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5 Reasons Why You Need Upsell and Cross-sell Shopify Apps

8 min read Last Updated: October 12, 2020
5 Reasons Why You Need Upsell and Cross-sell Shopify Apps

Written by Ramin Ramhormozi

Ramin, a Managing Partner at SKU Agency focused on growing your business through strategy, technology & design. Ramin loves to devour business books, podcasts and blogs. In his spare time (which is minimal) he enjoys hanging out at home with his wife and three kids - and occasionally riding the Peleton.

Upselling and cross-selling are common sales techniques. They can benefit your Shopify store by boosting revenues and increasing customer satisfaction.

But using these strategies in your store will only be effective with the right Shopify apps.

The apps we mention here are some of the most popular with Shopify store owners. Below, we’ll explain how they can do all the work for you.

Excited to get started?

Upselling vs. Cross-Selling

Before telling you about the best cross-sell and upsell apps, we’ll describe the differences between these two techniques. We’ll also discuss their benefits.

What Is Upselling?

Upselling is a strategy that convinces shoppers to buy a more expensive version of a product they’re shopping for or have already bought.

The idea of upselling may sound negative, but it can actually benefit a shopper as much as it benefits your e-commerce store. When using this technique, you provide shoppers with information about a better version of the product with more valuable features.

What Is Cross-Selling?

Cross-selling is a strategy that convinces shoppers to buy additional products similar to the one they want or have.

Unlike upselling, the items you’re trying to cross-sell are typically less expensive than the shopper’s product. The idea is to increase sales volume by convincing a customer to also buy a product that complements the one they want.

IRL Upselling and Cross-Selling Examples

Though you may be new to using these techniques, brick-and-mortar businesses have used them for ages.

Consider this common question:

Would you like to upgrade to a larger-sized popcorn for a few cents more?

Movie theaters often offer discounts like this in their concession stands.

Promotions like this are common upsell strategies. Shoppers are incentivized to purchase more by spending just a little more money. But the suggestion needs to be made first.

Ways to upsell on Shopify

When you go into a convenience store, you’ll often see packs of gum placed at the cash register. Displays like these can trigger impulse purchases, which is an everyday example of cross-selling.

You may not have gone to the store for gum, but seeing it at the register compels you to buy it anyway.

E-commerce giant Amazon is a master of using these strategies effectively.

Consider its “Frequently Bought With” feature:

Shoppers are already interested in a product they’re browsing before coming across the Frequently Bought With widget. It shows the product along with related products that are, yes, frequently bought together.

This is cross-selling at its best. The products are related to the item the shopper already wants, and what seems like a personalized bundle makes the deal too good to pass up.

How Effective Are Upselling and Cross-Selling?

Both of these techniques cultivate a positive customer experience. If customers find what they’re looking for at your store, they’re likely to shop with you again.

Both upselling and cross-selling can convince shoppers to buy more of your products. And both have proven conversion rates in driving sales.

In fact, research indicates that upselling and cross-selling prompts play a role in roughly 10-30% of e-commerce sales. That is a spike in growth that you can have in your own Shopify store.

It’s also worth noting that upselling is shown to outperform cross-selling by about 20x on product page displays. So if you’re unsure which to focus on initially, upselling is the most effective of the two.


5 Reasons Why You Need Upsell and Cross-Sell Shopify Apps

Now that you understand the difference between these strategies, it’s time to learn why you should implement them.

There are five reasons why your Shopify store needs these types of apps:

1. Keep Inventory Moving With Bundle Upsell Deals

Bundling products in your store is a smart way to move inventory. With the right Shopify app, you can easily bundle products that are attractively packaged to your store visitors.

An Upsell Example

A shopper is buying a pair of women’s socks. They’re prompted to consider buying a three-pack bundle with multibuy savings.

The promise of a discount and the logic of buying more socks at a value convinces them to purchase the bundle.

A Cross-Sell Example

The same sock store offers shoppers product recommendations and free shipping on orders over a certain price. By advertising women’s tights to the person buying socks, you’ll entice them to buy a related product to push their order over the free-shipping price threshold.

Want help optimizing your Shopify store? Learn about our

Shopify development services.

2. Promote Your Store’s Trending Products 

Promote Shopify products

Your store has products that are more popular and better-reviewed by your shoppers. Take advantage of this surge of customer appreciation and turn it into social proof spending.

When shoppers see positive customer feedback, they’re more likely to make a purchase, averting cart abandonment.

An Upsell Example

A shopper is browsing your store for floor cleaner. A pop-up window appears promoting your store’s best-selling floor cleaner that’s more expensive than their initial choice.

A Cross-Sell Example

This same shopper is prompted to also buy a mop, which is shown with rave customer reviews. The customer is comfortable buying this item, as it has been validated by other shoppers.

3. Customers Find the Exact Product They Want, and More

How do customers find items they want to buy in your e-commerce store? They most likely browse your inventory and utilize a search engine.

Upselling and cross-selling can help them find products that better suit their needs.

An Upsell Example 

A shopper is browsing your store for a new dress. An upsell popup recommends similar but more expensive dresses based on their search history. Even if this dress is slightly more expensive, they’ll likely buy it if it better suits their needs.

A Cross-Sell Example 

Related products, such as belts, bags, and shoes, are suggested to this same shopper. Because they’re similar to the dress while being less expensive, the shopper adds them to their shopping cart.

