upselling cross selling dropshipping

How to Upsell and Cross-Sell for Ecommerce Stores

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Upselling or suggesting upgrades to purchase can help you grow your average order value with minimal marketing effort. These customers are already interested in what you’re selling, so you must show them similar or relevant products.

If done correctly, upselling can make you more money and strengthen relationships with current customers. However, upselling can make you look pushy and sales-oriented if done wrong.

What is Upselling?

Upselling is the practice of encouraging customers to purchase more expensive or higher-quality versions of an item. Many online businesses use a combination of cross-selling and upselling to increase sales. The combination of these techniques is often used in the ecommerce business, as it is known to be very effective.

Upselling differs from cross-selling, which involves selling a related product to the one already being purchased. With upselling, you suggest upgrading the item they are already buying and offering them something more expensive or higher quality. Stores cross sell products to boost sales.

Let’s say, for example, you run an online store that sells shoes. If a customer wants to purchase a pair of sneakers, you can suggest an upgrade, such as a better-quality brand or higher-priced alternative. Whereas in cross selling techniques, you recommend a related product. For example, if the customer has bought a pair of sneakers, you can suggest a shoe care product or additional accessories.

upselling and cross selling

Benefits of Upselling

Upselling can benefit both the customer and the seller. Here are some advantages upselling can provide:

It’s easier to upsell to existing customers than to acquire new customers

Considering that it’s more expensive to generate leads than optimize sales, eCommerce businesses should focus on selling to customers who either trust the brand or are about to make a purchase.

According to various studies, the chance of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%, while the probability of selling to a new lead is significantly lower at 5-20%. Optimizing sales provides an easy win for any eCommerce business striving for growth and profitability. Existing customers already trust the brand and are more likely to purchase additional services or products, which can lead to higher profits.

Customer loyalty increases

When done correctly, upselling can help you build a stronger relationship with your customers since it demonstrates that you care about their needs and wants. Customers appreciate that they can spend their time on something other than researching products or finding the best offer. Upselling also allows for personalized experiences since customers can easily upgrade their purchases without having too much trouble. Customer loyalty is vital for any business, and upselling can help to strengthen it.

Increased average order value

Upselling encourages customers to purchase more expensive items and add-ons, increasing your average order value. This is beneficial for businesses as it boosts revenue without additional marketing costs.

Average Order Value increases can also lead to increased customer satisfaction, as customers feel they are getting more value for their money. Orders with higher average order values are also more cost-efficient for businesses to fulfill since the shipping and handling costs will be spread out over a more significant purchase.

It’s a great way to increase profits

Upselling allows businesses to increase their average order value without additional marketing efforts or investments. It also helps to boost revenue while simultaneously providing customers with better service. Upselling can be especially beneficial when combined with other sales tactics, such as cross-selling or discounts. This way, businesses can increase their profits without raising prices on existing products.

Recurring customers are more likely to place orders

Customers who have a positive experience with upselling are more likely to return and make additional purchases. This means you will increase your profits by upselling and building a solid customer base loyal to your business. Companies must remember that it’s more cost-effective to focus on keeping existing customers than acquiring new ones.

When Is It Best To Upsell?

Upselling should be used strategically, depending on the needs and wants of each customer. Here are some factors to consider when deciding when upselling is best:

The type of product being offered

Certain products lend themselves better to upselling than others. For example, if you’re selling technology products like laptops or phones, you can upsell accessories like cases, external hard drives, and chargers. On the other hand, upselling could include additional coats or jackets to go with a particular style if you’re selling clothing items.

The customer’s preferences and budget

When upselling, the customer’s budget and preferences must be kept in mind. Questions like “what type of product would the customer benefit from most?” and “is the customer likely to be interested in this upgrade?” should always be considered when choosing which products to upsell.

The timing of the purchase

1. Before purchasing: Upselling before the initial purchase is a great way to encourage customers to upgrade their order and increase their average order value. Before the purchase, customers are more likely to splurge on additional products or services.

2. During the purchasing process: Upselling during the checkout process can be very effective, as it’s likely that customers will have already decided on what they want and are more likely to consider an upgrade or additional features.

3. After the purchase: Upselling after the purchase is an excellent way to build customer loyalty and encourage customers to return. Post purchase upselling also allows customers to upgrade their purchase at a later date.

16 Tips To Successfully Upsell On A Dropshipping Store

Dropshipping stores can benefit significantly from upselling, as it’s a great way to increase average order value without significantly increasing marketing costs. Here are some tips for successfully upselling on your dropshipping store:

Offer products that complement the original purchase

Upselling is frequently done by suggesting items that go well with products your customers have already bought. The pertinence makes it more probable that they will want to buy it instead of a less relevant recommended product.

