What is Cross-Selling?
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.
Cross-selling could be as simple as offering matching items based on what they already have in their cart. For example, recommending the matching earrings when a customer adds the necklace to the cart.
The easiest way to offer cross-selling is by studying your customer’s buying behavior. If your customers are likely to purchase a helmet when they purchase a bicycle, then offering helmets as a cross-sell is a smart choice with the potential for conversions.
The Difference between Up-Selling and Cross-Selling
Cross-selling involves adding more products to a customer’s order, while up-selling is replacing existing items in a cart for more expensive products.
Up-selling is about improving the items that the customer would already like to buy, so that you can charge a premium price. 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.
For example, if you are selling watches and someone has one in their cart, you can up-sell by offering them the gold-toned watch instead of the silver, which increases the value of their purchase. Cross-selling those same watches would involve recommending related sunglasses when someone adds a watch to their cart. The up-sell replaces the watch with a more expensive watch, while the cross-sell gives customers the option to add a watch and a pair of sunglasses to their cart.
Top Shopify Apps for Cross-Selling/Up-Selling
Cross-Store Selling and Cross-Selling
Do you have the right products to make easy cross-sell offers? You’ll want to think about what solutions you can offer to your customers. If you sell bikes, how about helmets, bike locks, and gloves? If you sell jewelry, how about jewelry boxes, cleaner, or organizers?
In offering solutions for your customers, Carro can help you add products that are well-suited to their needs. Browse the directory to find products that can help you complete your customer’s buying journey.
With just one click, you can then add these products to your store. Carro will create the product in your store, importing the product description, images, and everything else you’ll need to start selling this product.
You’ll need to review the product within your Shopify dashboard, preview the look of this product with your site’s theme and styling, then publish it to your online store. Make sure that “Online Store” is selected under Sales Channels so that customers can find this product on your site!
When one of these partner products sells, your supplier will fulfill this part of the customer’s order so that you don’t have to stock any inventory or handle the shipment of these items. You can stock anything you’d like without the risk or expense of traditional stocking!
From there, you can build your cross-sell offers within a cross-sell app (see our list of recommendations below).
Choosing the Perfect Complementary Cross-Sell Items
What makes the perfect cross-sell products? When selecting the products to add to your store, you should always start with your audience. Understanding the demographics and their unique problems can help you choose products that complete their buyer’s journey and solves a problem for them.
Here’s a few things to consider when adding cross-sell products:
- Affordability – They should be products that can function as impulse buys on your site. The best cross-sells are easy to say yes to, without derailing their purchasing decision and forcing them to go back to the research phase of their decision making process.
- Similarity – The products should match the same values and feel of the existing products on your site. If your store is cruelty free or vegan, then your cross-sell items should be as well. They should feel like an extension of your existing store.
- Uniqueness – While offering staples to their purchase can be a great strategy, the alternative works as well. Offering a “unicorn” or something that they can’t find anywhere else may help customers pull the trigger with their purchase, since they haven’t seen the product anywhere else.
- Shipping – If you’re charging for shipping, your cross-sell products shouldn’t cause the shipping charges to increase too much. You may even want to offer free shipping on these cross-sell products so that customers don’t have a reason to say no or rethink their impulse buys.
Step-By-Step Setup for Using Carro and Cross-Selling
Complete your retailer setup in Carro.
Go to the Carro Directory and add products to your store with one click!
Preview these products on your store.
You can update the product description and images if you’d like, and confirm that the imported product works well with your store’s theme.
Make these new products available on your Online Store.
You can also add them to any categories so that your customers can find these products.
Set up compelling offers in your cross-sell app.
We’ve found that the best recommendations happen as soon as someone adds something to their cart. Providing related accessories or coordinating products can be an easy conversion.
Launch your cross-sell offers on your store.
Once you have active offers on your site, you’ll gain data that can help you improve your cross-sell offers for your customers.
When a customer adds something to their cart, they’ll now have a cross-sell offer to increase the size of their purchase!
Where to Recommend Your Cross-Sells
Although we recommend a cross-sell offer when a customer adds something to their cart, that’s not the only place that you can make recommendations to your customers. You should make a recommendation for products anywhere your customer could benefit from it.
There’s a fine balance between giving your customers options and overwhelming them with choices, so we recommend A/B testing your placements and the time of each cross-sell offer to make sure that your site is fully optimized.
Related Products on a Product Page
While customers are on the product page, they are still in the research phase of their decision making process. Offering related products that are very similar to the product they’re viewing can help them make a final decision about their purchase. Another option is to offer the accessories for that product in an effort to get customers to add more to their purchase.
After You Hit the Add to Cart Button
Once a customer hits the add to cart button, they have expressed definite interest in that product. Offer them the accessories to go with it, or quick impulse buys that they can purchase without thinking too much.
The goal is to offer something irresistible that is a natural extension of the item that they just added to their cart.
On the Cart Page
When a customer goes to review their cart and check out, you can increase their order value by offering related items within the cart page. A few related products could help you grow their cart’s value before they hit the checkout button.
Within the Checkout Flow
This option should be used only with thorough A/B testing. When a customer starts the checkout process, you can offer a screen with cross-sell options. However, this is the riskiest way to offer your cross-sells as customers can turn around and abandon the checkout process. Therefore, you should make sure that your cross-sells are very accurate and that the step is easy to skip or complete, so that it doesn’t deter checkout.
Setting Up Your First Cross-Sell with Bold
Learn from Carro’s Head of Partnerships Cade about how to cross-sell strategic products on your store.
On average, we’ve found that using a cross-sell app on the cart page to recommend complementary products is the best way to increase your customer’s cart value and give them a great buying experience.
To get started, you can find products that work well on your shop through Carro’s Directory. With a single click, you can add products to your store from these partners. Carro will automatically import the product images, description, and everything else you’ll need. Go to that product on your Shopify dashboard, preview it with your theme to make sure that everything looks good, then publish the product to your Online Store. Note: Online Store will need to be checked under your list of Sales Channels in order for customers to be able to find this product on your store.
With Bold Upsell (and their 14-day free trial!), you can create compelling cross-sell offers. You’ll want to add Bold Upsell from the Shopify App Store to your own store. Once added, you can find the app in the Apps list within your Shopify dashboard.
To create an offer:
- Install Bold Upsell app on your Shopify Store
- Click create an offer within the Bold app
- Name your offer at the top (this is internal)
- Select your upsell trigger – Add to cart or Before Checkout (we like Add to Cart best)
- Select Cross-Selling
- Select your partner’s products that you created using Carro
- Title your Offer (make sure this is customer-friendly)
- Save the Offer
- You’ll be able to track stats within Bold to see how your cross-sell offer is doing!
Cross-Selling Best Practices
- Think about your products as solutions. Any related product that you recommend should enhance the solution that you are offering. Cross-sells should solve a problem, such as offering a product that the customer would naturally have searched for next. For example, if you sell bicycles, customers will also be looking for bike gloves, helmets, tire repair kits, and bike locks. Offering these as cross-sell items would solve their problem before they even have a chance to think about it.
- 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.
Start Cross-Store Selling to Increase Average Order Value and Grow Your Revenue!
At Carro, we’ve found that cross-selling is the #1 way to increase your average order value with Carro’s Brand Partnerships. We provide the cross-sell products through our Directory, and you can optimize your store to offer the perfect products– every time!