25 Upselling and Cross-Selling Examples to Inspire Your Strategy

25 Upselling and Cross-Selling Examples to Inspire Your Strategy

Seas of business focus on driving traffic and generating first-time customers with ads, emails, seasonal promotions and coupon codes. But most ecommerce store owners tend to forget about increasing the average transaction value. This is another great way to generate more revenue.

Getting a new customer typically costs five times more than retaining a current customer. As such, you need to focus on upselling, cross-selling, and down-selling to really boost your profits. 

Read on for the most effective techniques and dozens of real-life examples.

But first, let’s define what each of these are.

What is upselling?

Upselling is a sales and marketing technique that you can use to convince customers to purchase a more expensive item. 

When you upsell, you typically promote more profitable services, product bundles, or package deals. 

For example, if your site data shows that a customer is about to check out with a bottom-tier phone, offer an upgrade for a mid-range or premium phone.

What is cross-selling?

Cross-selling is another effective way to boost your sales by recommending complementary products to your customer. 

You need to make sure that the additional product or service increases the value of your customer’s cart.

Here’s a cross-selling example: if a customer is about to buy a mobile phone, you could offer them a memory card, a phone case, or a protection plan.

What is down-selling?

Down-selling is when you adapt your offer to a customer who is second-guessing their purchase. 

With down-selling, you should match the customer’s budget and recommend another item that is cheaper and has similar features to the original item. 

For example, if a customer can’t afford a premium mobile phone, you can recommend last year’s model.

What is the difference between upselling cross selling and down selling - 25 Upselling and Cross-Selling Examples to Inspire Your Strategy

You’ve got the terminology down, now let’s see where to implement these techniques.

How can I implement these techniques for my store?

You can employ each of these techniques separately or use them in tandem. Either way, make sure you promote it throughout your site. You can upsell, cross-sell, and down-sell on your:

Homepage—Product recommendations on your homepage are like shop window displays for brick-and-mortar stores. 

  • Use your homepage to capture people’s interest and show off your best product lines. 
  • Your primary goal should be to inform them about your current deals, special offers, and promotions
  • Provide a full range of your products.

Product pages—Recommend relevant and related items to boost your sales from your product pages.

  • Visitors that browse your product pages are typically more engaged since they’re driven by a specific goal or need. 
  • For example, shoppers may jump between different party dresses—trying to find the best one for their upcoming office party. 

Cart page—It’s the perfect time to cross-sell or upsell. 

  • Recommend products that are closely related to the items in your customer’s cart. This will increase the transaction value of your cart page
  • You can also offer package deals with complementary products. 

Now let’s jump into some of our best upselling, cross-selling, and down-selling examples that you can implement in your own store.

14 of the best upselling strategies to grow your business

1. Promote featured products

This approach is useful if you just launched your ecommerce website and customer browsing history isn’t available yet.

Featured products can be your bestsellers or one of your favorite items. 

You can use them on your homepage or on category pages. CafePress did this well:

2 Upselling Featured products on category pages - 25 Upselling and Cross-Selling Examples to Inspire Your Strategy

2. Highlight new arrivals

Stocking up on new items that your repeat customers haven’t seen yet? Get more eyes on it by promoting it across your website. 

This is one of the most popular approaches for ecommerce stores. 

Check out Sephora’s homepage. Not only do they highlight new arrival on their main banner, but also under that—there’s a section called “Brand-New Additions.”

highlight new arrivals upsell - 25 Upselling and Cross-Selling Examples to Inspire Your Strategy

What are the best ways to promote new arrivals on your website? With popups or banners that your visitors can’t miss. Check out this ready-to-use template below: 

3. Display seasonal offers

Another variation on upselling is to promote seasonal products on your homepage. 

Level up the effectiveness of your seasonal displays by offering promotions. 

Here’s an example from KAY.com. Their main banner highlights “It’s engagement season,” with 20% off for all bridal jewelry.

