Cross-selling and up-selling strategies that work during the holiday season

Cross-selling and up-selling strategies that work during the holiday season

Here is a little story about someone whom you can relate to -

Bill is a huge GOT fan. He binge-watched the entire series for eight years straight, but the show’s ending kind of spoiled the fun for him (did for most of us, isn’t it?). To end on a good note and to relive the experience, he decided to read the original novel on which the TV show was based.

He went online and decided to purchase the first book of the saga. As he was about to check out, he chanced upon this section -

He immediately made up his mind and bought all three books recommended to him. So, what do you think happened to him? He just got upsold!!

This post is for all those online sellers who are going to receive visitors like Bill to their store. But we are also going to talk about that time of the year when the Bills and Johns of the world are looking for great deals for their purchase. Yes, we are talking about the holiday season, the most challenging and exciting time for sellers.

One of the key factors that will define this year’s holiday season is the steep rise in online customers. In 2019, even before the pandemic, online sales surpassed brick-and-mortar sales during the Thanksgiving weekend. All this data points to the fact that customer preferences and demands are evolving.

So how can you adapt to these changes? An increase in online shopping doesn’t mean that your sales will automatically increase. You need to come up with innovative sales strategies for that. And two concepts that can prove extremely valuable in this new and evolving ecosystem are cross-selling and upselling.

It is easier to sell to an existing customer than to a new one - this is the theory behind cross-selling and upselling. To the uninitiated, cross-selling involves inviting customers to buy complementary products, and upselling is all about encouraging customers to purchase a higher-end product. Relatively easy and straightforward, they are proven strategies that can drive sales and increase your average order value.

Here are some of the cross-selling and upselling strategies that you can implement this holiday season to improve your sales.

Use Hyper-Relevant Suggestions

For upselling and cross-selling strategies to work, the recommendations or suggestions you are offering to the customer should be greatly relevant to their requirements.

Let’s take the example of Bill from the introduction section of this article. When Bill was about to checkout with the first volume of the GOT novel series, he was recommended by the website to buy all the available three books together. The suggestion was relevant for Bill as he would eventually buy the total volume, so he completed the purchase as per the suggestion.

If the website recommended the LOTR (Lord of The Rings) book series instead, he would not even have bothered as it was not in his plans to try out that book, making the suggestion irrelevant.

IKEA’s website is the best example when it comes to using the concepts of upselling and cross-selling. IKEA finds relevant upselling and cross-selling opportunities from the user’s search terms. With this data, it delivers recommendations and suggestions that will urge the customer to follow them. In the below snaps, you can see that IKEA’s PDP page is exceptionally vast, and it creates an array of cross-selling and upselling opportunities associated with what the customer is searching for.

Add Eye-Catching Discounts & Deals to your Suggestions

Every customer likes a good offer. Especially during the holiday season, when they search for the best deal, a reasonable discount offer or a promotional campaign will quickly catch their attention. As far as the concepts of upselling and cross-selling are concerned, these discounts and deals will ensure that the users accept these suggestions or recommendations.

Also, make sure the discount offers are easier to calculate, as it would engage the customers more. When they are able to understand how much they are saving with this particular offer, they will make up their mind easily to complete the purchase.

Apart from this, you should also try to create a sense of urgency with these discount offers. Urgency is a highly effective ploy for upselling as it forces the customer to make his decision right away. If you can convey the time-sensitive nature of the upsell to your customer, you can nudge them a little towards the purchase decision.

Let’s look at the below snap from the home page and PDP of the world-renowned retailer Michael Kors. You can see that the home page has a dedicated section highlighting the discount, and the PDP is communicating a discount along with an upsell recommendation.

Use Your Website Interface to the Fullest

Upselling and cross-selling concepts are tailored around the customer’s needs and wants. If you can influence the customer’s mind, you can implement these tactics easily. And the best way to do this is by creating a subliminal effect in the customer’s mind by using numerous recommendation widgets in your website interface.

The most common entry point for customers is the home page of your website. So, it is vital to have upselling or cross-selling widgets present on the home page. Add sections like “Top Sellers,” “New Arrivals,” and “Trending Now” to pique the customer’s curiosity.

You can also use the category page of your website to create upselling and cross-selling opportunities. You can add sections like “Top sellers from the same category” or “Trending now from the same category” to use the category page for executing your upselling or cross-selling sales strategy.

Finally, as we have shown with the IKEA example, you can use the PDP or product detail page to add a recommendation widget to influence your customer’s mind. The majority of your customers are bound to spend maximum time on the PDP, making it the best option to add the recommendation widgets. Look how Madewell uses its PDP page to push their suggestions to its customers, thereby creating an upselling opportunity.

Wrapping Up

Upselling and cross-selling strategies are topics that require a more detailed discussion. We have barely touched upon its surface, and there are more layers to it. For sellers, upselling and cross-selling are the aces up their sleeves that will get them across the line this holiday season. But you can’t be impulsive and tailor recommendations as per your wish.

Make sure you are communicating the value propositions clearly and ensure that you are keeping an eye on the price difference. If the alternative product or the complementary product is costly, customers are not going to budge. And finally, there is a golden rule for these tactics to work – don’t be too pushy.

Keep all these aspects in your mind this holiday season and enjoy a successful sales period for your online store. Vajro is also here to help. Apart from our tips and strategies, we can help you by designing your own mobile app. With our instant mobile app factory, we have served numerous clients in their digital transition journey. Our mobile apps come with all the latest features, including live selling, push notifications, along with a host of other features. Click here to book a demo.