Upselling and cross-selling tips for growing e-commerce stores

in upsell, cross-sell, price optimization, ecommerce

Do you want to sell more to your existing customers and make more money?

In this article we focus on benefits of popular upselling and cross-selling sale techniques, explain them in details, and most importantly give you tips on how to upsell and cross-sell so you can grow your revenue and profits.

Benefits of upselling and cross-selling

Classic upselling is when a sales person or an app offers you a more expensive product or service than the initial version. On vendor's side, the benefit of upselling benefit of upselling comes with making more money from one sale. The customer benefits by getting a product with better value.

A great example is when customers visit your store and search for a new smartphone, looking for an older model from some manufacturer. A great upselling technique is to offer them the newest or most premium smartphone version from the same brand.

Cross-selling sale techniques fall into place when customers already purchased some item from you and their next step is to look for an additional product that compliments the first one.

An example is when a customer visits your store and searches for a shirt. A great upsell is a tie which matches well with the already purchased shirt. Customer then increases the value of a shopping cart by purchasing multiple products that serve the same larger goal, e.g. dressing for a fancy event.

How to upsell or cross-sell to the same customer

When you want to upsell or cross-sell to the same customers, you need to know them very well and understand their needs. Understand why your customers buy a certain product or a service and consider that they might not be thinking about all those complimentary products that go well with the initial buying intent. In terms of upselling premium products, you want to give them the best or the newest option which they might not even know about.

The best time to upsell and cross-sell

Timing is crucial when you want to convince an existing customer to buy more, whether you want to offer more products or more value. Think practically and logically and offer your customers additional products either during their shopping experience or shortly after.

When upselling, you can show them a newer or more premium product version while they are reseraching the initial product.

When cross-selling, it's great to offer the customer an accessory item after they closed the first sale. Don't wait too long, as the customer might lose an interest in buying from you.

The most popular upselling and cross-selling tips

  • Be in control of your product page related items: Find and match complimentary products and services and show a “Related items” page section
  • Create groups of recommended products and show the recommendations on your site
  • Offer an upgrade so your customers know there are newer or more premium product versions
  • Make it easy for the customer: Show complimentary or additional products together
  • Inspire potential customers by showing them a list of recently bought items by other users
  • Cross-sell items that are cheaper than the initially viewed product
  • Use a software, app or analytics tool and find out which products are correlated and cross-sell well
  • Promote product bundles as one product, when you know that customers often bundle related items in one purchase
  • Add customer testimonials, reviews or customer product photos from social media
  • Show which products or additional products are often purchased together with an item already added to cart
  • Offer better rates and motivate customers to purchase more products by giving them sweet discount offers
  • Suggest the right products, bundles or premium versions based on individual customer purchase history
  • Send personalized, visually appealing and converting emails to the right segment groups by using smart marketing automation software
  • Display relevant add-on, or upgrade, after the customer has made their purchase


Upselling and cross-selling sale techniques are popular for a reason. They allow you to smartly and effectively grow revenue and profits. The first step is to get to know your customers well and understand their buying intents. To improve customer experience, you can then display your shoppers related items, best offers, product upgrades, premium versions, accessories or product bundles at the right time and through right marketing channel.

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.