What is cross-selling?

Cross-selling is a sales tactic that attempts to increase the value of an order by showing customers related or complementary products or services they can add on to their original purchase. In subscription ecommerce, cross-selling can mean offering the customer one-time purchases or add-ons related to their subscription or a separate, related subscription. The goal of this strategy is often primarily to increase average order value and revenue of a business, but when done well, cross-selling is also an effective strategy for improving the customer experience, increasing engagement, and even testing the viability of new products.

Cross-selling vs upselling

Like cross-selling, upselling also attempts to increase the value of an order, both financially for the store and in terms of customer satisfaction. The difference: While cross-selling focuses on adding related or complementary items and services to a customer’s order, upselling aims to convince the customer to purchase a related but higher-quality, higher-value product or service.

Cross-selling strategies

A common location for cross-selling opportunities is on individual product pages, where merchants can show shoppers product recommendations for related items. Cross-sells can also be offered on a customized cart page or on the customer portal. The more personalized and tailored these product suggestions are to the individual customer and their purchasing preferences, the more effective the cross-sell is likely to be. Leveraging data and analytics and making use of features like product recommendation quizzes are all effective strategies that can help merchants target their cross-selling recommendations.