Archive for December, 2009

The art of effective cross-selling (offering related items) and up-selling (suggesting more expensive alternatives) on your product pages can make a significant difference in the overall sales volume and conversion ratio of your ecommerce website.

Effective Cross-selling and Up-selling can Increase:

  • Average order totals
  • Conversion rates
  • Exposure to higher margin items and best sellers
  • Awareness of the depth of your offerings
  • Overall customer satisfaction by helping to find the product or service offering that best meets your visitor’s needs

Cross-Selling Dos

  • Only feature highly relevant items such as accessories directly related to the product offered or as an alternative of the product
  • Use personal words such as “you”, opposed to “we”. For example, “You Might Also Like”, not “May We Also Suggest”
  • Choose items that sell well and have higher margins whenever possible
  • Keep you cross-sells down to three suggestions. This seems to be the magic number to create interest while not overwhelming or distracting your customer from making a choice
  • Whenever possible, show the most obvious choices someone would want to go along with their purchase such as a matching necklace to go along with diamond earrings
  • Continually test your cross-selling tactics and work at improving them for maximum effectiveness
  • Look through your order history to find proven cross-sell items. For example, previous customers often bought product “A” when they bought product “B”

 Cross-Selling Don’ts

  • Never, ever, show items that are not “directly” related to the main product
  • Don’t show items that are out of stock unless backorders are available – Note: During the holiday shopping season, try not to cross-sell anything that isn’t readily available
  • Don’t use cross-selling to simply try unloading unwanted inventory. The goal is to maximize your overall sales totals and conversion rates. Unwanted inventory can have its own area on your site such as a Clearance or Specials section
  • Don’t try cross-selling big-ticket items. As a general rule the incremental cross-sell/up-sell should be 10-25% of the price of the original item on the product page

What Do You Think?

Everyone seems to have their own ideas about what cross-selling strategies work best for their ecommerce business. What do you think about cross-selling as an online marketer or customer? Have you had success increasing sales or buying products due to cross-selling? Leave a comment and share your thoughts!

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