Upselling aims to increase the value of a sale by persuading the customer to buy a more expensive version of the chosen item or other add-ons. Online retailers rely heavily on upselling because:
- it builds relationships with customers so that they will come back more often;
- it’s easier to upsell to an existing customer than to acquire a new one;
- it increases Customer Lifetime Value (CLV).
Upselling techniques can be applied before a purchase (as recommendations at the bottom of the page and/or sidebar), during the purchase (as pop-ups in the shopping cart, on the checkout page, or in the abandoned cart emails), and after purchase (through personalized follow-up emails).
Best practices include:
- offering incentives to buy more (e.g., free shipping, discounts);
- demonstrating better value for the most expensive product using side-by-side comparisons;
- showing a range of alternatives without overwhelming the customer;
- creating a sense of urgency (e.g., limited supply);
- personalize suggestions based on customer data;
- effectively communicating the benefits of buying and the risk of not buying.