How to Level Up Your Business Profits with Shopify Upsell and Cross-Sell Strategies

By Vsourz - 26 December 2022
How to Level Up Your Business Profits with Shopify Upsell and Cross-Sell Strategies
If you’re an eCommerce business owner, your main priority is likely to sell products. After all, with sales soaring and money coming in, you can invest back into your business and grow in more ways than one. But if you really want to take your business — and profits — to new heights you need to consider additional revenue streams.

One of the most effective ways to boost your revenue is to look at how your business currently sells to existing customers. These people are already interested and invested in your product or service, and brand. Research says that current customers are 50% more likely to try a new product and they spend 31% more than new customers. What’s more, the likelihood of selling to a current customer is 60-70% and only 5-20% for a new customer.

By showing these people new products or services, alternative items, or upgrades at the right time, you’re not only building your customer relationships but also boosting your bottom line. Put simply, upselling is when you recommend upgraded products or services. Cross-selling, on the other hand, refers to suggesting an alternative product or service that goes hand in hand with the original item your customer was interested in. Both require very little marketing and can be successful for companies that put the right strategy behind it.

Biggest Benefits of Shopify Upselling & Cross-Selling

Targeting a new customer can be up to 25% more expensive than selling to an existing one. But cost-savings aren’t the only benefit for companies that upsell and cross-sell. Here are some other important benefits of both approaches below.

Increasing average order value (AOV) and total revenue

Shopify upsell and cross-sell techniques don’t just boost initial profits but also the overall value of that order and customer. If you sell beauty products and a customer chooses to invest in an additional eye cream to go with their face moisturiser, you’re likely to bring in more profit over the years than you would have done with just the moisturiser itself. More revenue means happier business owners who can also invest back into the business to drive further growth.

Boosting conversion rates

As mentioned already, bringing in new customers can be more timely and costly compared to maintaining existing ones. By cross-selling and upselling to existing customers you’re more likely to boost conversion rates. What’s more, if a customer knows that they can come to you for their desired product or service instead of visiting a few different stores, they’re more likely to choose you, time and time again.

Elevating return on sales

ROS or return on sales measures how well a company turns their sales into profits. There are a few ways businesses can boost this — increasing product prices, reducing labour costs, and cross-selling and upselling. One study found that these selling tactics can increase sales by 20% and profits by almost 30%.

Improving the customer experience

Think about the times you’re looking for a specific service or product. Properly shopping around can be very time-consuming! While cross-selling and upselling can be beneficial for businesses, it also helps consumers. They can save time by avoiding shopping around with multiple vendors. Plus, in such a saturated market, if you engage with your customers and provide them with targeted and relevant suggestions, you’ll be providing a level of personalisation which will help you to stand out from the crowd. Organisations that use Shopify development features like live chat to upsell products have an annual turnover that’s 2.4 times higher than those that don’t.

Enhancing customer loyalty

The best upselling and cross-selling initiatives show that your business is there for its customers by offering additional products or services that meet actual needs. When done right, upselling and cross-selling can have a direct impact on customer satisfaction. This is key to customer loyalty and retention, which leads us onto the next point.

Optimising customer retention

By offering customers a one-stop-shop solution, and then “wowing” them with the product or service, they’re less likely to shop around elsewhere. As loyalty soars, so too will the trust in your brand, which does wonders for retention rates. When customers feel like a brand understands them and offers products and services that solve their pain points, you’re more likely to become their go-to brand.

Supercharge Your Upselling and Cross-Selling Online

Now you know the upselling and cross-selling meaning and why it’s essential for businesses that want to maximise their profits. But you might be also wondering exactly how to add it to your Shopify marketing strategy. We break it all down below.

Choose complementary products

One of the most common Shopify upsell opportunities is to recommend a product or service like the one that your customer is already interested in. The idea is that customers will be more willing to make the purchase compared to a random recommendation. For example, if you sell bags, you could have a ‘You might also like’ section featuring more expensive items or items that match such as a purse.

Discount products

By offering customers a discount on their next purchase, they’re more likely to come back. You can do it one of two ways. You can create a pop-up on your website that gets customers to input their email address for a coupon. Alternatively, you could send an email after the initial purchase with a discount for their next buy. Adding a use-by date adds a sense of urgency too.

Offer an upgrade

If someone is on your website looking at a particular item, they’re already likely to be invested in your company. This is a great time to showcase some more expensive versions or upgrades of that specific product or service and upsell and cross-sell on Shopify. You can either do this with a banner on the product page or at checkout.

