Smart Cross-Selling Strategies To Boost Sales For Your Ecommerce Store
  • By: Ricky Hayes May 7, 2021

Seven Smart Cross-Selling Strategies To Boost Sales For Your Ecommerce Store

There are many benefits of increasing average order value for your business. First, you don’t have to invest additional money into driving a higher volume of sales. Second, getting your existing customers to buy more from your business helps win their trust and promotes loyalty. 

Today, many online brands, including Amazon and eBay, implement strategies to improve their ROI without investing extra money in their sales and marketing efforts. 

Luckily, increasing your average order value is easier than you think. According to research, the probability of selling to an existing customer is more than 60% ( which is less than 20% when you try to sell to a new customer). Another study proves that up to 80% of business profits will come from your existing 20% of customers. 

So instead of wasting all your resources on acquiring new customers, you can consider squeezing the most out of your existing clients. 

Cross-selling is something all of us have experienced (sometimes even without knowing that the brand is trying to cross-sell their stuff to boost ecommerce sales) at some point.

How many times have you upgraded your meal at McDonald’s when a counter guy asks you if you want to add fries with your meal? Several times, right? 

Similarly, When you visit Amazon, you see a list of product suggestions at checkout pages. For example, if you add pasta to your cart, you’ll see recommendations for shredded cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, or pasta sauce. 

But if you think cross-selling is all about increasing profit margins, let us tell you it is more than that. It’s about offering top-notch service to customers by helping them identify your other products and services they might need. 

So, the best cross-selling strategy is the one that focuses more on providing an impeccable user experience instead of boosting ecommerce sales. 

Remember, you’re leaving a lot of money on the table if you’re not capitalizing on cross-selling strategies. 

Read on to know how implementing the best cross-selling strategies can improve your customer’s buying experience and result in more sales and conversions for your business. 

What Is Cross-Selling?

Cross-selling is a marketing tactic that encourages people to purchase complementary products along with whatever they have come to buy in the first place. 

For example, if someone buys pencils from your store, you might offer them other office or school supplies (a pencil holder or a stationery pouch) to go with them. 

To achieve this, stores usually follow the same techniques implemented by a salesperson in a brick-and-mortar store. The only difference is online retailers can use different tools available online to get better results.

How Does It Work?

We’re sure you have seen many cross-selling examples on the internet. Ecommerce stores utilize cross-selling by inviting customers to look at other related products that add more value to their original purchase. 

Even if you look around, you can observe cross-selling everywhere. When an online clothing store shows you suggestions regarding matching accessories with a woolen ensemble you bought just now or showcasing the “More products we think you’ll love” section, cross-selling goes hand in hand with online selling. 

Best Products To Cross-Sell

Best Products to Cross-Sell

So you see, cross-selling is common and everybody is doing it. But is everyone doing it right? The thing is, cross-selling is a smart approach, and you won’t be able to benefit from it unless you do it cleverly. 

Here are a few things you should consider before trying to cross-sell your other products. 

Offer Relevant Products

When recommending products to cross-sell on your e-store, you have to ensure you’re only marketing the relevant products.

Here, relevant products refer to items related to the products your customers are buying in the first place. 

Offer Complementary Products

Complementary products refer to items that can be used together for a better experience. For example, you can offer your customers to purchase a month’s supply of coffee as a bundle deal if they’re buying a coffee brewer. 

Offer Services

Asking your customers to invest in your services is another proven cross-selling tactic you can use to boost ecommerce sales. 

Take the example of BestBuy.com here. When you purchase any high-ticket item from the website, you’ll be offered a chance to extend warranties in exchange for a specific price.  

Ideal Time To Cross-Sell

While there is no hard and fast rule as to when you should cross-sell to maximize your profits, the right timing can make all the difference. The key here is to be strategic about when and where you should suggest cross-selling recommendations to your buyers.

Trying to cross-sell frequently can frustrate your customers and may look like a hard-selling strategy. This may also result in more people abandoning their carts and impact your brand’s credibility and reputation.

Many famous brands use two pages to showcase their cross-selling products. So you can also do the same.

On Product Pages

When a customer spends more time on your product pages, it means they’re already interested in your offers. That lends a great opportunity for your business to cross-sell relevant products. 

Pro tip: Do not suggest products that cost more than the product already showcased on the product page. 

At Checkout Pages  

The checkout point is the best spot where you can cross-sell your complimentary add-on products. For example, customers usually buy gel colors, piping bags, and other cake accessories when they purchase a cake mold or a cake mixture from a store. 

Cross-Selling VS Upselling

Before we highlight the best cross-selling strategies, let’s clarify one thing that often confuses online sellers. Many sellers confuse the term cross-selling with upselling. While both factors are essential for the success and growth of your business, their meanings significantly differ. 

Cross-selling revolves around offering relevant or complementary products in conjunction with their original purchase. 

