My 9-Step Process For Upselling and Cross Selling on Shopify

Written by Charles Ngo
Written by Charles Ngo

Every time I shop on Amazon, I end up buying at least three things.
If I buy a set of steak knives, they offer me a knife sharpener and a knife holder. You can’t say no to that kinda offer.
Their upsell game is so strong and so relevant, it doesn’t even feel like they’re selling. It’s like they actually just know what I want.
That’s exactly the point of ecommerce upselling and cross selling.
You recommend related products that the customer is likely to buy.
Before the internet made our lives 100x easier, businesses had to use surveys and mailers to find out which products customers bought together. But with targeting and the right apps we can already tell what people are likely interested in.
What’s the point of ecommerce upselling / cross selling?
You’re trying to increase the “average order value” of a customer (the higher it is, the more money you make). This means you’re trying to sell them multiple products.
Average Order Value isn’t a metric we usually track in CPA marketing. If you promote a product that pays $9, then the AOV is always $9.
Let’s say you’re selling a yoga block for $5. Well, you should be having OTHER items that a Yogi may like such as pants, a yoga wheel, and gluten free veggie chips.
They come in to buy the yoga block, but they start buying other things. So instead of just spending $5, they end up spending $25. Your AOV goes up. AND you have their email on top of that so you can spa… email them over and over again.
In this post, I’ll teach you one part of the equation – how to get people to buy multiple products, or higher priced products (so there’s more profit for you).
Paying for a customer once and having them buy again and again is like being able to print money. Pay for one lead, get future sales for free.

What’s The Difference Between Cross Sell and Ecommerce Upselling?

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There’s a bit of confusion out there…
Main offer: The first offer a customer sees when they land on your site.
Upsell. A higher-priced product that a customer buys after considering cheaper options.
Cross sell: A product from another category that compliments the product they purchased.
Ecommerce: Selling physical products online (mainly through drop shipping from companies like AliExpress when you’re starting).
Here’s an example of an upsell:
You go into an Apple store to buy a MacBook Air. They convince you that a Pro is going to be more suited to your needs, and you end up spending an extra 1k. But when you get home and set it up, you’re glad you paid extra because it’s 3x more powerful than the Air.
A cross sell would be if they sold you an extended warranty, covers, cases, external keyboards etc.
Everyone does it – it’s how businesses work. And once you’ve done it a few times and you see how well it works, you learn that it’s the easiest money you’ll ever make.
Here are some ways to boost your store ROI easily while making it a better experience for your customers:

#1 Brainstorm what naturally goes with your products

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Some people will always choose the cheapest possible model of a product. But some people will want a premium model and all the trappings.
That’s how business works. You’ve got to predict what naturally makes sense to sell with your products.
“Hey, here’s a cheap razor. But what about this one here that leaves your skin super smooth and lasts 4x longer for only a couple $ more?” 
“What about this shaving gel that’s perfect for sensitive skin?”
What’s with people upselling from a bracelet to a drone?
It’s about making sure the higher priced item could be used by the same person who buys the lower priced item.
Here are some examples:

  • Buying a belt? How about this pack of 5 belts for just 2x the price?
  • Buying a drone? Why not this other drone that’s way cooler for only $20 more?

These are the simplest way to do upsells: just offer more of, or a better version of, the same product for a slightly higher price.

#2 Focus on your most popular products

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You should only create upsell products for ones that are already selling. It takes a bit of time and effort to set up ecommerce up selling, so only do it for products that are currently selling.
Otherwise, you’re wasting your time.
So how do you track which products are most popular?
Shopify has tons of data on product sales its reports feature, so it’s easy to find.

#3 Give one or two options for an upsell, no more

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Information overload is the kiss of death in business.
If customers have just one or two options, they’re much more likely to buy something.
“I can’t make up my mind, I like them all.. Oh well, back to my newsfeed.”
Keep your upsell options to a max of two items.

#4 Upsell in your checkout using an app like Product Upsell HrFjOqPNqxpht4BHvBxnW48J6KOxBJZLjmFmTMzA9QTkQZpSHnd99KKHAqIX1ufkI0pA7it5zfvFF8wacBSjkgdy1g s4qBT fruwMfwjJuTni L nJOcozJZsZ1 mMWh1iVM0

The checkout page is a great place to offer an upsell to get more ecommerce sales.
That’s why I recommend using Product Upsell or a similar app to include upsells at checkout.
It’s low-key and an unintrusive way to slide an offer to a customer when they’re paying attention.
The checkout page is one of the most closely looked at pages on a site. It’s the page where people enter their billing info, so they tend not to skim over it like other pages.

