List of most popular sale strategies used by Shopify retailers

in shopify, shopify apps, cross-sell, upsell

Have you ever wondered which sale strategy works best? To help you find, we’ve analyzed the most popular sale strategies used by Shopify retailers. By analyzing numbers of reviews of various sale apps, we’ve been able to identify the most popular sale automation strategies.

With the increasing popularity of Shopify ecommerce platform, demand and usage of apps which help boost sales also grows.

We were curious about the most popular automation strategies to improve sales that were used by Shopify retailers in 2017, so we decided to conduct a small self-made research by analyzing Shopify app store.

We have looked at different Shopify apps and found out which ones were reviewed the most. Given the fact that about 1% of app users leave a review (this estimate is based on the comments of app developers on, total number of reviews of an app gives us an estimate of app’s popularity. Number of reviews thus estimates a popularity of respective sales strategy that the app implements.

First of all, we have identified five sales strategies that are most popular across a spectrum of various stores: product recommendations, bundles, upsell, cross-sell and social proof. These strategies are utilized in e-commerce stores because of their abilities to increase order value.

How the apps were identified: One by one, name of a strategy was placed in the search window on Shopify app store to obtain a list of apps which had a respective functionality. After that, we made a list of the top 10 reviewed apps for each strategy and counted their total reviews.

That's how the list of most popular sales strategies on Shopify was created. On the first place with the highest number of reviewed apps till December 2017 was a cross-sell strategy with 6468 user reviews, followed by the upsell strategy on the second place with 6054 reviews. On the third place ended social proof strategy with 5502 reviews, on the fourth place was product recommendation strategy with 4466 reviews and the last one in our list was a product bundle strategy with 3015 reviews.

Detailed list of most popular Shopify sale boosting strategies based on FutureMargin research

1. Cross-sell: 6468 reviews

Cross-sell sale strategy was the winner in the list of the most reviewed Shopify apps. This sale strategy is very popular and effective in any type of e-commerce niche, as it encourages customers to buy more complimentary products. Complimentary items have the potential to serve the same need of the customer. So if someone is looking for a new work-desk, a set of comfortable chairs or a table lamp can be offered to potentially satisfy the same buying intent.

2. Upsell: 6054 reviews

Upsell sale strategy turned out to be almost as popular as the cross-sell strategy. The difference is that upselling is all about offering more premium or high-end products to the same potential customer, e.g. the newest and most up-to-date version of an item will be promoted while the customer is reviewing or purchasing an older or cheaper product.

3. Social proof: 5502 reviews

Social proof strategy helps to boost your brand by using the voice of experts, celebrities or users themselves. It's based on a psychological phenomenon where readers or viewers react on behavior of others. People naturally look up to influencer actions and can be inspired to act similarly. A typical example implementation of this sale strategy is a pop-up window with text “User John from New York, NY just purchased: Purple Rain Coat”.

4. Product recommendations: 4466 reviews

In the era of data and personalization, product recommendation strategy is very beneficial and should be considered by any type of e-commerce store. Retailers prosper from creating lists and tips which are based on top sellers, recently viewed or also bought products. Typical examples of this sale strategy are product list sections titled “Customers also viewed”, “You might also like” or “Similar products”.

5. Product bundle: 3105 reviews

In order to incentivize customers to purchase a set of items, stores offer product bundles including multiple discounted items. It's a well-known marketing approach that has been popular in the offline world and found its success online. A typical implementation of this strategy shows a popup or a list section titled “Discount X% when purchased in a bundle”.


An application will keep users long-term when it brings a consistent and lasting value for them. Based on this idea we created a list of the most reviewed apps in the five most popular sales strategies. We counted the number of reviews per app type and obtained a final list of the most popular sale strategies on Shopify: 1. Cross-sell, 2. Upsell, 3. Social recommendations, 4. Product recommendations and 5. Product bundles. We hope that you find these insights useful and they inspire you to implement similar sale boosting mechanisms on your store.

About FutureMargin

FutureMargin is a machine intelligence tool for ecommerce stores. Using historical sale, visitor and margin data, FutureMargin can be used to improve your e-shop product pricing and profit and improve inventory levels. Available integrations: Shopify and API.