Shopify Upselling: 8 Simple Tactics to Boost Your Sales
Shopify upselling is arguably the most slept-on strategy for increasing your revenue.
When done correctly, upselling can enhance your customers shopping experience and provide you with more revenue at the same time.
But when executed poorly, upselling can lower your conversion rate, annoy customers and even damage your brand.
So, in this article, to ensure you get it right, we’re going to show you exactly how to upsell customers so everybody wins. We’ll cover the rules of effective upselling as well as eight specific strategies you can implement today.
If you’re keen to build a Shopify upselling strategy that works, let’s jump in!
What is Shopify Upselling?
In a Shopify context, upselling refers to a tactic or tactics that offer your customer an additional product or service that increases their total order value.
Now, there’s often a bit of confusion between upselling and cross-selling.
In a nutshell, upselling is about offering an upgraded (and more expensive) product, while cross-selling is about offering additional items that complement the original order.
Think about McDonalds; the difference between going super-size (upsell) and adding fries to an order (cross-sell) is the difference between upselling and cross-selling
But for most merchants, the terms upselling and cross selling can be used interchangeably.
Afterall, they both have the same primary goal: increasing your average order value.
Why You Should Care About Shopify Upselling
If you’re like most merchants, you spend lots of resources driving traffic to your store.
You obsess over your ads. You optimize your SEO. You collaborate with influencers.
And while more traffic is great, we rarely stop to consider an easier approach: maximizing the value of each customer.
Think about it: let’s suppose you drive 10,000 visitors to your site.
Assuming your conversion rate is 2%, and your AOV is $100, this scenario translates to 200 sales, and $20,000 in revenue.
But what if instead of your AOV being $100, you could bump it up to $120 with upselling? Now you have $24,000 in sales for roughly the same inputs.
Put another way, without upselling, you’d need to drive an extra 2,000 visitors to your site to generate the same revenue. And depending on your CPC, that could be quite expensive.
And this where upselling shines - most upselling strategies offer a massive payback in comparison to increasing ad spend.
For example, taking the above example, at 2,000 orders ReConvert would cost you $89.99 (+0.75% of extra revenue generated) per month.
So, that’s an investment of around $95 that generates $4,000 in return. Put another way, you’d need to get a ROAS of of 41.1 to justify spending that $95 on ads instead of upselling.
This said, it’s not about comparing driving more traffic to increasing your AOV
In reality, both tactics are necessary to grow your business. But the beauty of upselling & increasing your AOV is that it scales as all your other efforts do.
Once you’ve devised a functional Shopify upselling strategy, you can set-it and forget it, knowing that it’s working in the background to amplify every other area of your marketing.
6 Shopify Upselling Best Practices For Awesome Results
Ok, before we jump into the Shopify upselling tactics, let’s cover the ground rules. Understand and apply these six principles for optimal results.
1. Don’t be pushy with your upsells
When done well, upselling should enhance your customers' experience, not take away from it. For this reason, you should make it easy for customers to say no to your upsell offers.
With upsells, you want to make customers feel like they nabbed a great deal, not like they’re getting scammed. Even under optimal circumstances only a small percentage of your customers will accept your offer.
So, don’t go cajoling the majority of your customers in the hopes of making a few extra sales, while simultaneously harming your long-term profits.
2. Price your upsells the right way
Shoppers typically have a budget in mind when shopping. For example, it’s rare that you’d be looking to buy a pair of headphones for $50 and end up buying the $300 pair, right?
So, it’s wise to present upsell offers that aren’t massively more expensive than the item(s) already in your customer's cart.
Go too expensive and you’ll struggle to get conversions. Go too low and you’ll be leaving revenue on the table
So what’s the solution? We’ve found that cross-sells and upsells that add about 20-30% of the total cart value convert well, while delivering a decent boost to AOV.
3. Choose complimentary products
To maximize the effectiveness of your upsell offers, it's important to choose products that are closely related and compliment each other.
