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eCommerce Lingo: Cross-selling and Upselling

You’ve probably heard the terms cross-sell and upsell in the eCommerce and/or marketing world.  The terms are often used interchangeably, but they could make up a venn diagram.  In eCommerce, it’s especially crucial to utilize these techniques for higher online sales.

Cross-selling is essentially getting the customer to purchase related products.  For example, if you’re purchasing a Fitbit online, the seller might prompt you to purchase a pack of Fitbit bands with different colors.  Or perhaps the online merchant suggests you add Fitbit’s scale to your cart.  These products, in general, are related.

Upselling is motivating the customer to upgrade to a more expensive product or add features to a product.  You’re still shopping for a Fitbit and you’ve been prompted to upgrade from a Fitbit Flex to a Fitbit Surge and you’ll get free shipping if you do so!  What’s happening here is motivation to upgrade to a more expensive product with more features–upselling.

It gets confusing when the two concepts overlap.  You’ve probably seen words like “You may also like” and “Frequently purchased together” on eCommerce sites.  For example, if you’re shopping for a DVD player online, you might see a “Frequently purchased together” on the page, which points to flat screen TVs.  These items are companions, but purchasing a TV is a huge upgrade.  So while the eCommerce site is prompting you with a related product, it’s also prompting you with a more expensive product.

The bottom line is that cross-selling and upselling can gently motivate your customers to purchase more.  However, it should be done properly.  Look carefully at previous orders–what do customers frequently purchase together?  Are customers adding more features like warranties?  Evaluations of past purchases can help you predict future orders and prompt those customers accordingly.

Znode’s Multifront eCommerce platform offers both cross-selling and upselling capabilities for your eCommerce site.  This is an essential feature, so make sure your eCommerce site is with the times!