5 Upselling seasonal offer main banner - 25 Upselling and Cross-Selling Examples to Inspire Your Strategy

An even better example is HealthAid. They tap into their visitors’ seasonal interests by offering relevant promotions for each season. 

The “Seasonal Products” module on their homepage includes “Allergy Support” for Spring and Summer and “Winter Protection” for the Winter Season. 

6 Upselling seasonal offer module on homepage - 25 Upselling and Cross-Selling Examples to Inspire Your Strategy

4. Create daily offers

Daily offers are a sure-fire way to grab your returning visitor’s attention. They increase the sense of urgency and motivate visitors to buy right now. 

When you create your daily offers, review your sales data to ensure that you select the most profitable items for the season. 

For example, if you’ve seen an influx in sweater sales, feature your best sweaters. Alternatively, if some outdoor sports gear sold amazingly last summer, feature those products throughout the summer season this year. 

Flipkart uses a “deals of the day” module on their homepage. They also added a countdown timer to further increase their customer’s sense of urgency:

7 Upselling daily offers deal of the day - 25 Upselling and Cross-Selling Examples to Inspire Your Strategy

Here’s an ace example that doubles up as upselling and cross-selling. After their customer adds an item to their cart, Speedo uses a popup to promote “exclusive offers of the day.”

8 Upselling daily offer popup - 25 Upselling and Cross-Selling Examples to Inspire Your Strategy

5. Promote your bestsellers

Upsell your most popular products and deals. It’s a simple and effective way to boost your average transaction value and consistently generate revenue. 

Determine which products are the most popular in your store by: 

  • The number of times a product is sold
  • The number of page visits to a product page 
  • The number of times someone adds that item to their cart 

SwimOutlet takes an elegant approach by highlighting their popular items with a subheading, “Products Trending This Week.”

10 Upselling bestsellers trending this week - 25 Upselling and Cross-Selling Examples to Inspire Your Strategy

Your cart page is also a great place to highlight your most popular products. When your visitors are reviewing their carts, they can easily review the best-selling items. 

Look at how L.A. Girl does this. They promote trending items on their cart page:

11 Upselling bestsellers cart page - 25 Upselling and Cross-Selling Examples to Inspire Your Strategy

Want to do this for yourself? Check out our ready-made, sleek on-site messages for recommending your most popular products: 

6. Offer similar products or options

Visitors love options, so promoting similar products is another great way to upsell. This solution is typically used on product pages

This allows your visitors to compare their options and helps them feel confident that they’re making the right choice. 

Check out how Booking.com uses this in the travel industry. They use a sidebar to display properties that are similar to the accommodation currently being viewed:

12 Upselling similar products sidebar on product page - 25 Upselling and Cross-Selling Examples to Inspire Your Strategy

You can get creative with the labeling for “similar products” modules to make them more eye-catching and unique. LuckyScent.com uses the “If you like Blackpepper Eau de Parfum, we recommend you try” sentence to introduce similar products on their site. 

13 Upselling similar products module - 25 Upselling and Cross-Selling Examples to Inspire Your Strategy

7. Display products other customers have viewed

People are more likely to buy products that have been popular with other customers. So, promoting products others have viewed is one of the most effective forms of product recommendation.

Let’s look at Walmart’s tactic. They display products that other customers were interested in. They used this convenient scrolling module on their product pages.

14 Upselling products other customers have viewed - 25 Upselling and Cross-Selling Examples to Inspire Your Strategy

8. Highlight your products with customer reviews

Customer reviews help spike an item’s popularity. This can be a great way to determine which products to upsell.

Reviews can convince visitors to purchase a more expensive product. Just highlight that it’s better rated and more in demand. 

HomeDepot provides a strong example of upselling products with customer reviews. Take a look: 

15 Upselling products with customer reviews - 25 Upselling and Cross-Selling Examples to Inspire Your Strategy

9. Recommend products in a “mini cart”

“Mini carts” are a great location to feature products for upselling. A “mini cart” provides an easy way to view your cart without heading to the actual checkout page

You can optimize your customer’s shopping experience by suggesting some recommendations in their “mini cart.” This helps customers effortlessly pick out similar products. 

