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When it comes to eCommerce upselling, the old adage rings true: Timing is everything. While upselling can take place at any time during the buying process, choosing the right moment is a delicate dance, and each option comes with its own set of pros and cons.
Businesses in the eCommerce space are at a unique advantage when it comes to upselling. These businesses can leverage subtle techniques that are highly effective.
The data proves that upselling is a no-brainer for online retailers, but how can we perfect this opportunity to maximize ROI? There are three major considerations when it comes to the art of the upsell:
- Where is your customer in the buying cycle and how does their mindset influence your success?
- When should you make an offer?
- What technical upsell strategies are easiest to implement for immediate ROI?
Making the most of the buyer mindset
- Satisfied non-buying mode: A person who is satisfied where they are, despite evidence that a product or service could improve their situation;
- Euphoric non-buying mode: A person who does not perceive they need assistance or solutions; these are the most challenging marketing targets and certainly not the topic of this article.
- Problem-solving buying mode: A person who is seeking out products that offer a solution to an at-hand problem;
- Future-seeking buying mode: A person who is looking for innovative ways to improve their circumstances.
Even though certain customers fall into one of the two “non-buying mode” categories, they have still made their way onto your website for one reason or another. While these prospects may be less likely to convert, using the strategies outlined here can give you the best chance at causing a shift.
For customers who aren’t quite ready to buy, you’re not at a complete loss. In those cases, a “win” looks like getting them to opt into a lead nurturing funnel (but that’s a topic for another day). Today, let’s focus on satisfying “buyers” versus non-buyers.
Choosing the right upselling moment
Typically, eCommerce upsell opportunities present themselves at three specific pivot points:
- on the product page;
- during checkout;
- after the sale is completed.
Each option offers pros and cons depending on your products and your typical buying cycle. If you’d like some expert confirmation or feedback on the upsell timing that fits your business, schedule time on our calendar for a quick, risk-free consultation. But first, here’s an overview of the pros and cons at each stage:
1. Upselling on the product page
2. Upselling during the checkout process
3. Upselling post-checkout
In an interview with Forbes, Patel expressed that he experiences the most success upselling after the original purchase is completed. While it goes against the “strike while the iron is hot” mentality, upselling to a customer post-checkout is another strategy some businesses find lucrative.
A seller can present these options in multiple ways. A post-transaction upsell can be as simple as offering a few products directly after the buy button is clicked. Another great opportunity is in a customer’s email receipt. You may even opt to include a coupon code with an expiration date. This improves the likelihood that the customer will take immediate action, either spending more themselves or sharing the deal with someone they care about.
Sometimes the most strategic post-checkout upsell is days, weeks or even months later. depending on the nature of what you’re selling. For example, in the SaaS industry, growth Specialist Emily Smith says it makes sense to upsell after your customer has had the opportunity to hit success milestones. This can come after they have completed the onboarding process and spent more time getting to know your product.
Don’t be afraid to experiment
Although a strategy recommended for larger companies that have a high transaction volume, running A-B tests could be the key for knowing the exact right time to upsell for your business. Try running a three-week test, presenting the upsell opportunity at different times each week. Measure the results and tweak as necessary.
Another experiment you can consider is playing with the wording of your upsell messaging. Rather than using the typical “those who bought this also bought that” language, try changing the language to something like “Add Extras.” This wording signals the customer to explore accompanying items that will make their purchase feel more complete. You might also consider using the terms:
- Special Offers;
- Picked Just for You;
- Get it While it Lasts;
- Bundle and Save;
- Other Customers Enjoyed.
Don’t limit yourself to these options. Consider the products that you sell and the mindset of your buyer. Consider how the upsell fits into their decision, and don’t be afraid to use their own words. If you’re unsure about what words to use, or you just want to bounce ideas off of someone, remember that we’re always here to help.
Why choosing the right eCommerce platform matters
- Open, flexible architecture;
- Abundant, built-in customization options;
- Flexible pricing to serve merchants of all sizes (including free!);
- Enterprise-level security & functionality;
- Free, comprehensive training through Magento U;
- Thousands of plugins that expand on the platform’s already outstanding capabilities.
- Most popular;
- Customers who viewed this also viewed that;
- Customers who bought this also bought that.
After reading this article, we hope you have a better grasp on the role the buyer mindset, timing, technical strategies and choosing the right eCommerce platform play when it comes to successful upselling. There are many elements to consider when implementing upselling into your business, and the payoff can be well worth the effort when done strategically.
While upselling is an effective eCommerce tool, it is only one piece of a well-rounded business strategy. Tapping into recurring revenue streams and automating business systems can also reduce friction and help supercharge your sales. If you need guidance on putting together a well-rounded, results-driven business strategy, schedule time on our calendar for a risk-free complimentary brainstorming session with one of our eCommerce experts.