revenue – Finally, cross-selling also enables you to generate more sales, boosting your online store’s revenue.

The difference between cross-selling and upselling

While they might seem similar, cross-selling and upselling are two completely different techniques.

Cross-selling is based around offering customers products that are complementary to the one they’re interested in purchasing. An example of cross-selling would be offering a wireless mouse to a customer who’s decided to purchase a laptop.

Upselling, on the other hand, aims to offer customers a product that’s more expensive than the one that initially caught their interest. Using our laptop example, upselling the same customer would involve offering them a pricier, more powerful laptop.

Both of these techniques aim to increase average order value and improve the customer experience, but they do so in different ways.

difference between upsell and-cross sell

Image source: dotdigital.com

Where should you cross-sell

There are a number of places you can cross-sell customers and generate more sales for your ecommerce business.

These include:

Product pages

The product page is a great place to try to cross-sell to customers.

By visiting a particular product page, the customer has already shown interest in the product, so showing them other products that complement the one they’re interested in buying is an excellent way to increase the value of their order.

Most online stores implement product page cross-sells in the form of a related products section located below or to the side of the main product.

cross selling product page

Image source: ae.com

Pro tip: Check out Upsell Anything if you’re looking for a quick way to add cross-sell and upsell offers to your product pages.

Checkout page

Shoppers that reach the checkout page are already prepared to make a purchase. This makes the chances of a successful cross-sell at checkout very high.

Apart from offering complementary products on the checkout page, you can cross-sell by offering add-on services such as express shipping, insurance, or gift wrapping.

rei cart cross sellingImage source: rei.com

Email

You can also display cross-selling offers in the transactional and promotional emails you send to your customers.

The order confirmation email, in particular, is a great place to try to cross-sell to customers. 

This type of email has a very high open rate, which shouldn’t come as a surprise since everyone wants to know whether their latest online purchase went through.

ralph lauren cross sell email

Image source: smartrmail.com

Best practices for effective cross-selling

In this section, we’re going to go over a few best practices you should keep in mind when cross-selling to your customers.

Map out the customer journey

Before you start cross-selling, you’ll want to map out your entire customer journey to learn how shoppers navigate your website and what actions they take before completing a purchase.

This will give you a better idea of when you should be displaying your cross-sell offer to ensure that it will be as effective as possible.

Make a reasonable, relevant offer

Once you figure out the right timing for your cross-sell offer, you’ll need to make sure that what you’re offering to customers is actually reasonable and relevant to their interests.

The products used in your cross-sell offer need to complement the one the customer has already decided to buy.

Keep it simple

Giving customers too many choices can often backfire and make them feel anxious about making a purchase altogether. This is known as “the paradox of choice”.

You can avoid this by limiting your cross-sell offer to two or three products. This will make sure that customers won’t be overwhelmed by the large number of choices and will help them make their purchasing decision more easily.

Create bundles

Bundles are very popular among customers because they’re a convenient and affordable way for shoppers to get everything they need. This makes them the perfect candidate for a cross-sell offer.

Simply bundle two or three complementary products together and offer the bundle at a price lower than the combined cost of the individual products contained within it.

This kind of offer will definitely grab your customers’ attention and get them thinking about adding more products to their cart.

rei bundle cross sellingImage source: rei.com

Set a free shipping threshold

Everyone loves free shipping.

Setting a free shipping threshold is an excellent way to improve the effectiveness of your cross-sell offers. It’s also a very effective method for increasing average order value.

Once customers see that they’ll be able to qualify for free shipping if they add more products to their cart, they’ll be much more likely to take you up on your cross-sell offer.

Use cross-selling to generate more revenue for your ecommerce business

Cross-selling involves offering customers products that complement the one they’re already looking to buy.

It’s a very effective sales technique for improving average order value and customer lifetime value, increasing customer satisfaction and retention rates, as well as generating more sales and revenue for your online store.

You can display cross-sell offers in a number of places, including your product pages, the checkout page, and your transactional and promotional emails.

For effective cross-selling, make sure that your offers are relevant, reasonable, and that they don’t overwhelm your customers.

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