Cross-selling is about increasing sales value by encouraging customers to buy more than they were planning. This technique tempts customers to buy products that complement their initial purchase. It converts profitable customers into very profitable customers.

Cross-selling is all about smartly selling customers these extra products at the right time. For example, an extra section that reminds them to buy certain products. Here are some cross-selling options that will help your ecommerce platform perform better.



“Frequently bought together” is a term that we commonly see below each product on ecommerce platforms. This form of marketing will suggest products that can be used along with purchased products. This is one way to push secondary products off the shelf while keeping up with the demand for the primary product. 

For example, mobile phones will usually be displayed with cases and screen guards, and cameras will be mentioned along with tripod stands and battery packs.

Bundling is effective only when the suggested products are useful to the customer. Only by understanding the customers can these suggestions be made and at the right time. This is an effective technique to push out aging stock.

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Visual appeal

A visual ensemble of products allows customers to understand how different products will look when matched together. Customers can “Shop the look” when it feels appealing to them. Keep it simple as customers get overwhelmed when given numerous options.


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Visual appeal helps customers understand how different products can be brought together. It creates a sense of longing in customers, particularly in the fashion industry.

Your chances of cross-selling are much higher with this method because the look in itself is proof why a customer should buy these products.  

Customers understand real-life situations and experiences better. Sharing such experiences along with visuals will be helpful. This can also be implemented in other industries to lure customers into buying.


Volume discounts 

Volume discounts are offered to customers who are buying multiple products of the same category. For example, if they’re buying a t-shirt, you might offer a 10% discount on the second one and a 20% discount on the third one. This forces customers to buy another t-shirt for the sake of the discount. Another effective example is the Buy One Get One or Buy Two, Get Two offers on similar products.

This is a great way to push out inventory and is helpful in industries where products have shorter shelf lives.


Premium offers 

Premium offers are given mostly on subscription services. Anti-virus software and other service-based software have both normal subscriptions and premium subscriptions. Customers can buy normal subscriptions at nominal rates while premium subscriptions are offered at much cheaper rates, driving customers into buying a premium membership because they get more features for their money.


Image Courtesy: Save the most on premium anti-virus subscriptions with

Product recommendations

“Recommended products” is a suggestive method of showing customers other products that might cater to the needs of the customer.

Good recommendations can only be known by closely following customer movement. Unless the product is needed by the customer and is reasonably priced, these recommendations will not be considered by customers.


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Product reviews

Having product reviews will help establish customer trust in your online store. Only with credibility does cross-selling work. These recommendations should be placed at places where customers can easily see these reviews. 

It’s always easier to convince an existing customer to cross-buy than a new customer. Sometimes positive and good feedback is sufficient to encourage customers unfamiliar with your business to buy products.


Image Courtesy: Customers can read and write reviews on products they’ve used and want to buy.

Manufacturer warranty


Customers who purchase electronic devices are often offered an extended warranty at an extra cost. This is also a cross-selling option that will benefit the customer for the next few years. Such cross-sells are legal and an added advantage to the customer, which means they’re more likely to take you up on it.

Another option would be to sell insurance and damage protection while selling gadgets. These come at an additional cost.


Image Courtesy: Customers can purchase mobile phones with extended warranties from online stores.

Free delivery

A great technique for up-selling and cross-selling is to offer free delivery if customers buy above a stipulated amount. This encourages customers to purchase products that they hadn’t initially intended to buy.

Customers could pay a subscription fee to become a member and avoid the delivery charges. This is another way to add to sales value. For example, Amazon has a Prime subscription which allows customers to have an assured one day free delivery.

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Stay on product page

One method to keep customers in the buying phase is to keep them on the products page even after adding the product to the cart. This way, customers have the chance to continue browsing, increasing the chances of cross-selling. 

Once on the checkout page, customers are aware of the total bill, which might discourage them from going further with more purchases. The bill on the checkout page should be transparent. It should have a detailed explanation of all the costs including the standard shipping charges and taxes. If not for a clear bill, the chances of immediate checkout is lost as the customer might want to review or clarify certain aspects of the bill.


Image Courtesy: Speakers were added to cart, but customers still get to browse the products page.(  


Free samples


Getting to try new products is always fun. Receiving free samples on purchases above a stipulated amount is a common offer with the makeup industry. The opportunity to try new sample products for free can encourage customers to shop for the stipulated amount. They will often decide to buy these products online for the sake of the freebies.


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Challenge perceptions

Each customer has a preconceived notion. As a brand, beating perceptions is the best way to improve sales. Add a reason to each product as to why it’s unique and how it will cater to the needs of unique customers in a unique manner. This reason is called as Unique Selling Proposition (USP).


Prove your point using quotes from customers who have used your product before. These quotes will help customers trust your store better and, in the process, buy better.


Photo Courtesy: Mouldy Whopper campaign by Burger King is meant to show customers how they are following a preservative-free path.

Cross-selling a good, complementary product to the customer will help the customer complete their shopping experience. They’ll get more than they asked for. This way, the customer is satisfied, and a satisfied customer is likely to be a loyal one. On the other hand, you the seller are able to increase your average rate of sales. This will benefit your store in the long run.



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