Cross-selling and upselling are two powerful ways to grow your business in 2022. These techniques involve getting your customers to spend more money on your site in exchange for extra value through your products or services.

Before I explain how to use these strategies to grow your business, it’s vital that we define both terms.

Cross-selling is when a business offers a customer an additional product in addition to the items in their cart. For instance, if someone buys a new laptop, they may see a cross-sell offer for a portable printer or wireless mouse.

On the other hand, upselling is when customers are offered an upgraded version of the product they already wanted to buy. So, if we use the same example from above, an upsell would include a more powerful laptop with additional features not included in the base package.

There are plenty of advantages that come with cross-selling and upselling. Notably, businesses that use this strategy tend to see more revenue, higher average order values (AOVs), and increased customer loyalty.

Now that these terms are clearly defined let’s look at several ways you can cross-sell and upsell like a pro!

Get to Know Your Audience

If you want to successfully upsell and cross-sell, you have to spend some time getting to know your target audience. The more you know about your visitors, the easier it will be to determine which content and offers will result in additional sales.

Imagine what would happen if you decided to stand on the street and sell your new book. Odds are, a few people would stop and check out your display. A few people may even buy your book. But many others would keep walking without a second glance.

Now, imagine being invited to a book reading and signing where you can promote your book to avid readers. There’s an excellent chance you would secure more sales and build trust with this small group because they have shown direct interest in what you’re offering.

This example goes to show that targeted marketing is more effective than standing on the street, or in the context of digital marketing, sending blast emails, or showing everyone on your site one offer.

The good news is there are plenty of ways to develop buyer personas and get to know the people who visit your website. I suggest reviewing your Google Analytics account and user feedback to appropriately segment your customer base. Use this information to determine what kind of cross-sells and upsells will appeal to each person.

Personalization can have a significant impact on engagement and sales. In fact, research shows that 80% of people are more likely to engage with a brand if they offer personalized promotions and content.

Use Well-Timed Popups

Popups are an excellent way to connect with your visitors, regardless of where they are on your website. Now that you understand the importance of segmenting your audience and building buyer personas let’s look at how you can use well-timed popups to boost your AOV.

Popups allow you to reach your audience and convince them to take action. In some cases, the goal is to drive initial sales. In other instances, you can use popups to cross-sell and upsell additional products available on your site. We’re going to focus on the latter.

The key to making these types of popups work is to create multiple variations of your promotion based on the needs of the person looking at your site. For instance, a clothing store could show users a relevant cross-sell based on what they add to their shopping cart. If a visitor just added a new shirt to their cart, you could show a matching pair of sunglasses or hair clip that will complete their new look.

Similarly, clothing stores could show options for belts and shoes when users add a pair of pants to their cart. Because you have a firm understanding of your audience, you can strategically cross-sell and upsell products on your blog, product landing pages, and even your homepage.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different popups and calls to action. A/B testing can help you fine-tune your upsell/cross-sell strategy, which will undoubtedly lead to additional sales and new customers.

Give Customers Additional Options at Checkout

Next, let’s talk about why you should show cross-sell and upsell offers to users while they’re on your checkout page. When someone makes it to this part of your website, they are ready to become a customer.

There are plenty of unique ways you can convince people at this stage to spend a little more money in exchange for a lot more value. One unique way you can make this happen is by showing an offer that includes products relevant to other items in their shopping cart. We touched on this concept earlier but didn’t discuss how it would work on your checkout page.

Remember the t-shirt, sunglasses, and hair clip example from earlier? In this instance, you should consider creating a discounted bundle. So, instead of paying $100 for all three items, you could offer a 25% discount, which means users can get all three products for a lower price. Small incentives like this can go a long way towards driving sales.

Another neat way to make this strategy work is to offer a free sample or trial of another product to your customers. While this will not result in immediate sales, it does allow your existing customers to try some of your other offerings. If you impress them, you can bet that they will eventually come back and buy the full version of your physical product or digital software.

Show Trust Signals

If you want to upsell and cross-sell your products like a pro, you have to show customers that the things you’re offering are loved by the rest of the community. When shoppers see that other people are satisfied with a purchase, they are more likely to follow in their tracks and accept the upsell offer.

You can quickly build trust with new shoppers during the upsell by showing reviews from real customers. Similarly, you can include something like a star rating system that helps the user see what other users think about your product or service.

Believe it or not, this seemingly small factor can have a tremendous impact on your sales. On average, 72% of people will not take action on your site unless they see reviews. Including this feature will not only help you secure more upsell and cross-sell sales, but it will also help you build trust with your visitors as a whole.

Reach Out After the Sale

Finally, let’s talk about how you can generate more cross-sells and upsells after a user buys something from your website.

When someone places an order on your site, they will likely sign up to your email list. I suggest using this as an opportunity to send customers a special offer on something that would go well with their initial purchase.

Email gives you a unique chance to connect with every single customer or prospect. If you properly segment your leads, you’ll have an easier time meeting your customers’ expectations when you send out a message with the intent of getting an additional sale.

You can take this strategy further by developing a customer success team. Essentially, success teams are tasked with reaching out to existing customers. The goal is to make sure everyone maximizes the value of their purchase. Your success team will likely find opportunities to cross-sell or upsell additional features to new users during these conversations.

If you choose to take this step, I recommend meeting with your customers a few weeks after their purchase. This time will give them a chance to get familiar with your product, which can help them better express their questions or concerns. Your team can take these inquiries and offer relevant solutions that add more value to your users.

Final Thoughts

Convincing users to spend a little more before and after their purchase can lead to impressive results for your business. Not only will you see a significant boost in revenue, but you will also build trust with your audience. If they notice that you’re offering them products and services that match their needs, they are more likely to visit your website in the future.

I recommend revisiting your cross-sell and upsell strategy at least once a quarter. Review the data obtained from customers and use it to fine-tune your marketing techniques, and before long, you could see a big boost in sales and engagement.


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