The famous phrase used by McDonald’s employees: “Do you want fries with your burger?”, is the best and most useful example of cross-selling. When they ask you if you want a bigger option, that’s up-selling. However, many times these two terms are mixed-up: Up-selling encourages a customer to buy an alternative higher-priced option. Cross-selling recommends a complement or additional service to increase the order value.
Cross-selling identifies products and services that meet additional needs not considered in the original purchase. This strategy is considered one of the most effective to help generate additional revenue. Likewise, cross-selling create opportunities to provide a good experience and build deeper and more solid customer relationships.
The omnichannel strategy in the cross-selling process
Thus, for cross-selling to be relevant, it is necessary to be part of an omnichannel strategy. By analysing the buyers’ journey you can obtain a complete picture of their tastes, interests and behaviour. In today’s market, platforms powered by AI are responsible for drawing these profiles. Today’s customers expect information and personalised offers based on their preferences, recent interactions and latest experiences.
Companies like Amazon use machine learning algorithms to gather behavioural data such as purchase history, items in their shopping cart, and items they have liked previously, to make product recommendations. However, not all clients are ready for cross-selling. A Harvard Business Review article identifies four customer profiles that companies should avoid when it comes to this strategy:
- Service Demanders. This customer segment often abuses customer service channels and tends to call support for every problem it encounters, increasing the support costs disproportionately.
- Revenue Reversers. They are more likely to return items, default on payments or terminate contracts early. The more they buy, the more they show this behaviour, costing the company time and money.
- Promotion Maximisers. This segment gravitates towards significant discounts, which makes them unprofitable for the company in general.
- Spending Limiters. Cost limits have a small and fixed budget that they will not exceed with a company. If they buy additional products, they will not increase their total expense with your company. Therefore, the money that he spent on cross-selling did not recover, as they did not generate any additional revenue.
Promotion Maximizers. This segment gravitates towards significant discounts, which makes them unprofitable for the company in general.
Advantages of cross-selling
It seems evident that cross-selling will generate more sales, but it is also about increasing the order value while optimising costs. The psychological element plays a fundamental role. By anticipating a customer’s needs, you add more value to its experience. This will result in higher loyalty to your brand.
Above all, there are different triggers available in eCommerce personalisation platforms that enable cross-selling from automated emails to personalised content during the purchase process:
- Email marketing Days after a customer makes a purchase; it is the right time to send an email. Here, you may ask them to evaluate the purchase process, and also offer products that complement or improve the shopping experience. The more personalised the message and the offer, the better.
- Other products that may interest you Recommend other products based on what the person is looking for and their preferences. These recommendations can be based on browsing history or their wishlist.
- Other users bought… Social proof is a crucial factor for online stores. If users can see that other people bought the same product, they will feel that their decision is validated.
- Offer essential related products or additional services Products that the customer needs to buy for the main product to work or additional services when a product requires installation.
- Get the full look This system is popular among fashion brands. The product is shown with other products to create your desire to have it all. Lookbooks are a great way to use this option.
Show me the cross-selling offer
- Shopping cart: This is the most expected moment. When customers are about to complete the purchase, offer them related products — the indispensable extras or an added service: things that they would rarely buy on their own.
- Thank-you page: If you do not want to distract the customer during the purchase process, wait until the transaction is complete. If you use it well, the thank-you page is very effective. Here, we have the customer’s attention.
- Retargeting: By using the database of people who buy a product and thanks to segmentation, we can use Facebook Ads or any other platform to display them with related products.