In the quest to become a successful online seller, two tactics will always be your best friends – upselling and cross selling. There is generally a bit of confusion about these two, and many people tend to confuse one with the other. In actuality, they are two very different yet complementary strategies that you can apply to increase your revenue, your market share and diversify your sales.

In fact, according to this Forrester market analysis, most online retail sites agree that around 10% to 30% of their sales result from either upselling or cross selling. In 2006, Amazon reported that more than 35% of its sales were a result of the website’s constant cross selling and upselling efforts.

In this post we will get into the details of both methods of boosting your sales, their benefits and ways you can employ them into your overall sales strategy. Let’s take a look.

How to Utilize Upselling and Cross Selling in Your Sales Strategy


So what is upselling? Imagine that you go to a showroom to buy a car. You have your eye on a reasonable model, but the salesperson convinces you that if you increase your budget buy just a few thousands, you would get a better car with a bigger engine, leather seats and racing stripes. Oh, what the heck, you say, and proceed to whip out your wallet. You’ve just been upsold. The art of upselling is convincing your customer to buy a better, more expensive product in the same category, than the one they are current browsing for.

How do I Upsell?

A lot of upselling and cross selling depends upon your website’s design. Companies like Amazon and Flipkart do this ingeniously by unobtrusively suggesting better products while you are perusing a particular one. A pitfall here is suggesting a product that is out of the customer’s expected budget. For example, someone browsing the listings for a Casio watch would rarely jump at a chance to buy a high end Swiss timekeeper. You have to subtly manipulate your customer by offering a product whose price hovers around the upper limit of your customer’s budget.

Another interesting technique is to offer discounts on more expensive products and suggest them to your customer while they are browsing at cheaper products of the same category. A typical customer would then think, “Hey, if I stretch my budget a little bit more, I will be able to buy a product that I originally couldn’t afford.” Be subtle and creative.

Cross Selling

Cross selling is a little different from upselling. The most enduring example of cross selling is observed in every fast food chain wit the question, “Would you like some fries with that?” Well, you didn’t really want fries with that, but you’re getting them at a deal, right? Plus, you wouldn’t mind them, now that you think about it. You just got cross sold.

How to Cross Sell

Cross selling is the key to fast food chains like McDonald’s and Dominos. Every time you enter one, you see combo offers specially tailored for you to buy more and spend more at the counter.

In the world of online sales, cross selling can be intelligently used to increase revenue. Plus, it is comparatively less risky than upselling because at the end of the day, the customer will surely buy the base product (that is, unless you manage to not annoy them with over the top cross selling attempts). Introduce cross selling at the checkout counter, to make sure that at least one sale is locked. Here, inform your customers that if they buy from a list of compatible products, they would receive them at a discounted price, and watch the magic happen.

Why do I need to Cross Sell and Upsell?

Because these are valuable strategies that will have a profound impact on your business. Firstly, your knowledge and resourcefulness are verified through the kind of suggestions you give to your customers. Secondly, it results in increased revenues and market share. And thirdly, a well executed cross selling or upselling strategy has virtually no drawbacks. As long as you have been able to initially hook the customer, cross selling and upselling are only going to potentially add up to your revenue stream. Just be sure to have a deft hand in the proceedings, or you will scare your customers away.

This is what we have on cross selling and upselling. To know more, get in touch with Browntape. We are always happy to help.

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