Is your average order value quite lower than your expectations? or do you want to increase your revenue or sell higher-value products? If you are not achieving your expected KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) then it is high time to do something to increase sales and KPIs. Upselling is one of the best ways to increase sales by motivating buyers to purchase a higher-valued product in comparison to the one they intend to buy.
For many D2C (Direct-to-consumers), a well-timed upsell is the key to increasing revenue. In this article, we will go through the 12 most important upselling tactics that you must adopt in your e-commerce store. But first, let’s know what upselling actually is.
What is Upsell?
In the e-commerce industry, upselling products to a customer implies cajoling that customer to spend more money on the site than he initially planned during the purchase. Sound complicated? Let us simplify it…
Consider a scenario, suppose you are going to buy a bean bag from a furnishing e-commerce store. The cost of a bean bag is $100 but without beans. Then on the Add to Cart Page or Checkout Page, you find an option of purchasing at $10 if you buy them along with your bean bag. If you buy them separately the beans will cost you $15. This is the best epitome of Upselling products on your e-commerce store. Here you are attracting your customer to purchase more and spend more.
Basically in the Upselling strategy, the user will find a better version of the product on the site. The intention is to make a bigger sale. However, showing other relevant products is also a part of upselling cross-sell that we will discuss later. You offer your customer the chance to purchase an upgraded product with better features, better specifications, more volume, or simply an expensive version for maximizing the value of the purchase.
It may apparently seem unethical but it is actually not. You are not forcing the customer but just giving suggestions. This is the reason why we have a 40 inch LED in our drawing room while we planned for a 32 inch TV.
11 Upselling Tactics that you must know:
1. Creating a Sense of Urgency:
If you are giving the buyers unlimited time for an upsell product to consider, they may never take you up on your offer. Then all your efforts of upselling will go in vain.
You must create a sense of urgency in upselling. This will motivate the customers to make a quick decision. In this way, you can easily convert an upsell and increase sales.
You can place a timer on your upsell suggestions sections pricing to show customers that they have a limited time span to leverage this offer. You can also tell the customers that you have limited stock of these products. Thus, the buyers will quickly act to get this offer.
When the customers feel that they have limited time to avail an offer then it creates a sense of urgency among them. This motivates them to even buy a more expensive product quickly. Using countdown times can increase the revenue by 9%.
2. Showcase the extra value:
In many scenarios, it is not necessary to give a lengthy upsell description. Instead, you can keep it short and showcase the numbers to highlight the extra value customers are getting through upselling.
If you want customers to buy an upgraded option of the intended product then you have to also tell them the benefits they will get by paying some extra. Does your upsell include more of something for a nominal price increase? Clarify how the price per unit decreases to quantify the savings instantly. For e.g. you can tell the customers how much they will save in monthly price if they opt for an annual subscription.
Suppose the customer is looking for a smartphone worth 10k and you are upselling another smartphone worth 12k then the customers will be inquisitive to know what extra will he get for paying 2k extra. For this, you can use numeric figures to show how much extra battery, Camera megapixels etc. customers are getting through this smartphone.
3. Select the right place for upselling:
Analyze the prominent pages on which you can convert your customers and easily implement upsells. It can be any page such as checkout page, homepage, landing page, product description page, or even blog pages.
You can use any analytic tool to find out on which web pages your users engage most and offer upsells there. It will show the impressions where all your customers have reacted to the elements provided. Google Analytics is a great tool that provides a click-through rate, conversion and other analytics.
However, always remember that it is not necessary if a page is converting well, your upsell offers will also do good. So make a wise decision while choosing the page for additional offers.
4. Use the right language:
Communication is important while delivering your content to the customers. It should connect with your customers who can find a connection with the products/service offered as upsells.
Let’s understand this by an example. Generally, when we visit McDonald’s we often refuse the cashier to add fries and coke (an upselling technique) to our orders.
Now, if the counter boy has asked the same question, “Would you like to add fries and coke to your order?” I will refuse the offer but if he then told us “We will get fries and two cokes extra by spending a few bucks more then we may accept the offer.
In simple words, while upselling products explain the benefits of the products. Like how it will help if they buy it. Because as a seller you know the features and it is your responsibility to educate the user about the product benefits and features. Try to use the simplest language for an explanation. If you are familiar with the technical jargon of your product, it doesn’t mean everyone would be.