#5 Recommend products on pages all across your store with an app like Linkcious or Recommendify

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This app uses AI to pick items that customers are likely to buy based on other purchases. And if you think the app made the wrong call, you can easily change it.
Linklicious automates finding related products so it’s good when your store actually has some sales and data.
You can choose products manually with it though if your store is new.

#6 Upsell people on their receipts as soon as they’ve bought by using an app like Conversio

Receipts are a seriously underused way to boost your revenue.
“Receipts? They come after they’ve already paid!”
And there’s a good chance they’ll pay you again now 🙂
Receipts are a great place to offer a coupon on a customer’s next purchase. Give ‘em 25% off on their next purchase, free shipping, or a 2-for-1 deal or something.
Here’s a case study of how one company boosted their revenue by 12% per receipt using coupons with Conversio.

#7 Cross sell your customers on email marketing with an app like SmartrMail

Did you know that email marketing has the highest ROI out of almost all online marketing?
They don’t say ‘the money is in the list’ for nothing.
But what’s even more powerful than regular email marketing is cross selling on email marketing.
An example could be selling a smartphone case when someone buys a smartphone.
To cross-sell with email, you need a way to track purchases and create personalized product recommendation emails. Apps like MailChimp, SmartrMail etc. are all good ones to try.

#8 Use an app like The Motivator to encourage people to buy more products to reach a certain goal

What do people respond to more than anything else?
Robert Cialdini wrote all about them in his legendary book Influence, which every entrepreneur should memorize.
It mostly covers social and psychological incentives. But there are even more powerful (and logical) incentives you can use to get customers opening their wallets.
The Motivator is a Shopify app that does exactly that. It offers customers a discount, but only if they meet a certain sales target.
For example, you’re offering free shipping on sales over $100. The Motivator can display how close they are to hitting that target. This motivates them to spend more and get the saving while increasing your AOV (Average Order Value).
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#9 Use an app like Hotjar to see how people interact with your upsells or cross sells

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Want to know where people are clicking on your upsell pages?
Wanna know which cross sells cause customers to drop off?
Hotjar takes analytics to a whole new level.
First, it offers heat maps, which show you which parts of a web page visitors ‘look at’ (by mouse scrolling) the most. This lets you know how vital parts of the page are performing.
Second, it offers general web analytics with actionable stats on everything from funnels to forms to feedback polls (which the app also lets you create).

What ecommerce products should you upsell?

There are thousands of articles online on the topic of upsells.
It’s a topic you can ‘go deep’ with and really get down to a science.
But the simplest answer is “the model above the one they bought.”
If the customer bought a Dongle Series 1000, offer a Dongle Series 2000 and explain why it’s so much better, for only a few bucks more.
Offer a discount when you do this because people don’t usually buy two of the same category without an incentive.
An alternative is to offer a higher priced item that’s frequently bought together with the item your customer just bought.

A few final tips:

  1. Upsells and cross sells work best in niche stores because you already know their interests and you have the right people on your page.
  2. Get someone else to buy a product from your store, and watch every action they make. Do they struggle to find things? Can they easily navigate? If the answer is no, you’ve identified a bottleneck you can fix.

Ecommerce Upselling is Easy $$ for Shopify Store Owner

A rule of thumb is to start after you’ve actually started selling products. If your store isn’t selling at all yet, you don’t have the data you need to pick good upsells, so focus on making your first sales if you’re new to ecom.
But if you’re already selling?
Get started today. Install some of the apps I mentioned and set them up.
Upselling is easy money – you’ve already paid for the visitor and they are thinking about buying, so it’s pretty much free money if they buy your upsell / cross sell.
It’s always cheaper to re-sell to an existing customer than get a new one. Upsells and cross-sells are one way to do that.

Recommended Reading

Shopify Drop Shipping Intro
The Best Shopify Drop Shipping Apps
Shopify Conversion Rate Optimization
How to Find Ecommerce Products to Sell

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                The posts published by Charles are prepared and analyzed, including the author’s own experience…

The posts published by Charles are prepared and analyzed, including the author’s own experience…

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