If your website includes a blog and it should, especially if you’re a business you will not doubt have seen that the best blogs incorporate a related posts area, which is aimed at showcasing similar related articles to the one being read as people will then read more than one article and remain on the website for much longer. Well, cross selling works in a similar fashion in that it showcases related products to the one being purchased, for example if you add a laptop into a shopping cart, it might suggest a laptop bag, a docking station, mouse or keyboard. Cross selling is really just a natural progression of the sales cycle.
Cross selling can occur at different stages of the purchasing process, it can occur at the time of purchase with additional recommendations that are easy to add to the shopping card, or it can occur are the initial purchase has been made on the thank you page, these typically include special incentives and discounts for making these additional purchases straight away.
A Few Online Cross-Selling Tips
Make Sure Items Are Related
Any items you want to cross sell need to be related to the original items that the customer wants to purchase. There is absolutely no point trying to cross sell something not related, whereas items that are related will sell well. Grocery stores have mints and sweets by the checkout counter because they work, online these items need to be related otherwise they will be seen as random items and they won’t sell.
Provide Expert Recommendations
By showcasing testimonials about various products you will increase the confidence in your customers who will be reassured about making a purchase, now imagine what happens if you can secure expert recommendations for your products? Ask people whom you know to be experts for recommendations for your products, so that when a cross sell item is recommended it will say that such and such an expert recommends this additional product based on your original item purchased. This encourages more customers to purchase these add-on products.
It All Comes Down To Timing
Cross selling can happen during the initial purchasing cycle or after the initial purchase has been made. It’s up to you and it’s dependent on the technology you use in your online shopping cart system. If you can recommend additional products at the time of the first purchase, this is great. However, if you can’t, you could 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 because you’ll be wasting your time.
Test Market Matches
The secret to cross selling is to try out different product matches to see which ones sell the best, for instance, if you’re selling those laptops, you can vary recommendations between a new laptop bag, some software, and other items that they’ll need once they have the laptop. See which recommendations increases the sales amount most often, then repeat that more. Knowing how to read these metrics is an essential component to understanding which cross selling recommendations are working and which ones aren’t.
Test Different Price Points
Quite often a customer will want to purchase your add-on items but they have a budget to keep to, so it’s imperative to offer at least three different items, each at a different price point. If you offer at least one low cost item, you might just be surprised at how often people add items to their shopping cart at the time of purchase, impulse buying happens 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 because you have nothing better.