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how to upsell your product

How to Upsell: 6 Strategies SMBs Can Adopt

Did you know that upselling is said to be 68% more affordable than trying to win new customers? So if you’re looking for ways to grow your SMB and increase your revenue, consider upselling as one of your strategies.

The benefits of upselling don’t end with increased profits and average order revenue. It also helps you retain customers to boost your brand loyalty. The more your customers buy, the longer they stay with you, as long as you don’t break your streak as the reliable business or service provider they can count on.

Thanks to data, large e-commerce sites upsell at the right moment and with the right products. Your business can also adopt some of these upsell strategies. Read on to learn more about these topics, or you can jump into any one of them:

What is an upsell strategy?

Before we go into upselling examples and some tips on how to upsell, let’s answer the question: What is an upsell strategy?

Upselling is a marketing and sales tactic that convinces customers to purchase a more expensive product or service. You upsell by suggesting your more profitable products, services, or product bundles.

What are upselling examples?

Let’s start with an upselling example that happens in a brick-and-mortar store.

You walk into a store to buy one cookie. You left with three cookies because the store attendant suggested their three-cookie bundle, which saves you 20% off per cookie. If you’re not counting calories, this is a great upsell!

There are also upselling examples that happen online. Airlines and hotels upsell add-ons when you book online.

For example, Delta Airlines offers an upsell to customers who are booking their trip online. Below the trip summary and right before the customer pays are options to upgrade to more comfortable seats and service add-ons.


How to upsell: 6 strategies SMBs can adopt

Now that you know some upselling examples, here are six upselling strategies you can adopt for your business:

  1. Offer an upsell every time it makes sense
  2. Don’t make the upsell intrusive
  3. Make sure the upsell recommendations address customers’ needs and problems
  4. Be conscious of the price increase
  5. Toss in a special offer for the upsell
  6. Experiment, measure, and pre-program upsell recommendations using data

Let’s discuss each strategy.

1. Offer an upsell every time it makes sense

The more you offer an upsell, the more chances your customer will take it. You can make subtle offers at different stages of their journey.

Upsell on the product page

For example, suppose you sell pet supplies. Your dog food product pages can have an upsell opportunity by offering a bigger bag of the product. If you have existing bundles with the particular dog food your customer is interested in, you could add that to your list of upsell suggestions, too.

Upsell when they review their cart

When your customer is about to make a purchase and click the check-out button, suggest a service add-on offering, like an extended warranty or in the case of Apple, an AppleCare+ package. Add in a couple of calls to action (CTAs) for them to learn more about the additional offer and to add it to their cart.

how to upsell example - apple icloud

Upsell after the purchase and reaching a milestone

You can also upsell after your customer has made the purchase and enjoyed your product or service. For example, suppose you offer software-as-a-service (SaaS), and your client has a 100-user subscription.

As the customer reaches its 95th user, you can send an email informing them that they’ve almost reached the limit of their subscription, and they can upgrade to a 120-user subscription.

Apple also does this with its iCloud storage. Before you even exceed the storage limit, it prompts you via email that you can upgrade to a larger storage subscription.

how to upsell example - milestone

2. Don’t make the upsell intrusive

Even though you want to upsell as often as possible, you don’t want to make it annoying. To make your upsells less obtrusive, you can strategically place the upsells further down your product page.

Any interested customer who wants to learn more can see the recommendations when they scroll down. That said, an upsell offered via multiple pop-ups on the first fold of your product page may turn off your customer and cause them to leave your website. When used properly and at the right time (say after scrolling down further a product page), upsell pop-ups can be a great way to boost your sales.

Not quite sure how to upsell a product without being annoying? Don’t worry. WebFX will be glad to help. We offer user experience (UX) Design Services so your customers will have a pleasant experience browsing and shopping on your website. Contact us online or speak to a strategist via 888-601-5359.

3. Make sure the upsell recommendations address customers’ needs and problems

Most customers buy products to tackle problems. In some cases, though, once the purchase is made, new needs and problems may arise. Use this as an opportunity to help your customer with an upsell.

For example, Houston Meal Prep offers meal plans to people who do not have time to shop for ingredients and cook healthy food at home. Suppose you want to subscribe to a lean meal plan for a week to lose weight after months of binge eating.

When you select a one-week plan, a message appears below the order recommending that you stay on the diet for a few weeks to see results. It’s a way to upsell and address the customer’s need to stay in a meal plan long enough to get into the habit of eating healthy foods.

how to upsell - addressing a problem

4. Be conscious of the price increase

Customers have working budgets for their purchases, so be mindful of the price of your upsell. Make sure that your upsell doesn’t increase your customers’ bill by more than 25%. Exceed this amount, and your customer might bounce off your site.

5. Toss in a special offer for the upsell

Free shipping is an excellent incentive for an upsell. They’ll think of the free shipping as an added value of the upsell.

For example, a customer bought a $250 item from you. You upsell an extended warranty worth $30 and add in free shipping. It makes your upsell look more valuable and justifiable when you add in some freebies.

In our dog food example earlier, the upsell of a bigger bag comes with a lower cost per pound of dog food. If you also have a bundle of dog food with treats that are frequently purchased with it, you can offer a special discount and communicate with the customer about the cost savings when they opt for the bundle.

Bonus read: The Difference Between an Upsell vs. Cross-Sell & How to Use Both

6. Experiment, measure, and pre-program upsell recommendations using data

Finally, you want to measure your upselling efforts. What upsell recommendations are usually added to carts? Which CTAs are effective with upselling?

You can use these valuable insights to better upsell a product and make a customer happy with the shopping experience. If you’re on Shopify, you can use plugins like Voyager Upsell & Cross-sell.

Learn how to upsell your products with WebFX!

If you think you still need help with upselling, retaining customers, and fostering customer loyalty, WebFX will be glad to help. WebFX has 15 years of experience in ecommerce. Contact us online or speak to a strategist via 888-601-5359 to get started.

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