Strategies to Increase Revenue: Upselling and Cross-Selling

increased customer lifetime value

The up-sell and cross-sell strategies can be used to increase revenue in many ways. They allow for a higher average order value, more products sold per customer, and upselling offers the opportunity to up your prices!

If you’re looking for any ideas on how to upsell or cross sell your customers here are some examples:

  • Offer discounts if they buy 2 or 3 of the same product.
  • Put up banners with “Upgrade from this version to get these benefits.” This strategy is especially useful when selling software.
  • Display similar items together so that customers will see what else they might want while browsing through your store.


What is upselling and cross selling?

persuading customers

When you compare upselling versus crossing one of the biggest things to understand is that they both accomplish the same goal, more sales. The difference is upselling happens when you are in the middle of a conversation with your client. You might be talking about their business or what they need to accomplish, then quickly offer up an up sell that relates to this discussion.

For example, if someone comes into your store and says I want two shirts for me, one shirt for my wife, and a necklace for my daughter. You would upsell them on three shirts and two necklaces to save more money in the long run because you are offering discounts when they buy multiple items together.

Cross selling is very similar, but instead of happening with your client, it happens before or after an interaction via email marketing or phone call. When you are upselling to your client, you usually know more information about them like what is their position in the company or who is it for. When upselling with email marketing (or any other platform) this isn’t necessarily true because they might not have filled out all of that information when signing up for a free trial.

So instead of asking if they want upselling or cross selling, you need to look at their account for information. If they are an individual user and the billing address is different from the shipping address, then up sell them on a corporate plan because it will save more money in the long run if they have multiple people using your service.

When upselling on the phone, you can offer upsells while your client is talking about their business and what they need to accomplish. One of my favorites upsells for SaaS companies is when someone needs a trial but isn’t ready to start paying yet. I’ll offer them an option where if they pay upfront they can get a massive discount and then cancel anytime before the trial begins.

This saves them money because if at any time they change their mind, I’m sure that your service is not what they need so there is no loss to you or extra work on your end since we’ll just send an email saying thanks for verifying information but we will need to cancel your account. This up sell is great for companies like Salesforce and Marketo who offer a free trial and don’t require card information upfront (unless you want extra storage space or other premium features).

The last up sell we see often in the SaaS industry is when someone needs multiple licenses but their company already has a license for another person in the company. When upselling this to our clients, we make sure to let them know that they are getting more value out of their current plan since it isn’t being used and then offer a discount on a second plan. This up sell is great because you’re helping people save money!

Why is up sell important?

sales techniques

If you looking for a great way to increase average deal size the upselling is very important. As upselling is a strategy to encourage customers to purchase more expensive items, increase their order size or buy additional services. If you have great up sell ideas and are able up sell with existing clients it can be very profitable for your business as well as help you retain existing clients.

Upselling works if the customer has already decided to make an initial purchase. Your up sell offers should be presented to the customer upfront before they make their initial purchase. The best way is to offer additional products or services that are closely related and relevant for your customers who have already decided to buy something from you.

An up sell can take place after an initial sale has been completed but it can also take place upfront before a sale is complete. You need to be aware of how and when your upsell offers are presented for them to work best.

What is bundling in eCommerce?

sales techniques

Bundling is a popular way to increase your average order value and encourage customers to buy more than one product.

There are several kinds of bundles:

  • Buy One, Get One offer
  • Time-limited deals on bundled products only
  • Bundles with customer’s item for free or at a discount

Customers can benefit from these offers too, as they often pay less for the whole bundle than if each item was bought separately.

Customers love to save, get more stuff, and with bundling items they get a better deal than if the items were bought separately.

Bundling is an effective marketing strategy that can be used to increase your sales and average order value, as well as encourage customers to buy more than one product at once!

Example of cross-selling

ecommerce businesses

In the world of entrepreneurship, cross-selling is a technique in which a vendor recommends one or more additional items from the same category as the original item to a customer. Cross-selling, ideally, increases the transaction and the likelihood that the customer will purchase goods and/or services.

Typical examples of cross-selling:

“I like that coat you’re wearing. Do you also need a pair of boots?”

“You’re getting a new computer? You might be interested in this nifty gadget to complement your experience.”

“Would you like fries with your burger?”

“Would you like a drink with your meal?”

Advantages and disadvantages of cross-selling

sales pitch

When it comes to upselling and cross-selling there are advantages and disadvantages you should be aware of.

Advantages of cross-selling

  • Some of the advantages of cross-selling include:
  • You increase your revenue and profit.
  • Gain customer loyalty because you are catering to their needs.
  • Strengthen sales relationships by understanding customers’ needs.

Customer satisfaction is enhanced when they find what they need in one visit rather than having to shop around for it.

Disadvantages of cross-selling

There are a few disadvantages to consider as well.

