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Important Things You Wanted to Know About Up-Selling and Cross-Selling

Updated on January 12, 2020

But what does upselling and cross-selling actually mean? And what does it mean to upsell or cross-sell? Well, let’s take an example. If you are a seller and you encourage a customer to purchase a high-end product compared to what the customer is looking for, then you have adopted an upselling technique. On the other hand, you have adopted a cross-selling technique if you have motivated your customer to purchase complementary products that are related to what he/she is purchasing. Both these strategies are beneficial from marketing point of view as they contribute to a reduced marketing cost.


In a cross-selling approach, you offer your customers items that would fulfill their additional needs which the original item cannot satisfy. For example, you can sell a comb to someone who ordered a blow dryer. This way, you are actually helping the customer buy something that he/she would eventually buy after some time. Other examples of cross-selling include selling credit cards to people who open savings account in bank and selling a life insurance policy to someone who is purchasing a car insurance policy. You can deploy the cross-selling strategy on your eCommerce platform during checkout. In life-cycle campaigns, you can generate recurrent purchases by utilizing the potential of your product catalog. This way, you can make your customers aware that you are selling other relevant products as well.


You can increase the Average Order Value (AOV) by proving to your customers that high-end product models can better satisfy their requirements. As part of your up-selling technique, you will also help customers visualize the benefits that they can get by using a more expensive product.

Importance of Up-Selling and Cross-Selling

The importance of up-selling and cross-selling lies in the fact that your customers can get additional value through products that are either better than the products that they intend to purchase or they complement the ones that they are looking to buy. You will increase the value of customers’ orders by informing them about other products. In both the cases, you are assessing the needs of your customers and then you are offering them products that would meet their specific needs.

Here’s why upselling and cross-selling are integral parts of modern marketing campaigns

1) Increased Profitability

You can increase your average revenues per customer. Customers who may be initially unwilling to spend more can also be motivated to purchase high-end versions or complementary products provided you make them aware of the benefits that their additional investments would generate. After you win your customers’ confidence, you will be able to create sources of recurrent income.

2) Customer Loyalty

With upselling, you are informing customers about all the options that they can make use of. This will show that you really care to address your customers’ specific requirements. This way, you can engage your customers in a better way and create a happy customer base. Additionally, the reviews posted on social media channels by loyal customers would inspire others to trust your brand.

3) Increased ROI

Acquiring new customers may prove to be a costly proposition for your business. Also, profits from new customers may take a long time to start flowing in. With cross-selling and up-selling, you can realize profits from your customers quickly. The return on investment starts growing as you interact more with your customers and prospects. By offering relevant products, you will increase the possibilities of sales.

4) Lifetime Value Generation

You can realize better value from customers during their lifetime association with your brand. For example, when, you succeed in selling a credit card to a customer who has availed a car loan, you can earn constant revenue from card transactions.

5) Improved Customer Retention

An increase in customer retention is directly proportional to the exponential growth in profits. Your brand can flourish if you succeed in striking a healthy balance between new and old customers. Different cross-selling and upselling strategies help you retain existing customers as your brand offers relevant and useful services or products continuously.

6) Stronger Influence

Most of your customers are not inclined to try a new brand for products that they are already using. If you inform them about the additional benefits that your company’s products would offer, then they might consider switching over to your brand.

How To Up-sell and Cross-Sell Successfully?

1) Win The Trust of Your Customers

Try to understand the sentiments of your customers for building a meaningful relationship with them. This way, you can anticipate their requirements and offer relevant products or services. To keep communication channels open, engage your customers optimally. Your business will grow if you can earn your customers’ trust.

2) Keep Tracking Your Customers’ Journey

To up-sell the right products to the right customers at the right time, you need to track the consumers’ journey. Serious customers make their intent clear and you can understand this by accessing information through different media. Deploy integrated CRM software to track each customer’s activities to identify opportunities for cross-selling and up-selling. By tracking a customer’s journey properly, you can predict when the customer would respond to your offer. Make sure to provide actionable and relevant information. Select your marketing strategies depending on recent customer interactions.

3) Try To Get Into The Shoes of A Sales Consultant

You need to develop an in-depth knowledge about the requirements of your customers. This will help you in suggesting other products to your customers and explaining why those products may prove to be useful for them. Arrange a dedicated place where you can discuss how your high-end products can help customers out. As an expert, you can offer insights that customers won’t find anywhere.

4) Always Offer Relevant Items To Your Customers

If you offer your customers products or services that they do not need, you may actually annoy them. If you attempt to push a car loan to a person who has come for a business loan, it will indicate that you don’t know your customers. Always track your customers’ past engagements so that you can make relevant recommendations.

So what’s next?

By now, you must have got an idea about how you can utilize the potential of up-selling and cross-selling strategies so as to ensure constant business growth in a highly-competitive market. So what’s your next move? How will you make up-selling and cross-selling work for you? Do let us know. We will be happy to hear from you.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Emily Watson


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