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Effective Upsell And Cross-Sell Strategies



May 18, 2023


As a business owner, you know that the key to a growing business is to find new customers. While it is true, there is another thing that is as important. And that is to get repeat customers. Or selling to existing customers over and over again. A study suggests that the possibility of selling to existing customers is 60-70%, while that to a new prospect is 5-20%.

There are some very effective ways of getting repeat customers. Upselling and cross-selling are two of the most effective ones. Wondering what they are, why they are important, and how they can help you? Keep reading to know all of the answers.

What are upselling and cross-selling?

At first, let’s clear up what upsell and cross-sell are.

Upselling is a very effective sales technique. It is aimed at persuading customers to purchase a more expensive, upgraded, or premium version of the chosen item. For example,

Cross-selling is another sales process that is complementary to cross-selling. This is a technic of selling a different product or service related to what the customer chooses.
Both of the technics are used to increase the value of a sale. Thus, to increase sales and profit. But they have a fundamental difference.

Upselling vs Cross-selling
It’s a pretty universal thing to confuse upselling with cross-selling. I will try to make the difference as easy as possible. When you persuade your customers to a better version of what’s being purchased, that’s upselling. But cross-selling involves offering the customer a related product or service to a product they already purchased.
For example, look at the amazon page below. On the left, Amazon is featuring another product of the same category- cardigans. But this cardigan is costlier. This is what upselling is.

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But if you suggest your customers’ related products, that will be cross-selling. Look at the picture below. It is on the same page as the previous picture. Here, Amazon is featuring other products that are related to cardigans- such as tops, pants, sandals, etc.

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Why upselling and cross-selling are important in online business

Now you know what upselling and cross-selling are. But now you may ask, why are they important for your online business. Why do you need to put your time and resources into these strategies? The reasons are:

  • Upselling and cross-selling increases customer retention. According to Steve Jobs, ‘people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.’ Upselling or cross-selling done right helps the customer find more value than they were expecting. It can increase revenues by up to 43%, thereby improving your customer retention.

  • Cross-selling and upselling increase your average order value. Doing so creates revenue and profit at a very low cost.

Upsell & Cross-sale: What Are The Strategies?

Upselling and cross-selling are very important for online businesses. But reaping the full benefits of it can be tricky. But there are some strategies that can help you do that. Lets find out more about them.

Customer Data Is Important
The foundation of upselling and cross-selling strategies is customer data. Remember one thing, if you do not have customer data, you will not be able to know the customer’s lifestyle, age, and habits. And if you do not know these, you will not be able to take the later decisions.

Products Or Services You Can Upsell and Cross-sell
Now you will need to select which products you are going to upsell and cross-sell. The idea of both is to sell relevant and useful products. So, make sure what you are offering as a complementary product or service is relevant, and useful in the bigger picture.

You can Cross-sell products according to the weather and season. During the rainy season, for example, you could cross-sell umbrellas, boots, raincoats, and other waterproof gear.

Proposing limited edited collections is a good idea. It creates urgency. It also increases the value of the upsell. You can also cross-sell products that do not sell well.

Suggesting Bundles Can Increase Sales
One of the best and most effective strategies for upselling and cross-selling is to offer product bundles to your customers. You can bundle up related products and offer them to your customers. For example, you can put headphones, covers, and back cover in a bundle and offer them to your customers in cross-selling. Offer products that do not sell well in a bundle with products that sell well. In upselling, you can offer a more premium product in a bundle.

Dummy Choices Can Help
It is an interesting choice. To be honest, it is basically a psychological trick. The goal of this strategy is to push the customers toward a more premium purchase. I will give an example so that you understand it better.

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Look at the plans that Spotify is offering. The Family option here offers way more value than the Duo or the Individual plans. Spotify did it to push for higher sales by offering the customers value. Here, the Individual and Duo plans are dummy choices.

User Reviews Are The Most Effective Tools of Persuasion
Online reviews and customer engagements are very important in online business in general. It is the online equivalent of word-of-mouth referrals. It allows you to develop trust and build rapport with your customers. Thus, it helps build customer loyalty.

So, Featuring many positive reviews would increase customers’ confidence in your business. It will pursue them to go for a more premium product when making a purchase or to purchase relative products. This way, it can increase the likelihood of an upsell and cross-sell.

Timing Is Crucial
Timing is very crucial in sales. You should only upsell/cross-sell when your customer is actually buying something. Try not to suggest upsells and cross-sells before a customer picks a product

This means that the shopper is less likely to abandon the order altogether. Trying to sell additional items too early in the shopping process can be detrimental. You can lose the entire sale by doing so.

Post-purchase Cross-selling Is Surprisingly Effective
Your opportunity to cross-sell remains after the customer has checked out. In fact, this is actually a key moment for doing so. Do not forget about it like too many eCommerce businesses. Don’t just send the receipt and the product. Promote relevant products to your customers as well.

Interaction Will Help Your Customers Know
You know, out of sight is out of mind. So keep reminding your customers about your offerings, showing the benefit to them. Use emails, confirmation pages, and other post-purchase communications to offer more value to the customer. And never forget to include a call to action at the end of your message.

Overdoing It Can Be Detrimental
A key principle in cross-selling and upselling is not to overdo it. Try to assist the customer, and suggest products that make sense to them and are relevant to their needs. Try to offer informed recommendations that will meet their needs.

Do not bombard customers with too many cross-sell and upsell products. Try not to push products aggressively as well. Avoid using sly tactics like hiding pre-selected add-ons or hidden prices in the hope customers don’t notice it.

Some Tips Specifically For Upselling

  • Promote your most reviewed or best seller products.
  • Make sure the promoted products are not too pricier. Follow the 25% rule. This means that products should not be more than 25% costlier than the chosen product.
  • And make sure you suggest products from the same category.

Some Tips Specifically For Cross-selling

  • Cross-sell products should be cheaper so that buyers consider adding them to their carts even though they didn’t originally intend to purchase them. The products should be at least 60% cheaper than the product added to the cart.
  • Go for products that your customers miss out easily purchasing.
  • Try not to bombard them with too many product choices that distract them.

Upselling and cross-selling with LazyChat

Now you know everything about upselling and cross-selling. And at this point, you may be wondering if it is worth the time and hassle. And frankly, I understand. There is a lot of work you need to do to do this correctly. And doing all these tasks will be very hard without automation.

This is where LazyChat comes in. Lazychat is an automation tool that automates the functions of online businesses. LazyChat can analyze customer data automatically and assist you to make decisions. In upselling and cross-selling, Lazychat has two features that will come of great help. They are:

  • Show recommended items

This feature can gather customer data- their age, buying habits, search history, etc. And then, it will show your customers recommended items. You will be able to customize this feature as you need. You can customize it to recommend more premium products to upsell. You can also customize the feature to recommend complementary products. Or you can do both.

  • Automated texts.

We have established the importance of texts in upselling and cross-selling before. But actually doing that, manually, is logistically impossible. But LazyChat’s Automated Texts feature can make it possible for you. It will text or email your customers with recommended products, bundle offers, and discounts automatically.


Now, we have come to the end. Thanks for reading my article. Hope you understood everything about upselling and cross-selling, and the strategies for implementing them. Hope you also know how instrumental LazyChat can be in implementing the strategies and why you should purchase it.

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