How to Close the Upsell


With customer acquisition being so costly, upsells offer online businesses a great way to grow AOV (average order values) and, consequently, revenue.

Put simply, upselling is convincing your customers to opt for greater value over and above what they had initially planned. For example, you can offer a complementary product or service at checkout. Alternatively, you could entice a customer to upgrade to a higher quality product or premium tier of your service at checkout. You could also offer an upsell to customers a period of time after their initial purchase. This will not only create more income for your business, it will also provide more benefits for your customers.

But while there are numerous ways to get customers to buy more, there are a few things to keep in mind to maximize your success and avoid the risk of losing a sale altogether with a poorly thought out upsell.

Increasing Value for Your Specific Customer

Upsells are an opportunity for a customer to gain even more value from their purchase. This means you have to make sure that what you present is relevant to their needs, whether it’s related to the product originally being purchased or just fits with a general need or pain point of your specific customer segment.

The value of what will be gained by the customer thorough the upsell must also clearly exceed the higher price. Your challenge is to make it obvious why the upsell is the better choice by clearly explaining the benefits that can be expected.

Timing is Everything

It’s vital to find the right time and place to present your upsell, and this will differ for every ecommerce business. Many promote upsells along the side or bottom of shopping pages.

Others find success with upsells in the purchase-path. The key to these kinds of upsells is to keep them simple and wait until after the customer has committed to purchasing. Presenting them too soon or with too many options will increase hesitation which can lead to a higher cart abandonment rate — the absolute last thing you want. Additionally, upsells have to be easy for the customer, with only a click needed to accept or decline.

After a successful purchase is another possible time to present an upsell. With your ‘thanks for purchasing’ email, you could include suggestions of what else the buyer may be interested in. This can further personalize the customer’s experience with your company and make them more likely to purchase again.

Post-purchase upselling can go beyond just the thank you message as well. Based on what you know about their buying history, you could follow up with emails on exclusive offers for additional products or upgraded subscription tiers.

Closing the Deal

In addition to what you offer as an upsell and when, how you present it can have a huge impact on your success. In addition to the clear benefits of opting for your upsell, one way to make it more enticing is to create a sense of urgency. For example, you could make a product or service available at a special price or as part of a bundle for a limited time. Price incentives or complementary products can help convince customers to take advantage of an upsell and increase conversions.

Remember to research and test which strategies and combinations work best. Every company and respective customer segment is unique and should be treated as such. Finding the right timing and presentation of upsells may be challenging, but the potential revenue you can earn is well worth it.

Finding Your Path to More Revenue

Upselling opens up significant opportunities to grow revenue for the ecommerce businesses that can figure out how to make it work for their unique customer segment(s). While upselling is not new when it comes to marketing products and services, ecommerce companies have the advantage of a wealth of data from which they can learn what converts best and generates the most revenue. But overall, your best bet is to keep it simple and keep it pertinent. If you can achieve that, you’ll see your upselling conversions start to grow.


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