Cross-selling is really a natural progression of the sales cycle. There is nothing more to it than choosing some products that are in some way related to the products you already sell, then recommending them to the buyer during or after the purchase process.
Cross-selling can occur at different times in the purchase process. It can occur at the time of purchase with additional recommendations easy to add to the cart, or it can occur on the thank you page after the purchase has been made with special incentives and discounts offered.
Make Sure It’s Related
Your cross-selling items need to be related to the original item that the customer wants to buy in some way. For instance, if you are selling gardening eBooks you could sell garden supplies, eBook readers, seeds, and any items mentioned inside the eBooks that you sell. The point is that it should not be a random item just thrown in that makes no sense. Having mints by the counter works for grocery stories but for online stores, selling mints won’t work unless it fits with your original items.
Provide Expert Recommendations
Getting testimonials about various products will increase the confidence your customer has to purchase, but imagine what would happen if you could get expert recommendations for your products! Ask people whom you know to be experts for recommendations, so that when a cross-sell item is recommended it will say that so and so recommends this additional product due to your original purchase. This will encourage more customers to choose that add-on product.
Timing Is Critical
Cross-selling can happen during the purchasing environment or after the purchase has been made. It’s up to you and it’s dependent on the technology you use in your shopping cart. If you can recommend items at the time of the first purchase, that is great. However, if you can’t, you can offer the recommendations on a thank you page, or in a thank you email sent directly to the buyer with their receipt. But, it does need to be done right away. Don’t wait a week to send a cross-sell recommendation.
Test Market Matches
Try out different product matches to see which ones sell faster. For instance, if you’re selling those gardening eBooks you can vary your recommendations between a new eBook reader, some gardening supplies, and items that they’ll need once they read the book. See which increases the sales amount most often, then repeat that more. Knowing how to read the metrics is an essential component to understanding which cross-selling attempts are working and which aren’t.
Test Different Price Points
Sometimes a customer will want to purchase the add-ons but they have a budget, so it’s important to offer at least three additional items at different price points. If you offer at least one low-cost item, you’ll be surprised at how much more likely they are to add to their cart at the time of purchase. Impulse buying can happen both online and offline.
The key to being successful with cross-selling is to keep trying different things to find out what works for your target audience. Your offerings need to be customer centric and related to what you originally sold, and not just random items to throw into the cart.