How to Use Cross-Selling to Give New Life to Your E-Commerce

Every time a customer checks out from an online store, they get additional offers to complement their order. This technique is called cross-selling, and it’s a common practice of selling another product to an existing customer when they are completing their purchase.

Cross-selling is not exclusive to e-commerce. One of the most frequent instances of this practice is when customers at McDonald’s are offered a sauce to complement their fries or a cookie to go with the coffee they’ve ordered.

Cross-Selling

The goal of cross-selling is not just to boost sales but also improve the sales funnel and customer experience. When used right, it can bring many benefits and even get you more revenue if your e-commerce store has been struggling lately.

So, today, we’ll take a look at a few tips on how to use cross-selling to its fullest and give your e-commerce store a new life.

1. Study Consumer Behaviors to Generate Product Offers

When shopping on Amazon, consumers can review the Frequently Bought Together section on every product page. This section contains product recommendations that Amazon collects specifically for each product:

Cross-selling - Amazon

Amazon selects products for this category based on consumer behavior. Thus, you get recommendations of products that are frequently bought in pairs by other customers.

Depending on the nature of your service, you can use the data on consumer behaviors in different ways. For instance, if you offer online Spanish language learning for beginners, you can also suggest additional speaking club courses with a native speaker as a popular option among all your other students.

To get the data on consumer behavior for cross-selling, you need to study consumer purchase patterns over time. This can be done via Google Analytics that shows your customer’s baseline behaviors when they are shopping on your website.

2. Improve Cross-Selling Results with Psychological Tricks

In its nature, cross-selling is a psychological manipulation to offer an additional product, without which a customer’s purchase wouldn’t be complete. But if you want to get to the most stubborn customers, you need some additional psychological tricks to increase the effect of cross-selling.

One of these effects is placing the hottest products at the beginning and the end of a product list:

Cross-selling Example

This technique is a variation of a middle child syndrome in commerce, as it is believed that the products placed in the middle of the line are usually not that popular. On the other hand, the items at the beginning and the end of the product line are sold more often.

However, you can use this technique with a different purpose. For instance, you can replace the most popular products at the beginning and the end of the line with those you would like to sell more of, or those that don’t bring you much revenue.

Another way to manipulate your customer’s minds is to add social proof to your product pages:

Cross-selling Example 2

 

When a customer sees a product offer in addition to the one they are about to buy, and it has great reviews, there will be more chances that they will add it to the cart as well. Social proof is a very effective and natural way to convince your customers to buy more products. This is the reason why it goes well with cross-selling.

3. Employ Email Marketing to Cross-Sell Products

You can also target your customers with cross-selling offers via email. This way, you can send out personalized product offers paired with the one that your customers were interested in or already bought.

The best way to spice up the customers’ desire to buy an additional product is through an abandoned cart email. In it, you can remind them about the item that they were interested in, and give more useful product suggestions that would go well with this item.

Here’s a good example of such an email from Timberland:

Cross-Selling - Timbaland

You can also send a similar email when a product your customers were interested in is on sale. Whatever your choice will be, don’t forget to add a call-to-action to draw the attention of the customer and boost their desire to complete the purchase.

Wrapping Up

Cross-selling is a popular technique in e-commerce as it allows the seller to enhance customer experience with relevant product offers. But the success of cross-selling depends on how you approach it and how personalized your product offers are.

So, start by studying customer purchase patterns to create more targeted product suggestions. Also, to ensure that your efforts are effective, employ some psychological tricks to product placement and recommendations to convince your customers that they absolutely need them.

Lastly, make cross-selling your regular strategy by including it in your email marketing. Sending personalized product offers to each of your customers will result in better customer satisfaction and successful sales.

Watch this space for updates in the Hacks category on Running Wolf’s Rant.

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Running Wolf's Rant's correspondent who chooses to remain anonymous...

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