How to Master the Art of eCommerce Upsell [+5 Brands That Nailed It]

How to Master the Art of eCommerce Upsell [+5 Brands That Nailed It]

August 21, 2020

Every online business desires a sound sales strategy to increase profits and grow better. eCommerce experts around the globe are on the lookout for new sales techniques to boost revenue.

New methods of boosting eCommerce sales are hard to come by but there is one proven tactic that every eCommerce expert loves.

That is eCommerce upselling.

We all are aware that it is easier to sell and market to our old customers as compared to acquiring new customers. This very fact lays the foundation of eCommerce upselling.

eCommerce upselling is arguably the best sale technique out there to increase conversions and revenue.

And why do I say that with confidence?

Because there are enough evidence and proof to support the same.

eCommerce giants Amazon introduced upselling way back in 2006 and as a result, their sales shot up by 35%.

In this article, I will explain how to implement this efficient technique in your online store with its advantages and examples.

Let’s start with the basics.

What is eCommerce upsell?

UP-selling is simply asking our customers to spend more than they initially intended to by offering upgrades to the primary product they are interested in.

The idea behind upselling is to extract more from our customers and make them spend more. This is in no sense immoral but on the contrary, the focus is to provide more value to the customers and make things easier for them.

While shopping at online stores, customers are provided with options to buy better products which can prove low-cost as a whole.

Amazon Ecommerce Upsell

Over the years, Amazon has mastered the art of the eCommerce upsell and the above example is evident of the same.

At the same time of pursuing the customers to spend more, you make the life of your customers easy by providing the upgrading options.

There are some closely related terms to upselling which might confuse you when you compare them in real-life. Thus, we will check them out now.

What is cross-selling?

Cross-selling is when we offer complementary or related items to the product in question. In most cases, the product is from a different vendor and thus making the deal a “cross” sale.

Many consider cross-selling the other sister of upselling as both contribute to boosting sales for an online business.

Here’s an example:

 Ecommerce Upsell Amazon

Cross-selling helps customers to shop products that go hand in hand and they don’t have to search for the obvious item all over again.

Some other terms in close connection to eCommerce upselling:

Add-Ons- As the same suggests, this category deals with all those extra perks and services you provide your customers with. These can include product protection plans, support schemes, shipping deals, etc.

 Ecommerce Upsell Amazon

These deals may not seem that relevant from the outside but play a vital role in convincing and compelling customers in buying the package.

Bundles- Bundles allow you to group related items and products and purchase the lot from the same webpage.

This resonates well with creating a gift pack or bundle with all your favorite items in it. These bundles are often sold at lower prices offering the customers a discount.

 Ecommerce Upsell Amazon

Comparing upselling and cross-selling  

According to research by PredictiveIntent, upselling offers drove over 4% of sales as compared to cross-selling which contributed to 0.2% of sales.

The above statistic tells us that upselling is approximately 20 times more effective than its other counterpart.

Upsell And Cross-sell


We need to keep in mind that this stat is relative to a single study of one business. Thus, it doesn’t mean that the same will apply to you as well.

Generally speaking, upselling will result in more revenue for your business as compared to cross-selling.

The reason being that upsell offers ask the customers to spend a substantial amount of money for a better product. On the other hand, cross-selling offers are generally low-cost. Thus, a single upsell deal will drive in more money than a cross-sale offer.

Proven benefits of eCommerce upsell

Although many of you would have an idea of upselling benefits till now, we will go through them in a bit detail.

Some benefits of offering upselling deals are listed below:

Increased customer lifetime value(CLV) and negative churn

One of the biggest benefits of upselling is building relationships with our customers so that they keep coming back to our stores.

When we offer better deals at considerable prices, it builds trust. People tend to realize that in our particular store, they don’t have to do the hard work and search for products in depth. In fact, we can use their purchase history and past behavior to suggest products.

This makes them feel valued and they are converted into loyal customers.

