20+ Cross-Selling Examples (& what’s great about them)
As a retailer, you've likely mastered the art of attracting visitors to your store.
But with the costs of acquisition on the rise, maintaining profitability is become more challenging.
That’s where cross-selling comes in - a strategic sales technique that offers customers complementary products or services that align perfectly with their initial purchase.
In this guide, we’ll unpack over 15 cross-selling examples so you can see how cross-selling works in practice.
By the end, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge and insights to master the art of cross-selling like a seasoned pro.
Sounds good? Let’s jump in!
What is Cross-selling?
Cross-selling is a sales technique where you offer additional products to customers to compliment their initial purchase.
Probably the most famous cross-selling example in the world is McDonald's ‘Would you like fries with that?’ cross-sell.
Basically, cross-selling is about saying ‘Hey you’re buying this…have you seen this product too?’
You’re recommending products based on identified customer needs, with the aim of encouraging them to spend more money - bumping up your AOV and profitability.
Upselling vs Cross-selling Examples: What’s the difference?
Before we jump into cross-selling examples, let’s quickly clear up any confusion when it comes to cross-selling vs upselling.
In a nutshell, cross-selling focuses on recommending complementary products to customers, upselling focuses on selling more expensive versions of the same product. Both cross-selling and upselling benefits your brand - but they're not the same strategy.
For example, e-bike brand Cowboy upsells customers to the Performance model, which costs $500 more than the Core model.
The key thing with upselling, is that you’re not offering additional products. Simply a more premium version of the same product. Your recommendation is a replacement for their initial choice.
Cross-selling would be recommending additional add-ons. Once a shopper has elected a model, Cowboy then present a number of optional cross-sells such as a lock and a pre-fitted rear rack:
To summarize, the core differences between cross-selling and upselling are:
- With upselling, you offer a more expensive version of the same product or service.
- With cross-selling, you offer additional complimentary products or services.
With that difference under our belts, let’s keep going to learn why you should incorporate cross-selling into your sales strategy.
The Benefits of Cross-selling
The main reason to implement a cross-selling strategy is because it helps you generate more revenue.
For example, let’s suppose you install ReConvert and use cross-sells to bump your average order value up by $5.
Now, this might not seem like much, but when we run the numbers over the course of year, you can see how big of a difference this makes:
With a few simple cross-sells, we’ve generated 6% more profit margin on this eCommerce store.
And in a time where the cost of customer acquisition is going up, cross-selling allows you to build a more comfortable margin. Cross-selling helios you maximize the value of every sale, and ensure no revenue is left on the table.
Now cross-selling isn't only about bigger profits. As we’ll see in the cross selling examples below, it can also improve your customers shopping experience and get the best value for money.
But before we get to that, let’s quickly run through the best practices that underpin all of the cross-selling examples featured later in the article.
The 3 Principles That Underpin The Best Cross-selling Examples
When you’re building a cross-selling strategy, it’s important to understand the following principles. The four best practices will ensure you get the highest conversion rates without annoying your customers.
1. Focus on cross-selling value
The best cross selling examples don’t just force more products on customers. Instead, they create more value.
See, your customer relationships are the most important. So, it’s essential that you build your cross-sells in a way that strengthens customer trust in your brand
Figure out what products or services might enhance the customer experience:
- Run post-purchase surveys asking what they want
- Study your competitors to see what they’re cross-selling
- Get insights from your customer support team
Then ensure your product recommendations help them solve their problems or reach their goals. In this way, cross-selling becomes less about trying to sell more stuff and more about creating greater value for everyone.
2. Personalize your cross-sells
Use your research to build customer segments and map your cross-sells to add value to each of them.
With ReConvert, you can build segments based on virtually any characteristic from Shopify’s backend. For example, you could trigger cross-sells based on things like:
- Cart contents
- Cart value
- Purchase history
Remember, good cross-selling is about relevancy. Proper segmentation ensures that your recommendations meet your customers needs.
3. Test, track & optimize
It’s rare to create the perfect cross-selling strategy on your first go. So, monitor your results, discover what’s working and double down on it.
