Cross-selling and Upselling Examples to Earn More Revenue

Deborah Mecca
September 14, 2023

15 Upselling and Cross-Selling Examples to Earn You More Revenue

If you run an online store, then naturally you’re always curious about how to earn more from each shopper. Among the most potent answers to these questions are upselling and cross-selling.

Anyone who has gone shopping online before has seen sections below a product that have headings such as “Frequently Bought Together” or “You May Also Like.” These are just two of the many upselling and cross-selling examples out there, and such strategies work as well for Shopify as they do for any other e-commerce platform.

Both upselling and cross-selling tactics can significantly contribute to a business’s top-line revenue growth, so it’s important you know exactly how they work. Let’s briefly go over the high-level benefits of upselling and cross-selling, then give some examples of stores who do it really well.

By the end of this article, you’ll have 15 great ideas for getting your products into more hands and making more money today.

What Are Upselling and Cross-Selling?

Upselling and cross-selling are commercial strategies that convince you to buy better versions of the same product and complementary products, respectively. These strategies are seen frequently in e-commerce business settings and in-person brick-and-mortar stores alike.

When you upsell, you try to convince a shopper that they need a better version of what they’ve already chosen. When you cross-sell, your goal is to get them to buy an additional product that goes well with the first one they bought. For example, if they’ve purchased a ceramic plant pot from you, you might suggest a matching ceramic mister.

The upselling and cross-selling examples listed below demonstrate how such strategies can improve the customer experience while simultaneously making more money for you. If you’d like to learn more about both, feel free to check out our full guide on How to Upsell on Shopify.

Benefits of Upselling and Cross-Selling Additional Products

Before we get too far into the weeds with upselling and cross-selling examples, let’s take a quick look at the many benefits of these sales tactics.

Raises Average Order Value (AOV)

Foremost among their benefits, upselling and cross-selling help to increase the amount of money you get per order, also known as the average order value or AOV.

The amount might surprise you, too. Aggregated research from Sumo shows that “Upselling increases revenue by 10-30% on average.” Plus, “70-95% of revenue comes from upsells and renewals on average (for companies who offer them).”

What’s not to like?

Increases Customer Lifetime Value

According to the same source as above, “Upsells are 68% more affordable than acquiring a new customer.” This means that if you can effectively upsell your customers, you’re saving a lot of money on marketing. It’s a more effective use of the customer journey, as opposed to constantly striving to bring in new customers.

Helps Promote Complementary and Related Products

Upselling and cross-selling help promote complementary and related products by showcasing the breadth of a business's product catalog and helping customers find everything they need. In doing so, they keep customers from going elsewhere by making it clear that you do sell the exact additional products they’re on the hunt for.

Builds Customer Loyalty

Both of these strategies help to build customer loyalty by sharing relevant products and services that are tailored to your customers’ shopping history. When you (or more accurately, your shop’s algorithm) effectively target their needs, customers are likelier to become superfans and continue spending.

Cost Savings

By optimizing marketing efforts with upsell and cross-sell strategies, store owners can reach a larger audience and get the most out of each customer interaction, resulting in significant cost savings. By increasing customer loyalty and maximizing retention, you can not only boost sales, but also reduce marketing costs.

9 Examples of Upselling

First up on our list of upselling and cross-selling examples, let’s tackle upselling.

If you can get shoppers to spring for a better version of your offering, everyone wins. They get a nicer product, which is likelier to make them happy and keep them satisfied for the long run. You boost sales and increase your average order value (AOV), and you benefit from the fact that since they’re happier, they’re likelier to leave a good review or buy from you again. That doesn’t mean upselling is a piece of cake though.

Let’s take a look at how to get your buyers to choose the more expensive product without being pushy or salesy, and without losing their interest.

1. Add-Ons

First and foremost, every retailer should use add-ons. If you think about it, you’ll realize that you already know what this is, and have probably been enticed by this marketing tactic yourself. Shopify shops that use add-ons routinely see higher order values and happier customers.

Take a look at Snash Jewelry, for example. For each of their products, they offer a number of customization options (e.g. metal type, chain length, etc.). After you’ve decided exactly what you want, they have a dropdown menu that says “Additional Fun Options,” in which you can choose wrapping, grab bag jewelry, or both.

In order to offer so many different ways of customizing your order, the business uses Product Options & Customizer. This massively increases the functionality of each listing over the native Shopify abilities, and in so doing gives customers more options – and more ways of increasing that conversion rate.

2. Side-by-Side Comparison

Everybody loves a good side-by-side comparison. It helps you see what else you might want to consider with easy links to click, so people can balance their needs with the features and costs of other available products.