Create a subscription option

Subscription services are a great way of getting your customers to come back every month and a sure-fire way to increase profits. More companies are also offering a discount when customers sign up for recurring orders as a little incentive.

Provide free shipping

Another common technique that businesses use is to offer free shipping when a certain threshold has been reached on the order. Not only does this entice customers to spend more but they also feel like they’re getting something in return.

Quantity tiers

Sometimes it makes sense for a customer to buy a product in bulk. In this instance, you could offer a deal for orders of a greater volume. For example, buy 2 for 20% off, 3 for 30% off and so on. This is called tiered upselling or quantity tiers.

Add-to-cart pop-ups

Shopify development features like pop-ups are an effective way to grab attention — especially when you’re upselling. Once a customer adds a product to their cart, a pop-up can automatically appear with upgraded versions or even complementary products. Just be sure to only offer items that are relevant to their needs.

Make it feel native

A study found that nearly 90% of customers say personalisation impacts their purchases. Upselling rarely works when it feels like a hard-sell. Instead, consumers want to see targeted and highly relevant products. It should improve their experience and never annoy them. Get your Shopify marketing right and they’re more likely to come back for more.

Take a data-driven approach to decide what to upsell

While you might think you have a good understanding of what will sell, the data never lies. By analysing past customer behaviour, you can make smarter business decisions and choose products to recommend that your customers want to see. Look out for a trend in product pairings and evaluate ongoing upselling campaigns to see if they’re working.

Proven Cross-Selling Strategies for Shopify Stores

While a Shopify upsell upgrades a customers’ purchase, a Shopify cross-sell enhances it. There are a few different Shopify cross-selling opportunities you can roll-out in your online store too as highlighted below.

Instil a sense of urgency

FOMO is real, which is why it pays to create a sense of urgency to drive your customers to take a certain action. While this tactic goes hand in hand with discounts, you can also use banners which highlight that stock is low to hasten the purchasing process.

Recommend alternatives – customers also bought

In a similar way that we don’t want to miss out on discounts, the general consumer also doesn’t want to miss out on a product that other customers are loving. This technique works well on the product page as a pop-up or even at checkout. Simply highlight what other customers bought and you could even include how many times that product has been viewed over a certain period to increase urgency.

You may also like

If your store sells hats, for example, you could suggest an add-on like a scarf or a pair of gloves once a customer adds a hat to their cart. You also have the option to recommend an alternative style. By adding the original hat to their basket, the customer is already interested in your company and products so make the most of their presence by suggesting other relevant products that might be of interest too.

Identify and sort related products

To really benefit from Shopify cross-selling and upselling techniques, you need to sort out your store’s products based on their features and prices. This will help you to provide better suggestions to your customers and make the whole process easier for you. The simplest way to do this is to display similar costing products on one page.

Combine several products into one

One of the biggest reasons that cross-selling appeals to customers is because it saves them time and is a convenient option. You don’t want to annoy or even scare your customers away with too much choice. Experts advise three product recommendations per page and if you can group these products together that’s even better.

Use cross-sell pop-ups

As we’ve already mentioned, sales pop-ups on Shopify are a great way to attract your customers towards a certain product or offer. By grabbing their attention, and enticing site visitors to click, your online store can generate more sales and profit — without the expense of ads.

Cross-sell during checkout

When someone goes to checkout, their intent to purchase items is as high as it could be. This is where Shopify cross-selling and upselling can come in handy. One of the best tactics is to showcase recommended and necessary products to help with the original item. Think batteries, cases, or care products to drive this point home.

Use shoppable content

Shoppable content is content which allows customers to purchase directly from an image. So, in your Shopify marketing efforts, you might use an image of a model wearing an item or sitting on a chair that you want to sell. By clicking on the content, shoppers are then taken to that item or the product category. It’s not only a great selling technique but helps to inspire your buyers as it shows how the item can be used in real-life.

Bundle your cross-sells on Shopify

The best cross-selling strategies are the ones that make it easy for shoppers, and bundles are great for this. Instead of your customer having to look for additional accessories and complementary products, why not bundle them together? You could even offer discounts on the bundles to encourage shoppers to make the purchase.

Partner with Leading Shopify Development Specialists

The truth is upselling and cross-selling are just two techniques that can significantly increase your online sales — whatever industry you’re in. What’s more, there are several cross-sell apps on Shopify that automate the process so you can sit back and enjoy the rewards. If you want to take advantage of them, just like so many other businesses do, then contact our Shopify development experts today to create a winning upselling and cross-selling strategy that guarantees success.

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