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Thought Leadership & Enablement
February 27, 2023

Examples of Cross-Selling Tactics for Higher Revenue

Find out what cross-selling is and how it differs from upselling. Then, use the examples of cross-selling and our strategy tips to get started.

Jenna Galletti
Content Marketing Specialist

Increasing e-commerce sales can happen in many different ways, shapes, and forms. Running promotions and offering discounts is a great tactic and beneficial in the short-run. 

But other tactics that are going to provide you with that long-term value and revenue increase you're looking for may take a little more time to curate. 

In this article, we're introducing you to all things cross-selling. We’ll start by describing what it is and giving examples of cross-selling. In addition, we’ll cover why cross-selling is important for your brand, explain how it’s different from upselling, and share some cross-selling tactics to use.

What Is Cross-Selling?

Cross-selling is the practice of selling related products or services to existing customers. To put it simply, cross-selling is when you encourage your customer to buy additional products to go with their purchase before they click the checkout button. We can confidently say, EVERY shopper has come across a cross-selling experience while shopping online and also in store.

What Are Examples of Cross-Selling?

Examples of cross selling: entrepreneur preparing orders

Cross-selling can be used in many different ways, but its main purpose is to maximize customer value and increase average order value by recommending complementary products.

Here’s one example of cross-selling. A salesperson at an electronics store could cross-sell a customer on a phone case, earbuds, or a wireless charger  when they purchase a new phone. Or, if a customer is shopping in a cosmetics store, the sales associate might ask if they need a new makeup brush to go with the blush or bronzer they are purchasing.

Or at a fast-food restaurant, the employee might ask, “Do you want to add fries or a milkshake to your order?” This is another example of cross-selling.

But cross-selling isn’t just limited to in-store interactions. On an e-commerce website, you might also see an informational section called, '“Customers also bought ...” or “You might also like ...” appear on a product page, after adding an item to your cart, and/or on the shopping cart page before the order is placed.

You might recall a time when you were shopping and an online clothing retailer suggested additional items to go with the article of clothing you were buying.

Why Cross-Selling Is Important

Cross-selling is important for a few reasons. First, it helps to develop deeper customer relationships and increase customer loyalty. Cross-selling also allows companies to increase their average order size, giving customers the chance to buy more products in one transaction. 

This can be beneficial for both the customer and the company, as customers may be more likely to purchase additional items that will make their purchase feel complete, and companies can increase their profits. Online stores and retailers can even show off their new products to customers as a marketing strategy and to increase conversion rates and sales.

What Is Average Order Value, and How Can Cross-Selling Improve Those Metrics?  

Average order value (AOV) is the average amount of money customers spend on each purchase or order from your brand. To calculate AOV, you simply divide the total revenue generated by the total number of orders. For example, if your store had $10,000 in revenue from 100 orders, your AOV would be $100.

Cross-selling can improve AOV by encouraging customers to purchase additional products or services that complement or enhance their initial purchase. By suggesting additional products that align with their interests or needs, customers are more likely to add those products to their cart, increasing the total value of their order.

For example, if a customer purchases a camera from your store, you could suggest additional products such as a camera bag, extra memory card, or lens filters. These products complement the camera and may be relevant to the customer's needs, making them more likely to make an additional purchase. By increasing the AOV of each order, you can boost your revenue and profitability without necessarily increasing your customer base.

In addition to cross-selling, other strategies such as upselling (encouraging customers to purchase a higher-priced version of a product) and bundling (combining related products into a discounted package) can also help increase AOV. Overall, improving your AOV is a key metric to monitor and optimize in order to grow your business and improve profitability.

What Is Customer Lifetime Value, and How Can Cross-Selling Improve Those Metrics? 

Customer lifetime value (CLV) is a metric that measures the total amount of revenue a customer is expected to generate for your brand over the course of their relationship with your company. This metric takes into account the customer's purchasing behavior, including the frequency and value of their purchases as well as their retention rate.

Cross-selling can improve CLV by increasing the total amount of revenue generated from each customer over time. By suggesting additional products or services that complement or enhance their initial purchase, customers are more likely to make additional purchases in the future. This can lead to increased customer loyalty, higher retention rates, and a longer lifetime value for each customer.

In addition to cross-selling, other strategies, such as upselling, personalized recommendations, and loyalty programs can also help improve CLV. By building a strong relationship with your customers and providing them with personalized and relevant experiences, you can encourage repeat purchases and increase their lifetime value to your brand.

By increasing the average order value and the number of purchases per year through cross-selling and other strategies, you can boost the overall CLV of your customers and improve the long-term profitability of your business. 

Cross-Selling vs. Upselling

Salesman showing a phone to a couple

It’s important to note the difference between cross-selling and upselling. Cross-selling is when you offer a related product or service to a new or existing customer, while upselling is when you offer an upgraded or more expensive version of the product/service a customer is purchasing.

Unlike cross-selling, upselling is not recommending additional products to go along with your customer's initial purchase. Instead, upselling is offering an upgraded or premium version of the product the consumers have just put into their shopping cart.

Examples of Upselling

An example of upselling is if you are a customer at an electronics store looking to buy a laptop, the salesperson might say, “Would you like to upgrade to a higher-end model?”

Or, at a restaurant, you might be offered to upgrade your burger turkey patty or to include premium toppings, like avocado or bacon.

On AT&T’s website, they use upselling to offer customers' a more expensive phone that provides more storage.

Examples of cross selling: iPhone options


Cross-Selling Strategies

When it comes to cross-selling, here are five strategies that can help increase sales and drive customer loyalty.

  1. Make relevant product recommendations to your customers: While there are many cross-selling opportunities, they should always be relevant products to complement your customer’s needs and interests. For example, if you sell athletic apparel, suggesting a pair of running shoes when they purchase a t-shirt is relevant and useful, increasing customer satisfaction.
  2. Offer quality cross-selling options: Make sure that the cross-selling options you offer are high quality to ensure customer satisfaction, brand reputation, increased sales, and better customer reviews and ratings.
  3. Consider cross-selling at all stages of the customer journey: Cross-selling should be used throughout the customer experience, from when they first visit your e-commerce store to when they check out.
  4. Provide personalized cross-selling suggestions: Utilize zero-party data and analytics to provide personalized cross-selling suggestions based on the customer’s past purchases and browsing behavior. Using zero-party data is a great way to suggest related items to your shopper.
  5. Cross-sell during follow-up marketing: Cross-selling doesn’t have to end after a customer makes a purchase. Utilize follow-up marketing tactics such as email campaigns or social media ads to make cross-selling suggestions to existing customers.

Work Smarter Not Harder With Cross-Selling

The bottom line is that utilizing cross-selling techniques is an effective strategy for increasing customer loyalty, maximizing customer value, and boosting sales and revenue. With the right approach and tactics, cross-selling can help your brand ensure customers have the best experience possible. So, why not give cross-selling a try? Your customers will thank you.

By following the strategies outlined above, you’ll be on your way to cross-selling success! Want to learn how you can start cross-selling and/or upselling? Come chat with us, and we’ll tell you how our experience types offer several ways to show off your old products, new products, and everything in between!

Jenna Galletti
Content Marketing Specialist

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