Bad Ass Extension Cords does this extremely well. On each product listing, you’ll get information related to that particular item, as is standard. However, you’ll also notice checkboxes to compare this item with others that you’re considering, and on product pages, you’ll see side-by-side comparisons of similar products.

3. Upgraded Products

The women’s clothing company Empower gives you a gander at nicer versions of the same product you’re considering, right there on the listing page. Once you scroll past the product info and testimonials on each product page, you see spendier options that meet the same need.

For instance, if you’re viewing a pair of bike shorts and scroll down, you not only see the same shorts in different colors for the same price, you see nicer body-shaping shorts that cost a bit more. While you’re searching, you’ll also see a pop-up with a discount, which makes it likelier that you’ll purchase more/nicer products.

4. Trade-Ins

Trade-ins are a popular way to get some money for products that you no longer need, but that still have useful life. Amazon and Apple both offer trade-in value for devices, while the Patagonia Worn Wear shop allows you to sell back your goodies for money that can be put toward new products.

And guess what? This is a great strategy to help meet customer needs too. If your products are made well enough to be refurbished and resold, then providing shoppers a bit of money back leaves both you and your customers coming out ahead.

5. Customer Rewards

Everyone loves a deal. That’s why we reward people with free shipping when they reach a certain threshold in their purchasing. If they haven’t, we give them a message for how to do it … e.g. “You’re only $5 away from your next reward tier, so purchase one more item to get great savings!”

Babe is a women-owned Shopify store that sells home goods, clothing, stationery, and more. They offer a rewards program that is very clearly laid out on their website. They explain how to get the points (shop, create an account, subscribe to the newsletter, refer a friend) as well as how you can use them.

Not only does this help bring in new customers, it increases customer satisfaction as well. Plus, it gives people some capital for buying higher-end items that are listed at a higher price.

6. Free Shipping Incentives

No one needs to tell you that free shipping is A Whole Thing. If you know you won’t have to pay to get it from warehouse to door, you’re likelier to click “Buy Now.”

The traditional deal is that if a customer makes a purchase above a certain amount, they’ll qualify for free shipping. Other companies may offer it no matter what, like Rothy’s, but smaller shops usually can’t afford to. However, the customer hitting an order minimum is a great way to make it worth your while.

Having an order minimum is a great way to get customers to add additional items, increase conversion, and reconsider being done when they hit the checkout page.

7. Promoting Featured Products

Bombas is famous for a reason. In addition to their charity work – one pair of socks donated for every pair purchased – they are always featuring products on their main page. This is an effortless way to upsell, because you might see a nicer version of the original product you came to get.

8. Creating Daily Offers

Daily offers – such as Best Buy’s Deal of the Day, or the Lowe’s and Home Depot daily deals – are a great way to stay on customer’s radars. They’ll come back to see what’s new often, and with different deals on different products, you can more easily upsell and cross-sell.

9. Offer Gift Wrapping Services

Gift wrapping makes shopping for the holidays or birthdays so much easier, and it’s a great way to upsell by charging more for wrapping than you pay for supplies. Outdoor Voices does this well, with gift box and gift note options right in the shopping cart. This increases the average order value, and their related products (discussed below) raises it further.

6 Examples of Cross-Selling

Cross-selling, as discussed above, is a great way of increasing your average order value while bringing other items in your shop to light. In addition, it helps customers see what they might be missing, so even if they don’t choose to purchase extra items right away, they can come back to your shop and get them later.

Best of all, you can combine cross-selling opportunities with upselling. Here are six relatively easy ways to help customers consider additional offerings on your site without seeming salesy or selfish.

1. Related Products

Upscale jewelry designer Rebel Nell uses related products to great effect in their Shopify store. When you add an item to your cart, you can see several tiles at the bottom with product recommendations that help shoppers easily identify the relevant products to go with their purchase.

For instance, if you put a pewter keychain in your cart, the options that pop up include a jewelry cleaning cloth, branded sticker, gift box, gift message, or gift card. That way, shoppers can easily pop cross-sell items into their cart before they check out.

2. Frequently Bought Together

Products that coordinate with the product being viewed deserve their time in the limelight. Not only do complementary products increase your AOV, they help customers make the most of the one they’re getting.

For example, take a look at how home goods giant Crate & Barrel (which uses the Shopify platform) showcases their linens. If you search duvet covers, then you need only scroll down to see the shams that go with it.

3. Product Bundles

Product bundles are a big hit. Instead of buying complementary items separately, you can instead lump all those related items into one big package. This helps cross-sell to customers while letting them feel as though they’re still only buying “one” item – with all the benefits of multiple.

Shopify stores Kylie Cosmetics and Fam Fab Prints do this amazingly well with makeup and swimwear bundles, respectively.

