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06 July 2022 • Resources

Cross-selling: Overview, key tips, & examples of effective strategies

Cross-selling: Overview, key tips, & examples of effective strategies

To increase the value of your ecommerce business’s shopping carts, several levers are available to you. What are the best solutions, as fast as they are practical?

In the ecommerce sphere, a technique has been widely developed and has become a benchmark: cross-selling.

This technique is very widespread in marketing strategies, and you’ve likely already been touched by this type of sales technique, almost without realizing it.

On your online store, implementing this type of strategy is to give yourself the possibility of boosting your results and developing your revenue. But you must master your subject!

That’s why we are offering you today an overview of cross-selling that you can add in a few clicks on your WiziShop store!

Why cross-sell?

Learn more about cross-selling to understand the stakes of cross-selling and set up your strategy for your ecommerce business.

Customer relationship management, shopping cart increase strategies, cross-selling, discounted prices... These elements will bring your store success!

Definition and characteristics

Cross-selling is, by definition, an effective marketing lever that allows you to propose a product that’s complementary to another one so that the buyer will add products to their cart.

In a brick-and-mortar store, have you ever noticed that the strawberry aisle is often next to the whipped cream? That in the “bicycle” section, there are pumps for the wheels? That in the toys section, there are often lots of batteries?

This is cross-selling: proposing a complementary product that’ll allow you to take full advantage of the initial article, adding great benefits to its primary use (buying batteries with a toy for children or a pump to reinflate the wheels of your bike: essential associations!)

Cross-selling can also be proposed via the sale of similar objects or of the same type (a t-shirt and a pair of pants, a t-shirt in several colors, a t-shirt to go under a jacket, etc.). The field of possibilities is open if your catalog allows you to associate many items together!

Cross-selling vs. upselling

Be careful! Don’t confuse “cross-selling” and “upselling.” These two levers are similar but not the same:

  • For cross-selling, it’s about adding an additional item to the initial cart (example: the purchase of a computer + a wireless mouse)
  • For upselling, the product initially desired by the user is replaced by another product of greater quality and value, a move upmarket and a higher margin (example: the purchase of a city-dweller car replaced by the acquisition of a state-of-the-art sedan).
upselling vs cross selling wizishop

Advantages of cross-selling

Cross-selling has many positive points for any salesperson, whether they’re a physical or internet retailer, for digital commerce or ecommerce.

On the web, cross-selling is all the more interesting because the possibilities to install it are even more numerous than in a store.

Being able to propose cross-selling on online sales channels means multiplying the chances of increasing the number of items you sell as well as the average shopping cart.

The advantage of this technique on the web is that you can test many possibilities with your catalog. You don’t have to invite visitors to look at complementary products, but you can also promote similar items or even your new products.

You’ll be able to highlight less popular products to attract and retain your customers.

Thanks to the different shopping carts, you’ll be able to precisely analyze your typical clientele in order to better know your prospects.

In addition, your customers will be able to buy several products that you sell at once, which will work to help result in lower shipping costs and a controlled ecological footprint.

If your strategy is well thought out and well suggested, your average order value is going to be boosted even more!

By choosing the WiziShop solution, the different levers available to make a sale will allow you to optimize your catalog to boost your sales.

As proof, in 2020, the average French shopping cart was €61 compared to €77.23 for WiziShop merchants, with a progression that keeps increasing every year!

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Cross-selling: our tips to increase your shopping carts!

To be sure to boost your results by choosing to implement a cross-selling strategy, a few tips are necessary.

The golden rule: be relevant while remaining discreet! Make this option a pillar of your action plan.

Choose the right product

Cross-selling is linked to your customers’ needs. Of course, on your end, you’ll certainly have product stock to sell.

By combining the useful with the enjoyable, you’ll be able to satisfy all parties because the definition of cross-selling is broad and makes it possible to include many commercial ideas while possibly increasing your ecommerce customer retention at the same time.

