Upselling & Cross-selling

To be a successful business owner means implementing various practices into your eCommerce business. It is not enough just to sell products in a common way. There are two techniques which can hugely increase your sales and bring other benefits to the company. It is important to point out that it doesn’t matter of what industry your company is because these practices are useful for any business. So, first of all, you should know the meaning of upselling and cross-selling and the difference between them.

Upselling and cross-selling: how to differentiate them

When you upsell you try to encourage the customer to buy something else for his purchase which can be useful (so to say add-ons), different upgrades or more expensive item instead of it and thus make the sale more profitable. It can puzzle you but let me show you an example of it. Imagine that a customer wants to buy a printer. You may offer him a high-quality one which costs more or to buy the ink together with a printer. In these two cases, it will be upselling.

As for cross-selling, it is a technique which implies inducing the customer to purchase one more product which is related to his purchase. For instance, the customer is going to buy a printer and you make him an offer to buy also a scanner.

It is better to use both of these techniques interchangeably because in this case, you can benefit even more. However, it depends on your customers and it is difficult to say which one will get better results.

How to upsell and cross-sell rightly

Anyway, either it is upselling or cross-selling, it should be done properly if you want to increase your revenue with the help of it. Think about what technique is better for your client. There is no need for bombarding the customers with product suggestions which are not useful for them.

The statistics show that upselling is more effective in about 20 times than cross-selling. Nevertheless, what you should certainly do is listening carefully to what your customers need and intend to buy and only after that make a conclusion about what is better to offer: a cross-sell or upsell. Understanding every client is extremely significant for you to provide them with the best customer experience ever. Using upselling and cross-selling properly will help you to gain their value and trust.

All in all, there are three main pieces of advice following which you will upsell and cross-sell correctly:

  1. be helpful (try to identify what they really need);
  2. don’t  overwhelm with offers (be tactful and focus only on the most appealing ones);
  3. don’t increase the whole sale by more than 25 % (for example, when you upsell you shouldn’t offer your customer a very expensive add-on).

By the way, there are three situations when you can upsell and cross-sell to your customers: before or after the purchase and when he goes through the checkout process.


To sum it up, without these two techniques it is very difficult to boost your sales. Both upselling and cross-selling is a must-have element of your marketing strategy if you really want to make your eCommerce successful.

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Myroslava Lukashuk

Myroslava LukashukeCommerce Expert

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