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Joanne Grantz
 
April 13, 2015 | Customer Relationship Management (CRM), eCommerce | Joanne Grantz

Proven ecommerce strategies: Upselling and cross-selling

When you're shopping online on sites, you aren't taken straight from the product page to the checkout page without being shown some similar or complementary items first. Most ecommerce companies understand the value in upselling and cross-selling and it is one of the characteristics of the wineries in the top 20%.

Are you using similar tactics in your online store? If not, your winery is missing out on significant sales opportunities. These techniques both increase sales and make the customer experience more enjoyable.

What's the difference?
While upselling and cross-selling are often lumped into the same category or used interchangeably, they aren't one and the same. 

Upselling consists of influencing a customer to choose a higher-end or more expensive product than the one they've already chosen. When one of your shoppers is browsing Sauvignon Blanc wines, you may want to suggest bottles that are in a higher price bracket, but otherwise similar to the ones they're viewing.

Cross-selling is offering items that will go well with items in the shopping cart. For example, when one of your customers puts a bottle of wine in his or her online shopping cart, your winery could suggest some chocolates that would pair nicely with the vintage, or even a new wine bottle opener. 

Which tactic drives more sales?
While cross-selling and upselling can both be beneficial tactics, one may drive more profits than the other. Research from Predictive Intent shows that cross-selling drives 0.2% of sales. While this is a positive increase, when compared to the 4% increase upselling brings, it's clear which one you should focus more on. 

That's not to say cross-selling should be ignored completely, but suggestions should be made more intelligently based on what a customer is buying now, past purchase history and the typical amount they spend. The research indicated that cross-selling can drive sales by 3% if options are shown on the checkout page, rather than early on in the buying process, according to E-consultancy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why are these tactics important?
There's definitely room for improvement as far as upselling and cross-selling go. According to 2013 Accenture research, a mere 11.3% of chief sales officers think their initiatives in these areas exceed expectations. Another 38.3% think their capabilities meet expectations, and more than 50% either think they need to improve in this area or have no idea how they're performing at all.

These statistics aren’t good especially considering the impact of selling more to existing, loyal customers can have on revenue. It's much more logical to keep your current consumers buying more than it is to constantly spend money attracting new customers and certainly more costly. In fact, research from Bain & Company suggested it takes four purchases for an online retailer to make a profit from a single customer. If your customers aren't making wine purchases regularly, upselling and cross-selling becomes even more critical. 

The Bain research shows online shoppers expressed a willingness to buy all sorts of products from retailers they were already loyal to, suggesting that as long as you're offering a good experience, quality service and your ecommerce fulfillment is timely and accurate, and your customers will be open to increasing their orders.

Cross-selling and upselling tactics are proven ecommerce strategies.  Check with your ecommerce provider to see if they have the tools to allow you to implement these strategies in your online store. 

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