You could have the most attractive online store on the entire Internet, and still not be generating the revenue you feel you should. So, how do you boost your sales? With effective cross-selling.
What is Cross-Selling?
You see cross-selling in action every time you have lunch at a local fast-food outlet. “You want fries with that?” is cross-selling. Managers often refer to this technique as an up-sell, but they do so mistakenly. An up-sell invites the customer to consider an item that is more expensive than the one he’s thinking of purchasing. A cross-sell suggests purchasing an additional item that will make the use of the first one more effective or enjoyable.
Cross-selling increases the value of the average order. In fact, when your order management software is configured to offer a cross-sell offered on the checkout page, conversion increases by an estimated 3%.
Your cross-sell should be something less expensive than the main item being purchased. You would, for example, invite a customer who is buying a pair of pants to consider adding a belt to his purchase. You wouldn’t do it the other way around. So, when the customer reaches the checkout, the cross-sell item is presented. With online inventory management, as soon as one customer purchases an item, another is automatically ordered so the inventory is replenished, and you’re never out of belts to offer with those pants.
Getting Comfortable with Cross-Selling
It’s surprising how many merchants, both online and in “brick and mortar” stores, are resistant to the idea of cross-selling. They feel, wrongly, that cross-selling is somehow pushy or intrusive. The reality is that a merchant should never feel that there’s anything offensive in offering an additional item, because customers don’t see it that way, and aren’t turned off by it, as long as the cross-sell actually works with the original purchase
You can bet that your competitors are cross-selling, make sure that your order management software is configured to offer a cross-sell at checkout. There is one thing you need to keep in mind, though – once you embrace the cross-sell, be sure to avoid making the number one mistake, which is…
Too much information can actually be the kiss of death for online merchants, so you need to tread carefully when you’re offering cross-sell items. After all, the main goal is to get the customer through the checkout with their main purchase – the cross-sell is gravy. Think about this – your customer has come to the checkout with a pair of pants. You’ve offered a belt. That’s great! But you decided it would also be a good idea to suggest a shirt and a sport coat. Just because your online inventory management system has it available doesn’t mean you have to offer it, because here’s what happens – your customer decides to leave the checkout, and go look at other sport coats and/or shirts. Then he decides that maybe he should check out other eCommerce sites to find out what they have to offer in the way of pants, sport coats and shirts. You’ve offered too much and ended up with nothing. So keep it simple – you don’t want multiple buttons and tabs distracting your customer from the main checkout button.
It really can’t be over-emphasized. The whole purpose of cross-selling is to increase the probability of conversion, or to increase the dollar value of the conversion. By considering their online inventory, management in ecommerce stores can determine which items will work best as a cross-sell, and offer those items at the right time.
SUMMARY: Improve your ecommerce conversions by cross-selling effectively, and avoiding the top mistake made by online merchants when using the cross-sell.