Mastering the Art of Upsell and Cross-Sell

Mastering the art of upsell and cross-sell blog post cover

Upselling and cross-selling are two terms you’ll often hear mentioned in the eCommerce world. While the aim of both strategies is to increase average order value, they differ in their approach. Upselling encourages customers to buy a superior version of a product they intend to purchase, whereas cross-selling encourages customers to buy an additional or complementary product with their purchase.

Merchants who find the right mix for their eCommerce business can increase profitability while simultaneously offering customers better value for money, encouraging repeat purchases and fostering brand loyalty.

Wix stores that display related items on their product pages get an average of 43% more sales transactions.

In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know to understand the difference between upselling, cross-selling, and bundling, why they’re important for your online business, and how to master them all with your Wix online store.

Do you want to start selling online? Create an eCommerce website today and use this article to grow your business.

Understanding upselling and cross-selling

Let’s start by defining some key terms for this article—upselling, cross-selling, and bundling.

image of burger and fries illustrating upselling and cross-selling

What is upselling?

Upselling is when you increase the value of a customer’s sale by convincing them to purchase a more expensive model or additional products. For example: A customer is shopping for a laptop, and you suggest a more advanced, expensive model—like a laptop with extended storage or better screen resolution.

What is cross-selling?

Cross-selling is a sales strategy in which you get customers to buy additional products related to what they are already buying. For example: If your customer is buying a laptop, and you suggest also purchasing a mouse or docking station.

What is bundling?

Bundling is when one main product and other complementary products are sold together as a package deal, often for a lower price than when sold separately. For example: A candle store offering the customer a discounted rate when purchasing 3 or more candles.

The goal of each of these pricing strategies should be to provide additional value to your customers by introducing complementary or better products. While it’s true that the business objective is to increase average order values, the most important factor to consider is which option offers your customers the most value. To help you decide, consider your customers’ needs and respond by providing products that genuinely meet them.

Why are upselling and cross-selling important for your business?

Upselling and cross-selling are invaluable strategies for eCommerce businesses of all sizes. Merchants who take the time to consider their product offering, alongside the needs and wants of their target audience, can create a mutually beneficial relationship with advantages for both the business and its customers. If implemented correctly, upselling and cross-selling can help in the following ways:

01. Boost average order value

By introducing upselling and cross-selling to your sales mix, you can not only increase the average value of an order, but you can also increase customer lifetime value. When you focus on giving customers relevant offers, improving the overall purchase value, the average transaction amount per customer should increase.

These pricing techniques benefit both the customer and the business. The customer gets a better item or complementary item, and the business receives more revenue. The customer should feel a greater sense of satisfaction after they have purchased an upsell or cross-sell, meaning they will be more likely to return to your store. Over the customer’s lifetime, you will see an uptick in their overall purchasing value.

02. Encourage repeat purchases

One of the most effective ways to grow your business and increase customer retention is by encouraging repeat purchases. Think about upselling and cross-selling as a way of providing the best solution to meet your customer’s needs. If you do this successfully, they are more likely to return to your store and become repeat customers.

Since it can cost 5 times more to attract a new customer, compared to retaining an existing one, upselling and cross-selling can help you to save on eCommerce marketing expenses and drive traffic to your online store. It’s also worth noting that increasing customer retention rates by just 5% can result in an uptick in profits by 25%.

03. Generate brand advocates

Brand advocates, or fans, are your brand’s not-so-secret weapons, especially since nowadays reputation is more important than ever. We’ve all heard of that business with bad reviews and have chosen to avoid it, even without experiencing it firsthand. One of the best ways to develop genuine brand advocates is to focus on the customer experience and offering value for money through pricing strategies such as upselling and cross-selling. When customers feel valued and have a good experience with your brand, they will become some of your best advocates.

For example, Forge to Table, who sell handcrafted kitchen knives, successfully integrated cross-selling and bundling into its eCommerce strategy. By creating curated bundles for cooking enthusiasts they were able to offer shoppers better value for their money. An appealing Related Items section also encourages further browsing and, in turn, additional purchases. This strategy paid off with their 2020 fourth quarter sales increasing by 345% year over year.

