This is Novos

Home / Blog / Strategy /

How to Improve Cross & Upselling of a Website

Molly Wooders from NovosMolly Wooders in Strategy

17th April, 2024

How to Improve Cross & Upselling of a Website

What is Cross Selling

Cross-selling is a sales technique where we sell an additional product to an existing customer. Ideally, we can use customer data or related products to help increase the average order value of the website.

What is Upselling

Upselling, on the other hand, is a sales technique where websites encourage the customer to upgrade the item in their basket and purchase a more expensive item. Examples of this are phone stores that show ‘custom’ offers for more expensive phone alternatives.

Cross-selling and upselling both have different techniques that have benefits. In this article we’ll provide recommendations & examples from existing eCommerce websites.

Cross Selling Techniques:

Track Your Customer History

Of course, this is completely dependent on whether the customer has chosen to have their data tracked, but it is a good way to provide recommendations on what customers have previously searched for. Offering a product which the customer has already looked at (but might have forgotten about) is a great way to encourage them to purchase.

Beauty Bay do this well whilst reflecting their tone of voice, by saying ‘Your Kinda Vibe’. Showing products you may have looked at whilst wording it in a Beauty Bay way and in current lingo.

Add a Free Delivery Progress Bar at Checkout

If you offer free delivery after a certain amount, it is worth highlighting that at checkout. It can help to get customers to purchase more to save money on delivery (throwback to the ‘girl math’ trend on TikTok). This applies well to lower spend items where by buying more items, they can benefit from delivery being covered. 

Create a bundle page

Creating a bundle page is another cross-selling technique is a way to build a range of products and sell at a lower price than selling them individually. We can either create a fixed bundle or do something more custom like The Inkey List does. This works well with markets like cosmetics, skincare and toys. 

People also buy

Another way to cross-sell similar items is on product pages, to showcase what customers also bought alongside the current product. You can do this as well as bundles, but also use this instead if you can’t use bundles. It is a good way to link to relevant products that you might not think about buying. For example, when being on the Tinted SPF Face Lotion (getting ready for our summer holidays), Boots showcases what other people have bought that might be relevant to us.

Centring E-E-A-T

We know Google loves E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness & Trustworthiness) when it comes to giving users quality content. Anyway we can showcase ourselves as experts in the field, which is great for this. The search engine results page is constantly changing its landscape & it’s even more crucial to make decisions and we want to make it easier for the customer. Charlotte Tilbury does this brilliantly on their Cleanser Page. As you scroll down you find ‘Charlotte’s Recommended Skincare Routine’ showing more products to consider to help you to get that glow, with easy to add to basket products showing their star rating & the step to use the product in.

Get Creative with Complete The Set

Complete the set is a great opportunity for specific collections or furniture industries. For customers that love matching items, recommending them to complete the set and add the other products to the checkout will help the chances of cross-selling. Ikea, do this well by showing pictures and linking to all of the products within the picture. Visualising how the products would look in your home through UGC, Augmented Reality or customer photos is a way to add creativity to your cross selling.

Upselling Techniques:

Offer Side by Side Alternatives

Offering side by side alternatives will help customers to consider their options before making a decision. On product pages, it also allows you to showcase alternative products at a higher price point which helps show the other options available. Curry’s does this well by showing alternatives at different price ranges, but one of the higher product alternatives is on sale which will stand out further to customers.

Show Similar Options

This is a great option for products that are offered with different colours, and other attributes. For example, John Lewis, so this by showing the same sofa in different materials and colours with a higher price. A great way for customers within the consideration phase to see what is available to them, therefore, increasing awareness of these products and increasing chances of conversion. Upselling techniques differ subtly and can be done creatively.

Highlight Popular Items

Highlighting popular items helps customers to see what other people have chosen. We know that reading reviews helps customers to make a decision. By highlighting popular items will also aid customers within their decision making journey. This tactic could be done on both product listing pages (PDPs) and product listing pages (PLPs). With upselling, we naturally want to choose to show popular & relevant products that have a higher price – but not too high that it might overwhelm customers.

Benefits of Cross & Upselling

Increased Sales Revenue

The main benefit of cross-selling & upselling is increased sales revenue. Adding more opportunities to shop on-site without having to increase spend is a plus for eCommerce websites. This is why these tactics are great for maximising conversions.

Increased Customer Life Time Value

As well as retaining new customers, increasing customer lifetime value is a great metric for existing customers. Customer lifetime value calculates the revenue a customer brings in overtime to the company. Cross-selling shows the importance of relationship-building with your customers.

Customer retention vs customer acquisition is a discussion that’s been had for years. Forbes suggests from studies that acquiring a new customer can be five to seven times more than retaining an existing customer. HubSpot also highlights that there is a higher chance of selling to an existing customer (60-70%) than a new one (20%. Therefore cross-selling not only can help to improve customer experience but sales as well.

Elevates Customer Experience

Cross-selling & upselling helps to improve the customer experience on the site. If a user can’t find what they are looking for, there is more risk of less conversions. By making shopping easier for the customer, especially when buying relevant products, it can help navigation for users and provide an enjoyable experience.

Things to Consider with Cross & Upselling

Making it Relevant

The importance of cross-selling & upselling is to provide relevant options for customers that will increase the chances of adding more items to their basket. If we recommended buying a desk for someone who was looking at cushions, there isn’t a lot of relevance and the price point is different. Instead we would recommend other accessories like a throw to add alongside the cushions.

Think of the User Experience

The idea of these tactics are to not make it overwhelming for customers. If we add too many options or have too much information onto the page, it can be very overwhelming. This could cause too much confusion and cause customers to not buy anything at all.

NOVOS Final Thoughts

We love cross-selling and upselling – when it’s done right. When it comes to SEO, we can bring customers organically to the site, but we also need them to convert. That goes with every channel. Whichever technique you decide to go with, make sure you provide your customers with relevant information and the techniques match your brand. Depending on the CMS you use, there will be plugins available, but also platforms like Rebuy can help you optimise your site for cross-selling & upselling!


Molly Wooders from Novos
Article by Molly Wooders
Molly is an SEO Strategist at NOVOS. Her previous SEO experience includes working in Barcelona in tourism, and for lead generation clients in the UK service industry. When Molly hasn’t got 10,000 tabs open, you will find her learning languages or spending too much time in the gym.

Get in touch with us today

We're eCommerce specialists for a reason, get in touch with us today and find out more.

I'd love to be sent your monthly newsletter for eCom tips, news and advice
Cyber warning: NOVOS ( is not affiliated with any other third party company and will never contact you other than from a legitimate email.