The Importance Of Cross Selling In The E-Commerce Industry (And Some Powerful Techniques Of Doing It Right)


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importance of cross selling

Have you ever went online shopping thinking you are only going to buy one product but ended up buying more than that? Like you only want to buy a new phone but you saw a cute case being advertised together with it so you also bought that product?

Well, you have probably fallen into the trap of cross selling of that specific website, or what the brand has offered.

Most e-commerce businesses know the importance of cross selling. According to Amazon, cross selling and up selling has contributed 35 percent of their overall revenue in 2006. In addition to that, Forrester Research analyst Sucharita Mulpuru stated that product recommendations have contributed 10-30 percent of sales for most e-commerce sites.

In short, cross selling can increase your sales and revenue if it is done right.

You have to truly understand why cross selling is important. Cross selling is not just simply putting a product next to another one. It should complement the product your customer wants to buy. Even though that product is in a totally different category, if it fits, it will sell.

For example, you want to buy a wall clock. The website can cross sell you batteries for it. Or it could be a camera sold side by side with a memory card or a tripod.

One of the most common cross selling strategies we experience is when fast food chains like McDonald’s sell us fries when we only order a burger. But it would make us think twice and we’ll probably get it.

For e-commerce businesses that are not used to cross selling, it is okay to start late. However, you need to know some important techniques to make sure you are doing it the right way.

First, you cannot cross sell something that is much more expensive than the product the customer is buying. According to VWO, “Cross-sell products should be at least 60% cheaper than the product added to cart.”

Another one is “Cross-sell gets up to 3 percent conversions when used on the check-out page.” When people see more products related to what they bought at the checkout page, most of them will likely do an impulse buying.

Amazon, the leading e-commerce site, has cross selling tactics that would not annoy any customer. The products are naturally placed so that people will not feel they are being offered more than they think they are. They have things like “Frequently bought together”, “Customers who bought this item also bought”, “Shop the look”, and “You may also like”.

Another technique is bundling. With bundling, you make most of the choice for your customer. It will be easier for them to decide which products to buy and what product goes best with the other. They will not sift through many other products and categories just to buy the things they need.

All in all, customers should feel that they have made a better decision in a faster way after deciding to buy whatever product your e-commerce business cross sells.


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