Here’s a brilliant example from Lancome. They recommend products purchased by other customers in a sidebar of the mini cart.

16 Upselling recommended products in a mini cart - 25 Upselling and Cross-Selling Examples to Inspire Your Strategy

Recommend your own products with our ready-to-use templates:

10. Offer an upgrade

Many ecommerce site owners feature an upgraded version of products when they upsell. 

Review sales data from repeat buyers to help you identify opportunities for suggesting upgrades. 

Great upsells are typically crafted from relevant products that have sold well. 

ProFlowers does this by suggesting vases that would look great with their flowers: 

17 Upselling offer an upgrade - 25 Upselling and Cross-Selling Examples to Inspire Your Strategy

11. Create package deals

Package deals are most commonly associated with cross-selling. But you can also use them to upsell. Motivate customers to drop more valuable items into their cart with a package discount. 

Here’s an example from Fragrance Outlet. They promote “Gift Sets” on their homepage:

18 Upselling package deals on homapage - 25 Upselling and Cross-Selling Examples to Inspire Your Strategy

12. Provide free shipping above a predefined amount

High shipping costs are the number one reason why shoppers abandon their carts. So you can see why free shipping is a powerful incentive. 

In addition, you can also promote free shipping above a predetermined amount to encourage customers to purchase a more expensive product.

At CoffeeForLess.com, customers receive a notification on how much more they need to spend to get free shipping.

20 Upselling provide free shipping above a predefined amount - 25 Upselling and Cross-Selling Examples to Inspire Your Strategy

13. Display gift wrapping options

Gift wrapping services are a great option to have in your arsenal. It may not increase your revenue outright, but it can increase customer satisfaction. And it will help boost your average transaction value.

During checkout at Nordstrom, visitors can choose to upgrade to a gift box for $5 or a gift kit for $2.

21 Upselling gift wrapping - 25 Upselling and Cross-Selling Examples to Inspire Your Strategy

14. Personalized offers based on customer history

You can create even more personalized and effective upselling offers by using your customer’s browsing history on your site. 

For instance, you can highlight a visitor’s recently viewed items on your homepage, category pages, and product pages. 

Amazon is a pro at this. They display a wide range of product recommendations on their homepage, including visitors’ “Recently Viewed Items and Featured Recommendations.”

22 Upselling personalized offers based on customer history - 25 Upselling and Cross-Selling Examples to Inspire Your Strategy

5 cross-selling techniques

Below, we’ll explore 5 of the best and most inspirational cross-selling examples. 

Let’s take a look!

15. Supplementary products

Recommend supplementary products based on the items customers are currently viewing. These items are usually across multiple product categories and are related by how they function together.

You can see below that Wayfair cross-sells on their site by offering supplementary products. They place these products in the category: “You might also need…”. 

If a shopper’s interested in Christmas ornaments, they offer a cute box to store them in:

23 Cross selling supplementary products - 25 Upselling and Cross-Selling Examples to Inspire Your Strategy

This approach is more effective if you offer supplementary products as a package deal. The key is to combine it with a special promotion. Check out how DigitalRev does it: 

24 Cross selling supplementary products in a package deal - 25 Upselling and Cross-Selling Examples to Inspire Your Strategy

Here’s another example from BestBuy. 

They use a popup and showcase a protection plan for their item. They also display a complementary product as a way to cross-sell after a customer adds an item to their cart. 

25 Cross selling supplementary products popup - 25 Upselling and Cross-Selling Examples to Inspire Your Strategy

16. Related products

Cross-selling related products is just like cross-selling supplementary products. 

You can promote related products to help your visitors find other items that they’re likely to be interested in.

Under Armour uses the unique label: “Goes Great With”, to cross-sell related products.

28 Cross selling related products unique label - 25 Upselling and Cross-Selling Examples to Inspire Your Strategy

17. Products frequently bought together

When a visitor doesn’t have a browsing or purchase history, you can use the purchase history of other customers to find the best products to cross-sell. Products that many customers bought together will likely tempt the rest of them. 

