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Online Up selling Techniques to Boost Sales

Up selling can increase your ecommerce revenue by up to 30% so here are some techniques to use up selling to boost your sales.

Online Up selling Techniques to Boost Sales

Anyone who is familiar with business today will know about the value of up selling in the marketplace. Regardless of whether you are on a shop floor or an eCommerce site, up selling is an effective way of maximising the result of a sale.

What is Up selling?
Up selling is where a business encourages a consumer to buy a product which is more expensive or a product upgrade or service which will make it more profitable to the company - that’s not to say that this is also a benefit to the customer.

This can be a very effective technique and is something that no business can ignore. For the purpose of this articles, we will concentrate on online up selling techniques.

Have you ever gone to buy something online, only to be offered something better and a little more expensive? This is up selling. Often done in the form of a ‘standard’ and ‘premium’ option. Of course you can buy the normal version, but the ‘premium’, although you have to pay a little extra, will make you, the consumer, so much happier!

The premise behind up selling is that it is easier to get an existing customer to buy or spend more, than finding a brand new customer. You already have the consumer’s attention, now it’s just about showing them that they need more than what they were initially buying.

So, what are some of the most effective online up selling techniques?

Cross Promotion
Cross promotion is where you offer customers a related product or service to the one that they are buying. It is slightly different to up selling, but is extremely worthwhile still. For example, if you are selling a television, you might want to offer afterwards a DVD player, extra cables, surround sound systems etc.

Another excellent example of this is Amazon’s well-known technique of “People who bought this item also bought ………” By giving recommendations from people who are supposedly ‘similar’ they are both improving their profit margins and also helping their customers potentially buy something that they would want or need.

Most shopping cart systems on online stores will have an option for businesses to add  ‘show recommendations’ option.

Products at the Check-Out
When a customer is about to process their purchase, they are a ‘buying’ state of mind and this is often the best place to approach them about up selling or cross selling. This is the ideal time to offer them related items (such as with the cross selling technique) or up selling - such as offering them an upgraded version or bundle.

Newsletter Recommendations
It might be the case that your customer doesn’t want to by a related or better version of the product or service that they were buying at the time of purchase. But that doesn’t mean that they won’t in the future. In fact, if the product or service that they bought (or got for free) was good, it is likely that they will want a better version or add-ons.

Maybe the love their new hi-tech camera and will now want a extra strong case to take it with them everywhere they go. Or maybe the basic package for some software was good, but they want more options.

Having had a customer buy something from you, you will already have their email address, so why not send them a newsletter with promotions for items linked to their purchase? You can add a check-box when the customer is checking out, for them to opt in or out of a newsletter with promotions.

You need to make sure that your newsletter is worth them having and not spammy. Whilst you should send it out regularly, don’t make it too often.

Adverts or Pop-Ups
If you are intending on up selling or cross selling, you really have three options. You can create adverts on your site, showing the options which are available to your customers. You will need to have pictures and use the right language to get their attention.

Another option that you have is that you can ask them at the point of purchase if they would like to buy batteries, cases, insurance or the premium service. Make it easy for them by offering a tick box which will add the item directly to their cart. And the third option is that you can have a pop-up advert appear in a greyed out screen which the customer will physically have to agree to or not agree to (or close) before they proceed.

Most e-commerce software should give you these options to facilitate up selling for businesses.

Up Selling Ideas
There are unlimited options for online businesses in terms of what they can offer to up sell their products. Some of these include:

  • Gold, silver or bronze services
  • Offering better (more expensive) products at a discounted price - but obviously still making you a profit!
  • Offering add-ons
  • Offering a technical support agreement
  • Guarantees and insurance
  • Opportunity to lock in future purchases at lower prices
  • Express shipping options

How to Up Sell
So you know that you should be up selling, but how should you be up selling?

  • You can’t up sell everything. Stick to your most reviewed, most sold and most relevant products. Remember that you are trying to make your customer’s lives easier, better or quicker than it already is, not just trying to make an extra or more profitable sale.
  • You can add the up sell manually or using plugins. If you are hoping to do it manually, you will need to create a spreadsheet linking all of your items with what you are hoping to up sell them to, and then ask a web developer to insert the up selling to your website. Then test it, and check your website analytics to decide where to put it. Put it where your conversion rate is high - whether it is on product pages or at the check-out. Keep testing to find out where is the most effective place.
  • If you are hoping to do it via an up sell plug-in, it is usually a little more simple. If you are using one of the main e-commerce platforms like Shopify, Magento or BigCommerce, there are a number of plugins that you can choose from. Go through the options to decide which one you believe would be best for you.

Up selling is an essential part to any business and can be responsible for up to 30% of their revenue. By using some of the above techniques you can get on your way to maximising the effect of each customer that comes through your site.

If you have any questions about e-commerce, buying and selling online, building effective websites and other online services, get in touch with Studioworx either via email ([email protected]), telephone (+44 (0)1603 274285) or the website (

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