In this chapter 6 of Shopify 101 series, we’ll dive into the difference between upselling and cross-selling, how to upsell and cross-sell on Shopify, as well as the best practices to successfully implement these strategies.
How To Upsell & Cross-sell On Shopify Like A Pro
Whenever a customer visits your store, it’s a huge success. Every time they add a product to their cart, it’s a small miracle. With a dramatic increase in the popularity of e-commerce in recent years, your store has more competitors than ever, and standing out from the crowd isn’t easy. All e-commerce merchants know that driving traffic to their store and connecting with customers is an ongoing battle.
That’s why it’s so important to increase AOV (Average order value) and generate as much revenue as possible from every store visit. Once your customer is in your store, you need to make sure they find every product they’re looking for, and more. This is where strategic upselling and cross-selling throughout your store is so important.
If you’re wondering how to upsell on Shopify, how to cross-sell on Shopify, and the benefits that these techniques can bring, read on to find out all you need to know about Shopify upselling and cross-selling.
I. Upsell on Shopify vs Cross-sell on Shopify: What’s The Difference?
To develop the best possible upselling and cross-selling strategies for your store, it’s important to understand the difference between these two techniques. Simply put, upselling is the practice of offering your customers higher-tier products to add to their original order. When considering how to upsell on Shopify, you can encourage your customer to upgrade to a larger (and therefore more expensive) size, or the “premium” version of the same product.
Recent data indicates that, for businesses offering upsells and recurring products, an enormous 70-95% of revenue comes from renewals and upsells. Plus, your customers perceive better value, increasing loyalty and the likelihood of retention. Needless to say, utilizing upselling is a no-brainer when it comes to generating extra revenue in your e-commerce store.
On the other hand, cross-selling is a powerful technique that encourages your customers to purchase complementary or related products to an item they are already viewing/purchasing. In terms of how to upsell on Shopify, if a customer is looking at a dress, you can tempt them with related items such as a matching pair of shoes and a jacket.
Way back in 2006, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced that a staggering 35% of Amazon’s revenue came from cross-selling, such as their trademark “customers also viewed” and “recommended for you” sections of related products. 35% of their total revenue came from these simple techniques – there’s no better way to highlight the importance of cross-selling in your Shopify store.
Although they are different, cross-sell and upsell techniques can be used together, and are often mutually beneficial this way. Let’s take a look at some of the most common ways you can use upselling and cross-selling in your Shopify store.
II. How to Cross-sell on Shopify (+ Examples)
You don’t have to browse e-commerce stores very long to find classic examples of cross-selling in action. For an idea of how to cross-sell on Shopify, take these common techniques and apply them to your industry:
- Customers Also Bought: We’ve all seen this type of upselling deal. It most commonly appears on the product page, in the cart, or at checkout, and displays several products related to the product a customer is currently browsing/has added to their cart. Made famous by Amazon, this is an extremely powerful technique when done correctly (refer to the best practices section below).
- Popular Items: Displaying your best-selling products in prominent locations is another highly effective cross-selling technique. They don’t even have to be related to products your customer is currently browsing, as they are best-sellers, they will be appealing to a certain percentage of your customers, regardless of what they actually came to your store for.
- You may also like: Targeting the products you display to your customers based on their previous sales history, or products currently in their cart, helps to make your cross-selling deals successful. Don’t crowd your customer or over-stimulate them with products that don’t interest them, choose your suggestions carefully and strategically.
- Combine several products into one: It’s possible to cross-sell without your customers even realizing it! By grouping several products together and selling them as one single product in your store, your customers don’t have to make any additional product selections and can’t opt out of the add-on products you are offering. Install the PinkyStory app to start cross-selling with combo products in a few minutes.
III. How To Upsell on Shopify (+ Examples)
Even if you’re already using cross-selling techniques, learning how to upsell on Shopify and implementing these types of deals throughout your store is extremely beneficial when it comes to increasing AOV and overall revenue. Here are some popular examples:
- Quantity tiers: If you have a product that makes sense for your customers to buy in bulk, consider creating an upselling deal where you offer a discount when they order in greater volumes. You can incentivize this with quantity tiers, for example – buy 2 for 10% off, buy 4 for 25% off. Learn more about tiered upselling here.
