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The word “upsell” sometimes has negative connotations attached to it. It can conjure up images of high-pressure sales situations and mall kiosk employees vying for your attention. But, upselling is not a four-letter word. If you own an eCommerce store, it’s a vital part of your sales strategy. 

Before you look deeper into upselling strategies, it’s essential to understand what it means to upsell. Upselling is defined as a sales technique used to get customers to buy an upgraded or premium version of a product or service. But it’s more than that. It’s an opportunity to delight your customers. When done correctly, it gives everybody what they want. 

Here’s a real-world upselling example: 

Say you’re trying to sell someone an upgraded version of a tablet. You know your buyer loves to watch movies and travels a lot for business. A tablet with more space would allow them to download more videos and watch them on the plane. This would be an excellent opportunity to upsell them on the tablet with more storage. 

Notice how this situation gives the buyer the option to spend more to get something they consider valuable. You’re not trying to cheat your customers into buying things they don’t need or want. You’re improving their buying experience by presenting them with the best possible way to experience your product or service. Remember, people don’t mind spending a little more if it means getting exactly what they want. 

Why Upsell to Your Customers?

Customer retention is key to any good sales strategy. On average, a potential buyer needs to have seven interactions with your brand before they make a purchase. By the time a lead has become a customer, you’ve already invested a lot of time and money into them. It’s vital to get the most out of every sale. 

Did you know that you are twice as likely to sell to an existing customer than you are a new customer? It makes a lot of sense. Think of it in terms of cold-calling for a job versus talking to people within your existing network. Do you find that you have more luck convincing strangers to hire you or people who know your work and what you can do for them? Probably the latter. 

It’s 68% cheaper for you to upsell and cross-sell to your existing customers than it is to gain new ones. This is one reason why capitalizing on brand loyalty and focusing on customer retention is the most cost-effective thing you can do to improve your eCommerce sales. 

Upselling vs. Cross-selling

Cross-selling is a similar tactic that involves recommending products or services that complicate the ones your buyer has already purchased. For example, if someone puts a tent in their cart, it would be a great idea to show them additional camping gear before or after they place the order. This accomplishes two important goals: It gives the user a great experience by making a suggestion relevant to their interests, and it allows you to make an additional sale. 

Upselling Techniques That Drive Customer Retention

These are some tried and true upselling techniques that you can incorporate into your sales strategy. 

  • Offer free shipping on orders over a certain amount.

It’s no secret people love free shipping. Amazon has turned it into an eCommerce standard. But if you’re a small eCommerce shop, this feature has to be cost-effective for you. By placing an order cap for free shipping, you encourage customers to buy more (giving you more opportunities to delight them) and ensure that you don’t go out of business covering shipping and handling fees. 

Outdoor Voices Free Shipping

Outdoor Voices reminds customers they offer Free Shipping on order over $50.

  • Add a “Customers also bought” feature

Another great thing to borrow from Amazon is the “customers also bought” feature. Present the customer with additional products that make sense with what’s already in their cart. This is a form of cross-selling, as described above. You can do this before check out or afterward with a post-purchase email. Our automated post-purchase email service makes it a breeze to highlight products your shoppers will love.

  • Bundling

If you have a suite of products that work together, bundling them is a great way to generate repeat business. Bundling allows your buyer to experience your products the way you intended. If you maximize your customer’s experience, you maximize your odds of selling to them again and again. 

  • Offer an Extended Warranty or Service Period

If you’re selling anything expensive or intricate, such as an electronic device, offering an extended warranty might be a great option. Some people are happy to pay a little extra for peace of mind.  

  • Provide a Subscription Discount 

In recent years, subscription services have dramatically increased in popularity. Millennials, in particular, love the convenience of their favorite items showing up at their door. If your shop sells things that are routine purchases, such as shampoos or soaps, give people the option of subscribing at a slightly lower rate and watch your sales go up. 

Quip perscription

Quip offers incentives for customers to buy pre-paid subscription plans on their toothbrushes.

Encourage Brand Loyalty Through Relevance 

Brand loyalty is all about building relationships with your customers. Personalization is key to customer retention. Treat your sales journey like an organic conversation to help your customers get their personal needs met. The difference between a good upsell and a bad upsell comes down to relevance. Only make an upsell if what your offering will make a positive impact on the buyer’s experience with the product. If you want to retain your customers, you need to show them that you’re listening to their wants and needs. Treat your customers like people, and your eCommerce shop will grow and thrive. 

Our automated post-purchase email makes it easy to keep your sales conversations sharp and relevant. Request a demo today and learn more about how Springbot can help you retain customers and generate repeat business.