Boost Your Shopify Sales with Cross-Selling: The Ultimate Guide

Unlock the potential of cross-selling for your Shopify store's success. Our guide covers everything you need to increase sales and customer loyalty.

Author's avatar

Nandini Gangwar


April 20, 2023

Pink background with a man wearing headphones infront on of a laptop

Table Of Contents

Cross-selling is a sure marketing technique that can boost your eCommerce sales, improve customer satisfaction and skyrocket loyalty.

In this guide, I'll walk you through everything you need to know to make cross-selling work for you. Including what it is, why it's important, the different types of cross-selling strategies you can use and how to implement them in your online store. I'll also share some best practices and real-life examples to help you get started.

Whether you're new to cross-selling or have tried it before without much success, this guide is for you. So let's get started and learn how to use cross-selling to grow your eCommerce business!

What is cross-selling?

Cross-selling in eCommerce is the practice of recommending related or complementary products to customers during the buying process.

The goal of cross-selling is to encourage customers to add more products to their shopping cart. It increases the average order value and create extra revenue streams for the brand.

You can cross-sell in different ways like recommending products on the product page, suggesting products during checkout or sending personalized product recommendation emails.

For example, let's say a customer is browsing an online clothing store and selects a pair of jeans to buy. While adding it to their shopping cart, the eCommerce website might suggest related items such as a t-shirt, jacket or shoes that would complement the jeans. 

These recommendations are based on the customer's browsing and purchase history and also data from customers who have made similar purchases.

If the customer decides to add more of these suggested items to their cart to buy. It leads to a larger order size and increased revenue for the  business. While also providing the customer with a more complete outfit or look that they may have been seeking.

When done right, cross-selling not only skyrockets your profits but also benefits your customers by enhancing their shopping experience.

The benefits of e-commerce cross-selling

In eCommerce, cross-selling is an effective way to increase revenue and customer satisfaction. The technique have helped millions of businesses skyrocket their profits. 

Here are some benefits of eCommerce cross-selling. I hope they can convince you to learn to do cross-selling the right way and take your Shopify store to the next level.

1. Increased sales 

Cross-selling helps to increase sales by suggesting extra products to customers. When a customer buys a product, they are more likely to purchase complementary products that enhance their experience.

Example: Amazon's "Frequently bought together" feature.

When a customer views a product, Amazon suggests other products that are frequently purchased together with the original product. Like a customer looking at a gaming console is suggested extra controllers or gaming headsets that is frequently bought with the console.

Amazon uses AI-driven product recommendations as "Frequently bought together" suggestions

2. Higher average order value

Cross-selling can help to increase the average order value by suggesting higher-priced or complementary products. This can lead to higher revenue per transaction and increased profitability.

Example: "Complete the look" feature used by many fashion e-commerce sites.

When a customer views a clothing item, the site suggests additional items that would complete the outfit such as shoes, accessories or a jacket. Like a customer looking at a dress is recommended a pair of shoes that match the color and style of the dress.

3. Enhanced customer experience

Cross-selling can improve the customer experience by suggesting relevant products that the customer may not have been aware of. This can make the customer feel more informed and satisfied with their purchase.

Example: Sephora's "You Might Also Like" widget.

When a customer views a product, Sephora suggests other products that are similar or complementary to the original product. Like a customer viewing a foundation is recommended a concealer or primer that complements the foundation.

Sephora uses "You May Also Like" product recommendations generated by Recommendations AI

4. Increased customer loyalty

Cross-selling can help to build customer loyalty by providing personalized recommendations that meet the customer's needs. This can lead to repeat business and positive reviews.

Example: "Recommended for You" suggestions used by most e-commerce stores.

It recommends products based on the customer's browsing history, purchase history and preferences. Like a customer who has previously purchased running shoes is suggested other running-related products such as workout clothes, hydration packs or fitness trackers.

5. Improved inventory management

Cross-selling can help to manage inventory more effectively by promoting products that may not be selling as well. This can help to reduce overstocking and improve the overall profitability of the business.