Microsoft Store recommends complementary items in their “Frequently bought together” category. 

29 Cross selling products frequently bought together - 25 Upselling and Cross-Selling Examples to Inspire Your Strategy

Amazon uses the same strategy on their cart page. They display products that are “Frequently Bought With” one of the items in their customer’s cart. 

If you don’t want to disrupt your visitors’ browsing experience, go for a sidebar that allows them to easily view items.

30 Cross selling products on cart page frequently bought together - 25 Upselling and Cross-Selling Examples to Inspire Your Strategy

18. Promote what other customers also bought

Beyond items bought at once, you can simply promote items that other customers purchased.

Many customers who arrive at your store have similar buying habits or tastes, and this is a great way to take advantage of shared interests.

This cross-selling technique works well on the checkout page because visitors have already been primed to buy. Look at how Pottery Barn cross-sells:

  • First, a shopper adds an item to their cart.
  • Then, a shopper’s cart content is displayed in a popup window. 
  • This window promotes additional items that were purchased by other customers.
31 Cross selling promote what customer also bought - 25 Upselling and Cross-Selling Examples to Inspire Your Strategy

Here’s another example from Under Armour. They cross-sell products by displaying them in the “Customers Also Bought” category on their cart page.

32 Cross selling promote what customer also bought on cart page - 25 Upselling and Cross-Selling Examples to Inspire Your Strategy

19. Promote additional items for free or at a discount 

Offering products for free or at hugely discounted prices is a brilliant way to increase your sales and improve your customer satisfaction rates.

However, be sure to offer something that’s of genuine value to your customers. Sending a low-quality item to a person who bought a high-quality item can do more harm than good!

Take a look at this example from Kellyco Metal Detectors. 

On their cart page, they tell customers when they’re eligible to buy discounted items after visitors hit a certain cart value. If a visitor will spend around $4,000, they offer some heavily discounted items with a freebie. 

33 Cross selling promote additional items for almost free - 25 Upselling and Cross-Selling Examples to Inspire Your Strategy

This approach is a good way to help motivate your customers to spend more. By discounting and gifting to your customers, you also show that you value them and that their loyalty will be rewarded. 

6 down-selling examples

Let’s face it—some visitors are price sensitive and they can abandon their carts because it gets too expensive. 

And yet many businesses overlook down-selling as an opportunity to increase sales.

It’s actually an awesome way to engage customers. 

Here are 6 high-quality examples of down-selling.

20. Discounts and deals

Promote current discounts and special offers to reach price-sensitive visitors. 

Michael Kors offers 50% off select products. These items are tied to a limited-time offer. You can do this too to help create a sense of urgency that pushes more people to buy. 

34 Up selling Discounts and deals - 25 Upselling and Cross-Selling Examples to Inspire Your Strategy

21. One-time-offers

Create an air of in-demand exclusivity by making your offer a “one time only” deal. Your shoppers will feel the urge to buy it right away. 

Take a look at how The Supplement Store down-sells an exclusive discounted offer while using a countdown timer to increase urgency. They only give shoppers a 10-day window to get the discount. 

35 Up selling One time offers - 25 Upselling and Cross-Selling Examples to Inspire Your Strategy

22. Onsite product positioning

Always highlight your best deals to drive more sales. You can catch the attention of price-sensitive customers by using well-designed and active call-to-actions throughout your site.

Here’s a great example from Macy’s: they down-sell their daily deal and clearance items across their site. Be like Macy’s and drive traffic to your sales pages by using bold text, vibrant colors, and clear sales categories for easy navigation.

