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Upselling And Cross-Selling: How To Maximize The AOV

In recent years, many companies have been relying on marketing strategies based on upselling and cross-selling to increase revenue. According to a 2022 HubSpot Blog survey of more than 500 sales professionals, 74% of cross-selling salespeople and 72% of upselling adopters say their income is tied to that strategy by up to 30%. To have a more detailed picture of these two sales techniques, it is interesting to analyze their definition and differences.

Cross-Selling: What Is It

Cross-selling identifies the sale of additional services or products related to the product purchased by the consumer or for which he has expressed interest. For example, suppose a user has purchased a subscription to video streaming services. In that case, he could also be induced to buy related solutions, such as the audio tracks of the watched film or additional content. Large catering companies also use this solution. You buy a branded sandwich with an excellent cross-selling operation, and you can also sell foods that complete the meal, such as drinks, chips and so on.

Upselling: What Is It

On the other hand, the term upselling identifies a sales technique with which the customer is urged to purchase a more prominent item than at first assessed. This cycle happens chiefly by exploiting motivators and advancements. The reason for this strategy is to expand the purchaser’s efficiency and instigate him to consume all the more regardless of whether he wants it or to load up on the item, deferring an ensuing buy that could lead him to a contending brand or entity.

Backtracking the past model, a successful upselling activity lies in offering motivators for the people who need a sandwich to eat that increment the amount. For this situation, you can present a more excellent bundle at a more significant expense or add new fixings to the sandwich. In catering, upselling is usually used to offer better quality products, even at a higher cost.

Upselling And Cross-Selling: Difference

Although the terms upselling and cross-selling are often used interchangeably, in reality, they differ considerably in the approach to the consumer. Although both marketing methods are committed to empowering deals, upselling centers around adding administrations or items to the essential buy made by the shopper, maybe with a superior rendition.

Conversely, strategically pitching adds various components yet is helpful to the underlying advancement to make it complete and usable in an ideal manner. Assuming a similar sandwich would be sold, upselling would choose a methodology that works on the fixings, like cheddar or onion; strategically pitching would add extra components. For example, fries and soft drinks are additional items contrasted with the actual sandwich.

Upselling And Cross-Selling: Strategies

As already highlighted above, upselling and cross-selling are two strategies that constantly accompany the consumer in the sales process. Identifying the best moments for sale is essential to obtain the best possible result. For this to be achieved, it is advisable to trace the consumer’s journey with dedicated software or marketing strategies that lead them to do something that maximizes the sale’s profit. But not all companies can implement, or want to implement, technological systems, having to rely on different strategies. The most effective alternatives to customer monitoring are mainly three: trust, research and personalization.

  1. Trust: establishing a relationship of trust with customers is essential to induce them to upsell or cross-sell.
  2. Research: Understanding your client’s business can help determine which approach is best. Not all users like cross-selling, but understanding it in advance improves the user experience.
  3. Personalization: a strategy based on personalization allows you to understand with little information whether a customer prefers upselling or cross-selling.

Upselling And Cross-Selling: The Best Techniques

Determining customer needs is essential to start a sales technique, whether upselling or cross-selling. A few considerations should be considered to learn how to perform these two sales techniques.

  1. Knowledge of customers: having a reference target can help decide which sales technique to use, but it is only sometimes possible to identify it. Obtaining customer information through dedicated software, feedback, newsletters, and interactive tools will help companies understand the needs of those who buy.
  2. Path: every website or physical store needs a well-defined way in which the customer must find the most suitable products for his requests. Airports and physical shops with shop windows are clear examples of this sales technique.
  3. Problem-solving: when offering a product or service, it is essential to think about how that product can solve the problems of those using it. Whoever buys a sandwich will need to eat. A solution process will also be added to this problem, leading him to believe a bottle of water.
  4. Active listening: to better understand the best strategy to adopt, it is advisable to practice active listening. For example, dialogues with customers are an excellent source of information in a physical store to understand their wishes. At the same time, with online platforms, you can use software dedicated to monitoring the sections displayed and the heatmaps.

Upselling And Cross-Selling: The Importance Of The Work Team

Executing an optimal upselling and cross-selling strategy is certainly not easy, whether online or in a physical context. Using a work team is a crucial point from which to start to obtain relevant results. The work team will be able to understand and satisfy customers’ needs, establishing the best approach based on the moment and the possibilities created. 

But if, in a natural context, both upselling and cross-selling are linked to the work team, how can a digital platform establish the ideal conditions for undertaking one or the other technique? In this case, it is advisable to turn to technologically advanced solutions, implementing software and tools capable of monitoring, analyzing and deciding what might be the best strategy to adopt based on the information collected by registering on the website and the interactions on the platform itself.

Upselling And Cross-Selling: Techniques For The Team

To maximize the AOV (Average Order Value), i.e. the measurement of how much a consumer spends on average each time they make a purchase, it is essential that the work team, be it directed towards data collection in a physical location or on a digital platform, must-follow guidelines. Usually, there are three conditions to be evaluated.

  1. Customer feedback: one of the most valuable strategies to understand if the customer is interested in upselling or cross-selling is the analysis of his feedback. A physical store can receive this information from a direct request from the work team, while an online platform will manage this dynamic with a post-purchase evaluation or a real-time survey.
  2. Assistance: a further positive approach to customers can be identified in the quality of the aid offered. The customer must feel free of being obliged to buy anything else but must be informed of the various possibilities available to him and choose independently. The consumer experience must always be pleasant.
  3. Advertising: an aspect to be noticed when the team interacts with customers is setting up a non-invasive sales strategy. Placing advertising or digital banners on the platform while browsing can be productive, but it must not be invasive for those using a service.

Upselling And Cross-Selling: Examples

Applying upselling and cross-selling techniques may be challenging, but it can significantly improve sales. Analyzing concrete examples in everyday life is interesting to have a clearer idea of ​​such potential.

Business 2 Business

Upselling, in this case, can take place through a sales representative alerting customers of an impending price increase and then offering the upgraded options at a very similar price. On the other hand, cross-selling would place the sales rep as the one who informs customers that they can add an additional tool to their subscription, such as a photo editing program.


If an upselling technique is applied in customer training, the company could add links to pages that inform the consumer about the desired topic, such as the FAQ section. If a cross-selling technique were applied instead, the company would add additional products to increase the information on the main page. For example, if a brand were to sell a desk, adding photos, descriptions, and dedicated texts could lead the customer to purchase desk accessories that increase the final cost.

E- Commerce

An online store that sells technological tools, such as a hard disk for personal computers, can apply an upselling technique by offering the same product with a larger memory size. A cross-selling solution aimed at selling T-shirts can also add the purchase of a sweatshirt to the initial offer, guaranteeing a discount on both items of clothing.

Online Services

In recent years, several online services have applied these two marketing techniques. For example, a sports professional may upsell a weekly or monthly membership, providing a discount for additional memberships. The same reasoning can be applied to a language tutor who can plan a cross-sell by adding ACT training at a discount.


Upselling and cross-selling can maximize AOV but require a quality IT infrastructure for digital businesses. For this to be optimized, it is advisable to carry out a digital test to understand the level of digitization of your company and its individual needs.

Also Read: Collaboration Tools As The Key To Team Success

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