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7 tips for upselling success on Shopify

7 tips for upselling success on Shopify

When it comes to increasing your Shopify store’s revenue, more traffic isn’t always the answer. Selling more to your existing customers is both cheaper (less marketing spend) and more efficient (they’ve already shown an interest in your products).

So how should you go about boosting your average order value for existing customers? Upselling and cross-selling.

Between 10-30% of all ecommerce revenue is made through upselling and cross-selling, making it a go-to strategy for many of the major ecommerce brands. Just look at Amazon. Their product pages are set up so that there is always an upsell and cross-sell. The upsell is presented on the product page as a better model or variation of the item you’re already buying. The cross-sell is the section at the bottom of the product page and cart page titled, “Frequently bought together”.

These techniques force you to second guess and rethink your decision to buy either a cheaper model or a standalone product without the suggested add-ons.

The difference between upselling and cross-selling is often unclear, so let’s solve that before going any further. We define an upsell as an upgrade to the exact product a customer is planning on purchasing. For example, Apple will upsell their cheapest MacBook model with the next model up, using its processor speed and retina display as the selling points. A cross-sell would be Apple suggesting that you purchase a mouse and keyboard with your MacBook.

With these definitions in mind, let’s dive into how to create and implement successful upselling techniques in your Shopify store.


Categorize your products

Before you start creating upsells in your store, take a step back and think through your catalog, collections, and products. How does each product relate to one another and which ones will make sense to upsell?

You’re likely going to be upselling within your collections, so start by making notes of the products that have a natural upsell. If you have multiple models of the same sunglasses, sort them from least to most expensive so that you know which products will qualify for an upsell and what that upsell product will be.

We suggest creating a spreadsheet with all of your products to get started.


Make your upsell relevant

If you follow our first tip, this second one will come easy. Once you’ve categorized your products you’ll know which ones qualify for an upsell and which ones don’t. You’ll want to ensure that the product you’re offering in your upsell solves the exact same problem the original product does.

You wouldn’t upsell a reading lamp with a bedside table. That just doesn’t make sense! (That’s more in line with cross-selling.) Upsells should be so closely related to the original product that the customer thinks, “Hey! This is pretty much just a better version of the product I was going to buy for just a bit more money.”


Experiment different displays

Upsells can be displayed at various points of the buying journey. If your product is more of a once-in-ten-years purchase—like a bicycle for example—you’ll want to upsell before checkout. With apps like Ultimate Special Offers, you can display your upsells as a popup on the product page or embed them into the cart page. This will ensure that your customers see the upsell before they check out.

If you’re selling products that are more of a once-a-month type purchase you can still use the aforementioned strategy or you could use email marketing. If you notice some customers are purchasing the same product over and over, consider sending a targeted email campaign highlighting the benefits of a better version of that product.


Don’t force it

No one likes a pushy salesperson. Whether you’re shopping IRL and that pesky associate keeps popping up from behind every clothing rack or you’re browsing an online shop and popups are flying in your face faster than you can close them, these tactics will quickly deter any interest.

We suggest only offering an upsell once and making it easy for the customer to dismiss it. You want your customers to be the ones taking action rather than you forcing their hand. Be seen, but don’t be annoying.


Create urgency

Like with any sale type, urgency increases conversions. There are many ways you can create urgency—limited-time offers and low-stock alerts are two of the most tried-and-tested methods.


Discount your upsell

When you’re dangling a carrot, it always helps if people feel they’re getting a real good deal on that carrot. Discounting your upsell—even by as little as 5%—will further entice customers to convert on the offer. Plus, lowering the price of the more expensive product will make that jump seem a little more manageable for your customers.


Stay within your customer’s price point

This is probably the most important takeaway when it comes to upselling. If your customer chooses the most basic and cheapest version of a product, they’re unlikely to change their mind and decide to purchase the most expensive one.

Keeping your upsells within your customers’ price point will lower the barrier to buying and boost your conversions. For example, if you’re selling portable speakers, upsell your most basic speaker with the model that is slightly better. There’s a reason your customer chose the most basic one (price, needs), so don’t try and upsell them to your most deluxe version.

This can easily be achieved by taking the time to categorize your products as we mentioned in the first tip. Doing this early on will make creating your upsells a breeze.


Start upselling today

Ready to start upselling on Shopify? Ultimate Special Offers is Shopify’s only all-in-one sales app and on top of its upselling feature, it will also allow you to create discounts, cross-sells, BOGO deals, gift with purchase offers, and much more.


Find more helpful articles in The Ultimate Guide to Starting an Online Store

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