Customer-Lifetime Value(CLV) is the average profit that a single customer will drive in over the course of his complete relationship with a business.

Churn rate is the average rate at which customers tend to leave or end their relationships with a business.

In terms of business growth, both the above metrics head in the right direction due to upselling.

An increased CLV and a negative churn are just what businesses try to achieve and upselling helps in achieving it.

Improved customer experience 

Every customer craves for good customer experience and the same is true for online shoppers. People nowadays expect brands to deliver a smooth online shopping experience to them.

Upselling contributes to satisfying customers by providing them with a lot of options and saving time. No one likes to spend all their time searching for products alone, looking for discounts or facing checkout issues.

Integrating upsell marketing strategy helps in making your customer’s time worth it. This encourages your customers to spread the good word and consequently helps your online business.

Automated eCommerce upsells

This is a rather new addition but a great advantage in upselling marketing. With the rise of marketing automation in recent years, it’s not hard to believe that some of the upselling tasks can be easily automated.

As soon as automation steps in, it brings with it the luxury of extra time which marketers love. One simple example is automating personalized emails that aim at convincing a customer to buy an upgraded version of the product that they chose before.

Increased revenue 

This is a no-brainer. The foundation of upselling is based on increasing sales and revenue for a business by suggesting better and expensive products.

For example:

In a survey of 305 SaaS companies conducted by Forentrepreneur, it was noted that 70-95% of revenue came from upsells and renewals. Only 5-30% come from the initial sale. 

eCommerce upselling fuels customer retention and increases the net profits scored by a business.

How to implement upselling in your store

Albeit every strategy looks good on paper, it is of paramount importance to test the same in your business workflow.

Let’s go through the different steps of using upsells on your online store:

Choose an eCommerce upsell solution

You can implement upsell offers on your online store either by the use of good plugins or by coding yourselves.

I know many of you would choose the former option, thus, I have listed some automated upsell solutions for every platform:

  • Shopify: Product Upsell by Bold Commerce and Unlimited Upsell by SpurIT

The above-listed plugins are the best in business respective to their platforms.

Even if you are doing it the manual way and hiring a developer to add the upsell for you, you need to check the preview and the look of your website.

Know what to upsell 

Probably the most important part of any upselling strategy is to filter out products which you would want to upsell to your customers.

  • One obvious strategy is to upsell your most popular and loved products. You can in fact display reviews and ratings of your product which will convince the customer greatly.
  • Study customer behavior and history from the past to recommend related products.
  • Create the need for the extra product with offers like “We have got you covered. What would you like for your better half?”
  • A combination of upsell and cross-sell works like a charm. It will take some digging but a bit of both can drive in good sales.
  • There is no need to upsell to all your user base. Select your most spending customers and study their sales history for ideal offers.
  • Make a list of products that go hand in hand or compliment each other perfectly. Link one with the other.

If you will study your online business deeply, you will explore a lot of new upselling opportunities. Breaking down your inventory into smaller sections simplifies things a lot.

Know where to upsell 

After deciding what to upsell, you will surely want to decide the placement of your upsell offers. The debate of displaying upsell offers either on the cart or the checkout page goes on and on. A lot of eCommerce businesses miss the trick here.

For eCommerce stores, the best time to show upsell offers is on the post-checkout page. Upsells are the best-fit for post-checkout i.e. when the customer has already purchased something from you.

There is a reason every other business gives you the option to add more in your shopping cart after the cart is a bit heavy.

“Would you like fries with that?”

Does it ring a bell? Yes, it does.

That’s a McDonald’s salesperson at the billing counter upselling you “after” you have paid for your order.

According to Steve Chou from My Wife Quit Her Job,

“After a customer has completed their purchase is the BEST time to make a little extra cash.

After all…

  1. They already trust your shop.
  2. You already have their payment information
  3. They’ve already paid you real dollars

Plus, they are on a dopamine high from making a purchase and extremely vulnerable to the power of suggestion.”

