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Best Practices When Upselling Online

Best Practices When Upselling Online

Jon Clark is the managing partner at Moving Traffic Media, a New York digital agency offering SEO, PPC and Amazon marketing services.

Upselling is a sales technique that involves encouraging customers to purchase a higher-end or additional product than they originally intended to buy. With the rise of e-commerce, businesses are increasingly using online upselling tactics to boost their sales and revenue. 

However, upselling online can be challenging, as businesses must strike a balance between increasing sales and maintaining a positive customer experience. 

In this blog post, we will explore the best practices for upselling online and how businesses can use these strategies to increase their sales and enhance customer satisfaction.

Employ the rule of 7

The rule of 7 upselling is a strategy that involves offering customers a relevant upsell option at least seven times during their customer journey. 

The idea behind this strategy is that customers don’t always convert at the first opportunity and are more likely to accept an upsell offer after they have been exposed to it multiple times.

Here are some best practices for employing the rule of 7 upselling:

  • Offer relevant upsells
  • Use a variety of upselling methods
  • Time your upsells strategically
  • Keep upselling offers simple
  • Be transparent about pricing

Create a feeling of urgency

Creating a sense of urgency is a powerful way to encourage customers to make a purchase and can be an effective tactic for upselling online. Here are some best practices for creating a feeling of urgency when upselling:

  • Limited time offers
  • Limited availability
  • Countdown timers
  • Scarcity messaging
  • Exclusivity

However, it's important to use urgency tactics ethically and avoid creating false or manipulative urgency. The goal should be to create genuine urgency that motivates customers to take action while also maintaining their trust and loyalty.

Make it feel like a natural part of the consumer experience 

Making upselling feel like a natural part of the consumer experience is a best practice for effectively upselling online. Here are some tips for making upselling feel natural:

  • Personalize the experience
  • Align the offer with the customer's needs
  • Use product recommendations
  • Show social proof
  • Make it easy to opt-out

By incorporating upselling into the overall customer experience and aligning upsell offers with the customer's needs, businesses can make the process feel natural and valuable rather than pushy or intrusive.

Leverage social proof

Leveraging social proof is an effective way to upsell online by using the positive experiences of other customers to persuade potential buyers. 

Showcase customer reviews and ratings for the product you're upselling. Positive reviews and ratings can be a powerful motivator for potential buyers.

Display user-generated content such as images or videos of customers using and enjoying the product. This can help potential buyers visualize themselves using the product and increase their likelihood of making a purchase.

If your business has a strong social media presence, highlight the number of followers or likes your social media accounts have. This can help build trust and credibility with potential buyers.

Solve issues your users may have

Solving issues your users may have is another effective way to upsell online. By identifying and addressing any pain points or challenges that potential buyers may have, you can position your upsell as a solution to their problems. 

Follow these steps when doing so:

  1. Use customer feedback, reviews, and analytics to identify common pain points or challenges that potential buyers may face.
  2. Once you have identified the pain points, position your upsell as a solution to these problems. For example, if a common pain point is slow shipping times, promote your premium shipping option as a solution.
  3. Provide relevant information about your upsell and how it can solve the identified pain points. This can include product details, benefits, and customer success stories.
  4. Offer incentives to encourage potential buyers to take advantage of your upsell. This can include discounts, free trials, or additional features.

Entice with product bundles

By bundling related products together, you can increase the perceived value of the purchase and encourage customers to make a larger purchase. Here are some tips for upselling through product bundles:

  • Identify complementary products - Identify products that are complementary to the original purchase and bundle them together. For example, if a customer purchases a camera, you could bundle it with a memory card and camera bag.
  • Offer a discount - Offer a discount on the bundle to increase the perceived value and encourage customers to make a larger purchase. For example, offer a 10% discount on the total price of the bundle.

Don’t sell the features, sell the benefits

When upselling, it's important to focus on selling the benefits of the product rather than just the features. Customers are more likely to make a purchase if they understand how the product will benefit them.

To sell the benefits, you need to understand your customer's needs and pain points. Once you know what they are looking for, you can highlight how the product can help them solve their problems or make their lives easier.

Avoid offering too many options

When upselling, it's important to avoid overwhelming your customers with too many options. Too many choices can lead to decision paralysis and may cause your customers to abandon their purchase altogether.

  • Offer a limited number of options that are easy to understand and compare.
  • Instead of offering a long list of options, offer a curated selection of products that meet your customer's needs.
  • If you have a specific product that is the best fit for your customer, highlight it and explain why it's the best choice.
  • If your customer is having trouble deciding, offer guidance to help them make a decision. For example, you could ask questions to help them narrow down their options or make a recommendation based on their needs.

Implement these best practices when upselling online

Upselling is an important strategy for increasing revenue and improving the customer experience. However, it's important to approach upselling with care to ensure that it's done in a way that benefits both the customer and the business.

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