Cross-selling is a way to offer additional products or services that are related to the item the customers already chosen to purchase. It adds additional value to the item that they have purchased or makes using the item they’ve purchased easier in some way. You’ve seen examples of cross-selling on sites such as Amazon.com. You put something in your cart, and before completing the purchase you see recommendations below the cart.
Some of these attempts at cross-selling are horrible and will not be profitable. A company like Amazon can afford to take the risk but if you have a small business, you want to ensure that your cross-selling attempts do not turn your customer away and also that they are truly profitable. Here are some tips to ensure that your cross-selling is successful.
First, to have a good cross-selling campaign, be sure that you understand the difference between complementary products and competing products. You do not want to offer your customers competing products because that will be confusing. Ensure that all products are some sort of complementary product in that the products can be used together in some fashion. They don’t have to be used at the same time, but they should be related in some manner.
Your cross-sell offerings should:
* Solve a problem for your customer – Look at each purchase from your customer’s perspective. If you were buying this item, what items would go well with it and why? If you can’t answer why it goes well with the first purchase, it probably doesn’t belong.
* Add value to the first purchase – Know exactly how the recommendation adds value to the first purchase and be able to explain that to your customer in the description of the recommendation. If you cannot explain how it adds value to the first purchase, consider a different item.
* Complement the original purchase – Know the difference between a complementary recommendation and a competing recommendation. Very rarely should you ever send a client a competing recommendation at the time of purchase, if ever.
* Offer multiple price points – Sometimes a customer wants to add to their purchase, but with only one offer the price point might be too high. You can encourage purchase of a lower priced item by putting it with other higher priced items.
Examples of complementary products and services:
Main Product Cross-sell suggestions
EBook: The Fundamentals of Gardening Veggies Vegan cookbook, seeds, gardening equipment
Private label text content pack Rewriting, cover design, posting services
Shopping cart script Installation, hosting, product loading
Directory listing Additional product pictures, featured option
As you can see, the products and services to the right complement the products to the left very well. They offer the customer an additional benefit that will solve more of their problems. If you make sure that your cross-selling suggestions align with the original product or service, you’ll see that your clients will appreciate the suggestion. And if you offer a few different choices in different price points, they’ll be more likely to take you up on the offer. They’ll also be thankful for the offer and feel that you value them as a customer.