4. Reminds Shoppers to Buy a Service

Plenty of e-commerce shoppers make purchases based on detailed research. This is especially true if they’re shopping for pricier items, such as a new laptop.

But they may not have thought about the services they need to use, maintain, or insure their product. A reminder can prompt them to spend more for these services.

An Upsell Example

A shopper is browsing your store for a new tablet. They find one that costs more money than they planned on spending, yet it comes with an extended warranty, which prompts them to buy it.

A Cross-Sell Example

In this same store, a shopper is buying a refurbished cell phone. Included on the product page is a special offer for damage and theft insurance, for just a few dollars more. They buy the insurance plan to protect their new phone.

5. Increases Customer Lifetime Value 

Keeping customers happy is the smart way to promote your business and ensure future sales. Upselling and cross-selling can help you keep them happy by improving their shopping experience.

An Upsell Example

Your store sells SaaS software. After downloading a free plan, the customer is prompted to upgrade to a plan with more features. This increases your revenue while providing them with a more advanced product.

A Cross-Sell Example

A shopper at this same store is purchasing a website domain. At checkout, they’re offered a special rate for adding privacy protection services to their purchase. This increases your revenue while giving them more value.

Check out our Shopify SEO services.


Best Shopify Apps for Upselling and Cross-Selling

It’s great to know about these techniques. But you need the best-rated Shopify apps to put them to work for your store.

These are the five best Shopify apps for upselling and cross-selling:

Best Shopify App for Targeted Recommendations: Bold Upsell

Bold Upsell analyzes your customers’ reactions to past offers, then uses their data to recommend specific products.

This app lets your customers easily upgrade their order by adding or replacing items in their cart. Shoppers can also find and add related items, making this a great app for unlimited upsells and cross-sells.

Best Shopify App for Personalized Recommendations: Also Bought ● Cross Sell

Also Bought ● Cross Sell displays a customized widget in your customer’s cart that shows positive product reviews for similar items to the one they’re buying.

It includes an “Add to Cart” button for each recommended product. You have the option to automate recommendations or manually set them.

Best Shopify App for Bundle Upselling: Candy Rack

Candy Rack generates pop-ups for promoting:

  • Product bundles (like an extended warranty)
  • Related services (like gift wrapping)
  • Custom services
  • Free gifts

Ads are created in real-time based on the shopper’s preferences. This app’s simple pop-up feature puts your customers just one click away from a larger purchase.

Best Shopify App for Increasing AOV: Zoorix

Zoorix generates warranty offers and in-cart upsell prompts, but also has widgets you can incorporate into your product pages.

Users love it because it simplifies product page and cart page upselling. According to the app’s page in the Shopify library, it can increase your average order value by up to 20%.

Best Shopify App for After-Purchase Upselling: AfterSell Post Purchase Upsell

AfterSell Post Purchase Upsell offers upsell discounts to customers on a thank-you page after their purchase.

It’s easy to forget about after-purchase sales. But, this app uses post-purchase offers to encourage shoppers to return to your store and shop again. We talk more about post-purchase behavior ahead.


Tips for Effective Upselling and Cross-Selling

These strategies should be implemented thoughtfully. The last thing you want is to alienate shoppers with pushy prompts.

Keep the following tips in mind when utilizing these Shopify apps:

Don’t Push It

Shoppers will be turned off from shopping at your store if your prompts are too forced.

Keep your sales pitches natural and intuitive to encourage store visitors.

B2B Stores Can Cross-sell and Upsell, Too

The sales techniques and Shopify apps discussed above are useful for business-to-business operations as well. But, B2B companies need to be a bit savvier when it comes to upselling and cross-selling.

A lot more business, and therefore, money, are likely on the line.

So, even more than direct-to-consumer stores, B2B businesses need to know their customers and be careful not to alienate potential clients with ads or pop-ups.

Related: Is Shopify Good for B2B? [Shopify Plus Review]

Always Make the Suggestions Relevant

If your prompts are relevant to your shopper’s needs and preferences, they’re far more likely to be successful.

While upselling is meant to increase the price of the item the shopper wants, the suggested cross-sell needs to be relevant and less expensive than the original item to encourage the purchase.

Irrelevant suggestions may drive away sales and result in a cobra effect.

Remember: Upselling and Cross-Selling Is a Process

Have a metrics system in place to measure the success of your strategies.

This data can help you tweak your efforts as needed.


Use Upselling and Cross-Selling to Encourage Shoppers to Return

Encourage Shopify customers to return

You want customers to return to your online store and keep shopping.

Upselling and cross-selling not only boost sales, but they can also improve customer satisfaction.

Why is this important? Because acquiring new customers is five times more expensive than retaining existing customers. Yet, 44% of companies focus on attracting new customers, versus 18% that strive to retain current shoppers.

It’s a wiser business strategy to retain your customers, and upselling and cross-selling can help you do so.

You not only highlight your online store’s value to your customers, but you ensure they’re satisfied, too.


Conclusion

Upselling and cross-selling are proven methods for helping shoppers find what they need while encouraging repeat purchases.

All while boosting sales.

The apps we mentioned are the best Shopify upsell apps available. You should integrate them into your store today so that you can start enjoying the benefits of these strategies ASAP!

How about maximizing your Shopify SEO efforts? We do that, too. Contact SKU Agency today.

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