Not all of the ways in which your store may improve its results in the year ahead need to involve methods that are new and sparkly – especially when there’s one old, tried-and-tested practice in particular, that many e-tailers are still failing to make the most of.
We are, of course, referring to cross-selling, which is simple in concept, but proven to help online sellers of all shapes, sizes and sectors to increase average order totals and cultivate customer loyalty.
So, what is cross-selling?
In a nutshell, cross-selling entails successfully offering customers complementary products on a purchase that they may have made, whether they add such products as part of the same order, or make a subsequent order.
You are likely to have experienced cross-selling on previous visits to brick-and-mortar stores – for example, if you bought a digital camera and the sales representative at the counter also suggested you buy a memory card. Or perhaps you’ve purchased a vinyl record or two lately, and the staffer at your chosen record store also pointed out that they sell clear plastic sleeves for protecting them?
We could go on and on listing examples – it’s the classic “do you want fries with that hamburger?” sales move. However, it does manifest slightly differently when it comes to online sales. The obvious examples of this are the suggestions that Amazon makes for products related to the one you’re considering on a given product page, under the headings “Frequently bought together” and “Customers who viewed this item also viewed”.
Why is this old-school marketing method still worth the effort?
The short answer to that question is: it still works. Statistics have long shown that it’s much more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to retain an existing one, as well as that if you do retain an existing customer, they’re likelier to spend more and buy from you more often.
Successful cross-selling has been linked to such benefits as higher average order values, increased profit margins, boosted average lifetime customer value, and a heightened number of packaged sales. The latter, by the way, are packaged sales of items that it is typical for the customer to purchase together, which – of course – can be beneficial for the online store selling them, too.
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Cross-selling is such a deceptively simple technique that it can be easy for some e-tailers to overcomplicate it, to the point of customers becoming confused and ultimately not placing orders for additional products at all.
So, our advice on that is: don’t overcomplicate it. In particular, it’s a good idea for small and medium-sized stores to keep the number of extra items they offer low, and to ensure the items they do suggest are the most logical possible add-ons for the main product being bought.
Would you like to discuss with seasoned online marketing professionals, the possibilities for revamping or refining your brand’s ecommerce presence for the best possible results in 2020? In that case, you’re welcome to get in touch with the Piranha Designs team about our highly rated ecommerce web design and related marketing services.