  • It may lead customers to compare your prices with competitors and make them feel they’ve been overcharged.
  • You might alienate some existing customers if you don’t offer products that meet their needs or interests.
  • Product knowledge can be a challenge.

In summary, cross-selling has its pros and cons so you should carefully consider whether it’s the right strategy for your business.

Get to know your customers better

life insurance

Getting to know your customers better will make it easier to know what products you can upsell or cross-sell to them. There are a lot of different ways that you can use to understand your customers better through their behaviors, demographics, and more.

You will be able to gain insight on what they like or dislike by understanding the behavior pattern of how they interact with your website’s content so you know where to focus efforts for improvement. You should also consider conducting surveys to learn more about them and what they like or dislike.

If you want to know the demographics of your customers, there are several different ways that you can accomplish this as well. You could check their website’s analytics for demographic information from past traffic history or consider using third-party tools such as Google Analytics Demographics & Interest Reporting.

Sales technique for upselling and cross-selling

premium version

Upselling and cross-selling is a sales technique where the seller upsells/cross sells different products or services to their customer. This can be done by up selling another more expensive product, or by suggesting related items that are cheaper than what they were originally planning on buying. The goal of this strategy is for sellers to gain up sales, increase their average transaction value and acquire new customers. The tactic can be used in traditional brick-and-mortar retailing (such as supermarkets), online shopping (like Amazon), or by telephone.

Upselling is defined as the sale of an item that has more features than required while cross selling refers to products that are complementary to the purchased product. The upselling and cross selling techniques are used to increase the transaction value, boost average order size or even bring in new customers for other products/services by up-selling them with additional items that they might be interested in purchasing.

Upsell is a upmarketing strategy that includes offering more expensive items than what a customer was originally looking for and cross-selling is a downmarketing strategy where one upsells/cross sells an item that complements the original product. For example, if someone was originally shopping for a backpack online, they might be offered to upsell them with hiking boots or water bottles to boost sales by increasing transaction value.

Cross selling is a practice where different products or services are upsold/cross-sold to the customer at the point of sale. This strategy is used primarily in retail, eCommerce, and telemarketing businesses with an aim to increase transaction value by upselling them with additional items that complement their intended purchase. Cross selling can also be done online through emails offering complementary goods or services.

Upselling and cross selling both are upmarketing techniques where sellers upsell/cross-sell additional items to customers for increased transaction value, average order size or acquire new customers by upselling them with other products that they might be interested in purchasing. Upselling is offered sales of an item that has more features than required while cross selling refers to upselling with items that are complementary to the purchased product. For an up sell, sellers usually suggest buying more expensive items than what a customer was originally looking for, and cross-selling is downmarketing strategy where one up sells/cross sells an item that complements the original product.

Target your existing customers

combine upselling

Targeting your existing customers is a great way to increase customer lifetime value. It’s up to 60% more expensive for companies to acquire new customers than it is to retain existing ones. Upselling and cross selling are effective strategies for increasing revenue from your current customer base, but only if you do it right.

You should first try up-sell or cross sell products that complement the original purchase. If a potential customer bought a red handbag, upselling to a matching wallet might be an effective up-sell. If they bought headphones, cross selling by showing them additional products that are compatible with their purchase would likely lead to increased revenue for the company

You should also try up-selling or cross-selling related items rather than direct replacements. Customers who buy dog food might be up-sold on toys for dogs or some dog treats. Customers who buy a new couch may be cross sold with additional decor pieces

You should also try upselling and cross selling premium products. If you sell lower-priced items, it’s unlikely that customers will want to spend more money when they receive an up sell offer. This will likely result in a decline in up sell revenue. In this case, cross selling another premium product may be the more effective up-sell strategy

Upselling and cross selling are great ways to generate additional revenue from your existing customer base. However, companies must first understand their customers’ needs before they try upselling or cross selling products that won’t be of any interest to them. Companies must also upsell or cross sell products that complement the original purchase, but only if they are related items rather than direct replacements


Cross-selling and upselling are two key strategies to increase revenue. They are effective because they make it possible for businesses to cross-sell or upsell additional products/services, which increases the average order size of an individual customer.

Cross selling is when a business tries to sell another product that complements what you’re already buying. Upselling involves selling a more expensive version of an item. To upsell successfully, business owners need to understand what customers want and convince them that they should pay for the upgrade.

Businesses can cross-sell or upsell by displaying cross-selling offers in customer order confirmation emails or via post-purchase email follow-ups after making an online purchase. They could also use cross-selling or upselling in their FAQs.


  1. What is upselling and cross selling?
  2. Why is up sell important?
  3. What is bundling in eCommerce?
  4. Example of cross-selling
  5. Advantages and disadvantages of cross-selling
  6. Get to know your customers better
  7. Sales technique for upselling and cross-selling
  8. Target your existing customers
  9. Conclusion

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