5. Utilize the Customer data:
For the best upsells, you have to know and understand your customers. You have to track their past purchases, search history, shopping trends, etc. and then you can use upsells more effectively. An analytics tool will help you to track users’ purchase history and what are their preferences.
You can even plug a personalized upsell into your products page. That way each customer will automatically receive an offer which they may find attractive. If there is a good influx of customers on your e-commerce store then you must use aggregated data to upsell your most popular products.
Personalizing the plans requires additional efforts and regular testing but it is likely to pay off.
Marketing experts who use personalization in their marketing campaigns have reported a 20% increase in sales. Using advanced tactics, you can even generate $20 for every $1 spent.
6. Track Upsell funnels performance:
Selling products without tracking your upsell funnel performance will never help you know in which funnel you need to make improvements or which one is bothering customers. That’s why it is a very important step to monitor how good or bad a specific funnel is performing. There are many plugins available by which you can track and check the number of times a funnel was triggered or accepted.
Thus, whichever plugin you use for upselling, make sure it must have the reporting feature.
7. Consider the price difference:
It is suggested that the price of the suggested product should be in the range of 30-40% more than the customer’s original choice.
For e.g., if a customer is looking for a pair of shoes at the price of nearly $70 and you recommend him a better pair priced at $120. The customer will even drop the idea of buying a cheaper one from your site since the better one is highly-priced than the initial one.
But if you are offering a pair of better shoes at $90, then there are high chances that it will lead to a successful purchase or conversion as there isn’t an immense price difference. Thus, it is crucial to make an appropriate price ratio while offering upsells on your store. It is a very common but mostly overlooked strategy. Many e-commerce merchants try to offer an exorbitant upsell product to maximize the average order value. This results in a poor buying experience which is not at all good for the reputation of your store.
8. Be ready for substitutions:
What if the product you are upselling goes out of stock? Or it is not available to deliver on a particular address? Would you replace the offer with an apology? You can but that will showcase you as an amateur e-commerce retailer.
People don’t need your apologies, but they want solutions. They don’t care whether you have a product or not. So if you don’t have any alternative plan, it may hurt your conversion rate. The crisis can occur at any instant and your team must be ready with alternative products for upselling. For e.g. you can add multiple products as an upsell product that will be offered to the customers. Thus, if one product is not available due to any reason, the other will be there to make sure customers will pay more than they intended to.
9. Showcase users’ feedbacks:
You can use this strategy if you already have tons of satisfied customers. You can use their feedback to persuade others to upgrade to a higher-priced product. You just have to collect the best customers reviews and testimonials. If they are quite long then you can take the important excerpts that cut right to the chase. Then place the best quote or two near the upsell checkout button.
For making the testimonials more persuasive, you can also publish the customer’s detail along with the testimonial. When the customers can easily identify with happy customers they can envision themselves in the same position.
More than 90% of the customers look for feedback before making any purchase. Thus, reviews can play an important role in upsell conversions.
10. Make the Decision easy:
If the customers have weight several decisions and they are getting baffled while making the purchasing decision, they may simply leave your store thinking they will come again to purchase but who knows when.
It is one of the easiest mistakes that you can avoid in e-commerce. Instead of making things complicated, make the decision to upgrade as easy as possible. You should give limited suggestions of upsell products to consider. Keep the wording to a minimum and use images instead. Then the buyers will not have to think too much while upgrading. They won’t feel overwhelmed by all the choices either.
Simplicity is key to a positive user experience. Fewer but quality choices mean a lower chance of decision efforts and a greater sense of trust. The customers can easily make decisions with fewer choices and they will be more likely to complete their intended purchase. This will result in better conversion rates.
11. Pitch upsell through e-mail marketing:
E-mail marketing is a very effective and less expensive form of marketing. You must have been using e-mail marketing for sending several types of e-mails such as cart abandonment e-mails, new launches, partnership promotions, eventful e-mails, come back emails, etc.
But you can also use e-mail to push upsell oriented e-mails to your customers who have just bought things from your store.
You can use e-mail to offer customers upsell products and to suggest products they can purchase to make the most out of the previous purchases.
In this article, we have gone through the 11 important tactics that you must adopt while upselling products. Whether you are selling physical items or digital services, upsell can help in transforming your e-commerce business. Implement one or all of these techniques to start increasing conversion rates and increase revenue.