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Cross Sell vs Upsell - What's the Difference?

Companies that have been in business for a while don't have special secrets to keeping customers. Most choose one of two ways of making money - cross sell vs upsell. While we can define what is upsell and cross-sell, we shouldn't always separate them or think of just one as the right business model. They're both helpful, and you can learn about them here.

Learn how to upsell and cross-sell, and you'll have the best secrets up your sleeve

You Can't Request Customers to Buy More, But You Can Suggest It

The secret to upsell vs cross-sell is to target existing customers and make sure your suggestions are subtle and show benefits. While not many people want to buy more than intended, if you give them a choice that's too difficult to pass, they'll gladly spend money.

Many online selling platforms are explicitly used for upselling and cross-selling. If you want to learn how to become a reseller, studying the models of these two types of commerce will help you understand the market and how it works. 

One of the most important tips for e-commerce business owners is - you can't request a customer to pay more, but you can gently push them in that direction. Of course, these sales methods both promise more product for a bigger value, so it's not an unfair transaction.

Below is a video on six tips for increasing e-commerce sales. It may help if you're feeling stuck and need to increase your revenue.

What Is Cross-Selling and How Does It Affect Sales?

No matter if you're already using a marketplace platform or still researching the best online UK marketplace platforms to find the best match, you should know how to cross-sell.

Cross-selling is offering multiple related products during a single purchase. You show customers various products that could complement what they already have in their cart. It's usually things that go well with the product they initially chose.

For example, if you offer winter gear and a customer places an order for a jacket, your system will show this customer some gloves, scarves, and hats to complement the coat. It's a sort of shortcut to offering items this customer would likely already purchase even without it.

Cross-Selling Can Typically Work on an Existing Customer

This type of sales doesn't just happen online. Look at fast food restaurants - you'll get extra fries and soda with your burger for just a slightly higher price. It'll cost a bit more, but it will satisfy your hunger a lot better.

Banks make sales like this all the time. When opening a savings account, they'll offer a credit card, for example. This is one of the oldest marketing tricks in the world, and it works.

With this method, it's essential what software for selling online you use. If you have a platform with this functionality, it'll be easier to sell and offer multiple products. We recommend checking out the best web hosting for resellers.

Boosting sales requires a sound business mind and an adequate software

What Is Upselling and How Does It Work?

When you want to upsell, it's important to do it in a way that makes it worth the money. This is another tactic that isn't only used in online marketing and commerce but everywhere else, too.

When you upsell (or up-sell,) you're offering the same product in a larger or different version than the customer's initial order. This version is typically way better than they initially chose, so it's a mutually beneficial deal. The value goes up, both in cash and purpose.

We can see upselling in fast food restaurants, again. Now that the clerk successfully sold a burger, fries, and soda (also known as a meal,) they'll try to upsell - do you want bigger fries and soda for just an X amount?

The X amount typically seems insignificant to the average customer, but it's massive earnings for the seller. It's similar to how stores offer items for, say, $4.99, and yet everyone pays $5. The one cent means a lot for the overall revenue.

Tips on Upselling Successfully

Here's how you can upsell successfully and increase the value of items your customers purchase:

  • Tailor recommendations to each customer and their browsing history (perfect for returning and loyal customers,)
  • Implement warranties and protection on your products,
  • Offer free shipping,
  • Use the mailing list for upsell opportunities,
  • Combine upselling strategies (like if you provide software, you can bundle versions and upgrades.)

Cross Sell vs Upsell - What Is the Difference Between Them in E-Commerce?

The biggest cross-selling vs upselling dilemma is how they pin against each other when selling online. However, for business owners who sell on multiple platforms, they're not put against each other at all.

If you have a product that could be worth more when upgraded, then you could use more upselling tactics. If you have products that go together with that, cross-selling is also on the table. You don't have to separate them.

Still, overdoing it is possible. While many people like to upgrade their existing products and get better versions, there's a limit to how often or how much this should be done. Knowing your niche and audience will help you determine whether to offer new stuff or do one of these sale tactics.

Are These Two Sales Types Related?

The biggest global example of using these sales tactics is Amazon. Say you want to purchase laundry detergent. You can get a 4-liter bottle for $10 or 8-liters for $14. This is a classic way to upsell.

When you head to checkout with your 8-liter detergent, you'll see something similar to this form:

People often buy: this detergent + laundry pods + fabric softener

This is a classic formula. Of course, you'll get a nicer offer on all three together, rather than separately. These parts of e-commerce tend to go together very often.

You can combine these offers for one product to make it more worthwhile

Make Your E-Commerce Stand Out With the Help of Our Crosslisting Software

You can combine cross-selling and upselling on our crossposting app, Zipsale. If you're unsure what crossposting is, read all about it here and then look at all the benefits we offer. Zipsale is a multivendor marketplace platform that allows you to crosspost, sell and run multiple businesses in one place. It's a marketing tool that will also make your life much easier.

We can help you learn the trade tricks and watch your business's value grow with each order. Learn which marketplaces we cover, and check our blogs for e-commerce tips. Sign up today and start cross-posting on Zipsale, the best platform in the UK.

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