Up-selling is a valuable strategy when it comes to leveraging the existing customer base to increase eCommerce sales. However, often when the goal is to increase sales, the starting conversation is about acquiring more new customers.
While there is some doubt that this is a valid conversation, we should not forget that an alternative could also be to sell more to existing customers.
Just think about all the data you already have about your existing customers. Now you can utilize this data to start an up-selling strategy, in such a way incrementing your revenue without the cost of acquiring new customers. Furthermore, the cost of selling to existing customers is lower than acquiring new customers. Hence an up-selling strategy is a great way to increase your profitability too.
What is an up-selling strategy?
We speak about eCommerce up-selling strategies when we want to sell a better, more efficient and more expensive product to the customer when they are making a purchasing decision. The main reason for the customer to buy a more expensive product is to get a better deal (e.g. a product with more features for a better price). Think about your own experience. When did you last fall for an up-selling strategy to get a better deal?
Mine was only recently. I bought a new coffee machine and during the purchasing process, instead of buying the basic coffee machine as I had in the past, the company that sells these machines was able to up-sell me a coffee machine with more premium features.
They knew I was an existing customer; hence they recognized the old machine I already had. They leveraged their up-selling strategy and managed to incentivize me to buy a higher quality coffee machine. Now, let me introduce some very powerful up-selling strategies, which cannot only help with increasing revenue but also with customer satisfaction.
Which three eCommerce up-selling strategies can help increase your sales?
The product comparison is probably one of the easiest strategies to implement in your eCommerce shop, thus I picked it as a first strategy. As such it does sound very basic, but it can bring very good results.
Just think from the customers’ perspective – it does help when the customer can easily compare products and their features. In addition to this you can always put a special offer on products that are more expensive but of course also bring more value to customers. So, if you have a good offer and more premium features on more expensive products, what you will most probably see is that potential buyers will be willing to pay more for a more exclusive offer.
If you are in the tech industry offering a subscription model, what is also beneficial is a trial offer on more exclusive products. In this way you give an option to potential buyers to try your exclusive products for free, and if you have a product that meets potential buyers’ needs you can expect them to be converted into customers.
However, with this plan you need to bear in mind that the product you utilize for an up-selling strategy needs to have better features vs the “basic” product. This strategy will only work when premium products offer additional value for which the potential buyer is willing to pay more.
If you offer a service to clients, then an up-selling strategy can be a great way to up-sell them into using your service on more a frequent basis. Let’s say you offer a pet service – where clients can choose between different offers such as dog walking, dog sitting, pet grooming, etc. Now, let’s say you have a certain price for dog walking and the client can choose between booking a dog walk for 1, 2 or 3 times a day.
If someone is already using your service and has purchased an offer with 1 dog walk per day, what you can do is to upgrade them into a 2 or 3 dog walks per day option. You can package a very attractive offer with a discounted price for 2 or more dog walks a day and try in this way to up-sell to customers. Usually when clients are satisfied with your service, there is a high likelihood of being successful with upgrading them to use your service more frequently.
Add-ons in Checkout
The checkout is a great place for utilizing the eCommerce up-selling strategies. You can leverage the checkout to increase perceived value of the product(s) the customer has in their basket. Add-ons such as wrapping, or warranty options can add value for customers, and they will be in many cases willing to pay more for this. At the same time, it helps you increase profitability and sales.
Let’s say you have a consumer eCommerce store and among other things you also offer personalized products people can purchase as a gift for different occasions. The added value in this case is a wrapping option.
You can display a product without wrapping as an option and as a second option the same product with wrapping, at a higher price. You showcase how you are going to wrap the product and how it will look. Customers are usually willing to pay more for added value and in this case – who wants to spend time on wrapping products if you can pay for these options?
Why should you care about up-selling strategies?
As mentioned, a couple of up-selling options is a great way to give your customers higher value and at the same time increase your revenue. If up-selling is approached as a key pillar when it comes to an eCommerce sales strategy, and it is thoughtfully considered and executed in the customer journey, the potential for higher sales can be huge.
According to Forrester, up-selling can contribute in an average 10-30% of business revenues.
Hence if you have not yet started with up-selling, maybe now is the time to consider it!