What’s the Difference Between Up-Selling and Cross-Selling?
Up-selling is about improving the items that the customer would already like to buy, so that you can charge a premium price. If it is a service, this could mean extending the term that they are paying for (12-month subscription instead of a 6-month subscription). It could also mean offering a bundle of additional products, so that you can charge a “bundled” rate.
If you have products with variations at different prices, then up-selling could be convincing the customer to purchase the more expensive variation of that product.
Cross-selling involves offering related products to the customer so that they add other items to their cart. These are still individual items, not bundles, which is why it is considered a cross-sell and not an up-sell.
For example, if someone just purchased a piece of jewelry, you could recommend the necklace or earrings that match that piece. They could then choose whether to buy more items, or stick with their original purchase.
Up-Selling Best Practices
- Up-sells should be about small commitments. It should be an easy leap from one step to the next. Don’t recommend a product or service that is significantly different or more expensive than the original item.
- Make it easy to say no. If the customer isn’t interested, it should be easy for them to skip the offer.
- Focus on value. If your up-sell isn’t providing significant value to the purchase, then it needs to be reevaluated.
- Up-sells should incorporate the information needed to complete the buyer’s journey. Education, content marketing, and resources can help them evaluate your up-sell offer. Education could be as simple as showing them how much they would save on an up-sell bundle, or it could be as elaborate as taking them through a series of videos or articles.
- Create urgency. Up-sells should demonstrate a clear value and the price should be competitive enough to spur them to make an immediate purchasing decision.
Cross-Selling Best Practices
- Think of your products as solutions. Any related product that you recommend should enhance the solution that you are offering. For example, if you sell furniture, a cross-sell could be the wrench and wood glue that you’ll need to assemble it. These cross-sells solve the problem and provide a solution– to buy a piece of furniture and assemble it.
- Time your cross-sell well. There are several places that you can prompt a cross-sell: as related products on a product page, immediately after you hit the add to cart button, on the cart page, or within the checkout flow. The closer you get to the checkout process, the more frictionless you want the design to be so that customers can easily check out. You don’t want your cross-sell to disrupt this flow and cause the customer to abandon their cart.
- Limit your cross-selling to the most effective methods. Although there are a lot of places where you can cross-sell your products, you should be discerning about how many methods you implement. A/B testing each location can help you pare down your options to the most effective so that your customers aren’t bombarded with cross-sell opportunities.
- Personalize your recommendations. There are a few programs that can help you make accurate recommendations using an algorithm. However, even basic cross-sell apps that recommend products they had previously viewed on your website can help you present better options to them.