eCommerce Upselling: The Subtle Art of Increasing Sales

Aug 26 · 3 min read

You are shopping on an eCommerce website and you’re just about to checkout. All of a sudden you spot a suggestion for a similar product.

The suggested product comes with added features and utilities. In all likelihood, the suggested product either adds to your convenience and is ta more expensive.

This is an example of eCommerce upselling.

What Is eCommerce upselling?

Simply put, eCommerce upselling is defined as a sales technique where the seller encourages the customer to purchase an expensive item as compared to the actual choice made by the customer.

This strategy makes the entire sale process more profitable.

Consider the example of “What are you shopping for today?” feature offered by Dell.

The feature not only furnishes customized recommendations based on your input but also lets you compare all their options (including the most expensive ones) side by side.

To explain, the study conducted by Marketing Metrics: The Definitive Guide to Measuring Marketing performance shows that, “ The probability of selling to a new prospect is 5–20%. The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60–70%”.

Is eCommerce Upselling The Same As Cross-Selling?

Generally, both these sales strategies are often used interchangeably and are confused for the other.

In reality, upselling and cross-selling are not the same. Both have their benefits but can be used in tandem.

By and large, a cross-selling strategy encourages customers to buy related or complementary items.

Still confused?

Consider an eCommerce store that sells flowers. You are on the check-out page ready to buy 12 sticks of red roses.

A suggestion pops up to present you with an offer to buy a bouquet of 24 red roses at a lucrative price.

This is eCommerce upselling.

At the same time, the website also prompts you to buy the flowers along with a stunning glass vase. This is eCommerce cross-selling.

Why eCommerce Upselling Works?

Upselling works (most of the time) because it appeals to the psyche of the customers.

Okay, let’s try and explain this with the help of a little illustration.

The customer has already researched and zeroed down on a product.

The customer just needs to make the payment and complete the transaction. In other words, the customer is in ‘buying mode’.

Now when a better suggestion pops up, the customer is often lured into buying it even if it costs a bit higher.

Not to mention, that no extra effort is required from the customer’s end to make this purchase. It is right there and your customer does not need to spend any additional time searching for it.

With this in mind, let’s get down to business.

Let us understand the various strategies involved in eCommerce upselling that can help us boost sales.

Read more here.

Originally published at on August 26, 2019.


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