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7 Proven Cross-Selling Strategies that’ll Increase Your Store’s Average Order Value

Cross-selling on Shopify

Ecommerce brands are vying to make the most of every sales opportunity. One question that’s on every retailer’s mind is how to get shoppers to spend more than they planned to.

The answer? Cross-selling.

The right cross-selling strategies help you make the most of every customer that visits your store. Going by the reports from Mckinsey, cross-selling has the power to increase sales by 20% and profits by 30%.

Let’s start with understanding cross-selling and move right to the proven cross-selling strategies that boost sales and increase the AOV.

What is cross-selling?

Cross-selling is a sales tactic that involves recommending related products to shoppers to increase sales and boost average order value. It displays additional products that meet a need that the original product does not.

For example, Apple sells the Apple Pencil 2 with its iPads — an add-on product that improves the iPad experience but is not necessary.

In other words, cross-selling tactics point users in the direction of products they need but didn’t know you offered them. By highlighting it to the user at the right time, you have a chance to increase the present order value should the customer choose to buy it.

Cross-selling vs. upselling

Cross-selling and upselling are used interchangeably in the marketing world. While both help increases the AOV, they do so differently.

  • Cross-selling is about offering a different but complementary product — Apple Pencil with the iPad
  • Upselling encourages a customer to buy a more expensive version of the same product they came to buy — iPad storage upgrades

Let’s go over two real-world examples that will give you a fair idea of how cross-selling works.

Pratical examples of cross-selling

The products you cross-sell need to be related and complementary, or you may come across as pushy. Here are two popular brands that get it right:

Ikea, the one-stop shop for all your home furnishing needs, adopts a personalized approach of suggesting products that complement the one that your customer is about to buy.

For instance, if a shopper is looking to buy an office chair, they see related products as soon as the chair is added to the cart.

 Source: Ikea

Amazon is another classic example of cross-selling. Its algorithms running on powerful servers, track everything that customers buy to identify buying patterns. It then suggests these products to new customers.

Source: Amazon

You may have come across these product suggestions under their—‘discover additional products’, ‘you may also like’, or ‘recommended for you’ sections.

Without massive computing power like Amazon, how can you still make the most of cross-selling?

7 effective cross-selling strategies that boost AOV

We’ve got 7 cross-selling techniques coupled with real-life examples of brands using them to help you get more out of every sale.  

1. Cross-sell products on checkout pages

The checkout page is where customers are just ready to make the purchase. At this point, cross-selling an add-on product can capture attention and make customers purchase impulsively.

Wayfair, the online furniture store, keeps it simple by offering related items on the checkout page. The brand suggests items that shoppers might need under ‘You Might Also Need’.

 Source: Wayfair

If you have a Shopify Plus store, give AOVboost a shot. AOVboost lets you showcase exclusive checkout upsells and cross-sells, right before they complete a purchase, helping you get the most out of every sale.

2. Bundle multiple products together

Product bundling is a marketing tactic that works by grouping two or more related products and selling them as a package. It offers what customers like in a bundle pack, at a lower price.

Mcdonald’s aces this cross-selling strategy with its meals.

If you want to sell customized bundles or even allow your customers to make their own, Box Builder is just the solution you need. It’s a powerful product bundling app designed for Shopify stores. With BoxBuilder, you can add seamless bundling capabilities to your store and start increasing your order value.

3. Set minimum cart value thresholds to unlock offers

Another great cross-selling strategy is to incentivize customers to purchase more. The strategy works by encouraging people to reach a certain cart value threshold.

For instance, the offer could read like this: “get free shipping on orders above $50 USD“.

So if a customer has items worth $37 USD in their cart, you can prompt them to add another $13 worth of products to get free shipping. Giving free shipping will handle one of the top reasons for cart abandonment, shipping fees.

Grove is known for offering free shipping above a minimum order value. It also suggests items based on a shopper’s browsing history so they get relevant items that meet their needs.

Source: Grove

4. Retarget customers to suggest add-on products

Retargeting ads are yet another cross-selling tactic that can boost your AOV. You can run your marketing campaign on social media networks and reach out to specific buyers who had visited your website on previous occasions but failed to convert. Besides that, you can try a combination of Ads to sell them products that complement the ones they already bought.

Source: Twitter

5. Follow up with cross-sell emails after a product is purchased

Post-purchase emails enjoy a whopping 217% higher open rate when compared to their traditional counterparts. This offers a great opportunity to get your message across to customers.

Dollar Shave Club takes a non-pushy approach to cross-selling with this email. The email acts as a gentle reminder encouraging recipients to enhance their shaving experience.

