Cross-Sell and Up-Sell to Instantly Boost Your Daily Sales

5 minute read



Exploring cross-selling and up-selling for your online store? Let’s investigate the basics and benefits of these two potent marketing strategies. They will help you improve your average order value per customer, which will explode your daily sales.


Of the many digital sales techniques that you can use to increase your online business revenue, these are the easiest to implement. Sumo reports that upselling increases revenue by an average of 10-30%, and cross-selling creates nearly 30% of the total sales for leading e-commerce sites.


Then there’s the famous product recommendation engine that helped Jeff Bezos build the Amazon empire! One thing is certain—if you want to immediately improve your small business revenue, then learning more about upselling and cross-selling tools is the way to do it.


Here is what you should know about these two techniques. From defining what they are to explaining how they’re used to boost your daily sales—this article will set you on the right path.



What Is Cross-Selling?


Cross-selling is a sales method that involves selling complementary-related items to an existing customer. The technique offers value and relevance to your consumer while increasing sales.


A Cross-Selling Example

Your customer adds a Smart TV to their cart. Your site recommends a television bracket or TV stand as well. Another customer buys a coffee machine. You offer them coffee capsules or filters to go along with their purchase. A customer orders a burger, and you offer them fries.


Cross-selling can also be a hybrid of products and services, or strictly service-based. Open a bank account and be offered a secondary savings account. Buy a car and be offered life insurance.


To get cross-selling right, your online store only needs to suggest a complementary product at the right moment. This usually happens when they’re viewing the original item or if they already have it in their cart to buy.


Check out more cross-selling examples here.


What Is Up-Selling? 


Up-selling is a sales method that involves selling a higher-end product to a customer who is considering something less expensive. This technique shows the customer the benefits of what they could get if they are willing to spend a little bit more.


An Up-Selling Example

Your customer is a long time user of your software and it’s time to renew their subscription. A week before their license expires, you send them an email outlining the benefits of an upgrade. Another customer adds a 64GB mobile phone to their cart. You offer them a 128GB phone before purchase.


Like cross-selling, up-selling can blend products and services or focus exclusively on services. Open a bank account but upgrade to a platinum card. Buy a car but upgrade it to the limited edition sports model.


Your online shop only needs to be aware of the next best item that would entice your customer to ditch their current choice and opt for the more expensive option instead.


The best part of up-selling is that your customers are already primed to spend—you’re just prompting them to spend more than they planned to.


Check out more up-selling examples here.


Two women shipping clothing

The Difference Between Cross-Selling and Up-Selling


The terms ‘cross-sell’ and ‘up-sell’ are often used interchangeably, even though there are clear differences.


A broader definition of upselling is that it encourages the customer to buy more than they originally planned. This is incredibly close to the cross-selling definition. Perhaps because of this, some marketers pick a term and use it to cover both definitions.


Cross-selling vs. Up-selling Examples

  • With cross-selling, the products/services fit alongside the original product—meeting a need that the original can’t.
    • Your customer’s car has the potential to crash, and so life insurance is a natural accompaniment. It adds money to the bottom line of your sale.
  • With up-selling, the products/services have a greater value than the original product and suit the needs of your customer better.
    • Your customer’s car is the standard model, but the sports model has way better features. For a higher cost, your customer can trade up, which increases your bottom line sale. 


Both of these e-commerce sales techniques give the customer greater value, which often converts into higher levels of satisfaction. They get value and you get higher revenue—it’s an online shopping win-win.


Woman purchasing online  

5 Quick Cross-Selling and Up-Selling Strategies


Your e-commerce business has a lot to gain by adopting both of these simple sales strategies. Use these together in your digital store for maximum value, and you’ll instantly see an increase in sales. These upselling and cross-selling best practices will get you started.


#1: Show Customers More Up-Sells

 Up-selling is 20x more effective than cross-selling because customers generally already know what they want. Display more expensive products beneath the products being viewed to garner upgrades.


#2: Be Genuinely Helpful, Not Spammy

Your online store isn’t in the business of forcing sales on your customers. These sales need to be integrated into your online store in a natural way that doesn’t bother your customer.


#3: Top-Selling Products Work Best

 Consider your best-selling products and the items in your product line that would enhance their value. They should be highly relevant and based on real customer data from your analytics dashboard.


#4: Prove Your Product’s Value

 You should spend some time updating your online business website to have product pages that demonstrate real value. Comparison charts, videos, testimonials, and case studies show your customers a clear ‘how and why’ without forcing a sales pitch on them.


#5: Offer Customer Loyalty Perks

 Customers who you can upsell or cross-sell to should be in your loyalty program. They’re the kind of existing, long-term, repeat customer you want. When you close one of these sales, thank them by offering them a future discount, a thank-you mail, or a free gift.


How to Implement Cross-Selling and Up-Selling


It’s so easy to add cross-selling and upselling to your sales techniques if you have a WordPress website and online store. With the right tools, you’ll quickly be able to analyze purchases and customer data to complete your new strategy.


Spend some time going through your customer insights and document the products or services you believe fit well with these strategic techniques. From there, you will need to customize each of your key product pages with these connected items.


They will display as ‘you might also like,’ or ‘related products,’ or your customer will be offered choices before finalizing their cart. You can choose exactly how you want your customers to experience these promotions.


If you’re not comfortable working in the backend of your WordPress website yourself, make sure that you have a support team that will update your website for you.


With a cloud-based e-commerce platform, you’ll be armed with the data insights you need to start running your own online store promotions. From there, you can automate your sales with plugins built specifically to implement these techniques.


You’ll wonder why you didn’t add these to your website sooner! Increase your average customer order and enhance your overall daily sales with a cross-sell and up-sell strategy.