- Add-to-cart pop-ups: Rather than displaying an upselling deal as a static object on a page, using a pop-up is an effective way of grabbing your customer’s attention. If you have a product that’s available in a larger size, wait until your customer adds it to their cart, then send a targeted pop-up their way. Because the product is already in their cart, you can make sure you’re only offering an upsell that’s relevant to your customer’s needs.
- Product upgrades: If your product comes with a protection plan, optional warranty, or another kind of add-on, this is often an easy target for an upsell deal. Any kind of upgrade that makes sense for your product can be shown as an upsell on the product page, as a pop-up, in the cart, or wherever else makes sense for your store.
IV. Best Upsell and Cross-sell Shopify apps
PickyStory has everything you need when it comes to how to upsell on Shopify AND how to cross-sell on Shopify. Whether you want to cross-sell related products by creating a gallery of Looks, or upsell using quantity breaks with Kits, this app has a diverse selection of deals to choose from. There are plans suitable for entry-level merchants, deals can be added to any page in your store, and your inventory is auto-synced at SKU level.
For merchants selling on a larger scale, PickyStory offers a headless engine and full API access to create a custom sales experience in your store – take advantage of PickyStory’s price rules and logic while letting your own developers create a completely unique and on-brand front-end experience.
02. Sales Pop Master – Countdown
Sales Pop Master – Countdown is a great app offering several different solutions for boosting revenue. This app displays pop-ups on your pages showing recent purchases by customers, offering “social proof” that your products are popular (in the same way that a long line outside an Apple store is great for business). You can also use the app to display countdown timers, informing your customers that products in their cart may be unavailable soon, and thus instilling a sense of urgency, encouraging them to buy sooner.
03. Sticky Add To Cart BOOSTER PRO
While there are many sticky add to cart options to choose from, Sticky Add To Cart BOOSTER PRO is the most popular and comes with the most extensive range of features. Basically, this app adds a small floating cart that follows your customer around their store, no matter which page they are on. This sticky cart makes it easy for your customers to add any and all products to their cart, even if they’ve scrolled beyond the add to cart button on a given page. You can also add a sticky add to cart bar, a tiny add to cart/quick buy icon on your collections pages, and more.
04. Bold Upsell
If you have upgraded versions of your products, like bigger sizes or premium options, the Bold Upsell app might be exactly what you need. You can track your upsell performance to optimize the deals you are offering, and trigger deals based on cart value or specific products added to the cart. Display upsell deals on product pages or in the cart, and eliminate the chances of overselling by automatically hiding product upgrades that aren’t currently in stock.
05. Wrapin – Gift Wrap & Options
For merchants looking to offer a gift wrapping service for their products, Wrapin is an upselling app that specializes in just that. Entice your customers by offering gift wrapping and personalized notes so that their purchases can be sent directly to whoever they are buying for, giving you an edge over your competitors. If you like, you can add a surcharge of your choice for gift wrapping, or offer it to your customers for free. If you sell a mixture of gifts and non-gifts, hide the wrapping option from certain products in your store. Easy!
06. Upsell & Cross Sell – Selleasy
Upselling and Cross Selling effortlessly without your customer being consciously aware of your strategy is the key to setting up an ideal pre-purchase and post-purchase upsell. Bundling products together and recommending relevant related products at the right places, like the checkout page, doubles up the visibility of your products. In addition, it is time-savvy for your customers as they don’t have to search for another product from your store.
How is Selleasy different from other apps?
- This app maximizes conversion by showing pre and post-purchase upsell/cross-sell offers.
- TheirOur embedded upsell and cross sell widgets are unobtrusive. No annoying pop-ups increase the bounce rate.
- A lightning-fast user experience that loads quickly, even on slow mobile networks.
- Compatible with other apps – they don’t create draft orders.
- Get free installation and setup guidance on a Zoom call.
Smartly placed add-on products influence customers to buy more than they might have planned. The Upsell and Cross Sell – Selleasy App can help you to start Upselling and Cross selling for an increased Average Order Value (AOV).
