For any company that focuses on online retailing, it’s critical to be able to make the most of the customer’s attention and time while they are on your website.

Up-selling and cross-selling techniques can be particularly effective online and should be considered as part of your retail strategy if you are establishing an online store.

Research from digital services provider PredictiveIntent found that up-selling drives over four per cent of sales on e-commerce sites, and cross-selling contributed to three per cent of sales when products were displayed to customers on the checkout page.

While these statistics indicate the potential these strategies have for increasing your online sales, it’s important to execute them wisely in order to maximise your return.

Up-selling in an online environment

Up-selling describes the process where customers are invited to purchase a better, higher-quality product than the one they are currently considering (usually at a greater cost).

Online up-selling can therefore be a great way for retailers in Australia to maximise their sales from a customer, as his or her interest in that particular type of product is already secured and displaying a range of similar products can be much easier over the internet.

Many retailers implement a strategy where similar, higher-quality products are displayed underneath the image of the main item the customer is looking at. By displaying these other products on the same page, customers have more of an incentive to add it into their shopping basket without having to navigate away from the original page they were searching for.

Cross-selling in an online environment

Cross-selling, where complementary products are offered to a customer, can also be a great strategy to employ at the time of purchase.

Customers typically want to get to the checkout as fast as possible, so it’s best to suggest a complementary product (such as a makeup bag for a customer who has bought new cosmetics) once they have already added what they want to their basket.

With both cross-selling and up-selling techniques, it’s important to display the right products in order to get the best possible return. Irrelevant products will only lose the shopper’s interest, so you need to ensure these add-ons and upgrades are selected wisely and personalised to each customer’s preferences.