How to Increase Your Conversions & Sales with Cross-selling

As an ecommerce store owner, you’re doing well. Your store is generating sales consistently and you’re getting the visitors you need to market and sell your products.

However, your average order value is not budging. Customers are only buying one or two items and nothing more. Something has to be done, and that something is cross-selling.

When done right, effective cross-selling strategies can significantly improve your store’s conversions and sales. What’s better is that we’re going to share those strategies with you in this article.

Customers Also Bought

What is cross-selling?

Cross-selling is a sales technique that invites your customer to purchase a related or complementary product/service to what’s being bought already.

Cross-selling usually introduces an accessory that’s separate from, but enhances, another product. For example, a company might suggest a customer buys a coffee scoop with their coffee beans on the product page. You could buy either one separately and each would still be useful without the other.

Examples of cross-selling:

  • Fries with your burger
  • Gardening gloves with your trowel
  • A phone case to protect your new phone
  • A t-shirt and pair of shoes that match the jeans you already have in your cart

The differences between cross-selling and upselling

Cross-selling is often confused with upselling and although they are similar, they serve very two different functions.

While cross-selling encourages customers to buy additional items to complement the one in their cart, upselling encourages customers to upgrade their existing item. Both of these techniques increase your average order value but in distinctly different ways.

Examples of upselling:

  • A faster yet more expensive internet package
  • A premium subscription to Spotify
  • An upgraded hotel room with a view
  • A more expensive coffee machine with extra features

Why is cross-selling important?

Cross-selling is one of the most efficient ways to increase your average order value by simply using the products you already have in your store.

Customers are often focused on buying one item when visiting a store and so it’s our job to make sure they’re presented with other options that might interest them. The key here is to showcase products that complement their existing choices/interests. There’s no use in trying to encourage someone to buy a cushion when they’re looking at a frying pan.

Amazon reportedly attributes as much as 35 percent of its sales to cross-selling. Using techniques like ‘frequently bought together’ and ‘customers also bought’, they’re able to send significant prompts to customers throughout the buying process.

The advantages of cross-selling:

  • It increases your average order value by encouraging customers to buy additional items
  • You can use social proof by showcasing products popular with other customers
  • Gains trust by showing you have customer trends
  • Reveals products which your customers might have missed

Effective cross-selling strategies

The key to effective cross-selling is not about offering just to offer but foreseeing the client’s needs. You have the product catalogue sure, but you have to relate your products in a way that shows your customer there’s an advantage to buying more.

So, let’s look at a few key cross-selling strategies you can implement in your online store with ease:

frequently bought together cross-selling

Frequently bought together and customers also bought

In this feature, the website shows what other users bought alongside the product they’re looking at. So if a customer is looking to buy a book, it will pull in other products frequently purchased alongside that book.

Social proof is an incredibly useful tool in encouraging customers to buy products. If users can see that people bought the same product, they will feel like they can make the same decision easily.

Combining this technique with product reviews is a surefire way to gain the trust of your potential customer.

This technique can be used on the product page and once a customer has added a product to their cart with Iconic Sales Booster. By adding this prompt once a customer has already shown intent to buy, you’re that more likely to increase your average order value with a cross-sell.

order bump at checkout cross-sell

Order bump at checkout

An underutilised cross-selling opportunity is when your customer is about to complete a purchase.

Adding an extra offer that only appears at the checkout means that you’re not bombarding your customer with more products. Rather, you’re presenting them with an offer that’s impossible to say no to.

This is usually a discounted offer that is only presented to the customer at the checkout. The incentive to buy is clear, if they don’t add it to their cart now, they won’t see the offer again.

With Iconic Sales Booster, this can be easily added to the checkout process. To add the item to their cart, the customer simply clicks a button, never having to leave the page. Talk about smooth customer experience!

one-click cross-sell after checkout

One-click cross-sell after checkout

We saved one of the best for last. Out of all the techniques we’ve listed in this article, the one-click cross-sell after checkout is the most powerful. In fact, it has the highest conversion rate of any other cross-sell location.

Just like the order bump at checkout, this technique uses a one-time offer to encourage customers to add to their order. The difference here is that a customer isn’t adding the item to their cart, they’re instantly adding it to their purchase. This means that the conversions tracked, are sales.

With Iconic Sales Booster, the offer is added to the customer’s existing order in one click without the need to enter card details again.

The right cross-selling strategy in your store is crucial to positively affect your conversion rate, we’ve proved that in this article.

But the reality is, this can be hard to execute without the right tools. Iconic Sales Booster for WooCommerce does the hard work for you, implementing these tried-and-tested cross-selling strategies with just a few clicks.

If you’re looking to increase your average order value with cross-selling, then Iconic Sales Booster is your all-in-one plugin for WooCommerce to help you get there.


James is the founder of Iconic and an experienced WooCommerce plugin developer.


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