By Jessica Farrelly
Cross-selling is a sales tactic as old as the phrase, “would you like fries with that?” It’s all about those subtle suggestions that are so easy to say yes to as a consumer, whether it’s a side order that was already tempting you on the restaurant’s menu, or the gum you probably would have forgotten to add to your cart if you hadn’t spotted it while waiting in line at the corner store.
As traditional as it may be, cross-selling also has a place in the world of ecommerce. Looking for inspiration on how to cross-sell more products on your online store? You’ve come to the right place. Try these tactics to improve product discovery, help shoppers find items they didn’t know they needed, and ultimately, boost your average order value.
Cross-sell meaning and definition
First things first: let’s clear up any confusion over what cross-selling means, and how it differs to upselling.
Cross-selling is suggesting additional products that complement the item being purchased. For example, if a shopper is looking for a wedding gown, you may cross-sell them a pair of shoes that would go well with the dress. Or, if a customer is shopping for a laptop, you might cross-sell them compatible accessories like a laptop case or portable mouse.
Cross-selling isn’t just a way to generate more revenue. It’s a form of anticipating shoppers’ needs and providing them with top notch customer service. Showing customers matching accessories makes their shopping experience easier.
Upselling, by comparison, means suggesting alternative, similar items at a higher price point. In the laptop example above, you might choose to recommend a comparable, but slightly more expensive device instead of focusing on complementary accessories. Read more on upselling here.
How to convert browsers into buyers
Cross-selling techniques for ecommerce
To reiterate, cross-selling can involve suggesting compatible products or related accessories. These five cross-selling techniques will help you increase order value.
1. Choose relevant product recommendations to cross-sell
So how do you choose which products to suggest? Start by brainstorming relevant product combinations. For example, if customers are shopping for kitchen sinks, you may also suggest faucets, garbage disposals, and built-in soap dispensers.
2. Look for patterns
After you’ve come up with product combinations on your own, dig into your sales data to discover any unexpected buying patterns. You may find your customers buying two seemingly unrelated products together. A/B test these recommendations on each product page and see if sales increase.
3. Fine tune suggestions
The beauty of running an ecommerce store is that you can automate cross-selling. Use a recommendations tool to set attribute rules that prioritize certain product categories or brands over others to ensure shoppers see only the most relevant complementary products. You may opt to recommend a specific purse to match a particular dress, for example. Or, it might make sense to boost brands that are commonly purchased together to the top of recommendations.
4. Test the placement of cross-selling suggestions
Just like with upselling, you can cross-sell related items on product pages as well as on your cart or checkout page. Haven’t we all thrown something extra into our carts while waiting in line at the store thanks to a well-placed cross-selling display? Online is no different. Varying the placement of recommendations is also a great way to improve product discovery and ensure shoppers are aware of any relevant accessories that you sell, so they don’t turn to a competitor’s site to seek them out.
5. Find your inner wordsmith
Phrases like “related products,” “complementary products,” “compatible accessories,” “complete the look,” and “do you have everything you need?” can help seal the deal without coming across as pushy.
The goal is to be helpful, and replicate that in-store level of service and assistance to ensure customers don’t leave anything behind.
Wrapping up: Cross-selling techniques for ecommerce stores.
Cross-selling is a powerful strategy to help grow your average order value. With the right approach, you can cross-sell your way to becoming a one-stop-shop by ensuring customers find all of their products, plus any related accessories they may be interested in, without ever having to leave your store.
Already a Searchspring customer? Email our team of Customer Success experts at [email protected] to learn how you can implement these tactics on your store. Interested in adding Personalized Recommendations to your site? Request a demo today!
Jessica FarrellyContent Marketing Manager, Searchspring
Jessica has worked as a content writer for B2B and B2C businesses in a variety of industries. An avid online shopper, she has become immersed in everything that goes on behind the scenes of ecommerce since joining the Searchspring team, and loves writing about the latest trends and happenings in the industry.