How to boost online sales with Up-sell, Cross-sell and Down-sell

Of late, the current scenario seems to portray that, the race between an online store and offline store is far greater than what exists between various online stores. And, how true! Undoubtedly, the number of online shoppers is increasing each day. Online stores have become the most convenient option for several reasons. Whatever the reason maybe, for that luxury piece of furniture or that simple pair of shoes that got sold a few seconds ago from your online store, we know that both those sales are equally important to you as an online store owner (no matter how varied the value of products might be). Customer and sales- the 2 most crucial and notoriously difficult aspects of your ecommerce store. Both are directly proportional to each other (or at least, that is how you intend it to be). When every undertaken effort on your ecommerce store, is targeted towards successful customer engagement with the hope of increasing sales, isn’t it also necessary to uptake the strategies that promise to increase sales? To be honest, better sales! The strategies are Up-selling, Cross-selling and Down-selling.

Up-selling, cross-selling and Down-selling are techniques adopted by many famous online stores to boost sales, and, it works! Here’s a little on how you can also introduce these techniques into your online store.

What is Up-selling?

This is a smart way to add a little extra profit to your business. Up-selling is offering your customer with choices to spend a little extra money, and get the higher grade or version of the product they intend to buy (just before the purchase! timing is important, remember). For example, if your customer is ready to make an online payment for X phone’s Pro version, you tell him, ‘Why not try X Pro Plus?’. Convincing the customer for the expensive purchase (which will significantly add benefit to the customer, in terms of product quality or performance), is an up-sell!

What is Cross-selling?

Identifying the complementary products, and bring them before your customer. For example, if your customer is ready to buy a music system, why not recommend the best music CDs to purchase right then as well? Now, that is cross-selling; presenting purchase options from different categories that complement the purchase. Research says, most customers find this an ideal choice to opt, falling for the ‘just in case I happen to need this’ syndrome.

What is Down-selling?

This is the chance to impress your customer, bearing their best interest in mind. If a branded velvet wallet is beyond your customer’s budget, you can suggest a similar velvet wallet from another brand that is affordable. Your enthusiastic and relieved customer will make the purchase and you have one product sold! Making sales opportunities for products that are less expensive than the intended product is down-selling.

All 3 measures work wonderfully, and all 3 can be in-built to work hand-in-hand. No matter which ‘selling’ option you choose, as long as it fulfils the dream- more sales!

Up-selling, Cross-selling and Down-selling in an ecommerce store

Be it an online store or offline store, you’ve been exposed to these techniques during every purchase. Sometimes, mesmerised by the new products in hand, little does one realise what really happened. In an ecommerce store, there are several ways in which a customer can be up-sold, cross-sold and down-sold.

Want to know how? It’s simple logic.

  • Identify your customer’s product interest.
  • Analyse the purchase history, wish list, etc.
  • Once your customer is ready for payment, have pop-ups that show products tagged under, ‘You might also like’, ‘Frequently bought’, ‘Frequently bought by other customers’, ‘Our experts recommend this add-on for your product’, ‘Other customers who bought this also bought’, etc. These pop-ups with product displays are not just cross-sells or up-sells, but are powerful reviews that would set your customer thinking.
  • Bundle-sales. Create a package of products that is wholesome and comes with a discounted price.
  • Just before checkout, have pop-ups that inform your customer on other sales, discounts, free trials, and anything that would keep them interested in spending more! (time and money)

Your ground rule to here: be knowledgeable, in 2 things. One- your customers. Two- the products you sell.


Again, it is quite simple. However, be open for the whole bit of extra efforts, plugins and extensions that your online store would need. Manual methods to undertake up-sells or cross-sells is too much on your plate, therefore, we suggest that you take a look at the technical help you could get. The following plugins and extensions to achieve effective selling strategies might be of help…

  1. Product Upsell, a Shopify extension, analyses the contents within the customer’s shopping cart and provides up-sell products during checkout. This automated up-sell plugin performs the intelligent job of showing the customer, exactly what they might love to consider!
  2. The Magento extension, Mass Product Relater, enables you to maintain a clear list of the products that you wish to up-sell or cross-sell. With this single grid editor, you can maintain a clear record of the products that you think suits each selling category the best.
  3. Recommendation Engine is a plugin by WooCommerce, to recommend your customers with the products they might want to buy. This feature keeps track of your customers’ view history, products frequently bought together and similar products purchased by others to provide your customer with the best reviews and suggestions that would be beneficial right before purchase.

Sales in an ecommerce store are like a mystery box where, customer retention is a challenge, and products to be sold is a battle. When efforts and experimentation with every new invention that promises to boost sales on your ecommerce store, is a ray of hope, why let it pass? Consider these sales strategies and consult with your developer what would work best on your online store’s success, get going.

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