You can use ReConvert’s analytics to get insight into how your cross-sells are performing. Track your impressions and conversion rates. Test different offers and triggers until you find a winning combination.
11 of the Best Cross-selling Examples to Drive a Higher AOV
Now that you know what cross-selling is, how it differs from upselling and the best practices, let’s delve into some of the best cross-selling examples. Use these examples to get ideas for your own campaigns.
1. Add checkout page cross-sells
If you’ve ever been to the convenience store, and thrown gum into your basket as you wait in line, you know what a checkout cross-sell is.
See, shoppers who land on your checkout page are showing high purchase intent. So, it’s fertile ground for a targeted cross-sell.
Here’s an amazing example of a cross-sell at checkout from apparel brand Tentree:
What we love about these cross-sells is that they’re subtle and non-intrusive. They don't jump out at shoppers and distract them from the checkout process.
We’ve seen ReConvert users get amazing conversion rates on checkout cross-sells by suggesting non-physical products like shipping insurance or priority handling.
2. Create a post-purchase cross-sell funnel
After completing a purchase, most customers are directed to the order confirmation page. But with ReConvert’s post purchase funnel feature, you can display a series of special offers to tempt up to 15% of customers into a second purchase.
These offers are insanely powerful because shoppers are in peak buying mode. Plus, shoppers don’t have to re-enter their payment details, so there’s no friction.
You can use ReConvert to create a series of up to three cross-sells, upsells and downsell, depending on how customers respond to your offers.
3. Deploy cross-sells on your thank you page
Your thank you page (also known as ‘order confirmation page’) is another powerful place to add cross-sells. Check out this cross-selling example below:
The beauty of thank you page cross-sells is twofold. First, data from ReConvert shows that customers view the thank you page 2.2 times per order. Secondly, you can use triggers to suggest different products for each visit.
For example, ReConvert user Tushy added a few simple product cross-sells to their thank you page and we’re able to generate an additional $191,786/mo in sales for pretty much no extra effort.
4. Suggest cross-sells on your product pages
The next cross-selling example comes from cosmetics brand Native. Native have a pop-up on their product pages that suggests complimentary products.
There’s several things this pop-up nails that you can copy when designing your own:
- Put it in the center - Pop-ups in the center convert 75.95% better than slide-in pop-ups
- Trigger it on a click - Show it when a customers adds a product to cart
- Include a photo - Images can increase click-through rates by 28.69%
- Design a clear CTA - leave plenty of white space
- Make it easy to dismiss - most shoppers won’t convert, don’t annoy them
- Include social proof - a simple review can seriously boost conversions
All in all, this is an excellent example of cross-selling that you can learn from and implement in your store.
5. Cross-sell products on your cart page
This example of upselling comes from Harry’s, a D2C cosmetics brands built around men’s razors. Harry’s use their cart page to cleverly suggest related products to those in the customers cart.
The cross-sells are placed beneath the fold at the bottom of the cart contents, so the shoppers sees them as they scroll down to study the items in their cart.
It’s very subtle, and doesn’t distract the visitor from continuing to Checkout.
This matters, because at this stage of the conversion funnel, you want to avoid anything that might interrupt the user from progressing forwards towards purchase.
There’s no point in having seemingly ‘high converting’ cross-sells, if they’re actually cannibalizing more revenue from your overall sales.
6. Use Cross-sells in your cart drawer
Some of the best Shopify stores are removing cart pages and replacing them with cart drawers only. This helps create a shorter conversion journey - and the thoery is that removing this extra step leads to more sales.
But does that mean you have to get rid of your cart page cross-sells? No! In this cross-selling example, we see how coffee machine brand Ratio adds their product suggestions to the cart drawer:
This is a nice targeted cross-sell which offers shoppers a grinder to compliment their new coffee machine. For me, this cross-sell is a little expensive - the suggested product is almost 50% the total price of the cart, which likely puts the total basket value outside the shoppers initial budget.
However, if you scroll across, you’ll find a selection of products ranging from filter papers ($10) to a glass serving carafe ($75). This spread of pricing on cross-sells is wise as it increases the chances of appealing to a wide-rang of budgets.
7. Cross-sell in your transactional emails
In all the cross-selling examples discussed so far, we’ve talked about cross-selling in your store.
