Imagine you come to your favorite H&M location to look for new outfits to update your winter wardrobe. You’re browsing the store and suddenly you see a wool sweater which is simply perfect for the upcoming cold.
You start looking for your size when a store assistant comes to you and says that she has great pants to match this sweater. She shows the pants and, indeed, they look like they could match. You try both items on and realize that you’re about to buy your favorite outfit for the upcoming winter season.
This situation is a great example of cross-selling. The store assistant knows exactly what you’re looking for based on your choice, and offers you something you might also be interested in.
Cross-selling, however, is not exclusive to brick-and-mortar stores. Ecommerce shops widely employ this approach as well, and so far it has proven to be effective.
According to the statistics by InvespCRO:
- personalized product recommendations account for only 7% of visits but for 26% of revenue
- 37% of shoppers that clicked on a product recommendation during their first visit returned to buy more items
- when an order is made via a recommendation, it has a 10% higher average order value
As you can see, cross-selling is quite effective for increasing revenue and customer lifetime value. Consumers want you to make attractive offers, as long as you know how to convince them to buy more.
So, how can you do that? How can you use cross-selling to get consumers to buy more and, thus, give new life to your ecommerce store?
Let’s take a look.
1. Benefit from Social Proof
Consider the following example. You’re a private French tutor trying to get more students and increase your revenue. You already have a blog helping others learn French step-by-step, but people don’t seem to be interested until a former student of yours recommends you to his friends, and they recommend you to their friends. In a month, you already have 7 new students.
You may know this phenomenon as word-of-mouth marketing, and it is relevant for ecommerce as well. Internet users often benefit from it and search for products based on customer feedback.
This feedback, or social proof, has a significant impact on customer purchase decisions. According to Optinmonster:
- 87% of purchases start with prior research that involves the analysis of the opinions about the product
- 92% of customers trust non-paid consumer recommendations
- a consumer reads 10 reviews on average before buying a product
How can social proof be incorporated in cross-selling for ecommerce?
When your customers are browsing and reviewing the product, give them a list of recommendations that already have customer ranking in them:
Social proof helps you make your product recommendations look not so forced. Besides, adding social proof to your product recommendations makes them more convincing and your cross-selling efforts more effective.
2. Offer Products at Checkout
Another cross-selling strategy that you can use to improve the sales growth of your ecommerce business is targeting your customers with product recommendations when they are about to complete their purchase.
Holo Taco, an ecommerce nail polish brand, uses this approach as a friendly reminder for their customers to check if they didn’t forget to buy any other essentials:
Usually, the selection of products that appears before the checkout is based on customer purchase patterns and which product is usually bought with the one that’s already in your bag.
However, you can also put recommendations for:
- best sellers and special daily offers
- discounted products
- complementary products
- special occasion offers (e.g., holiday-themed products)
Giving product recommendations at checkout is a good non-intrusive cross-selling strategy. There’s also a psychological trick here. Before purchasing the product, customers are usually more attentive to the information that appears on the page to make sure that they didn’t forget anything. You can take advantage of this and boost your sales, while not making it seem like a hard sell.
3. Try Cross-Selling via Email Marketing
Apart from implementing cross-selling strategies on your website, you can also take advantage of email marketing.
Ecommerce companies often encounter the problem of abandoned carts and dormant customers. However, you can turn this issue into a benefit and even try to boost your sales with the help of it.
For example, a customer put a shirt into the cart but never proceeded to checkout maybe because it was quite expensive. When this product goes on sale, you can send a notification to the customer that they can now buy this shirt at a more attractive price.
However, you can also use this opportunity to cross-sell other similar shirts that are also on sale:
Why use abandoned cart emails for cross-selling?
First and foremost, such emails have a good open rate statistics – 45% of cart abandonment emails get opened on average. Apart from that, this is just a fitting opportunity to make a product offer, especially if a customer didn’t purchase a product earlier because of the price.
Whatever the reason is, cross-selling via email is an effective strategy that you can employ on a permanent basis. However, make sure you do the audience segmentation first and analyze previous customer purchase behaviors to make your product offers more personalized.
Indeed, cross-selling can be a breath of fresh air for your ecommerce business as it makes the relationship between you and your customers based on value and personalization.
However, it takes time before the results kick in. So, make sure you implement these cross-selling strategies in your ecommerce business in the early stages to start enjoying the benefits of cross-selling as soon as possible.
Ryan is a passionate writer who likes sharing his thoughts and experience with the readers. Currently, he works as a content editor and internet researcher, you can check his website (read more). He likes everything related to traveling and new countries.
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