Forge to Table knives related items gallery

Deciding if you should upsell or cross-sell

Now that you know what upselling and cross-selling are, and how they can impact your business, learn how to master them in your online store. When it comes to finding the right mix for your business, there are a few key things to consider:

Know your shoppers

Before you decide on which strategy to adopt, think about your customers and why they choose to buy from your online store. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What products are they buying?

  • What does this say about them and their needs?

  • What are their demographics?

  • What are the shopping patterns of other similar buyers?

Make informed business decisions by using tools like Wix Analytics to provide answers to your questions. If you notice a behavioral pattern, such as your customers always buying certain products together, use it to guide your strategy.

Next, take the time to look at your inventory and plan your product offering. Identify the more expensive products that can be promoted as an upsell, products that will work together as a cross-sell, and the products you can bundle.

Research has shown that it’s easier to upsell and get customers to buy a better version of an item they are already considering. For example, a shopper purchasing a shaving razor might be more inclined to spend extra on a premium version, as it’s something they’ll use regularly. Also, be sure to check your analytics to see if your customer demographic has the means to purchase a more expensive item. For example, if your audience falls into an older age bracket, who are more likely to have more disposable income, then you can confidently upsell to them at checkout.

However, upselling isn’t an option for every business. For example, your store might not stock a more expensive product. That’s where cross-selling and bundling comes in. This same shopper might instead be persuaded to add extras, like shaving foam and post-shave balm, if they can perceive added value.

Spanish clothing brand, Celia B, uses cross-selling as a way to boost their average order value. An attractive Related Items gallery at the bottom of each product page suggests beautiful accessories for shoppers to complete their look, making it easy for customers to add extra items to their cart.

CeliaB clothing related items gallery

To upsell or cross-sell on your Wix store, you’ll need to add a Related Products Gallery or use a custom solution with Velo by Wix.

To add a Related Products Gallery:

  1. Click the Add icon on the left side of the Editor.

  2. Click Store.

  3. Click Related Products.

  4. Drag the Related Products element to the page.

You can place the Related Products Gallery on your product page to show products that are most closely related to the ones your customers are viewing. It’s also worthwhile to place the widget on your Cart Page and Thank You Page to encourage customers to buy more premium or additional products from your store.

Here are a few tips to get the most out of a Related Products Gallery:

  • Include your most reviewed or most popular products.

  • Make the gallery stand out on your page.

  • Include customer testimonials.

  • Explain why customers should buy an alternative or complementary product.

  • Keep your gallery simple. Too many suggestions can overwhelm your customers.

Show your customers value

Ruby Love period underwear swimsuit bundle

Make it easy for shoppers to see the value that you’re offering. Is that bundle 20% cheaper? Amazing. Shout about it. Let them know why they should upgrade their purchase or buy complementary items. You want them to know that you’re offering added value and not just trying to charge them more.

Consider creating bundles that make sense for your product, so customers can stop searching and head straight to checkout. For example, Ruby Love shoppers have the option to buy selected bundles of period underwear and swimwear for a lower price. This better value deal creates a win-win for both Ruby Love and it’s shoppers—loyal users save money on a product they love and the bundled products become a top selling item.

To easily create product bundles, connect your store with the Multiorders app. This app gives you the flexibility to sell a group of items while still selling the items that make up the package individually—all while keeping track of inventory levels. When a customer buys the bundle, inventory levels for each of the bundle products adjust automatically. Follow these step-by-step instructions on how to create bundles with the Multiorders app.

Invite customer feedback

Customer case studies, testimonials, and reviews are a great way to show an objective perspective beyond your own recommendations. They’re perfect for demonstrating how actual customers have used your related product suggestions or bundles to meet their needs. By inviting customer feedback you might also find out what isn’t working, which, although disappointing, will help to inform how you curate related products or bundles in future.

You can add compelling customer testimonials to your online store in just a few steps.

To add a testimonial strip to your site:

  1. Click Add on the left side of the Editor.

  2. Click Strip.

  3. Scroll down to Testimonials Presets.

  4. Click the testimonial strip that you want to add, or drag it to the relevant location on your site.

  5. Edit the text on the strip.

You can also let customers know how other shoppers feel about your products by adding a reviews app, like Kudobuzz Reviews app, to your site.

