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Shopify

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Oct 3, 2023

How to use upsells and cross-sells on your Shopify product pages

Upselling and cross-selling razor blades and shaving cream
Upselling and cross-selling razor blades and shaving cream
Sam van Hees Author photo

Sam van Hees

How to use upsells and cross-sells on your Shopify product pages

Increasing average order value (AOV) and keeping customers satisfied are the main priorities of every Shopify merchant. Accomplishing both goals ensures that eCommerce companies can improve their cash flow, increase profitability, and boost customer engagement. 

Upselling and cross-selling are key tactics to bring your eCommerce business more revenue and keep your customers happy. In this blog, we’ll explain how to use these tactics on Shopify product pages to achieve the best results. 

Cross-sell vs. upsell: What’s the difference?

Cross-selling and upselling are both tactics used to increase AOV on an eCommerce website. There are some similarities between the two methods, which is why sometimes determining when to use each approach can confuse eCommerce merchants. 

What is cross-selling?

Cross-selling involves recommending complementary items to customers already planning to buy a product. The complementary products are meant to meet additional needs that the customer might have that the original product cannot satisfy on its own. 

One of the most easily recognizable examples of cross-selling happens when you visit a fast food restaurant. The menu might display a hamburger, but then the cashier can look to cross-sell complementary products such as a drink and fries or a dessert. On an eCommerce home goods store, that might look like when a customer is shopping for bed pillows, and complementary throw pillows are also suggested. 

What Is upselling?

Upselling is a technique where merchants persuade customers to purchase a higher-priced or premium product instead of the one they previously considered. The premium product will likely offer more features or be larger than the original product. 

A typical example of upselling occurs when shopping for a new smartphone or laptop. You might have considered an iPhone 14 when it’s time for a new device. However, you’re then shown that the iPhone 14 Pro has a larger screen, a better-quality display, and a higher-quality camera that convinces you it’s worth spending the additional money. 

Differences between cross-selling and upselling

Level of Interest

Cross-selling convinces customers to purchase a product they did not intend to buy. The selling point is that by purchasing these additional products as well, they can have an overall better experience. With upselling, the customer has already expressed interest in that particular product and will simply choose a better version in the hope of receiving more benefits. 

Timing

Upselling a product has to occur at the point of sale as, fundamentally, it is a different version of the product. On the other hand, cross-selling can occur after a customer has already purchased a product and can be used to encourage them to become a returning customer. 

Tips for cross-selling and upselling

These tips will help you get the most out of your upselling or cross-selling strategies to increase conversions and AOV.

  1. Suggest affordable or necessary products

If you’re doing cross-selling, the item you suggest must be affordable or necessary. So it’s in your best interest (and your customer’s interest) to recommend products they won’t have to think twice about adding to the cart. 

If the main item costs $50, then having a complementary product or group of products in the $5-9 range might not seem like a bad option to the customer. Complementary products should also add value to the initial product. For example, if a customer purchases a high-quality camera or a smartphone, they will likely want a case to protect their purchase. 

  1. Incentivize buyers to choose the higher offer with highlights

To convince a potential customer to opt for a premium-priced product, the first step is to highlight what advantages they gain. For example, if your Shopify store sells electronic items like a fitness tracker, you can highlight features like extended battery life. You can also highlight that the buyer can upload their results to a database and receive a personalized training plan.

However, when it comes to upselling, you don’t want to highlight the differences in features between the two products. Chances are your customer has already researched before deciding the initial product was at the price point they wanted. You can also incentivize buyers to opt for a higher priced product using techniques such as BOGO (buy one get one) on the premium product.

Apple does a great job of highlighting the differences between similar products with a comparison table for comparing iPhones, Macbooks, and more.

  1. Include discounts

Customers love it when they’ve gotten a bargain. One way to do this is to offer discounts. The BOGO option in the previous example works here as well when upselling. Still, you can also offer 20% discounts on select products to appeal to the emotional feelings of customers and convince them to make the purchase. 

If you notice a customer browsing for a new frying pan, you can highlight a deep discount on a complete 5-piece set to encourage them to buy and keep inventory moving. 

For example, Caraway added a Get Free Shipping button to encourage customers to sign up for their mailing list. 

4. Leverage FOMO to induce urgency

Fear of missing out on the next deal is another trigger that can help spur your customers into a sense of urgency. Whether it’s pointing out that there are only five pieces of a popular item left available or that ten pieces of that product have been sold in the last hour, the thought that they might not be able to get their chosen product will see many customers decide to make the purchase today rather than miss out.

5. Bundle related products and categories together

Bundling related products and categories together is a good idea to increase the likelihood of a customer buying a complementary product. For example, if you notice a customer is shopping for a set of pruning shears for gardening, you can create a gardener’s bundle. The bundle could include another smaller-sized pruner of lesser value and a book full of gardening tips.

Beardbrand lets customers bundle their own products and offers discounts for the more items they bundle. 

6. Offer the same product at checkout

If your customer made it to checkout and is ready to purchase their product, is it too late to upsell them on something else? It’s the perfect time, as they have already declared their intent.

For example, if someone is buying a new collar for their pet, you can offer a personalized option at checkout for only a few dollars extra. Follow this up with BOGO offers and other complementary products; the possibilities are endless. 

7. Follow up with customers via email

Frequent communication with customers is essential to keeping them engaged and your brand top of mind. This goes when you’re attempting to increase AOV as well. After a customer has purchased a product, it’s helpful to follow up with them to inform them about complementary products they might have missed. You can combine this with customer purchase history to make the most beneficial recommendations. 

For example, if a customer has purchased a laptop and a soft protection case, you might recommend a backpack to make carrying all these items easier. 

8. Use an upsell & cross-sell app

There are a number of third-party Shopify upselling and cross-selling apps that can help you to boost your sales. This is an easy way to put some of the tips from this blog into practice!

Qikify upsell and cross sell app

For example, the Qikify Upsell & Cross-sell app has multiple features that can be used for your campaigns, such as product bundles, upsell to cross-sell (Buy X, Get Y), one-click cart upsell, and volume discounts.

How a page builder helps with cross-sells and upsells

Applying different cross-selling and upselling tactics can help to improve the customer experience and enable merchants to increase conversions and their average order value. Using a page builder can make adding these upsells and cross-sells and ensuring that everything is clearly within view much more accessible. 

A Shopify Page Builder such as Instant lets you quickly launch new landing pages with pre-built sections. The all-visual, no-code page builder is perfect for brands ready to scale.

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Start building now

Explore Instant today to start building high-converting landing pages and sections, no-code required.

Pages

Resources

Company

© Instant