  • One or more complementary products: to offer your customer a total experience between several inseparable products (dishwashing liquid with sponges for example)
  • Product associations: offer products that are compatible aesthetically or in their uses (several colors or shapes of the same bag, a set of metal straws with a set of glasses, etc.)
  • Discoveries of other products that you sell: they may not be directly related to the initial product chosen by the user but can be presented as commercial opportunities (a flash offer on your end of series, products related to a particular event such as Christmas or Mother’s Day, goodies that can be used by your customers in any situation such as a tote bag or an umbrella, etc.)
  • Customized suggestions: based on your customer’s “wish list” or order history, you can suggest similar items or items that are part of their favorites in order to encourage them to reorder or place an order for their pending items.

The right place, the right time

When would your cross-selling proposal be best received? Is there a quick answer? The answer is no.

Because each technique is unique and specific to each business, it’s very difficult to determine a single method of use to make cross-selling a winning scheme for sure.

The solution will therefore be to test and try out cross-selling associations until you come up with your own miracle recipe!

But before that, let’s look at some of the locations favored by a majority of e-tailers.

  • On product pages: it's a very simple and common technique to highlight your products directly on other product pages, in a “suggestions” or “recommended for you” section, for example.
  • Pop-up during the customer experience: when the visitor moves through some of your pages, why not trigger a “pop-up” window presenting a flash sale product that could entice the user?
  • Before confirming the cart: at the level of the filled cart, some e-tailers propose product suggestions based on the existing content of the cart, at the bottom. Another location is the pop-up window that appears with a short sale or a promotional offer just before confirming the cart.

Why not consider cross-selling in the long run?

Making your products appear on a page or within a process, a scenario on your site are excellent initiatives.

What if you went even further in selling? What if your products became indispensable to your customers, over time? This is what you can imagine thanks to email or text reminders.

To never lose the link between your customers and your store, suggesting to your already loyal customers that they add items to their future baskets could bring this personalized follow-up specific to you. A big difference from your competitors!

  • By email or text reminder: your customer bought a product from your store, but this item would have been perfect with another product. When confirming the purchase, or a few days after the customer’s received their order, consider sending them a note to thank them, asking if they’re satisfied with their purchase, and if, above all, they’ve forgotten anything! By bringing up the idea that they definitely need this second product to make the most of the first one they now have, the urgency and the need will be created in the customer who might convert your ecommerce email into a purchase!
  • Like a “subscription”: if you sell consumable products that have a limited lifespan, calculate the time needed for the product to be unusable. Is it 1 month, 3 months, or 6 months? When the customer places the initial order, program email or text reminders that will be sent automatically at the end of the allotted time to remind your buyer to place another order. They may even decide to add one of your new products at that time in addition to their usual order!
  • During future visits: by encouraging your customers to register and create their profile on your ecommerce site, this data will allow you to personalize their future visits in relation to their carts or their wish lists. When the loyal customer connects to your sales site, program personalized recommendations according to this specific customer.
  • Retargeting: advertising on other sites and social networks is a winning lever in the long term. Even if these paid campaigns will require a small budget, the benefits can be greatly multiplied, towards an optimal conversion rate!

Examples of ingenious cross-selling techniques 

Chewy: recommendations on product pages

Pet supply store Chewy offers recommended products based on the product page that you’re currently on.

Buying a complete meal plan or additional items to enhance your dog’s menu is very easy! A very efficient marketing technique.

chewy cross selling

Glossier: the tempting presentation

For beauty brand Glossier, the aim here is to encourage shoppers to buy multiple items by highlighting the idea that they’ll save money by purchasing the products in sets and kits rather than individually.

glossier cross selling

Herbivore Botanicals: a gift for large shopping carts

Cross-selling also means encouraging customers to increase their shopping cart. How do you do this? By offering them a gift if their basket exceeds a certain amount. This reward can be either a product or a service, like free shipping, for example. 

For skincare brand Herbivore Botanicals, two free deluxe samples are offered with purchases of $125 or more during their Birthday Sale. Thus, the customer who’s interested in specific products will be tempted to add other products to their existing cart to reach the threshold.

This commercial offer is announced at the beginning of the purchasing process, on the homepage, in order to help encourage as many customers as possible to take advantage of this opportunity throughout their online shopping.

herbivore botanicals gift

With these tips and examples of additional offers, you're now ready to propose your own commercial offer!

Whatever your business’s prices, services, or marketing strategy, cross-selling is an effective strategy for your company. Your online store will become a benchmark in terms of customer loyalty. With very few changes and little work on your end, your average shopping cart will take off. Ready to boost your sales?

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