Cross-Selling & Up-Selling for Better Profits & Customer Loyalty


In retailing, acquiring more customers is a common goal of every company. In order to gain high numbers of customers, customer loyalty and increase revenues, it’s important to drive new sales.

But driving new sales isn’t just the only way to increase revenues and profit. By increasing your average transaction value, or generally referred to as the average amount a customer spends on your site. This is where cross-selling and up-selling come in the picture. These two techniques are proven to improve the overall user experience on your site, especially when used properly, and therefore increase revenue and profit. Cross-selling and up-selling allow you to constantly provide your site visitors with the most relevant product offers in a certain situation. In an offline business, these techniques are tantamount to “experience salespeople”. These salespeople are understandably personally accustomed with their customers and are always capable of offering the right products in any circumstance, the same practice goes with cross-selling and up-selling techniques.

To grasp better of what these techniques are all about, I’ve taken down the detailed definitions of each techniques below.


This is considered as another way of increasing sales by suggesting an additional product/service to a customer. In this technique, you have to make sure that the additional product/service you have offered to the customer will increase the value they get from your store. In other words, the additional product/service you have to offer should satisfy the complementary needs of the customer that are not met by the original product. For an instance, a facial moisturizer could be cross-sold to a customer purchasing a facial wash—something that helps customer get more out of the original product they’ve purchased and could also result into a more profitable sale.


This marketing technique entails convincing your customer to purchase a more expensive item. In promoting more expensive products/services, up-selling typically involves endorsing more profitable product/service, package deals or product bundles. For example, if your customer seems interested in purchasing an old model of a phone or the not-so-latest one, you can apparently up-sell to them by endorsing a mid-range or premium mobile phone which is clearly more costly compared to the desired product, therefore increasing revenue.

How can your business benefit from Cross-selling and Up-selling?

A perfect combination of these two sales and marketing techniques helps you achieve the best business results. You can use these combined techniques effectively through the following ways.

In upselling

  1. New arrivals

Promoting new products can be really profitable. In fact, it is one of the most used methods in upselling products. However, this also depends on your target market and the nature of your products. For example, promoting the new arrivals is important in the fashion industry.

  1. Daily offers

This can be a great way to catch the attention of your site visitors, and to upsell them. Upselling featured products through daily offers can also be effective as they increase the sense of urgency of a customer and establish a sense of exclusiveness when the product is considered “limited”. Reviewing your sales data is important in creating daily offers, to make sure you choose the most money-making product and the perfect time to feature them as the “item of the day”.

  1. Bestsellers

Upselling the most popular or the easily-sold-out items and deals is a really effective way in boosting your average transaction value. It helps increase the stability of your revenue from your online store. In addition, look at your page visits and clicks to determine which items are the most popular in your store.

In cross-selling

  1. Supplementary products

When you don’t have customer browsing history, then suggesting supplementary products can be an effective way to cross-sell. Through offering items/products that are functionally-related, you can do this across some product categories. Try looking at your product range, and you’ll understand that it’s easy to implement supplementary products. 

  1. Promoting additional products for free

Suggesting additional products for free or even at a lower price really helps in increasing your sales and customer satisfaction as well. When using this technique, providing something more valuable to your customer should be ensured. Remember that giving out free items that are low in quality to a customer who purchased an expensive item that is high in quality can be hazardous to your business.

  1. Items usually bought together

This works especially when a site visitor doesn’t have a history in browsing and purchasing at your store yet. You can use other customers’ purchase history as the standards for which of your products/items you will cross-sell in promoting complementary products.

Ultimately, it all boils down to the idea that “the customer is always right” in doing business. Understanding what your customer’s want and value then responding with items/products/services that truly meet those needs are the key to success in both cross-selling and up-selling.

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