A Brief Guide about Cross-Selling & Upselling

what is cross selling and up selling
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Ecommerce is a multi-trillion dollar industry, and now is the best time to create an ecommerce website.

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There are many ways you can increase your sales as an ecommerce business owner. Cross-selling and upselling are among the proven strategies you can adapt to reach your sales goals and stay ahead of your competitors.

Benefitting from cross-selling and upselling is not as difficult as you might think. Keep reading this blog to learn the basics and best practices of these amazing strategies.

What is the difference between upselling and cross-selling?

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Many ecommerce store owners confuse the concepts of cross-selling and up-selling. It’s important to learn the basic definition of both these strategies before learning how to adapt them for your ecommerce store.

Here are the formal definitions:

  1. Cross-Selling

    Cross-selling is a proven sales technique that encourages a customer to buy additional products and services related to the product the customer is shopping for from a business.

  2. Upselling

    Upselling is the act of convincing your customers to buy the premium version of your product or service, so you can make more money from the same product without having to look for new customers.

What is cross-selling and upselling, for example?

Adapting cross-selling and upselling can get easier for your business once you find some examples. Proven examples can work as a “case study” for you, helping you understand how a strategy has worked for your competitors.

  1. Examples of cross-selling

    • A retailer suggests a smartphone customer buy a memory card.
    • A cashier at a shopping mall suggests a customer buy more food.
    • The check-out form of a website asks a shopper to buy more products.
    • A car dealer who suggests a customer buy additional car accessories.
    • A clothing store salesperson encourages a customer to buy different clothes.

    cross-selling Example

  2. Examples of upselling

    • An airline encourages a passenger to upgrade to first-class at check-in.
    • A restaurant suggests their customers buy salad with food.
    • A book retailer that offers additional ebooks and audiobooks.
    • A car retailer that encourages their customers to buy a premium model.
    • A SaaS company that encourages their customers to unlock the premium version.

    Upselling Example

Proven tips for Cross-Selling

The five tips mentioned here can help you create a cross-selling strategy for ecommerce business:

  1. Recommend amazing products

    Choosing the right products you’ll recommend to your customers is important to improve the results of your strategy.

    Providing social proof by using phrases like “frequently bought” can encourage more customers to buy the products/services. Placing the cross-selling offer under the product descriptions is the right thing to do.

  2. The “bundling” strategy

    You can help your customers save time and effort by introducing bundles of products. Amazon has the perfect product bundling strategy as they inform their customers about what products they should buy.

    Bundle strategy for Cross-Selling

    The reason why bundling works is that it makes it easier for customers to make the right choice.

    How to create Bundle Products in Magento2?

  3. Email cross-selling

    You can simply encourage your current customers to buy from you by sending them an email. The emails sent for cross-selling purposes are similar to confirmation pages and portals. When done correctly, email cross-selling is the perfect strategy to help you sell more products to customers who trust your brand.

  4. On-site cross-selling

    Many customers revisit a website after placing an order from it. Cookies or other site metrics can help you identify a person who has already bought from you.

    When that specific customer revisits your website, you can offer them an offer they cannot resist. A customer satisfied with your product and delivery service would love to buy from you again.

  5. Off-site cross-selling

    Not all the users who visit your website will buy from you. A simple thing you can do to encourage those customers to buy from you is to use an off-site cross-selling strategy. You can use social media channels for retargeting your prospects with an exciting offer.

Proven tips for Upselling

These upselling mistakes can help you ensure that you don’t make any mistakes as an ecommerce website owner:

  1. Be careful about the price increase

    The reason why upselling works is because it helps your customers make the right choice. Therefore, an upsell should help your customer buy a product without spending too much money. To make your upsell strategies successful, you should limit the upsell amount to around 25%.

  2. Free shipping can do wonders

    Customers love it when a business provides something for free. To help you sell more products through upselling, a simple thing is to provide free shipping to the customers who’ve already bought from you

  3. The essence of social proof

    Upselling works best when you show your customers that they are not alone buying the premium version of your product.

    You can get even better results from your upselling campaigns if you add reviews to each product you’re offering as an upsell, so your customers believe in what you offer.

  4. The factor of urgency

    How can you ensure that customers care about your upselling offer? A simple tactic you can adopt is adding urgency to your offerings. For example, you can show that your upsell offer is given only for a limited time, or only a specific number of customers can benefit from your upsell offer.

  5. Avoid being pushy

    When working on an upsell strategy, the timing and your offer matter the most. You might think of getting “salesy” to sell more products, but annoying your customers will never work in your favor. Find what works best in favor of your customers to make your upsell a success.


It can never be simple to get results from cross-selling or upselling right away. You will have to familiarize yourself with these strategies, understand how your competitors are doing it, and get help from experts.

Finding it hard to manage your ecommerce store can get tough. You can hire our experienced product data entry experts or ecommerce services to save your time, effort and get amazing results.

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