4. Personalized Suggestions

Many of us want to look better, feel better, style our homes better, or keep our cars cleaner. However, we’re clueless where to start. If you offer products that help people do... well, basically anything, then personalized suggestions can help them overcome that hump and buy from you.

Rihanna’s makeup line Fenty Beauty does this amazingly well. From the comfort of your own home, you can get shade matching, a virtual consultation, or an over-the-internet try-on, where the company will digitally make you up so you can choose your colors – all without having to put any pants on.

If you’re ready to majorly increase your products through personalized recommendations, then you could see major supplementary income.

5. Trial Products

Who doesn’t love to try a product without having to commit? This cross-selling strategy is a great way to improve customer relationships without requiring a big upfront purchase.

Usually, shops offer this type of thing on a low-cost basis, where you can buy travel sizes. However, Jessicurl goes all the way, letting you order a free sample size of your product completely free. If you fall in love – which they clearly believe you will – then you can come back and purchase the full size product.

Trial products are easy to list on a Shopify site too, because all you have to do is list the product for free – no strings attached.

6. Additional Services

Additional services are a way to make your product more valuable without actually adding more product to the proposition. For instance, Jungalow is a Shopify store that offers periodic workshops to increase customer loyalty.

For instance, they might offer a workshop about branding and pattern identification for customers who love their home goods: rugs, wallpapers, etc. Those customers might be interior designers who will buy their products to style a home. Or they might be graphic designers who are trying to learn from the best about creating their own art – but will buy products that reflect their style.

Upselling and Cross-Selling Techniques to Help You Earn More Revenue

Wondering how to get sales on Shopify? Specifically, basic sales techniques that e-commerce store owners can use to increase cross-sells and upsells? Here’s how to kick your marketing strategy into overdrive, increase your customer lifetime value, hone your messaging, and get everything running on automations so you can focus on creating.

Use Relevant Shopify Apps

Store owners can leverage technology and use different apps available on Shopify to boost sales, as well as increase cross-sells and upsells. Make sure to find the right apps to facilitate upselling techniques and cross-selling techniques.

For instance, Product Options and Customizer lets you customize listings with features such as color swatches, checkboxes, text boxes, dropdown menus, and so forth. Each of these represents a potential upsell for which you can charge more money, increasing your AOV and honing your sales strategy.

Promote Subscription Offers

Additionally, store owners can offer subscriptions, then give customers discounts and special deals in return. By turning loyal customers into subscribers, store owners can increase their customer lifetime value and revenue. Using segmentation makes an email list even more powerful.

A/B Test Offer Messaging

How do you know what’s working on a checkout page? Which landing pages and templates are generating the most income? How are people responding to cross-sell offers in different formats?

You can use A/B testing to compare messaging from ad campaigns, product pages, and any other place where upsell or cross-sell offers appear via segmentation for individual customer cohorts. This helps to increase total conversions and earn more revenue.

Offer Temporary Discounts on the Checkout Page

You can also capitalize on scarcity by offering limited-time discounts and special deals on your checkout page. Make sure the customer knows that the deal won’t last, which will motivate them to click “buy” right away.

Send Email Follow Ups Post-purchase

Create email templates to send to customers post-purchase. Through email automation, you can have these emails sent to customers immediately after purchases to incentivize them to purchase related products. Or, put them on a timed follow-up mailing list, where messages are sent a week after purchase to find out how the customer likes their item, and offer complimentary products to use alongside it.

How to Earn More Revenue with Product Options and Customizer

The upselling and cross-selling examples provided above offer a ton of valuable ideas that you can implement in your own Shopify store. Take your time combing through them and choose just a few of the strategies that will work for you to start. Add-ons, personalized suggestions, and upgraded products are all easy places to start – though any of these is doable through the Shopify app store.

This is especially true when you use the right Shopify upsell and cross-sell apps. Take Product Options and Customizer, which is a fantastic tool that lets you customize any listing to within an inch of its life. (But seriously, it does.) Now you can use add-ons, upgrades, customizations, text, image uploads, price increases for specialty options, and more – all of which make it easy for your customers to upgrade your products to their hearts’ content.

The best thing is, when you make customization so easy, your customers are likelier to find what they need. Once they’ve committed to the product they’ve customized, they’re then even likelier to take you up on a cross-sell purchase, either right then or shortly after purchase. They’re also more prone to trusting you, so will respond more readily to your emails, take you up on additional services, or buy gifts for others from your shop.

In other words, Product Options and Customizer is ideal for assisting with upselling. If you’d like to see how it can work in your own shop, we encourage you to start a 14-day free trial today!

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