This word of mouth approach, sharing customer feedback and giving curious shoppers a deeper insight into your products, is a valuable way to increase sales. Positive reviews also help to improve your eCommerce SEO ranking. If your website’s reviews are easily indexable by search engines, then your store will be more easily found online.

Strategies for upselling and cross-selling successfully

Once you’ve chosen your strategy, consider the ways in which you can communicate this added value to new and returning customers:

Engage shoppers with live chat

Get to know your customers and engage with them using a live chat app like Wix Chat. It’s simple and it works.

Wix stores that offer live chat get 8-12X higher revenues, and those that recommend products to customers via live chat generate 71% more sales.

Live chat is a great way to connect with your customers in real-time at any stage of their shopping journey. Use it to identify windows of opportunity to cross-sell and upsell. It’s also handy to ensure that you keep added value at the center of all that you do. While you get to know your customers you can recommend products based on past purchases and their preferences. Remember to always keep your upselling and cross-selling efforts subtle and value driven.

Use automations to recover lost sales

Connect your store with the Appsell app to continue your upsell and cross-sell strategy, even post purchase. Using Appsell, a thank you page builder app, you can optimize your post-purchase thank you page by customizing the design to match your store, offering exclusive discounts or limited time only coupons on product recommendations that your customers can add to cart in one click. This strategy can boost your sales, revenues, customer engagement and customer lifetime value by targeting happy customers on a “shopper’s high,” who might be more inclined to buy something else right away.

As any online shopper knows, the path to checkout isn’t always straightforward. Shoppers can get distracted or might decide to rethink a purchase. Did you know that up to 88% of carts are abandoned at checkout? One of the most effective ways to recover lost sales is with an automated abandoned cart email which can be sent within hours or days of a customer abandoning their cart.

Wix Stores with active abandoned cart recovery automations increase sales by up to 29%.

You can add additional upselling and cross-selling product suggestions within the email to encourage the likelihood that they will return to your store. Make sure that you don’t include too many additional options and risk overwhelming your customers. Simple is always better.

abandoned cart image orange chair accompanied by the text : Left something behind?

Reward customers for their loyalty

Congratulations, you’ve successfully convinced a customer to buy a complementary product or a more premium version of a product, but what’s next?

Hopefully, your customer is feeling satisfied and enjoying some post-purchase bliss. Here’s where your eCommerce email marketing strategy comes into play. Now is the perfect time to:

  1. Check if they need any post-sale support

  2. Ask them to leave a review on your store

  3. Reward them for their loyalty and for trusting your recommendations

Sending automated emails is a great way to encourage customers to return to your website. Wix offers a range of customizable post-purchase emails, from thank you emails to emails that ask your customers to leave a review, and more.

Post-purchase is a great time to include a reward for your customers. This can be anything from a sincere thank you message to a discount off their next purchase.

By connecting loyalty rewards apps, like, to your eCommerce store, you have the opportunity to boost sales by giving customers access to exclusive perks and discounts.

Coal and Canary, a million dollar company selling luxury scented candles, utilizes various integrated eCommerce marketing tools to stay connected with its shoppers and reward their loyalty. Shoppers can see—at first glance on the homepage—that they can message the company through Live Chat or choose to become a store member and get loyalty points with Coal and Canary have also implemented a strong email marketing strategy, using great design and discount incentives to attract customers and encourage purchases.

Coal and Canary candles email marketing example

Your customers are your greatest asset

At the end of the day, the best customers are loyal customers who keep coming back and spread positive word-of-mouth reviews for your business.

Upselling and cross-selling is a powerful opportunity to build meaningful relationships with your customers. It’s a way to sell products that satisfy your customers and provide value for money. When done correctly, and with integrity, these sales techniques can also positively impact your business by increasing conversion rates, revenue and brand advocacy. Happy selling!

Ready to try out these sales strategies? Create your online store today.

Geraldine Feehily Marketing Writer at Wix

Geraldine Feehily

Marketing Writer, Wix eCommerce

Geraldine is a marketing writer for Wix eCommerce. She uses her broad experience in journalism, publishing, public relations and marketing to create compelling content and loves hearing user success stories.

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