Example: "Customers who bought this also bought" used on e-commerce sites.

When a customer views a product, the site suggests other products that are frequently purchased together with the original product. This can help to promote products that may not be selling as well, reducing overstocking and improving profitability.

Cross selling vs Upselling

While both cross-selling and upselling are effective ways to boost your eCommerce sales and improve the overall shopping experience for your customers, they do so in different ways.

Cross-selling is when you suggest related or complementary products to a customer who is already considering buying a product.

Cross selling is a great way to increase the total value of their order and help them find products that they may not have otherwise found on your store.

For example: If a customer is looking to buy a new laptop. You could cross-sell them a laptop case, a mouse or even an extended warranty to protect their new laptop.

Due to the additional items recommended, you're not only increasing the customer's total order value, but you're also improving their overall experience by helping them find everything they need in one place.

On the other hand, upselling is when you recommend a higher-end or upgraded version of the product the customer is already considering.

Upselling can be a excellent way to increase your profit margin on the sale, but it's important to do so in a way that doesn't come across as pushy or manipulative.

For example: If a customer is looking to buy a pair of running shoes. You could upsell them to a higher-end model with more advanced features, such as better cushioning or improved breathability.

With this you're not only increasing the customer's total order value, but you're also helping them find a product that better suits their needs and preferences.

Both cross selling and upselling are crucial sales techniques for every eCommerce business to implement on their online stores. The key is to approach these tactics in a way that adds value to the customer, rather than simply trying to increase your profits.

You shouldn't get greedy. Focus on understanding the needs and preferences of your customers. Create value for your customers and then you'll build trust with your them and encourage them to continue shopping with you in the future.

Building lifelong relationships with your customers will always better for your bottom line in the long run.

How to cross-sell on your Shopify store

Cross-selling is a powerful technique used by eCommerce businesses to increase their revenue and enhance their customers' shopping experience.

However, cross selling is not as easy as it seems. It's not just a matter of suggesting related or complementary products to your customers.

For your cross selling strategy to be effective, you need to know what, when and where to cross-sell in a way that adds value and encourages customers to buy more.

Want to learn how to cross sell on your Shopify store: How To Cross-sell On Shopify Like A Pro

How can you increase your cross-selling effectiveness?

Using cross-selling strategies can help businesses increase their average order value, improve customer satisfaction and ultimately drive more revenue.

There are several strategies you can use to make cross-selling on your Shopify store more effective. 

1. Always make sure that the recommendations are relevant 

Consider using AI-powered product recommendations instead of doing it manually. AI can personalize the buying journey for each every customer.

Personalization will make the recommendations more effective as it will ensure cross-sell products are aligned to the needs and goals of the customer. 

Recommending something that serves no purpose and is unrelevant is counterproductive and can detract from customer satisfaction.

PersonalizerAI, is a powerful AI recommendations Shopify app that displays product recommendations across the buyer journey. Brands using the app have increased conversions by atleast 40% . 

With PersonalizerAI, you won't have to worry about manually creating cross-selling or up-selling funnels. You can just let the AI take care of your customers by suggesting personalized product recommendations in real-time that convert.

2. Monitor and optimize

Track cross-selling performance and optimize strategies based on data and insights. Continuously test different cross-selling strategies to identify what works best for your business and customers.

Use analytics tools to track customer behavior and identify patterns in their purchasing habits. You can also use AI to analyze customer behavior.

Monitoring will help you understand which products are most likely to be purchased together and refine your cross-selling strategy accordingly.

Best practices for cross-selling

With effective use of cross-selling, you can build trust with your customers, improve customer loyalty and ultimately increase your bottom line.

So, whether you're a small business owner or a large eCommerce retailer cross-selling should be a part of your marketing strategy.

Read Cross-Selling for Ecommerce: Examples and Best Practices to create a more effective cross-selling approach and take your Shopify store to the next level.