Everything You Want To Know About Cross-Sell and Up-Sell

Everything You Want To Know About Cross-Sell and Up-Sell

Ever came across “You may also like” section while shopping online? Well that aspect can actually help you sell your products effectively. These type of suggestions which you come across on shopping websites are known as Cross-Sell and Up-Sell. This phenomenon has been used in sales and marketing for years together. But today, Cross-Sell and Up-Sell have also become a very important aspect of an e-commerce industry.

Still confused? Well, I will help you understand two very important aspect of sales and marketing on e-commerce websites i.e. Cross-Sell and Up-Sell

Understanding The Terminology.

When you go to a supermarket, after buying everything you want, you have to go to the cash counter. But when you go to the cash counter, you see the candies and chocolates which are put up in the display. Now, you might just look at the candies and you impulsively pick them up and put them in your shopping bag, which gets added to your bill instantly.

Did you notice what just happened? You just got cross-selled

So, with regards to e-commerce, Cross-Sell is when  a customer is just about to buy some product and just before he adds it to his cart, you offer the customer something which is closely related to the product which your customer is buying.

So, with regards to e-commerce, you can cross-sell a potential customer by suggesting him relevant products based on his browsing product or category.

Up-sell is the reason for you owning a bullet with the helmet of the same brand instead of an ordinary bike.

Up-Sell is the reason you own a 56 inch High Definition television along with additional speakers and wireless headphones. Yes, I know you wanted to buy only an ordinary television. But you were getting a “great deal” on the above-mentioned things.  

Up-Sell in e-commerce is when you offer your customer a superior or more expensive version of the product which the customer is already buying.

Nelson Boswell had once said “Here’s a simple but powerful rule- Always give people more than they expect to get.”

Cross-Sell and Upsell – The Difference

Cross-Sell and Up-Sell are the terms which can easily be confusing. But there is a vast difference when it comes to the practical approach of both the terms. Cross-Selling means to make the customer buy something additional to what he is already buying and Up-selling means to offer a better but more expensive version of something which he is already buying.

For example if you are buying a mobile phone online with 8 GB memory and just before you check out, you see a window which gives you suggestions for clubbing your phone with a phone cover as well as a screen guard. This is known as Cross-Sell.

But if you have already added the phone with 8 GB memory to your cart and you see a suggestion for the same model which you are buying, but with 16 GB memory and some more additional features. Then you end up buying the 16GB memory phone instead of the 8 GB memory phone which you originally intended to buy.  

So basically, Cross-Sell means to make your consumer buy some more products along with the product which he is originally buying whereas Up-Sell means to make the consumer buy a better version of the product which he wanted to buy. The primary goal of these features is to enhance the user experience by recommending relevant products and at the same time maximize revenue.

Cross-Sell and Up-Sell – The Utilization

In e-commerce, The utilization of a certain marketing phenomena is very important. Now you know what are the ways to do effective marketing and selling your product. So let’s talk about “The Utilization” of these principles.

There are three ways in which you can use Cross-sell and Up-sell. They are as follows:

1. Before the customer starts the purchase, you can project the Cross-sell and Up-sell products in category page below the main product or in the sidebars.

2. You can also use Cross-sell and Up-sell methods during purchase or while in checkout.  Reports suggest that displaying cross-sells at checkout result in increasing sales by 3%.

3. Remarketing: You can be connected to a customer even after purchase through follow-up and update emails. You can project products related to the product which the customer bought previously.

Ideally you cross-sell and up-sell a product when the buyer is about to make a purchase decision or when he/she has already made one. Thus, your widgets should be placed on the “Product Page” or/and on the “Thank You” page.

Why Cross-Sell and Up-Sell Is Important

When it comes to e-commerce, it becomes very crucial to use these techniques so that you can sell  effectively to your customers.

The Cross-sell and Up-sell methods are really important and they always work on the existing customers. That’s because you are already in contact with the customer and you have an idea about the shopping habits of the customers. So you can offer them according to the products they have bought previously. According to a Marketing Metric study 


“The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60 – 70%. The probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-20%. Up-sell to existing customers to boost LTV.”


Apart from that, Cross-sell and Up-sell can help you raise the cart value of your consistent orders. They also boost the conversion rates. Most importantly, Cross- sell and Up-sell exposes your customers to a wider range of items like best-sellers, outsiders, and items with best reviews.

How to do Up-Sell

Cross- Selling on e-commerce is still easy, But to Up-Sell, the most common way is to suggest a higher model than the customer is already looking for. It’s not easy to Up-sell as you are not face to face with the customer. So, Here are a few tips for Up-selling on your website.

  • Promote the most reviewed or frequently bought products
  • Give more prominent space for the up-sell, display testimonials for the up-sell
  • Make sure the up-sells are not more than 25% costlier than the original product
  • Make add-on features like insurance pre-selected and ask customers to deselect if not required.

A few examples which will help you understand more about Cross-sell and Up-Sell

Examples For Cross-sell


Example 1 of Cross Sell


screenshot-www infibeam com 2015-08-14 16-40-33

Examples of Up-sell



screenshot-www homees in 2015-08-14 17-23-02

screenshot-www manglamjewellers com 2015-08-14 17-12-56