Boost Your Business with Upselling

How to upsell your customers

Every sale is good news but there’s so much more to be had! Seemingly tiny amounts can make the difference between a good year and a bad one. I’d love to know how much Primark makes out of those £1 face packs and tote bags they flog along their till queues. Billions probably.

Online, it’s the same deal. If you can add £1 to every purchase, just IMAGINE. You’ll be able to buy shoes for the children this winter.

Similar / recent products

Humans are very suggestible beings. It stands to reason that if they’re interested in a hand saw, they might be in the market for a complete set of tools (upselling). Or some plasters (cross-selling). Suggest it and they will buy. Well, some will. But if you don’t give it a go, no one will. What have you got to lose?

Frequently bought together - Amazon


Amazon offers you bundle deals right in your face (in the middle of product pages) while eBay’s suggested search results seem more gently helpful. They’re like “Your search has run dry but here’s the same shoe in black – how’s that?”

ASOS does a great line in recently viewed products that always gets me going back and back and back to make up my mind – usually ending in a purchase.

The site also has ‘Shop the look’ where you can find all the products the model is wearing with the original product you clicked. It’s evilly brilliant because it taps into that weird mind thing of “If I just buy all this, I’ll become her.”

My legs never end up two inches longer but ASOS reports increased sales every year. Go figure.

Shop the look - ASOS


Basket add-ons

Shoe companies pitch shoe care products at checkout point. Insurance companies offer extras like breakdown cover. Jewellery shops – gift boxes.

There are a lot of very useful little things (i.e. things with high profit margin) you can offer to complement your customer’s chosen product that will make their life easier and your profits better.

Add gift bag - Hotel Chocolat

Hotel Chocolat


Although I passionately believe in free delivery for all in this day and age, a lot of brands play the old ‘Free delivery on orders over £20/£50/£100/£10,000′ game. And it works. I buy more just to avoid paying that bloomin’ delivery charge.

New Look is the one that always gets me. If you spend £20 you get free delivery to your nearest store – which frankly SUCKS but is so much better than paying their £2.99 home delivery charge that I’ve done it nearly every time. In fact, last week I paid the full delivery charge for the first time ever and I felt riche.

But also mugged.

The point is to know your audience. New Look’s main audience is going to be pretty young – and what do we know about the young? They expect free delivery and they will do what it takes to get it. It means more shoes can be bought with a clear conscience, in the name of getting a deal.

Remaining in buy mode

This is a tricksy little one. When your customer clicks ‘Add to basket’ or ‘Put in my organic tote bag’, are they taken to the basket to view their chosen items? If they are, you might want to rethink.

Consider: by taking your customer to their basket, you’re saying “Your buying time is DONE, hun.” You’re showing them out, ushering them towards the door in your digital shop. It’s quite rude, frankly.

How much better would it be for them to place their chosen item in their basket but remain on the product page with all its delightful related and recent products? Temptation lingers, shopping continues.

It’s psychology, pure and simple. Most of us love the rush of buying and are easily tempted to keep on doing it even after we’ve found the thing we were looking for. It’s how TK Maxx became a thing – the edges of their shelves actually say “Find exactly what you weren’t looking for”.

People want to shop. Help them shop more.

Help your customers spend more on your website with upselling and cross-selling. Click To Tweet