On the other hand, upselling is a strategy that sellers practice to sell a more expensive version of a service or a product. 

For example, if a buyer adds a smart TV worth $900, you can display the recent version of the same brand with better specs with a discounted price of $1200. 

Benefits Of Cross-Selling

While many sellers use cross-selling strategies to boost ecommerce profits, it should not be your only goal. The following section highlights all the key benefits you get when you incorporate a well-designed cross-selling strategy into your business framework. 

Higher AOV

Did you know some brands have witnessed up to an 800% rise in their conversions using the ecommerce cross-selling strategy? 

Cross-selling and your Average Order Value (AOV) go hand in hand. Why? Because the very essence of cross-selling is to increase the value of your individual orders. Your profit margins automatically increase when you successfully sell your related products and services to existing customers.

Since customers on your checkout or product pages are already interested in your offers, you don’t have to push them a lot to make additional purchases. 

Increased Customer Lifetime Value

It takes a great deal of time, effort, and money to convince new buyers to make additional purchases. There is no denying that existing customers are easier to sell to. Many studies back this claim and prove that your existing customers are the real contributors to your ecommerce profits and sales. 

Better User Experience

Unless you’re implementing hard-selling tactics, cross-selling actually adds value to your customer’s shopping journey. By recommending relevant products, you make it easier for your buyers to find what they need.

For example, when you suggest your customers buy a cellphone case with a smartphone, you show how valuable their purchase is for your brand. So, cross-selling is not only beneficial for your brand but also offers benefits to the users. As a result, you get a customer for life that sticks to your brand for all their needs. 

Seven Smart Cross-Selling Strategies To Boost Sales For Your 
Ecommerce Store

1. Offer Bundle Deals

Product bundling is one of the most effective cross-selling strategies that help your customers find everything they need in one place. 

The idea is to bundle related products that your customer might be interested in using together. For example, if you run a cosmetics store online, you can create bundles for your night care range, everyday skincare, or exclusive makeup bundles for formal or everyday use. 

Now take a step forward and offer a noticeable discount on these bundles. For instance, if a package of 5-products costs $1000 individually, you can offer them in a bundle with a price tag of $800 with free delivery. 

2. Prioritize Customer Experience

There is no asset as valuable for your brand as your customer. Yes, you’re here in a market to generate profit, but you must also focus on providing the best user experience to your buyers. 

Remember, all of your efforts will go down the drain if your cross-selling strategy annoys your buyers. Your cross-selling strategy should improve your customer’s experience and add value to their purchase.

Make sure you create a cross-selling strategy that focuses more on ethical selling rather than forceful tactics. For this, the first step is to cross-sell products that are relevant to your customer’s original purchase.

Trying to cross-sell expensive products may result in cart abandonment, and you may lose a customer for life. 

3. Leverage UGC

Another proven cross-selling strategy is to build social proof that encourages customers to extend their budgets and invest in your bundle deals and other products. 

Try to gather as many customer reviews, testimonials, and ratings as possible and proudly display them all over your website. 

Showcasing reviews on your website (especially on product and checkout pages) can help customers make up their minds and convince them they’ll get real value when following your suggestions. 

4. Create Customer Segments

Create Customer Segments

If you’re really looking to offer value to your customers, you must first understand their needs and buying goals. Knowing what your customers want can help you devise personalized recommendations with more potential to convert into conversions.

This isn’t possible without segmenting your customers based on their interests, buying preferences, and more.

The best way to segment your customer base is by creating buyer personas. For this, you can leverage market data, such as demographics, search history, and other information you have in your database. 

All of this contributes to creating personalized offers that your customers will admire and be willing to invest in. 

5. Run A Discount

Offering value-driven discount offers, deals, and other incentives is a proven way of driving more sales and conversions for your ecommerce store

When your buyers find value in your offers, they’ll be automatically attracted to consider your cross-selling recommendations. 

There are several ways you can induce purchase using a discount/incentive strategy. For instance, you can introduce a limited-time offer or a deal that encourages your buyers to take your desired action before the incentive ends. 

Order threshold is another way you can entice your customers to reach a minimum order amount to get a certain benefit.

6. Use Visuals

Add high-quality and relevant product images and videos to help your customers know the real product benefits. This strategy can go a long way if done right. 

‘Shop this look’ is a caption you must have seen on many fashion and lifestyle websites. These are bundle deals that ecommerce stores show in visuals to help their customer envision what to expect when they purchase everything together as a deal.  

7. Keep It Simple

Do not try to offer plenty of cross-selling products or services at once as it can annoy your customers. Choice overload negatively impacts your buyer’s journey. So, it is better to keep everything super smooth and slick for your customers.

Only recommend products that are related to the original product. Embed a few reviews and a high-quality image or a video to demonstrate the benefit that additional products bring to the table. 

Last but not least, never stop testing your cross-selling strategies, as it is the only way to identify what works best for your ecommerce store and customers. All the best…

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