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How to Use Cross-Selling Strategy to Boost eCommerce Sales

Updated on August 26, 2021 in eCommerce by

How to Use Cross-Selling Strategy to Boost eCommerce Sales

If you are making a sale on 8 out of 10 of your customers who are buying one product each – Well done! Now, what if I tell you that on at least one of those customers, you can sell at least one extra product even though that customer didn’t plan on buying that thing. This means that for every 80 customers you sell to, you will be selling 8 extra products.

Cross-Selling Strategy

Sounds amazing, doesn’t it? You must be excited to know about this magic trick that prompts your customers into buying things that they even intend to. So let me tell you that this secret lies in the amazing strategy of CROSS SELLING.

What is Cross-Selling?

Cross-selling is the practice of selling a product along with the product that your customer is already interested in and intending to buy.

When you implicate the cross-selling strategy, you need to make sure that the product that you are selling is really going well with what the customer has bought and is complimenting it.

Let’s take the example of a customer who is looking for mobile phones and intends to buy one, the product that you’d like to cross-sell along with it could be the phone case of the model he has selected or the earphones.

Cross-Selling Strategy for eCommerce
Cross-selling strategy

You will not try to cross-sell a bracelet as it has nothing to do with what he’s currently buying.

What are the Effective ways of Cross-Selling?

Cross-selling can be a great practice of alluring your customers to buy something extra that aids in their actual purchase. But the question arises of how and when to prompt a customer to implement a cross-selling strategy?

I have listed the 6 effective ways of cross selling that will help you accomplish the purpose successfully.

1. Prompt Before they Checkout

Cross-Selling Strategy for eCommerce

If you want to cross-sell your product in a way that it keeps moving inside the head of your customers, you might want to display your cross-selling products pop-ups before they checkout.

This means that you will be giving them a choice to purchase another product along with their major purchase in the middle of their decision-making.

Many businesses use a cross-selling strategy before the customer checkout to give them a choice already to manipulate their decision-making. A customer may decide to add the product into the cart that you suggested while cross-selling and checkout with both the products at once.

2. Prompt at the Time of Checkout

Have you ever seen a dialogue box appearing when you hit the checkout option on an eCommerce website showing a relevant product to what you added to the cart? That’s the company implementing a cross-selling strategy.

You can pop your cross-selling dialogue box when the customers hit the checkout button. This makes the customer think if it would be a better idea to choose the relevant product and leave with two products altogether.

Both the times, before and at the time of checkout can be considered optimum to display your cross-selling pop-up.

You can not cross-sell when a customer hasn’t made any decision and is still in the middle of searching and finalizing a product. It could be done before the checkout as there is a possibility that a customer has added a product into their cart.

And, at the time of checkout is considered better because now you can be sure that the customer has finalized the purchase. And about to pay for the same. This makes it easier and more validated to show a cross-selling pop that relates to the purchase.

3. Wait, Watch, and Strike

It may not always be a good idea to hit the customer with your cross-selling strategy between their purchase. Initially, if you find it overwhelming to display your cross-selling product at the time of the customers’ purchase, then it would be better for you to take a day or two’s break.

I recommend you create an email listing of the customers you find potential, wait for two days after their purchase, and send them an email regarding the relevant product of what they purchased recently from your site.

Here’s an example for you to understand it:

Let’s say your customer recently purchased a biker jacket. You can send an email telling your customer “Hello Rose, we saw that you just purchased a biker jacket. Why not pair it with denim jeans to enhance the look? We feel that it’ll go really well with it.”

You can come up with your own lines to convince the customers that your suggestion is really worth buying.

4. Include Marketing and Retargeting in your Cross-Selling Strategy

Cross-selling strategy for eCommerce

Marketing is undeniably a non-negotiable part of every business. Especially when it comes to eCommerce, marketing plays an important role in generating traffic, spreading awareness, and increasing conversion rates.

Social media has proven to be one of the most effective platforms for eCommerce marketing. There are currently 3.6 billion social media users around the globe, which means that your marketing strategy is open to a whole lot of potential customers.

As per the statistics of Blazon, more than 95% of the online traffic is generated through social media referral traffic.

According to Bigcommerce – eCommerce stores generate more than 32% of their sales when they have a social media presence.

You can make use of social media marketing for your cross-selling strategy through retargeting. Retargeting is not only about the new products or the products which were left abandoned in the carts of your customers.

You can retarget your customers with the pop-ups displaying the complementary products to what they recently purchased.

When the customers regularly see the products over the platforms that they move to, such products tend to stick with them until they finally decide to make a purchase.

You can boost your cross-selling strategy by combining it with your marketing strategy easily.

5. Offer a limited Period Discount on the Cross-Sell Product

Best Cross-selling strategy for eCommerce

When you are new to implementing the cross-selling strategy, you may want it to work. And before you start anything, you must be ready for the neutral profit and some appealing tricks.

If you feel that your customers are turning down your cross-selling strategy offers, I suggest you captivate them with compelling discounts.

Let’s take the example of the biker jacket once again. Your customer bought the jacket and now you plan on selling the cool goggles that compliment it.

Despite sharing the goggles with their actual price, you can display the pop-up with an additional 10% discount that the customer can avail of within a limited period.

You can make use of the plug-ins that many big shopping carts allow you to keep a countdown with their sale countdown timers such as the countdown timer from Woocommerce and Shopify.

This way, the customer feels that he/she is only getting the discount because he/she purchased the jacket. And, if he/she intends on buying those goggles later then the price may differ.

Your offer can compel them into falling for your cross-selling strategy that is not just beneficial for your business but also for thor satisfaction.