This friendly approach makes users feel that Dollar Save Club understands their needs. People are more likely to buy in such cases.

6. Offer product pairs at a discount

This is a product bundling strategy where you sell two units of the same product in a bundle at a discounted price. It’s a simple way to get more units of a product off the shelves.

Barnes & Noble runs the “Buy one, get one at 50% off” offer on its website giving shoppers a chance to get a hold of two of their favorite books at a discounted price.

Moonship is a Shopify app that uses AI to show personalized discounts to customers who’re on the brink of purchasing and just need a nudge at the right time to go ahead.

7. Complementary products

Recommending complementary or essential products is a cross-selling strategy that enhances a shopper’s experience on your website. For instance, if they have bought a mobile phone, it helps to get all the accessories in one place without having to look for them elsewhere.

If a shopper were to add the ‘Sam & Libby Women’s Alexis Wooden Clog’ to their cart at the Walmart online store, they will get to see a range of complementary products bought by other users.

Source: Walmart 

Top benefits of cross-selling

“Care enough to create value for customers. If you get that part right, selling is easy.” 

Anthony Iannarino, Bestselling author, entrepreneur, and B2B sales coach

Cross-selling strategies can have fantastic results. While the top goal is to increase the AOV, there are a few other important benefits as well:

1. Cross-selling introduces customers to similar products

Cross-selling tactics help customers discover more products that they can add to their cart. It simply enhances the customer’s buying journey by making them aware of all the products you have to offer in a particular category. This way you enable them to walk away feeling confident that they made the perfect purchase.

2. Cross-selling increases the store’s average order value

If you are showing add-ons or related products to your customers, a good lot of them will take your offer without much persuasion. This is because your customers are in their peak buying mode. They would rather accept your offer than make the effort to go looking for the suggested products all over again.

With more customers accepting your cross-selling offers, your Average Order Value is bound to increase. You will end up making more money, without any added costs.

3. Cross-selling saves time by offering sets of commonly brought products

Grouping the most frequently bought products together can be a great way to add more value than selling them individually. Lots of fashion websites sell the “Look” which offers the tops, bottoms, shoes, and any accessories the model is wearing in a single package.

This is what makes it effortless for customers to buy more products while reducing their shopping time and adding massive value.

How to cross-sell products at checkout using AOVboost?

AOVBoost is a Shopify Plus-only app built to help you make the most out of every sale. It works by allowing you to display irresistible offers at checkout for your customers.

The app is easy to install and allows you to launch an offer within seconds, letting you enjoy the benefits of an order bump right away.

We’ll now walk you through the steps of setting up the checkout page to cross-sell offers on AOVBoost:

Step 1: Once you’ve installed the app on your store, click on Offers on the left-hand side menu of the dashboard

Step 2: Next, click on Create offer, as shown in the top right-hand corner of the above image

Step 3: Choose the offer type

Step 4: Enter all the necessary details such as offer name, minimum cart value, etc.

Step 5: Select the product you want the offer to appear on, and customize your offer by clicking on Offer styling

Step 6: Lastly click on ‘create offer’ to launch and take it away!

Not a fan of reading? You can also check out this short video and follow the steps to create a checkout upsell offer through AOVboost.

Creating an Offer on AOVboost

FAQs on using cross-selling strategies to increase AOV

What is cross-selling in business?

Cross-selling is the process of recommending complementary products and services to customers based on the item they were looking to buy.

Is cross-selling a good strategy?

Cross-selling is a great way to increase the size and value of customer orders. It strengthens customer relationships and enhances a customer’s journey with your brand.

How can I increase my AOV?

Cross-selling is an effective way of increasing your AOV. It adds value to your customer experience and you get to sell more.

What are the dos and don’ts of cross-selling?

The Dos:

– Do personalize your recommendations
– Do test out different cross-selling strategies to pick the one that best works for you
– Do make sure the cross-sell product is relevant to the customer’s original product

The Don’ts:

– Don’t be pushy in your approach
– Don’t cross-sell to get rid of unsold inventory
– Don’t cross-sell newly launched products

How do you identify cross-selling opportunities?

There are two ways to identify cross-selling opportunities. Firstly, run an audit of your customer data and gather details that can guide your recommendations. Secondly, take into account customer requests that extend beyond your present offering which you can fulfill through a cross-sell.

Take your first step to boosting store AOV with cross-selling

Cross-selling is an effective strategy to boost AOV and build better connections with your customers. Take cues from the real-world examples here and chart your own path to success.

If you want to make cross-selling easier for you, try AOVboost. It is a powerful Shopify Plus app that will help you get started with recommending products on your checkout page.

Improve your Shopify Plus store’s revenue on autopilot – Install AOVboost.

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