13 Upselling Techniques And Examples to Increase Sales
In the world of sales, upselling techniques hold significant potential for increasing revenue. It may seem like a straightforward approach, merely presenting customers with a higher-end or pricier version of a product. However, adopting such a simplistic view often leads to customer dissatisfaction and a negative perception of your company as a whole. To ensure successful upselling, careful consideration of your strategies is crucial.
When is the ideal time to introduce an upsell? Should you present a curated list of recommended items or emphasize add-on features? In this article, we will examine a range of highly effective upselling strategies that can help you deliver your upsells intelligently, maximizing your sales potential.
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You might confuse upselling with its “twin” cross-selling. To avoid this misconception, you have to take an attentive look at the words, and you will see the difference. Upselling means upgrading the same product, while cross-selling implies offering related items that cross paths with the main object.
For instance, you are at a fast-food restaurant, and you are ordering a box of french fries. The employee can ask you if you want to take a sauce with it, which would be cross-selling. But if they encourage you to take a big basket instead of a small one, it is an upsell.
The aim of upselling techniques is to generate more revenue by inducing buyers’ to opt for a more expensive version of the product. To make visitors more inclined to your suggestions, you can justify the increase in price by highlighting the advantages like materials of higher quality, additional features, extended warranty, etc.
To start with anything, you should understand why you need what you are planning to implement. There are plenty of marketing strategies for different goals, but you have to pick one that fits your interests the most.
If the customers know enough about your brand and website, you can go ahead and build upselling strategies. However, if people are still getting familiar with you, you should start with awareness campaigns.
When it comes to upselling techniques, it is better and easier to show people what they can get for a specific amount of money rather than simply asking them to buy more.
Technique 1. Offer a Reward
People spend time looking for things that will make their life easier or better. So they do spend time to find the best option for less money. You can reward their attention to your brand, which can become an upselling technique. How? Wait until the customer drops an item to the cart and then offer something like that but of better quality or bigger size for an additional amount of money. If you sell food, etc., you can offer the same product but a more extensive package with a slightly increased price.
People will need that item for sure. And they will calculate that if the product is more significant but costs less than it should be based on the primary item, they will surely get the bigger one. As a result, both of you benefit: you get the money, and the user gets more than expected.
Such decisions are usually fast and emotional, so they have bigger chances for success.
Technique 2. Compare Products
You know that people compare products and services all the time. They look for the best features for the money they want to spend. So why not help them with that with your upselling skills? Instead of letting your customers open lots of tabs and check the features themselves, do it for them. Offer similar items on the same page describing why they differ.
This can be three products that solve one particular issue but of different configurations. For example, if you sell blankets, you can compare the filling, describing each of them, so the customer has a chance to pick the most suitable one.
Technique 3. Learn Customers Preference
As you work on your business, you constantly learn more about your customers. This means that you learn their preferences, so you can offer what users usually look for.
If your customers look for chocolate bars, you won't offer chewing gum, and vice versa. Offer some other interesting chocolate products that might be rare.
Technique 4. Suggest Items
In the realm of e-commerce, suggesting popular items can greatly influence customer purchasing decisions. It is common knowledge that certain products enjoy widespread popularity within specific customer groups.
You have likely encountered such recommendations on numerous e-commerce platforms, labeled as "Product Suggestions" or "Customers also searched for." These items hold more than just a higher price tag; they evoke a sense of urgency in potential buyers. Moreover, given the dynamic nature of e-commerce, there is a strong possibility that alternative items will be presented the next time the user visits the platform.
Hence, it is crucial to promptly explore and consider these popular items to capitalize on their appeal and maximize sales potential.
Technique 5. Free Shipping
Free shipping is one of the best and most popular upselling techniques. People instantly see how much money they can save and continue adding items to the cart to achieve the necessary price for free shipping. Some even get more, thinking that since they don't have to pay for the shipping, they can spend the shipping cost on actual goods. Not a single person will skip an opportunity to use a free shipping option.
You can notify them about this in several ways:
- Popup. Tell users about your shipping options when they scroll the website, check particular items, or when they are about to leave. The timing should be based on your upselling strategies, so there is no one specific answer to this question.
- Before the purchase. When users have their goods all packed up and ready to be purchased, tell them how much money they should spend to get free shipping. In most cases, people will go back to get more items.
Technique 6. Bonus Products
If you can add some bonus products, then do it! People love nice things for a smaller amount of money. But remember that each bonus should be relevant to the item people want to buy.
Offer people to shop for a specific price, saying you will add some presents and bonuses. Such add-ons might include sample sizes, bonuses, additional items, etc.
It is vital to offer this option before the user gets to the checkout. When people surf the website, they can learn about actual products, add-ons, and bonuses, realizing whether they need them at all.
Technique 7. Write Emails
Your upselling strategies don't end up when the user checks out. After each purchase or each registration, you have customers' contacts that you can use for communication.