36 Up selling On site product positioning - 25 Upselling and Cross-Selling Examples to Inspire Your Strategy

As you continue browsing their site, you’ll see an eye-catching banner promoting the offer across their category pages:

37 Up selling On site product positioning call to action - 25 Upselling and Cross-Selling Examples to Inspire Your Strategy

…on product pages…

38 Up selling On site product positioning call to action on product page - 25 Upselling and Cross-Selling Examples to Inspire Your Strategy

…and on their cart page:

39 Up selling On site product positioning call to action on cart page - 25 Upselling and Cross-Selling Examples to Inspire Your Strategy

You can see that they use a countdown timer to increase urgency. 

Macy’s also reduces the intensity of their promotion as customers show more engagement and move towards the checkout. 

When you use this technique, remember to dial back your promo to avoid overwhelming the buyers who have already made a decision to purchase.

23. Reduce cart abandonment

The average ecommerce cart abandonment rate is approximately 70%. This means nearly seven out of ten visitors who add an item to their cart will leave your store without buying. 

How do you prevent that?

Down-selling is one of the most effective ways to encourage an immediate purchase when someone is about to bounce. You can offer a discount or another special, limited-time offer.

Here’s an example from the Natural Fertility Shop. They use cart abandonment popups to recover visitors who are about to abandon their cart. They provide 10% off for customers who checkout immediately.

40 Up selling Reduce cart abandonment - 25 Upselling and Cross-Selling Examples to Inspire Your Strategy

Bonus tip: you can rely on your store data to track when visitors are about to abandon their cart. You can detect whether someone is about to leave your website with exit-intent technology.

Here are some exit-intent popup templates that you can start using right now: 

24. Communicate secondary offers on exit-intent

If your visitors aren’t ready to buy just yet, encourage them to subscribe to your newsletter. And guide them further along the customer journey at a later date. 

The best way to grow your list is to offer a promotional code in exchange for their email address, such as 10% off their next purchase. 

This approach to down-selling is known as “soft conversion.” It allows you to build your email list and convert your signups into sales via email. 

Guilty Soles persuades their visitors to provide their email addresses for a chance to win a free pair of shoes. Offering a discount or hosting a contest is much more exciting than just asking visitors to sign up for your newsletter.

41 Up selling Communicate secondary offers on exit intent - 25 Upselling and Cross-Selling Examples to Inspire Your Strategy

If you’d like to communicate a secondary offer, try one of these templates:

Wanna learn more about how to run popups that your customers will love to see and will increase your revenue up to 10 times? Read our Ultimate Guide to Popups here

25. Special offers via email

When a visitor leaves your site without buying but signs up for your email list, you can down-sell to them with special offers via email. 

People are naturally reluctant to spend money. And a discount can help them stay within their budget.

You can also send upselling and cross-selling email offers to existing customers.

If you sign up for DODOcase’s newsletter, you’ll find your inbox filled with emails presenting exclusive bargains. 

The emails encourage visitors to return to their site and make a purchase with a special offer. Here’s an example:

42 Up selling Special offers in email - 25 Upselling and Cross-Selling Examples to Inspire Your Strategy

Sum up

You now have the most powerful upselling, cross-selling, and down-selling techniques you need to grow your store. 

Build your own strategies by combining these tips and examples to drive more sales and boost your revenue.

Have you given upselling, cross-selling, or down-selling a test drive on your site? Which techniques have been the most effective for you? 

Let us know in the comments below!

6 comments

  1. PERCY says:

    Thank you for putting this information together. Very useful and interesting tips between the differences of upselling, cross-selling and down-selling techniques. I would go over and read everything again. Keep up the good work!

  2. Alice wilson says:

    Thank you for giving this useful information on difference between the upselling, cross-selling and down-selling techniques. really I was looking for these kind of blog and I got it here.

  3. Sofie Gravesen says:

    Cross-selling isn t a technique you can learn overnight. It takes years of trial and error to develop your own brand of sales. Plus, it s important to know that there s no all-year-round, high-converting sales pitch. It takes intimate knowledge of the customer journey to be able to find the sweet spot that offers both a structure and flexibility in selling.

  4. Arisdani says:

    This opened my knowledge especially the upselling strategy. I recently featured the best selling products in my online shop. But after reading this article I will probably implement all of them. Thanks for the information

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