When customer is buying something from your website and you offer something else – yet related to the main product – and customer buys it, which he wouldn’t have considered if you hadn’t offered it in the first place along with the main product, is called cross selling. It is said that cross selling plays a major role at improving sales on ecommerce sites and is also used in most of the other industries.
To understand through an example, here is a similar screen-shot to which you probably have seen on any eCommerce site,
In the picture above you can see the eCommerce site has offered one more thing (the flip cover) along with the main purchase (the mobile phone) as “combos”. The flip cover is the thing being cross-sold. Below is one more similar cross-selling technique.
Under “Complete the Purchase” title, the page shows even more things to consider buying along with the main product. Many times, people don’t buy them. But other times, people say, ‘oh yes, I would need a cover to protect my phone from scratches and falling down, lets buy one of those.’ This reaction ends up the eCommerce site making one more sale.
Now imagine, what if the site didn’t put these two features on the product page. What would have happened?’ Most of the people wouldn’t even remember or consider buying a back cover, extra battery or screen-guard for their mobile phone. That means, just because the site didn’t add an extra feature on their product pages, they were losing a significant business. That’s a big loss in revenue.
So, take cross selling seriously to improve your business drastically because back in 2006, Amazon.com revealed that 35% of their total sales happened through cross-selling. That’s a really, really big number to ignore.
So, how to do cross selling? Here are our suggestions:
On Product Page
Combo Offers/Bundled Products/Family Products
Combo offers or bundled product is the first screen-shot shown above. Offer an additional product which naturally goes with the main product. For instance, offering a combo of a camera and batteries or camera-bag is more natural for the customer to buy in a bundle.
You can also offer a bundle of products at reduced price if purchased whole. For instance, a full set including a camera, extra lenses, a tripod, carry-bag, and a cleaning kit. If they have the budget, they could consider the whole budget once and for all.
Yet another trick for cross selling is to show or offer products of the same family i.e. while on the product page of a shirt, show them the matching pants.
All such showcase of related, combo-ed products reminds the customer about the extra feature and product they could buy to ‘complete’ their purchase or buy it now as they are going to need it later on anyways.
People Also Bought/Frequently Bought Together
When you show them what other customers on your website are doing, the targeted customer also gets a temptation and encouragement to buy that thing. That’s what human psychology says. Just like primates, humans also copy others’ behaviors as they primitively believe that what others are doing in large number must be right thing to do.
Here is an example from Amazon. Note the title of the section.
This psychological trait helps eCommerce sites greatly and when you show “What Other People Bought Along With This Products” or “What Other People Searched” on your product page or at any other place, the customer pays attention to it to know that whatever decision he would make is normal in the market and he isn’t being fooled or taking a wrong decision.
That’s why the Comments Sections on eCommerce websites are extremely popular and one of the major influencers on the customer’s decision about buying a specific product.
Stay in the Price Range
While recommending things on the product page and other places, stay in the customer’s price range. Meaning, when customer is searching for a $200 smart phone and has been constantly searching for the similar price range, then don’t show a $700 smart phone in the recommended products list.
Show them what they are searching. You can show them all the products in the similar price range. Although, offering a more expensive product on the product page is another selling technique called Upselling and that also helps improving your sales, the point here is that even things showed in upselling should stay near the price range of the customer. In above example, you could stretch the upselling products to $250 or maximum $300 smart phone if the customer is persistent on that price range or has clearly specified his budget to you.
Although, the affordable and the expensive both are smart phones and could be said to be essentially the same thing able to satisfy customer’s requirement, for a customer with the budget of $200-300 the $700 smart phone is totally an irrelevant product. They just don’t want to buy an expensive smart phone and while overdoing upselling and giving less affordable options, the whole purchase could be cancelled as the customer could think that your website doesn’t have enough options for affordable smartphones.
So, stay in the customer’s range, even during upselling.
Excellent customer care service could cross-sell. Here is how.
When a customer is having a complaint or questions in his mind and asks it to the customer care executive and gets satisfying reply, it increase the trust-value in the brand and subsequently customer-loyalty. In such scenario, the customer is more likely to buy another product from your website.
Also, when the customer is asking a question before buying a product, you can have your customer care representative to offer the customer an extra/related item for lesser price or reduced price if bought in certain limited time period. The customer getting special attention to his purchase and getting a human touch to the deal could get more convincible to make a purchase.
During The Checkout Process
Free Shipping for a Minimum Order
Most eCommerce sites have a minimum purchase order on which they won’t charge any shipping costs. Purchases below that limit would get an extra charge for shipping. This encourages customers to buy more.
Look at the example below. The price of the product is Rs. 449 and you get the free delivery for just Rs. 50 more (it’s not much difference as the currency is in rupees) otherwise there is a charge of extra Rs. 30 below the limit. Now, any customer would be tempted to get one more product to cross the limit and he will get the FREE delivery. That’s tempting and works for any eCommerce site to invite the customer to buy more.
Though, the thing to note here is to figure out a perfect balance between the minimum amount you can afford to give free shipping and the likelihood of customers buying an extra thing to match the free-shipping price. If the free-shipping purchase limit is too high, customers won’t buy an extra thing and if it is too low, you probably won’t be able to afford it. Find out the perfect balance.
Ability to Increase Quantity
In the Cart View page, add a function which gives the ability to increase the quantity of the products being purchased.
On Amazon, the feature is put on both the product page and on the Cart View page.
Here it is on the product page:
And here it is in the Cart View page:
Again, the same logic of ‘you showed it that’s why they bought it’ applies. Sometimes a customer have added a rather inexpensive and regularly used product in their cart and when they see the Cart View page and see the option to increase the quantity of the product, they reconsider their purchase as the product is inexpensive and regularly used, they could increase the quantity to have more stock of the product. Example of such product could be diapers, matches, wipes, etc. And if that happens, that’s a clear cross selling.
So, these were some of the cross selling techniques to significantly improve sales on your eCommerce site. We will keep reviewing and updating the article as new techniques and technologies would arrive and speed up the sales and revenue of the eCommerce sites even further. Keep in touch.