Your customers are bound to get disinterested if you keep offering them things they want and need. The secret to successful upselling is giving suitable recommendations, and this can only be done by analyzing what you know about your clientele base.

For example, suppose you’re selling a laptop. In that case, you can upsell accessories like an external hard drive or additional RAM if the customer says they need more storage space or greater memory capacity.

Understand the customer’s wants and needs

Before upselling, it’s important to understand the customer’s wants and needs. Knowing what customers are looking for can help you tailor your upsell offers in a way that is more likely to be accepted. You should also consider the customer’s budget before suggesting upgrades or additional products. Customers need to feel that their product is a good value for their money. Offering too expensive of an upgrade may turn them off and cause them to abandon the purchase.

Highlight the benefits of upgrading

When upselling, it’s essential to highlight all the benefits associated with progressing to a more expensive option. Explain why they should upgrade, such as better features or quality, to make their purchase more valuable. Doing this will help them better understand why they should pay more for a particular product and increase their likelihood of completing an upgrade.

For example, tell the customer that an upgraded laptop has better performance, improved battery life, and additional features.

Offer discounts or special deals

Discounts or special deals are a great way to incentivize customers to upgrade their purchases. Offering a discount on the upgraded version of a product can help persuade customers who weren’t planning on upgrading to take the plunge.

– Limited-time deals: Offering a limited-time discount can help create urgency and encourage customers to upgrade.

– Promotions: Offering promotions such as buy one, get one free, or bundling items together can also be effective in upselling.

– Add-ons: Offering free add-ons or extras, such as a carrying case for a laptop, can also be an effective way to upsell.

Create a subscription option

Creating a subscription option for your customers is an excellent way to upsell. When customers sign up for a subscription, they get exclusive deals, discounts, and other benefits that make the product more attractive. There are also options to upgrade their subscription if they want better features or additional items. This can be a great way to encourage customers to return for more.

Provide free shipping

Offering free shipping can be a great way to increase average order value and upsell. Customers are more likely to purchase additional items if they know they don’t have to pay extra for shipping. Additionally, providing free returns can encourage customers to make purchases without worrying about the cost of potential returns.

Free shipping and returns are excellent customer service options that can help keep customers happy and coming back for more.

The Decoy Effect makes more expensive products look like a steal

The decoy effect is a marketing technique that involves making the more expensive option look like a steal compared to the cheaper one. By showing customers two products side by side and pointing out the features and benefits of each, you can make the more expensive product seem like it’s worth the extra money.

For example, you could show customers a laptop with twice the storage for only $50 more. This can be a great way to encourage customers to upgrade and purchase the more expensive product.

Don’t leave them empty-handed; show substitute products for sold-out items

If a particular item is sold out, take your time with the customer. Suggest substitute products that have similar features and benefits as the original product. This will keep customers from leaving your website and incentivize them to purchase something else.

When a product is no longer available, always provide substitute options that are at least as good or better than the original product. Doing so will keep customers happy and help increase sales.

Follow up with customers after their purchase

Following up with customers after purchasing is a great way to encourage more sales and upsells. Send customers a thank you email with a link to an upgrade or additional items they may be interested in. You can also follow up after the customer has used the product and ask them if they want to purchase other items. Doing this will help build trust with your customers and encourage more sales.

Use visuals

Using visuals is an excellent way to upsell. Showing customers a product before and after can help encourage them to upgrade their purchase. You can also use videos, infographics, or other visual aids to make the product more appealing and to highlight its features and benefits.

Visuals are a great way to draw attention to a product and encourage customers to upgrade.

Reward loyal customers

Rewarding your loyal customers is an excellent way to upsell. You can offer discounts and loyalty points for repeat purchases or give them access to exclusive offers only available to members. This will show them that you value their patronage and encourage them to return for more.

Creating a rewards program is a great way to show your customers that you appreciate their loyalty and encourage them to make additional purchases.

Don’t Overdo It

Let’s be frank: No one likes to be blatantly sold to. Try to be open with your upsells and focus more on providing value. Refrain from overwhelming customers with too many offers; instead, provide them with one or two options that would be most beneficial for them.

Always Give Multiple Choices

When offering upsells, always give customers multiple choices. This will help them feel like they have control over their purchase and make it easier to find the product that best suits their needs. Feel free to suggest different price points or products with additional features; this way, customers can make an informed decision.

