9 Effective Upsell and Cross-sell Tips

9 tips to Upsell and Cross sell effectively

As a matter of fact, the core purpose of any enterprise is to increase revenue, no matter what the industry. Since then, the terms Upsell and Cross-sell came into being to help businesses achieve that goal without spending time looking for new customers. Thanks to Upselling and Cross-selling, many businesses, especially in the e-commerce industry, even earn 35% more revenue (as reported by Amazon). In the article below, we will uncover the 9 most effective upsell and cross-sell tips that you can apply.

Too busy to read? Listen to this article here:

I. What is Upselling and Cross-selling?

Upselling is the reason why we have a premium package on Netflix instead of the standard version we planned for. It is a strategy to sell a superior with a value-added features version of a product that the customer has already owned or considered purchasing.

►►► Refer to market Bigcommerce App by Gritglobal: Automation AppBackorder App

Cross-selling identifies products that satisfy additional, complementary needs that are unfulfilled by the original item. It’s about discovering new solutions that increase how useful existing ones are in the consumer’s eyes. For example, if you encourage a customer who has just purchased a new phone to get a protective case at the same time, that’s a cross-selling win.


Upselling and Cross-selling are pretty much the same as using a spoon or fork to eat a piece of cake. Use either of them and you can fully enjoy it. These are two powerful tools that you can use interchangeably or both to bring more revenue to the company without causing any inconvenience.

II. The importance of Upselling and Cross-selling for e-commerce

1. Bring in more revenue without finding new customers

The immediate benefit we can see right away from these strategies is increasing revenue. It is no secret that customers buying more means that your institution will make more money. In both cases, the business objective is to increase order value by informing customers about additional product options that they may not think of. Growth for your business does not mean simply retaining the customers that you have: it is necessary that you continue to grow your wallet allocation for the current customers you have.

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2. Create value and incentives for the customers

Cross-selling and Upselling both focus on providing additional value to customers, instead of limiting them to already- encountered products. The key to success in these strategies is to truly understand what customers’ interests are, then respond with your products and corresponding features that exactly meet those needs. These methods also keep customers coming back again for future purchases and can help prevent shopping cart abandonment.

Cross-selling and Upselling can be used in multiple stages of a sale. When these strategies are made easy for the consumers, they’re more likely to click, since they don’t need to go through the search process again. They see, they click, they purchase. That’s it!

III. Dos and Don’ts to Upsell and Cross-sell effectively

1. Do pay attention to the order value

You can tell a lot from the order value of a customer. Are they high or low-paying? Are they attracted to high-quality products or low-cost products? The order value is also important data for customer segmentation, from which you would have a specific marketing plan for each group.

This could be done easily and automatically with Atom8 – a Commerce Automation Platform. Here’s how it works:

Trigger: Product ordered
Condition: If the order value is more than $500
Action: Categorize customers into a group
AND Send a “thank-you” email via Mailchimp.

Workflow template to pay attention to order value by Atom8

2. Do ensure recommended items are related to the purchased one

Your suggestion should fit the customers’ needs at the very moment they make the purchase of a specific item. In order to do that, you have to categorize the products intelligently. But don’t worry about that boring messy job. Have Atom8 done it automatically for you! You thereby have time to listen to customers’ needs and desires. Thus you would better determine which of your products could interest them, and bring more value. See how Atom8 can enhance your business effectiveness and save hours of working:

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Atom8 will automatically categories your products to suit customers’ needs.

For example, the customer has just bought a shampoo product. A cross-sell strategy is to email customers about additional hair care products such as conditioner, hair spray, dry shampoo, etc.

Workflow template to ensure recommended items are related to the purchased one by Atom8

3. Do reward customer loyalty

If you already have upsell and cross-sell tips and the campaigns work, congratulations! You have successfully convinced customers to spend even more money on your enterprise. Obviously, your next job is showing gratitude. Make sure to reward your customers for spending more and for trusting your consultative guidance.

Some ideas for showing your thanks could include:

  • Sending thank you emails
  • Offering free gifts, vouchers, or discount codes for future purchases.

Click here to see more specific use cases to make your holiday season more profitable.

4. Do send personalized offers to incentivize customers.

Utilize the data you already have from customers purchasing history to get personalized. You have an idea of what your past customers like based on their past purchases – this knowledge is a part of the upsell and cross-sell tips. Understanding customer insights and purchasing habits is a great advantage to make customers feel valued, thereby stimulating them to buy more, turning them into your loyal customers.

send personalized messages

5. Do use smart remarketing tactics

Remarketing is the absolute best way to automate your upselling and get people to convert again with minimal effort. Remarketing campaigns make this insanely efficient and easy.  After gathering each customer into their relevant group, it’s time to apply your remarketing plan. Configure remarketing campaigns in your favorite social networks to appeal to specific buyers with the correct messaging.

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6. Don’t offer too many choices or else it can be overwhelming

When using cross-selling and upselling strategies, choose your goals and understand customer goals. Do you want to tell people about your new useful services, sell unpopular products, or, on the flip side, promote the new arrivals? Quality over quantity. Knowing exactly their needs and suggesting relevant choices is better than just randomly popping up products.

7. Don’t let past buyers forget

The great thing about customer segmentation is that you already have the contact information since they have purchased from you in the past. This step is critical in keeping things organized so the right people are getting the most relevant information catered to them. Communication is key. Frequently reminding customers of your brand is very essential.

8. Don’t be afraid to use a little pressure

Take advantage of FOMO syndrome. “If you’re looking for a blue hat, this one is one of our best sellers. We have trouble keeping them in stock”.


9. Don’t fake it

Be open, honest, and transparent about all the shipping fees, pricing policy, terms of conditions for discount code. Be up-front with customers if you try to Upsell or Cross-sell while in communication with them.

Key takeaway

Choosing between cross-selling and upselling is solely up to you and your marketing goals. By using these upsell and cross-sell tips, you’ll be able to build a marketing strategy that boosts your income and keeps your customers pleased. Once you are ready with your strategy, remember to turn to our apps to bring it to life.

If you are on BigCommerce, we have another simple but flexible solution to upsell and cross-sell: the Product Recommendation app.  Discover its features here:

cta bigcommerce recommendation


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