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Every Upsell Opportunity You're Missing

Angie Tran

Content Marketing Manager @ AdRoll

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The phrase “always be closing” was forever immortalized in the 1992 film Glengarry Glen Ross as the mantra for salespeople everywhere. Nearly 30 years later, the updated phrase for the modern age might read something like “always be upselling.” With the tools provided by AI-assisted marketing, lightning-fast communication, and comprehensive data collection, it’s never been easier to find the most effective and relevant upsell for your customers. Despite this fact, money is left on the table every day by sales departments struggling to capitalize on every upsell opportunity available to their teams. Simply put, upselling is one of the most effective tools to drive sales, with research finding that it generates over 4% of sales on average.

Following this upsell opportunity checklist could help your sales team optimize its approach and reach new and old customers alike. Coffee isn’t just for closers anymore.

For a complete guide on ecommerce marketing:

1. Expand Your Upsell Opportunity Options

The first step to getting your company on the right track is to increase the variety and number of upsell options available to your sales team. This means a one-size-fits-all approach to marketing upsell products and services is woefully inadequate at snaring each prospective customer. 

Offering an updated version of a product is one of the most traditional forms of upselling in marketing. Successful examples of this tactic include online food delivery companies that offer new options and upgraded ingredients at the point of sale. Expanding the list of options within a purchase can lead to an increase in your average order value.

2. Make Your Upsell Opportunity Relevant

While cross-selling — also known as recommending other complementary products after a purchase — is a widely used and mostly effective marketing tool, its value pales in comparison to upselling tactics. Studies have found that upselling can be 20x more effective at driving sales than cross-selling. 

Consumers respond better to upsell opportunities because they address their most relevant needs. For example, a consumer looking for a new pair of running shoes would be more likely to respond positively to more premium options in the running category. Adversely, offering that same consumer a pair of dancing shoes or a colorful set of shoelaces lacks relevance to their initial purchasing goals.

For more information on how AI-driven product recommendations drives conversions and loyalty:

3. Utilize the Power of Social Proof

Anyone who has shopped online is aware of the ubiquitous user reviews that permeate the majority of product pages. But there are more ways to harness this power than just populating your site with positive reviews.

Adding in product recommendations based on the items users eventually purchase when looking at the same product can result in new upsell opportunities. In this way, users can often be convinced to purchase a more expensive product when presented with evidence others have done the same. Subtle social cues work better than overt sales pitches.

4. Don’t Stop Upselling When a Purchase Is Completed

Common upsell tactics after purchase may include “Thank You” or post-checkout pages that are personalized to the product that the customer has just bought. Here, you can ensure that your customers get the most value out of their orders without impacting the original purchase. According to Shopify, post-purchase upsells are also the most efficient way to increase average order value and conversion rates since it capitalizes on a customer’s already-primed impulse purchase needs.

Don’t forget to follow the other rules on this checklist when setting up post-purchase opportunities, however. Upsell fatigue can set in if a customer is bombarded with pitches after spending their hard-earned money. Subtlety is key.

5. Leverage Existing Data for the Future

When a consumer makes a purchase online, a host of information regarding their behavior is collected. For marketers and salespeople, this data can provide valuable insights on how to reach similar customers and accelerate upsell opportunities.

The best way to do this is to encourage these customers to create accounts on your website. Identifying consumers through personalized accounts allows your business to monitor their preferences and habits, enhancing upsell personalization. As the final step on the checklist, properly leveraged data can become the first step towards reaching new customers and starting the upsell process all over again. 

For tips on utilizing a personalized marketing strategy:

Marketing Tools That Can Help  

While it’s important your team knows the best practices to avoid missing out on an upsell opportunity, the task of maintaining and collecting all the necessary data needed to make informed pitches can be overwhelming. Services like AdRoll’s marketing platform can simplify this process and provide your team with upsell channels like abandoned cart recovery emails, retargeting ads, and customer retention assistance. 

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