Clever Ways to Upsell Customers in Your Online Store

by Greg DePersio

2 min read

You have two options for increasing the revenue at your online store: Increase your customer base, or get more out of your existing customers. The internet is full of advice on acquiring new customers, and most of it centers on marketing methods. However, don’t discount the effectiveness of upselling current customers. If your store is in a narrow niche, increasing revenue per customer can be easier than increasing customers. Some clever ways to upsell online store customers include installing a chatbot, suggesting accessory products, and building an email list for post-sale followup.

Installing a Chatbot

If you shop online, you’ve probably encountered a chatbot at some point. It’s the little box that pops up in the corner of your screen and appears to be someone instant messaging you, typically asking if you’d like assistance. Most of the time, it isn’t an actual person; it’s really just artificial intelligence software. The most sophisticated chatbots carry on such intelligent conversations they’re indistinguishable from humans. Because they can be programmed to recommend higher-priced products when customers click on discount items, chatbots work great for upselling. The dialogue can be simple and powerful, such as, “It looks like you’re trying to save money, but you’ll be happier in the long run if you upgrade to this higher-quality product.” You can even program it to recognize common objections and overcome them. The best chatbots cost $5,000 or more if you hire programmers to build them. Self-service platforms can host them for you for as little as $19 per month.

Recommending Accessory Items

Sometimes a customer clicks to buy something, and your store offers accessory products that complement the purchase. If a person is buying running shoes, there’s a good chance that customer would add some quality athletic socks if the price is competitive. Amazon is a master at positioning products this way; just about everyone who shops on Amazon regularly has purchased something that appeared in the list of “customers who bought this item also bought” items. There’s no reason to let Amazon enjoy all the spoils of this simple tactic. You can program a similar feature in your online store’s website and sell accessory items your customers may not otherwise have known about.

Building an Email List

Despite the best efforts of your chatbot and accessory recommendations, some customers simply aren’t willing to spend additional money at the time of purchase. You can still upsell these customers, even if it isn’t right away. You have to capture their contact information, preferably an email address. The best way to do this is simply to ask for it as part of the sale process. The customer is choosing to do business with you, so it’s unlikely that the customer has a problem giving out an email address. Once you build your email list, don’t blast it with constant spam. That’ll rack you up unsubscribes in a hurry. When you’re running a promotion or have a new item in stock, send out a friendly email to let your customers know. Upselling customers in your online store lets you increase your revenue without increasing your customer base. By following these tips, you can maximize the revenue you make per customer.

References & Resources

Related Articles

Building the Basket: The Little-Known Key to Upselling

Thoughtful retail upselling is a win-win for your business and customers. Your…

Read more

The Art of Upselling and Cross-Selling Your Way to Bigger Profits

Upselling and cross-selling are sales practices you can implement in selling your…

Read more

How A Small Business Can Use Omni-Channel Marketing To Retain Customers

Omni-channel marketing is a strategy that provides a seamless experience for the…

Read more