Contact them, preferably by email, since you can show some pictures and describe your proposition more vividly. Ask them to revisit your website and check what they have on their wishlist. Also, you can tell your customers about current upselling, including free shipping and other mentioned techniques. Some stores notify users about the items they checked or have on their wishlists. You can try that as well.
There are plenty of different services that make an email marketing game strong and engaging, so make sure to check some businesses like Mailchimp.
Technique 8. Referral Program
Referral programs are aimed at cutting costs for new customers. This is the technique when the customer shares the link with a friend. When the customer's friend uses the link, both get some kind of reward, which can also be a part of upselling.
Many customers share referral links to get bonuses, free shipping, etc., which can be an excellent addition to your upselling strategies.
Technique 9. Membership
Do you offer a membership for every customer after their first purchase? Well, you should start doing that. Loyal customers have a higher lifetime value, so memberships are essential. You can offer them gifts if they purchase items for a specific amount of money. And you can even allow them to pick their gifts.
Such upselling strategies will surely result in higher profits as people will come back again and again to get the items they need and to get something extra to try on. This works best with wellness and make-up websites where you can pick sample sizes, perfumes, lotions, make-up, etc.
Technique 10. Help Customers
You should never offer something to a customer just because. Meaning you should know exactly what your upsell does differently from a regular item.
Create a sense of urgency to use new services or to buy an upgraded item. For example, sell not just a better health app but an app that adds to its previous version meal plans, sleeping schedules, and workouts.
Technique 11. Discounts
Discounts can be a part of the upselling strategies if done right. You don't have to give away your products for free, but you can create excellent discounts that will be quite profitable for your customers and you. Friendly prices can always result in additional product purchases.
You can combine this technique with another to achieve the best result. Pair it with free shipping or any other service to make an even more exciting proposition.
Technique 12. Urgency
Create an offer that is available only for a short amount of time. This will encourage people to get your products or services faster. That can include discounts or additional services that will work for some time and goods that will be available for a week or a month. There are plenty of holidays with their attributes like toys, candies, etc.
Technique 13. Social Proof
We've mentioned this topic several times before. This is one of the most critical upselling techniques for your business. Lots of top-notch e-commerce business owners use it.
Show people what others think about your products and services. Speaking about upselling customers, you can pick reviews that write about upsells and show potential customers this information.
Rush is an implacable enemy of successful upselling techniques. There is no use in instantly inquiring whether users would like an upsell because they probably have yet to learn. Let them take a clear view and form an opinion of your store, reach a certain level of trust in you as a seller, and dwell on different options. Thus, the appropriate time for upselling varies but can be limited to three main options:
- Right before the checkout. This is a great time to focus on the things that are antecedent to the product’s or service’s final version. For example, Deliveroo can make you a sandwich with gluten-free bread and extra turkey for a slight price increase. Meanwhile, Apple got you covered in case of any emergencies with the AppleCare+ device repair coverage for the Apple Watch.
- When visitors show signs of quitting your website. Many e-commerce companies had an epiphany when Baymard Institute revealed that almost 7 out of 10 carts get abandoned during online shopping. However, you can salvage this situation by ensuring that users see all available options, including the more expensive ones, before closing the tab.
- During the checkout. Allow buyers to reconsider until the purchase is complete. If they are still hesitant about their choice, you can indulge their hunger for more by displaying advanced alternatives.
Modern technologies equip you with various instruments to make your upselling techniques as well-timed as possible. You can:
- Apply time or scroll triggers to your popup messages with Claspo.
- Use Claspo to build compelling exit-intent popups.
- Insert snippets in the checkout procedure.
Subscription provides a consistent and regular revenue stream, which is what every business longs for. Still, to secure it, you need to emphasize the inherent shortcomings of a one-time fling compared to the benefits of a long-term commitment. You can do it in a traditional, stimulating, or riveting manner:
- Spotify lists the features of both Free and Premium accounts and allows you to choose.
- Gin Loot uses material incentives: new customers discount and a tonic pairing upselling option.
- Whisky Loot complements the obvious reasons, such as “Try new whiskies every month”, with unconventional yet relatable and kind cool motives like “make a whisky bath”.
Naturally, this technique is only suitable for some industries. However, it has countless advantages and appeals to buyers because:
- It frees them from the burden of utilizing or reselling their gadgets.
- It allows people to get rid of their devices in sustainable and eco-friendly ways, such as recycling or reusing them.
Let’s illustrate this concept with the Apple trade-in program for iPhones. Is it daunting to even look at the prices of new models? Then it should be a relief to learn that you can get up to 80% discount in exchange for your old device.
Although many entrepreneurs view upselling as a cheap stunt, it can significantly boost your tangible and intangible assets (e.g., revenue and clientele loyalty) when executed with caution, consideration, and respect for customers' needs. The provided upselling examples and techniques illustrate that there is an abundance of answers to the question “How to improve upselling?”. Be creative and combine various tactics by applying suitable tools on time to develop your unique strategy.