Along with cross-selling, upselling offers a powerful addition to your ecommerce marketing strategy, offering a way to increase sales, add value to customers, increase loyalty and encourage repeat sales. This approach can be used for a wide range of products, provided you sell more than one item in your store. Whether you have a larger store selling a diversity of products or a smaller store that sells products within a specific niche, upselling offers many advantages. In this guide, we take a closer look at upselling to find out how to use it as part of your ecommerce marketing strategy.

Why Use Upselling in Your Ecommerce Marketing Strategy?

Why should you consider upselling in your ecommerce marketing strategy? Is it really worth implementing? Simply put, upselling can be a highly valuable addition to your strategy, helping in a number of ways. Here are some of the biggest benefits offered by ecommerce upselling.

Adds value to customers

Although upselling helps you, too, it also helps your customers. If you use upselling wisely, to help customers find products that add genuine value, it’s a win-win for everyone. That means suggesting upgrades, premium products or any other add-on that will give customers a better deal.

Encourages repeat purchases

Happy customers will purchase again and again. When you entice customers to come back to your store, you will encourage repeat purchases. This further helps to drive profit over the long term, while building trust.

Drives Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)

Upselling helps to increase customer retention by providing value. It also helps to increase lifetime loyalty. Higher Lifetime Value equates to more revenue over the long term, which, in turn, increases retention.

Upselling Strategies to Boost Your Ecommerce Marketing

Now that you have a better idea of the advantages offered by upselling, let’s take a look at how you can incorporate upselling within your ecommerce marketing efforts. These tips will help you ensure that you get the most from upselling.

Make a reasonable offer

To be effective, upsell recommendations need to be reasonable, relevant and enticing enough to make customers want to spend more. If you have a customer who is about to purchase a camping tent, it would not make much sense to offer a desk lamp as an upgrade. A larger or more luxurious tent would be a far more relevant upsell, on the other hand. Shoppers expect to see items that are similar and relevant. Shoppers also like to compare products. If a slightly higher value adds more benefit, there is far more chance of making the sale.

It is also important to make sure that the price difference between the product and the upsell is reasonable and relative to the product. A R50 upgrade on a R500 item is not too bad. A R50 upgrade on a R70 or even R100 item seems a lot bigger. Make sure that the product and offer are kept reasonable so that customers can justify spending a bit more.

Offer alternatives with better ratings

Another good approach is to offer upsell suggestions that have higher ratings. Amazon is an excellent example of this approach. They often feature product alternatives that are highly rated. Customers use ratings to determine value and quality. Using our camping tent example, a customer could be looking at a tent that seems to tick all of their requirement boxes, but it only has three stars. You could show alternatives that have five stars or even four and a half stars, which give a perceived value that is higher than the tent the customer had been viewing previously.

You could go one step further and recommend your top best-seller that has plenty of excellent reviews as well as a higher star rating. This tent would become a far better prospect in the customer’s eyes, justifying the higher price.

Add genuine value to customers

At the same time, your upsell suggestion needs to provide genuine value to customers. A huge part of ecommerce marketing is understanding your customers’ needs and wants. When you know your customers’ problems and find ways to offer solutions to these problems, you will have far better success with upselling. In the competitive ecommerce landscape, being able to meet these needs is imperative. Many customers will choose more at a store they feel genuinely meets their needs, rather than trying a new store that they do not know as well.

To show value, focus on the benefits of your upsell offer and clearly outline how the upgraded product will be a better choice than the lower value product. Make sure that customer needs are always addressed, listen to customer feedback, conduct regular surveys, reward customers for leaving reviews and find other ways to find out how you can add more value. For example, if you know that many customers look for camping tents that have covered entrance patios, you could promote those tents.

Show more popular choices

Using a bit of retail psychology, this ecommerce marketing strategy positions the upsell product in a way that makes it stand out from the other options. Sticking with our camping tent example, you could position three tents that include a very basic tent that has only the simplest of features, a luxury tent that houses an entire family and a recommended or popular tent that is somewhere in between, with enough features to add value.

Many customers will initially look for the cheapest option. When presented with suggested products that may cost more yet have more features or offer more benefits, they will start to consider which option adds the most benefit. A very basic camping tent may be suitable for a weekend in the bush but a popular tent that has an entrance patio cover would be ideal for breakfasts and sundowners.

Personalise your upsell offers

Finally, upselling is especially effective when offers are personalised. Generic, random upsell offers are far less enticing than offers that seem to be made for each customer. Using customer behaviour to personalise your offers will allow you to create a customised upsell offer for each customer according to their purchases. For instance, someone who has previously purchased other camping equipment is very likely going to need more than just a camping tent. You may have a solar powered heater that is made especially for tents or a braai kit that can be easily transported and packed up without too much effort.

Personalised offers allow you to find out which upsell deals have a better chance of conversion for each customer. Make sure that you carefully map each customer’s journey to determine products that you can upsell in the future. You could send an upsell campaign to the camper just before summer arrives, with new outdoor camping furniture that has launched, for instance. Segmenting customers according to their lifecycle and their past actions is the best way to send personalised upsell emails at the right time. This, in turn, will give you the best results for your upsell strategy.

Boost Your Ecommerce Marketing Strategy

Used as part of a multi-channel ecommerce marketing strategy, upselling offers many advantages. Integrating upselling into your broader strategy does not have to be too complicated, either. Using these tips, you will be able to incorporate upselling into your ecommerce strategy for better results.

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