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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.