BY Gautam Sharma / Apr,28 2017

Do E-commerce Up-selling and Cross-selling strategies actually work? Ask the experts!

What is upselling and cross-selling?

Upselling is offering a superior and more expensive version of the same product which the customer has selected whereas Cross-selling is offering products which are related to the product which the customer has selected for purchase or the customer owns.

Cross-selling and Upselling Example

If a person is looking for a 2 BHK home and you offer a 3 BHK home for a little more price, it is upselling. And when a person wants to purchase a 2 BHK home and you offer parking space and club membership for an additional charge, it is cross-selling.

Should you really indulge in Upselling and Cross-selling tactics?

Yes, of course…

Upselling and Cross-selling are some of the most effective strategies for E-commerce platforms. On an average, the recommended products form 10-30% of the total orders on E-commerce websites. The chief purpose of them both is to increase the consolidated transaction value.

These approaches towards marketing are completely ethical, if they are pursued with tact and prudence.

In every case, the motive should be to give a more satisfying experience to customers, by adding more value to the purchase, ideally and literally…

…And it is not the concept created by online marketers; these strategies exist since the beginning of shopping. It is about offering better experience for a bigger price, but the decision to purchase still has to be taken by the customer.

It’s the customer’s choice, after all!

So, how Upselling and Cross-selling can be helpful to boost your revenue?

  1. When people are purchasing something, with an aim to fulfil a requirement, you can show them better option and win their trust. Satisfied customers will return to your portal soon, and according to a report, the probability to sell to an existing customer is 60-70%.
  2. Only 4% customers go ahead with the upselling while only 0.5% customers go ahead with cross-selling. But the conversion rate of cross-selling is 3%, which is way higher than that of upselling. Both are important and effective, but the strategy should complement your customer’s mindset and your products.
  3. Combining with Advertising Strategy, marketers can draw more people in with a low-cost product and then upsell the higher expensive version. As the customer is already in the buying mood, this strategy works perfectly.
  4. If you can truly anticipate the future requirements of the customer and offer them right now, when the customer is on your page, about to make a purchase, it creates a win-win situation for everyone. But one must wait till the customer has made a decision to purchase.
  5. You cannot be greedy and suggest products which are too expensive for the customers. The most common technique is to offer a superior product which is up to 25% costlier. If you exceed the customer’s budget limits, you might lose the customer right away. Do not overdo it.
  6. E-commerce Giants use powerful algorithms which track the customer’s behavior and history of browsing to offer them products and boost sales. This is the only way to effectively implement upselling and cross-selling. You are not going to upsell or cross-sell manually.
  7. There are applications through which you can automatically upsell or cross-sell your products. These applications are the algorithms which offer the products in real-time through product/ cart page recommendations, pop-ups, emails and offers for a minimum billing amount. Applications like Nosto, Reccomendify, Sellout, Receiptful, The Motivator, Linkcious and Nudge offer this kind of services.
  8. Upselling is used in disguise of ‘Customization’ of the product. It creates the value in customers’ mind for being able to design the product, at the same time; the seller can upgrade the selected product and earn more.
  9. Analyze the effectiveness of your upsell and cross-sell efforts and always adjust the course accordingly. Find out your ROI for upselling and cross-selling with specific markers/codes.
  10. The most important factor here is the Consumer Persona. Their attitude, preferences, budget, trends, social activities, etc. are some of the many factors that altogether create your customer.

If you understand them well and assign the algorithms to their tendencies, your strategy is likely to win their attention and interest.


Customers are smart and logical. This is why they would compare the prices and value of the products on various platforms. Pushing any product too aggressively is more likely to turn them off. Rather, if you already have an Ecommerce store, you should consult experts of Magento Ecommerce Development at SearchNative to formulate an effective strategy. And if you are looking for creating a new Ecommerce platform, keep in mind the upselling and cross-selling functionalities while developing it.

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