However, email is another useful channel to leverage cross-selling, and few understand this better than eCommerce titan Amazon:
Amazon includes personalized recommendations on their transactional emails. Such emails tend to get a very high open rate which makes them ideal for suggesting cross-sells.
This is a similar strategy to suggesting products on your thank you page. And while we think that thank you page is superior, it makes sense to combine both for maximum impact.
8. Cross-sell in your welcome emails too
Transactional emails aren’t the only place you can cross-sell products. It’s a good idea to add product suggestions to your welcome emails too like uniform retailer Matalan does:
In fact, you can add cross-sells to many of your Shopify email marketing flows. For example, you can use ReConvert to collect customer birthday’s on the thank you page, and then send subscribers discounted cross-sells based on products they’ve already purchased from you.
Try including personalized product recommendation widgets in your emails and see how your audience responds.
9. The ‘complete the look’ cross-sell
If you’re running a shopify clothing store, you can use ‘complete the look’ cross-sells to encourage shoppers to buy a complete outfit. Sports equipment brand Addidas does this on all of their product pages:
It’s a particularly potent tactic if you’ve invested in professional styling and photography. A model wearing a styled outfit helps give shoppers ideas of how to pair the items in your store.
10. Use product bundles to cross-sell
The next cross-sell example is an age-old AOV-boosting tactic. Bundling products into a full package is a great way to ensure customers get everything they need, while at the same time, generating more revenue for your store.
Lots of brands incorporate product bundling into their sales strategy. It reduces the amount of research shoppers need to do, and enhances their product experience.
One of the keys to product bundling is to offer a discount like coffee machine brand Bruvu does. I.e. it should be cheaper for a customer to buy the bundle, as opposed to selecting all of the constituent parts individually.
Harry’s full skincare bundle is also cheaper than buying items individually. And at the same time, it’s designed for men who might know all of the products they need to create a skincare routine - so they don’t have to navigate the confusing world of cosmetics, when they can get it all in the one place, from a brand they trust.
Amazon too uses product bundling on every page. Amazon’s powerful algorithms study what other customers have bought and presents personalized bundles on each product page.
11. Cross-sell non-physical goods
Of all the cross-selling examples on this list, few will have as big a profit margin as non-physical products.
Services like insurance, extended warranties and priority shipping are typically high margin cross-sells. While digital products such as e-books, video courses and subscriptions are all virtually 100% profit margin, once they’re created.
For example, look at how cowboy cross-sells insurance subscription to customers who are buying a relatively expensive bike.
If we theoretically assume that Cowboy sells these bikes for 100% margin, then the cost to them for bike replacement is around €1,250.
Even if 1 in every 10 bikes was stolen and claimed for, they’d still be somewhere around breakeven. And I think it’s fair to say that in an average city, less than 10% of bikes are stolen in a given year.
So, think about your own business, what kind of services and digital goods can you cross-sell? Even a few products like this, offered at checkout or post-purchase can have a serious impact on your bottom line.
[fs-toc-omit]Cross-selling Example Case Study
Now that we’ve covered a range of cross-selling examples, let’s look at one case in particular to illustrate the power of cross-selling in real life.
Tushy sell bidets. Now that might sound like a crazy idea. But that didn’t phase Miki Agrawal and the passionate team at Tushy who, for the past six years, have been reimagining how consumers use the loo.
The cost of delivering a stand-out customer experience (stellar products, ongoing support) can quickly eat up margins.
Tushy realized this early on. Rather than skimp on product quality, they quickly looked for ways to increase their average order value and bump up profitability.
But after looking at various upsell and cross-sell solutions for Shopify, they found that most seemed to impede the customer’s experience.
ReConvert empowered Tushy to shift their cross-sell offers to the thank you page and create a smoother front-end buyer's journey.
Tushy figured out which products customers were likely to buy together and set up specific thank you page triggers and recommendations based on customer behavior.
Tushy used Reconvert’s cross-selling widget to offer complimentary high-margin products such as toilet paper and towels directly on their thank you page.