Keeping the above points in mind, I highly recommend WooCommerce One Click Upsell Funnel Pro for WooCommerce which allows you to add deals on the post-checkout page.

Imagine you are selling the online subscription of Netflix, then you can easily cross-sell tasty popcorn after the customer has made the payment.

This is how the deal would look like on the post-checkout page if you use WooCommerce One Click Upsell Funnel Pro.

Woocommerce Checkout Page Upsell
Woocommerce Checkout Page

In some rare cases, you would want to show upsell offers on the cart page as well. You need to test and finalize which works best for you.

Optimize and improve 

After the implementation of any strategy, optimization is a must. We need to analyze what’s working for us and what’s not.

A/B testing is our best friend in terms of measuring a campaign’s success. We would want to keep tweaking our upsells and check how things pan out for us.

From the price to the products being upsold, we should change metrics to get the best results.

Some points to consider while A/B testing your upsells are:

  • Don’t change a lot of metrics at once. I would suggest changing a single metric at a time so that you can measure its effect easily.
  • Assign a proper time duration for your A/B tests to drive in results.
  • Manual A/B testing without a tool is quite effective. You just need to note down conversion metrics before and after an A/B test.
  • Keep a track of your best-selling products over time. Include these in your upsell offers periodically and on different occasions.

If your upsells are not converting, A/B tests can come to your rescue. Just by changing your offer copy and products, you can mint some good revenue.

Pro Tip: Here is a list of the best web analytics tools to help you out.

5 examples of upselling done perfectly right  

Call it competitor analysis or having a look at how others are fairing, keeping an eye on examples can be our way out of trouble.

Here’s a look at the top upselling examples from brands who did it perfectly:


A comparison of multiple plans offered by you is a great way of letting your customers see the whole picture.

Swedish streaming platform, Spotify does this efficiently.

Spotify Premium And Freemium

As you can see, by listing out the features in both the plans, Spotify makes it easy for customers to choose the Premium plan as it has more features.

Elegant themes

One of the largest theme providers out there, Elegant Themes lists out another comparison between its different plans. And there is a lot to learn.

Elegant Themes Pricing And Features Page

The difference in features overwhelms the difference in prices and that is what makes this upselling example so effective.


Grammarly, a tool that helps us in creating flawless content offers another great example of upselling.

Grammarly Promotions

Grammarly used the occasion for the perfect cause by offering their best deal on premium. This example lays emphasis on keeping track of such events where you can take leverage in upselling.


The German automobile giant is quite advanced in the way it presents upsells to its customers.

Firstly, it allows people to design their own car in the way they want it. Secondly, it shows different upgrades with their prices simultaneously.

Bmw Upselling

This is again a bright idea to let your customers know what value they are adding to their order relative to the upsell price.


No talk about upselling products is complete unless we mention Amazon and its heroics with the strategy.

Though we had seen some examples earlier, Amazon never ceases to amaze you with so many upselling examples.

Amazon Upsell

This is just one of the many upselling strategies that Amazon puts into use to generate good revenue.

232 billion U.S. Dollars in 2018 net sales to be exact.

That’s an enormous number.

Even if we aren’t targeting that big a number, eCommerce businesses need to learn from these examples and test some proven strategies.

Over to you  

I hope that going through this article would have given you an idea of how vital is upselling for your eCommerce store. We live in such digital times where the competition is stiff and the customer’s buying decision is totally dependent on the experience he/she receives. Customer expectations know no bounds and it’s getting harder for brands to deliver every single time.

Businesses need to stand out from their competition to build a name for themselves.

In order to maximize business revenue and extract more from your customers, you will have to upsell. During the festive season, your upselling strategy becomes even more important and critical for business growth. Just keep in mind that your primary goal is to make things easier and better for your customers.

With upselling strategies and tips discussed above, you need to choose your pick and start experimenting.

Which upselling strategy do you think works best for you? Have you been upselling for a long time or do you plan to start it?

Please have your say. I am listening.


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