Use Social Proof

Social proof is a powerful tool when it comes to upselling. Showing customers what other people are buying or the positive reviews that other customers have left can help encourage them to make a purchase. You can also use customer testimonials and case studies to show potential customers why they should upgrade their purchase.

Make it Easy to Buy

If you want customers to upgrade their purchases, you need to make it as easy as possible for them to do so. Ensure your checkout process is straightforward and that customers can easily find the products they’re looking for.

You should also offer multiple payment methods so customers can use their preferred method. This will make it easier for them to complete their purchase, increasing your chances of making a sale.

Always Be Transparent About Pricing Breakdowns

Whenever you are offering an upgrade, make sure to be transparent about the pricing breakdowns. Customers should always know exactly what they’re paying for and how much more they’ll be spending on the upgrade.

Being transparent and upfront about what they’re getting will help build trust and encourage them to purchase.

How to Identify Upselling Opportunities?

Identifying upselling opportunities starts with understanding your customers and their needs. Analyzing customer purchase histories, surveys, and reviews can help you determine which products or services would be most beneficial for them.

Additionally, looking at competitor offerings and industry trends can help you identify potential upsells. Once you have identified potential upsells, you must ensure they are relevant, valuable, and beneficial to the customer. Here are a few ways to identify upselling opportunities:

• Analyze customer purchase histories to identify potential upgrades and add-ons.

• Ask customers for feedback on their purchases and use their responses to improve your offerings.

• Look at competitor products to see what features they offer that you don’t.

• Research industry trends and use these to inform your product and service offerings.

• Ask yourself if your upsells are relevant, valuable, and beneficial to customers.

• Make sure that the upsells you’re offering are simple enough for customers to understand.

• Use customer testimonials and case studies to showcase the benefits of upgrading.

Can You Sell Anything With The Above Upselling Techniques?

You can upsell to a certain extent. The product you offer as an upgrade must be relatable to the original in solving the customer’s problem, and the price should be manageable if the improvement isn’t substantial.

Let us take an example. If a customer is looking for a smartphone, you can offer them an upgrade to the latest flagship phone. However, if they are looking for a budget phone, you wouldn’t offer them an expensive top-of-the-line phone as an upsell because it would only confuse the customer and might discourage them from making the purchase.

Upselling and cross-selling should be done in a way that adds value to the customer and isn’t too intrusive. Also, make sure you are transparent with your customers about the price of the upgrade and any additional benefits they may receive. This will help them make an informed decision.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does upselling increase sales?

Upselling can increase sales by up to 10-25%. However, the exact amount depends on various factors, such as the product being offered and how well it is presented.

What is an example of upselling?

An example of upselling would be offering customers an upgraded version of a product they are interested in purchasing. For instance, if a customer is looking at a basic smartphone, you could offer them a higher-end model with more features.

What is down selling?

Down-selling is a selling method where instead of giving up on a possible sale, the seller offers a more affordable product or service that would still meet the customer’s needs. This is particularly useful when customers express financial concerns or are unwilling to make any purchase at all.

What are the key elements of upselling?

The key elements of upselling are understanding customer needs, providing value with your upsells, and ensuring the products or services are relevant to the customer. Additionally, it’s important to ensure that the upsells are simple enough for customers to understand so they can make an informed purchasing decision.
It’s important to note that upselling isn’t a one-time event. It should be an ongoing process to ensure that customers are getting the best value for their money, and it’s important to continually assess your upselling strategies to see what’s working and what isn’t.

What are some other ways to boost sales for a dropshipping business?

There are several other ways to boost sales for a dropshipping business model. Some of these include optimizing the website for search engines, offering discounts and promotions, using influencer & email marketing, creating loyalty programs, running retargeting campaigns, providing excellent customer service and support, and engaging in social media. Additionally, staying up to date on industry trends and using these insights to inform your marketing strategies is important.
Focusing on customer satisfaction can also yield positive results for dropshipping businesses. This includes quickly responding to customer inquiries, providing helpful information about products and services, and proactively addressing any problems or issues that may arise. Furthermore, collecting customer feedback and using it to improve your offerings can help boost sales.


Upselling is an effective way to increase sales and revenue. By understanding your customer’s needs and offering relevant product upgrades, you can generate more profits without resorting to aggressive marketing tactics.

The key is ensuring that the upsells you’re offering are valuable and beneficial to the customer. With the proper upselling techniques and strategies, you can increase your sales and revenue by providing customers with the products and services they need.

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Cam Morales

Cam is the Founder & CEO of, Bix and EcomUpstart - he built two 7 figure businesses since he started his entrepreneurship journey in 2016. He now helps others launch ecommerce stores and other online businesses.

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