Tushy's use of triggers to personalize offers paid off big time. Using ReConvert, Tushy transformed their AOV and were able to achieve:
- A 2% conversion rate on post-purchase offers
- An extra $191,786/mo in sales
- A 174,022% ROI against ReConvert fees
14 More Cross-Selling Examples From Other Domains
So far we’ve examined cross-selling in an eCommerce context. However, it’s also useful to study cross-selling examples from other fields to help inform our strategy.
Let’s look at a few examples from in-store retail, to B2B sales. Notice how the core principles of cross-selling we discussed earlier, all still apply here.
Cross-selling Examples in Retail:
- A customer is buying a smartphone, and the salesperson suggests a phone case and screen protector to protect the device.
- A customer purchases a laptop, and, at checkout, the retailer recommends a laptop bag for convenient carrying.
Cross-selling Examples in Pharmacy:
- A customer buys a pack of cold medicine, and the pharmacist suggests adding a box of tissues and cough drops to alleviate symptoms.
- A customer purchases sunscreen, and the pharmacy staff recommends aloe vera gel for after-sun care.
Cross-selling Examples in Restaurants:
- A customer orders a burger, and the server suggests adding a side of fries and a drink to complete the meal.
- A customer chooses a pasta dish, and the waiter recommends a garlic bread appetizer.
Cross-selling Examples in Insurance:
- A customer is purchasing car insurance, and the agent offers to add roadside assistance coverage for emergency situations.
- A customer is buying a home insurance policy, and the insurance agent cross-sells a personal belongings coverage add-on.
Cross-selling Examples in High-Ticket B2B Sales:
- A company purchases a large industrial printer, and the sales representative offers a maintenance contract to ensure smooth operations.
- A business invests in a software solution, and the salesperson suggests adding a training package to maximize employee proficiency.
Cross-selling Examples in SaaS Sales:
- A customer subscribes to an email marketing software, and the sales representative suggests integrating it with a CRM system for better lead management.
- A company signs up for a project management tool, and the salesperson recommends adding time tracking and reporting features.
Cross-selling Examples in Customer Success:
- A customer successfully implements a cloud storage solution, and the customer success manager recommends increasing storage capacity to accommodate future growth.
- A client uses a social media management platform, and the customer success team suggests adding social listening capabilities for better audience insights.
More Cross-selling Email Examples
Let’s run through a few more examples of cross-selling in emails from brands to give you inspiration for your own campaigns:
1. Dollar Shave Club: Your Next Box
The beautiful cross-selling email example comes from Dollar Shave Club - a subscription razor box for men. In this email they make it super simple to add additional cross-sells to the customers cart.
2. Mack Weldon: Review Email Cross-sell
This super simple email cross-sell example comes from Mack Weldon. In this email they request a review for a product that a customer previously purchased, however at the bottom they include a ‘Customers who bought this also bought..’ recommendation widget.
3. Adidas: Complete Your Look
The gorgeous email cross-sell example comes from Adidas. Adidas continues their ‘complete the look’ cross-sell strategy we discussed above. When you purchase an item, they follow up with additional items that match.
[fs-toc-omit]Use These Cross-selling Examples to Inspire Your Own
In conclusion, cross-selling is a powerful sales technique that can significantly boost revenue and profitability for businesses.
Cross-selling involves offering complementary products or services to customers based on their initial purchase, encouraging them to spend more money.
The main takeaways from this blog post are as follows:
- Difference between Cross-selling and Upselling: Cross-selling focuses on recommending additional products or services that complement the customer's initial purchase, while upselling offers more expensive versions of the same product or service.
- Benefits of Cross-selling: Implementing a cross-selling strategy can lead to increased average order value (AOV) and higher profitability. It allows you to maximize the value of each sale and build a more comfortable margin, especially in the face of rising customer acquisition costs.
- Best Practices for Cross-selling: To succeed in cross-selling, you should focus on creating value for customers, personalizing cross-sells based on customer segments, and continually test, track, and optimize your strategies.
We’ve covered various cross-selling examples above. Hopefully some of these give you inspiration to implement a cross-selling strategy on your store. To return to where we started with McDonalds, remember that incorporating cross-selling into your sales strategy is the "supersize" button for your profits, with a side of smiles!