How Upsell and Cross-sell Help Your Users in Product Discovery

Today’s e-commerce market is flooded with plenty of products and brand choices available for users. This huge number of choices quite often hamper the expected natural product discovery path of the user with irrelevant recommendations, offers and increased number of actions through the journey to final transaction. Contrary to popular belief, highly relevant upsell and cross-sell can help users with a seamless and fulfilling product discovery experience.

In this blog, I will talk about what is upselling and cross-selling and how you can help your users in their product discovery with effective upsell and cross-sell.

What is upselling and cross-selling ?

The image below gives the best explanation of what is upselling and cross-selling. In the case of e-commerce stores, the most frequently used modes for upselling and cross-selling are primarily product recommendations and complete the look suggestions. In product recommendations, similar or matching products are shown to the user while in complete the look suggestions, associated/complementary products are shown.

How does it help? (Why should you upsell and cross-sell. Why it’s important)

As a rule of thumb, whatever features you have on your website, they all should fulfil one single purpose “To help users”. as illustrated beautifully in this video by Jeffrey Gittomer

So, how does upselling and cross-selling help users.

1. Reduce the decision complexity

A Bain study suggested that reducing complexity and narrowing choice can boost revenues by 5–40% and cut costs by 10–35%. Source

In the case of fashion and lifestyle store, product recommendations and suggested looks reduce decision complexity for the user to a great extent. It helps them to find the perfect product fit with less number of actions and highly relevant choices available upfront.

In the below example from ASOS, if the user selects each item individually, it would take more steps and decision making till the final purchase. But with complete the look suggestions, a user can buy multiple items in one go.

2. Helps users to make better decisions

You should always upsell/cross sell the products with higher perceived value than the original product. When you upsell a product, it should provide more value to the users as compared to the original product. In case of cross selling, you help users to find out the complementary products to be used along with the original product to gain maximum value out of the original purchase. In both the cases, you help users to make better purchase decisions. In the end, a combination of maximum value and completeness from the final purchase gives the user a feel good factor.

3. Personalised experience

When you empower your upsell and cross sell techniques with right recommendations and suggested styles, you give a personalised experience to your users, acting as a personal stylist.

Like a human personal stylist, you can also leverage user’s browsing/purchase history to know the more about user’s preferences and choices. You can also use these personalised product recommendations and style suggestions in the banner ads on the home page, personalised email newsletters, offers and coupons. Reminding the users about their choices is also an effective way to upsell and cross sell.

4. Drive customer satisfaction

Smart and relevant upsell and cross sell help users in their purchase journey. If they are done rightly, you become user’s best friend, which results in repeat purchases, increased cart size and high customer satisfaction. So, it is worth spending so much money in place of marketing and advertising.

In the next blog, we will talk about different tips/techniques to consider while upsell and cross sell and how critical they are.

Thanks for reading.

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