V. Upselling and Cross-selling on Shopify: Best Practices
When learning how to cross-sell on Shopify (or upsell), it can take a while to learn the tricks of the trade. To save some time and help convert your upselling and cross-selling deals right away, we’ve included some best practices for upselling and cross-selling on Shopify. Follow these tips to create upselling and cross-selling deals your customers won’t be able to turn down:
01. Offer deals throughout your customer’s journey
Placement is key when it comes to successful upselling and cross-selling. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and think about their journey as they browse through your store. You can upsell and cross-sell on dedicated pages, like a collections page or gallery where you can display whole “looks”, such as an entire outfit or a toolbox + toolset that can easily be added to the cart in one simple click.
Product pages are another perfect upselling and cross-selling opportunity. Once your customer is already browsing a specific product page, you can offer more targeted deals based on what they are viewing. Use a Shopify upselling app like PickyStory to create bundles of products that are frequently purchased together, and display them on each of the relevant product pages. It’s also important to consider the potential for upselling after your customer adds a product to their cart – display related products in the cart, use a pop-up to show product add-ons, and don’t forget to explore your post-purchase upselling options.
02. Choose your products carefully
As you’ve probably realized by now, customers have short attention spans. Keep things simple when it comes to displaying your upselling and cross-selling offers – don’t distract them with products that aren’t relevant to the products they are already viewing/in their cart. Keep your pages clean by offering minimal but highly strategic deals, using only products that will give you the best possible chance of converting. Numbers don’t lie – review your existing sales data to establish trends, patterns, and correlations between certain products and others to give you the best chance of an increased AOV.
03. Keep it subtle
While it is of course very important to make sure your customers see your deals, it’s equally important not to bombard them with aggressive product advertisements and deals. This is especially the case when utilizing pop-ups for upselling and cross-selling throughout your store. Recent surveys have suggested that customers overwhelmingly dislike pop-ups, especially when used excessively. The good news, however, is that they are an extremely effective sales tool and better customer engagement is seen when the pop-up is providing something of interest (such as a product upgrade, or a discount). So, use pop-ups carefully, and don’t overwhelm your customers with too many “related products”, “extra add-ons”, or “last minute offers”.
04. Use discounts wisely
To convert effectively, you will be relieved to know that you don’t have to give products away, or excessively incentivize your upsell and cross-sell deals. In fact, if you strategically consider the products you are bundling together, you may find that you don’t have to offer a discount at all.
By displaying your deals where your customers will see them, and ensuring you are only offering products that are valuable to that specific customer in terms of meeting their needs, your deals will likely do the hard work for you. However, you can always sweeten the offer with an added discount – we all know customers love a sale!
It may seem counter-intuitive, but it’s actually widely accepted that offering a discount on upselling and cross-selling deals actually saves your business money in the long run. Why? Because even though you aren’t selling your additional products at full price, you are still generating more revenue from this sale. Plus, when considering the high costs associated with acquiring a new customer, selling more products to an existing customer makes perfect sense. Data suggests that upselling is 68% more affordable than acquiring a new customer, so even if you’re offering a discount with your upsell, you’re still winning and so is your customer.
05. Place with conversion in mind
In a regular retail store, hours and hours of careful planning and consumer psychology knowledge goes into strategically curating the layout of products throughout the store. Related products (such as entire outfits) need to be displayed together, and any deals or sales need to be clearly visible. Exactly the same can be said for your e-commerce store. There’s very little to be gained from displaying a bundle of “frequently bought together” products on an existing product page if your customer has to scroll a significant distance down the page to see it.
For on-page deals, best conversion rates are seen when the deal is placed in an easily visible location, high up the page (such as right under the CTA button for the existing product). If a significant amount of your traffic comes from mobile sources, make sure your deals are easily visible there as well. Pop-ups can also be extremely effective in terms of enhancing the visibility of a deal, especially as they require action from your customers.
Upselling and cross-selling certainly aren’t new or secret techniques. These sales strategies have been around for decades, with almost every industry taking advantage of the extra revenue that upselling and cross-selling brings. Although we are all aware of the benefits of upselling and cross-selling, what many people don’t always realize is just how much extra revenue can be generated from utilizing these deals.
By positioning upselling and cross-selling deals carefully across your store, using smart discount strategies to further entice your customers, and offering products they can actually benefit from, upselling and cross-selling can dramatically boost your AOV and store revenue.