Have you ever started shopping, only to find yourself buying items completely unrelated to what you originally intended to purchase? Whether you were tempted by a clever salesperson or a carefully placed ad, there is a good chance that you were influenced by cross-selling.
Cross-selling is a sales technique used to get customers to spend more by purchasing a product that’s related to what is already being bought. For example, if a customer is buying a bookshelf, you could suggest she also buys a lamp. Or, someone is buying a new basketball could be influenced to also buy an air pump.
With big companies like Amazon attributing 35 percent of its revenue to cross-selling, it is no secret that this technique can dramatically increase your bottom line.
The benefits of cross-selling include:
While upselling and cross-selling are related, they are two completely different sales techniques. Here’s the difference between these two strategies:
Upselling: Upselling is about “upgrading” a customer’s original purchase to a newer, higher-ticket product. For example, if a customer was planning to purchase a 16GB smartphone, but thanks to discounts or effective merchandising, instead buys the 32GB version.
Cross-selling: Like upselling, cross-selling results in a higher purchase amount. But, cross-selling focuses more on accessorizing or complementing a purchase rather than replacing it. Using the same 16GB smartphone scenario, an example of cross-selling would be motivating the customer to also buy a case for the new phone. Cross-selling is more often accepted by customers, as they can see the value of the purchase suggestion and how the additional item(s) can directly benefit them.
At a high level, it’s easy to understand how cross-selling can increase revenue (after all, more items in the cart equals more money). But, motivating customers to make extra, unplanned purchases is easier said than done.
How can you ensure that your cross-selling efforts are successful? Here are three tips:
Just like any other sales strategy, your cross-selling plan should be monitored, analyzed, and tweaked. When working to improve your cross-selling technique, keep these three best practices in mind:
Cross-selling is a powerful way for you to become the go-to expert in your industry. When you offer smart additions to your customer’s cart, your cross-selling strategy becomes a helpful, beneficial tool, rather than just another way for your business to make a quick dollar.
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