6. Identify your Potential Customers

cross-selling-strategy for eCommerce

Showering every customer with your cross-selling strategy may not bring you much effect, as the turndowns can believe you into thinking that the cross-selling strategy is not working.

You need to understand that not all your customers will be buying the product you put for cross-selling. It is better to identify your target audience who have been loyal to your eCommerce business and have enjoyed using your products.

Including such customers in your cross-selling strategy will result in lesser turndowns and probably lesser cancellations after the purchase.

Once you are through with your cross-selling strategy in the beginner’s stage, you may transit into expanding your customer inclusions.

You may consider including the customers who have at least bought three products from you or the people who have shopped for more than $2000 worth of products from your website, or come up with your other unique ideas to create your listings.

Which of these ways Should you Choose for your Business?

Cross-selling strategy for eCommerce

After reading these ways, if you are still not clear whether to display your cross-selling pop-up before, during, or after the checkout of the customers, then I say display them at EVERY stage. But to understand what to remember while displaying them on each stage, keep reading.  #4 is the best!

5 Important Things to Remember When Cross-Selling

1. Cross-Sell only the Relevant Products

Cross-Sell only the Relevant Products

While implementing the cross-selling strategy, it is very important to cross-sell only those products that are relevant to what the customers are purchasing. Irrelevant suggestions may frustrate your buyer and you may look like a desperate businessman trying to sell the products at any cost even if those relate to the customers or not.

Cross-selling is the way of showing the customers that your eCommerce business thinks good for them and wants to help them in finding the right kind of products to pair with their purchase.

Your cross selling strategy should look appealing and beneficial to your customers rather than a trap.

2. Assess various Cross-Selling alternatives

Cross-Selling alternatives
Source- amazon

For every product you implicate your cross-selling strategy, try coming up with various alternatives rather than just one.

For example, with a purchase of the face wash, you can not only cross sell face moisturizers to use after it but you can also try to cross-sell face masks, a night gel, or anything that relates to the same brand and fits in the category of the face care products.

This way, your customers have different options and different prices. If your customers find the night gel to be expensive, they might prefer buying a moisturizer if that’s cheaper than that.

Alternatives give choices to your customers as well as your eCommerce business in opening the doors of opportunity and hope of selling one out of other alternatives.

3. Send Personalized and Captivating Emails

You might think of sending auto-generated mail to your customers but they are clever enough to distinguish between what a bot has written and what a sales representative can write.

You now may think of addressing each of them with their name, but that’s where your competitors would satisfy. You need to be ahead of the game.

I recommend that you include the name, the date, and the name of their last purchase and suggest your cross-selling product in words that sound beneficial for them.

Your lines must catch them into understanding why they need to buy the recommended product and they must believe that buying that product is very essential for them to compliment their recent purchase.

Such emails exude the feeling of personalization, exclusiveness, and your customers feel valued. This not only wins you the cross-selling strategy you applied but it also helps you create a more satisfied and loyal customer base.

4. Keep the Discounts Profitable

Cross-Selling Strategy for eCommerce

Giving discounts on your cross-selling products can massively boost your cross-selling strategy results. But giving discounts can be dangerous if they don’t reap any benefits.

You want to implicate a cross-selling strategy to grow your profits, but if the discounts are making them neutral or even worse, then you might be using the cross-selling strategy in the wrong way.

Provide the discount considering the shipping charges the customer is paying and the profit margin you are getting after the discount.

Also, giving discounts on every cross-selling product may also not be advantageous for your eCommerce business because there is a possibility that a few of the customers would have bought the cross-selling product even without the discount.

In this case, I recommend that you provide the discount only when you are sending emails or displaying the pop-up after the customer clicks on the checkout.

Here, you are displaying it after the checkout because the customer has already turned down the pop-up you displayed before the checkout. This is done in the hope that a discount will compel them into staying for a little longer and decide the purchase.

Though, the smart way would be to give a discount on the alternative cross-selling product which is of a higher price than what was displayed before the checkout.

If you give the discount on the same product that you displayed before the checkout, then your customers may get used to your strategy and never click on the first one. Choosing an alternative that is of higher price and giving it at a discount is an entirely new process to implement in your cross-selling strategy. You can also read how customer retention strategies boost your eCommerce business.

5. Select the Products for Cross-Selling Very Wisely

The product you choose for your cross-selling strategy will always be against the primary purchases of your customers. When you choose which product to display for your cross-selling pop-up, you can choose the product which is less expensive than the actual purchase.

However, there is no rule that you can not cross-sell a product that is higher in price as compared to the primary purchase. But, it is suggested because the customers are likely to spend a few extra dollars on purchasing a relevant product but they might not consider spending the amount even more than what they have already paid.

Also as explained above, when you decide to provide the discount on your cross-selling products, I suggest that you choose your expensive and premium products for that.

Giving discounts on cheaper and already affordable products is not wise as you can expect the customers to buy those products without the discount and bear no loss.

Final Words

By implementing a cross-selling strategy in your eCommerce business, you can expand your chances of improving the sales of your business. It is an excellent way to get your customers into buying more products.

With dedication, time, and effort, you can make the cross-selling strategy your best growth planning. Cross-selling is not just advantageous to your business, but it also helps you build trust and customer satisfaction. Your useful and personalized recommendations make them feel valued and convey your professionalism in the way of working.

When working with a cross-selling strategy, it is important to take care of the above-mentioned points to accomplish positive results.

Bonus read: If you loved our article today, then I can guarantee you will love to read about How to Use Downselling Strategy to Boost eCommerce Sales.

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