BigCommerce helps growing businesses, enterprise brands, and everything in-between sell more online.

How to upsell your customers

Some of the most successful ecommerce brands in the world upsell their customers. Back in 2006, Amazon said that 35 percent of its earnings were the result of cross-selling and upselling, a strategy that has surely added even more to the bottom line since then. Despite its proven success, many online retailers do not bother upselling their customers, effectively abandoning thousands of dollars a year in unrealized profits. Some business owners believe the practice is pushy or spammy, when in fact, upselling can actually result in a better user experience.

Upselling adds value

Upselling is about offering upgrades to your customers that will improve their satisfaction with a purchase, whether it involves improved features, increased volume or a more deluxe version of the product. While the ultimate aim is to increase average order value, you are offering true value for that additional expense.

Think about your products and the small upgrades people might make that would increase their overall satisfaction. Maybe you could offer them an enhanced version of the product they missed in their research. By offering enhanced features, color options or other specifications, you are giving consumers more choices to suit their individual needs and tastes.

Not everyone will buy the upsell

Don't be discouraged if upselling results in less than 10 percent of your overall. Not everyone is willing to pay more for a better product, but those who do may become your most loyal advocates. If your customers who can afford more and are pleased with their purchases, they may help you recruit similar buyers .

Focus on relevancy and popularity

Always lead with your strengths. Upsells are not effective across all products, so it makes sense to lead with your most popular items.

Reviews – If people have written favorable reviews about one of your products, you should display those in the upsell. People are often swayed by the opinions of others, and if you have prior evidence of strong customer satisfaction, they will want to know that.

Focus on best sellers – Your most popular items, which are often the most reviewed, are the best products to upsell.

Present relevant products – This strategy requires some thought and planning. Think about the products people are looking at and what relevant items you could make that would add value. Having a deep understanding of your audience's problems, needs and desires is critical to knowing what they will consider relevant and exciting.

Use plugins

Plugins are programs or applications that you can add to your website to perform a specific function. Many ecommerce platforms offer plugins that allow you to categorize products and link them on different pages based on similar features and benefits. This is an automated method of upselling that can be valuable for business owners. However, you should monitor how the interface works and make improvements where needed.

Upselling is not a new strategy. Merchants have successfully used it to increase profitability throughout the history of commerce. The tools we use today may be more sophisticated, but the fundamental principles are the same. Upselling is only good as a tool for long-term customer satisfaction, providing real value to both the customer and business owner. Understanding your customer's needs and striving to meet them will make your upselling efforts a lasting, profitable endeavor.

BigCommerce helps growing businesses, enterprise brands, and everything in-between sell more online.

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