In the world of e-commerce, the challenge many brands face is how to get the most value out of each shopper who visits their site. We measure this in terms of average order value (AOV), or the average amount each customer spends. If we can increase AOV, we can increase revenue overall, but how can we convince shoppers to buy more?
This is where cross-selling comes in.
Commonly confused with upselling, cross-selling is another method of product recommendation that serves to boost AOV. In this article, we’ll look at the benefits of cross-selling and how it can be used to increase AOV, but first, let’s get a working definition of cross-selling.
What is Cross-Selling?
Cross-selling is a sales technique which involves recommending additional products which are complementary to the item(s) a shopper has added to their cart. It is a tactic designed to increase AOV by encouraging shoppers to purchase more. This can look like offering item bundles or packages, highlighting products frequently purchased together, or recommending items to complete the look.
“But wait,” I hear you say. “Isn’t that the same as upselling?”
Not quite. Let’s take a look at upselling and how it differs from cross-selling.
Cross-Selling vs. Upselling
Upsells are recommendations of alternative products with higher price points than the item a shopper has shown interest in. Unlike cross-sells, which focus on tempting the shopper to buy more items, upsells encourage shoppers to spend more on an alternative product. Often, these recommendations will be your latest models or products updated with more features.
So when should you choose to use a cross-sell approach over an upsell? It might be helpful to first understand the unique benefits of cross-selling.
The Benefits of Cross-Selling
While both upsells and cross-sells are useful for increasing AOV, each has its own benefits. In this section, we’ll focus on the benefits of the cross-selling approach.
Since cross-sells recommend products from other categories your shoppers may have missed, they provide the unique advantage of enhancing the customer experience by broadening shoppers’ awareness of all your product offerings. By ensuring your shoppers don’t miss any items they may be interested in, you give them the opportunity to walk away from their experience confident they made the perfect purchase.
A more complete and satisfactory shopping experience boosts shoppers’ trust in your brand and guarantees they’ll consider you for future purchases as well. Considering that increasing customer retention rates by even 5% has the power to raise profits by anywhere from 25% to 95%, this heightened sense of loyalty to your brand will pay off big in the long run.
Cross-selling comes in many forms. The following are some strategies to consider when looking to implement a cross-selling strategy for your brand:
Cross-Selling Strategies to Boost AOV
1. Make it Personal
The more relevant your recommendations are to your shoppers, the more successful they will be. You can use shopper data such as browsing history or previous purchases to make your recommendations as personalized as possible. UpSellit’s behavioral parsing engine makes it easier than ever to collect behavioral data so you can make the best recommendations for your shoppers.
2. Share Frequently Purchased Products
You can also use data collected from other customers to recommend products frequently purchased together. This strategy utilizes the theory of social proof and helps you recommend products that logically go well together.
3. Add Value to the Product
Simplify the shopping experience by recommending complementary items that complete the look or round out the experience. This strategy helps shoppers get all the accessories they need in one place, and they will appreciate not having to shop around.
Example: A shopper is looking to purchase a watch, and you offer them a screen protector or a leather watch strap to complement their order.
You can also incentivize your cross-sells by offering free shipping thresholds and offering products that help shoppers meet them.
Example: Your brand offers free shipping for orders of $100 or more. The jumpsuit a shopper is looking at is $79, so you suggest a few jewelry offerings that are $21 or more.
4. Create Bundles
Creating bundles in another tactic that makes it easy for shoppers to get everything they need with one easy purchase. You can incentivize the purchase of bundles by providing discounts on them or simply highlighting the savings compared to buying all the items in the bundle separately.
5. Showcase Trending Products
Another way to harness the power of social proof is to recommend products that are popular among your customers. This could help shoppers explore your other product offerings and potentially come across something they didn’t even know they needed.
Timing is Key
When it comes to making recommendations shoppers will respond to, it’s important to determine the right time and place to present them. Recommendations can be integrated on product, cart, or checkout pages. You might want to make them available in-page, or you might find it more useful to use an engagement that appears upon abandonment. UpSellit offers a variety of combinations for cross-selling, as well as A/B testing to help you determine the best and most effective solution for your brand.
The Cross-Sell at a Glance
When executed well, cross-selling is an excellent strategy for increasing average order value. By integrating cross-selling strategies into your site, you not only sell more products – you create a more personalized customer experience that will leave your customers more satisfied and eagerly anticipating their next visit to your site.
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