For instance, it wouldn't make sense to recommend a better pair of skis to someone who is interested in purchasing a snowboard.
Some examples of complementary upsells/cross-sells are:
- Sports socks with a new pair of trainers
- Insurance with a new laptop
- A saddle cover with a new bike
- Expedited shipping with a gift purchase
Typically the more complimentary the relationship between the original product and the upsell offer, the more likely it is to result in a successful conversion.
4. Use customer data to hone offers
Have you ever been creeped out at how well Amazon can suggest products that you might be interested in?
This is because Amazon is a master at using your browsing and shopping data to suggest personalized offers.
In fact, Amazon is so good at suggesting upsells, that they it’s estimated to account for up to 35% of their sales.
So, when building your upsell strategy, it’s imperative that you use a tool that allows you to use customer data to leverage trigger-based upsells.
5. Add scarcity & urgency (when appropriate)
You probably already know that scarcity and urgency are two potent psychological forces that can boost conversions.
Adding subtle scarcity and urgency to your offers makes them more enticing. However, it’s important to only use these two tactics further down the sales funnel.
For example, if you use scarcity on your product page upsell - that can just come across as spammy. However, if you have an exclusive thank you page offer for new customers that runs out in 12 hours post-purchase, this can drive more sales in a non-spammy way.
So, our best advice is to deploy scarcity and urgency - but only once your customer has already completed their primary purchase in your post-purchase funnel.
6. Test, test and test again
As with everything in eCommerce marketing, your success often comes down to throwing a lot of stuff at the wall, and seeing what sticks.
To get the most from Shopify upselling, you’ll need to run various tests. There’s tons of variables to experiment with: You can try offering different upsell products, introducing them at different stages of the funnel, changing your offer and more.
At a minimum, choose an Shopify upsell app that provides you with detailed analytics. Or better yet, choose one that has A/B testing built in. That way you’ll be easily able to test and optimize your offers and get the best results over time.
8 of the Best Shopify Upselling Strategies to Try
With the case for upselling under our belts, let’s look at how you can effectively implement upselling in your store. Good upselling doesn’t have to be complicated - here’s 8 simple Shopify upselling strategies that’ll boost your average order value.
1. H&M - Bundle products together
Kicking off our list we have good old fashioned product bundling.
Product bundling is an excellent way to boost your sales, power up your revenue and deliver a more rounded experience for customers.
Seriously, research from Forrester shows that cross-selling and upselling can increase revenues by up to 30%!
And the best bit? Bundling is super simple: you take a product that’s popular, and put it in a bundle with other products.
Your bundles can consist of the same product as H&M does below. Or they can be different variants, or entirely different, but complimentary products.
The point here is to encourage customers to spend more money.
See how the example above encourages customers who might have spent €5.99 on a single t-shirt to upgrade to a 5-pack for €27.99? (an AOV increase of around 360%) - That’s exactly what we want them to do in your store too!
For your own store - think about what products you can group together. Could you create discounted bundles? Perhaps gift bundles would work better? Maybe you have a set of complementary products?
Figure out a few bundles and add them to your store. In the next strategy, we’ll learn how you can draw attention to your bundles and get them moving out the door.
🔥 Pro Tip: While bundling is great for boosting your AOV, it’s also a useful strategy to offload dead stock. Why not bundle less items in your inventory and offer an enticing discount?
2. Native - Upsell on the product page
H&M uses product bundles well, but Native takes this concept one step further with a product page pop-up.
Customers who add a single stick of deodorant to cart are served a triggered pop-up to upgrade their order from $13 to $32.
This pop-up works so well because of the discount. Despite spending more money, customers feel like they’re getting a better deal by saving 11% against the individual item price.
The pop-up is well designed: A clear header, lots of white space and the CTA popping off the screen - all while still being easy to dismiss for shoppers who aren’t interested.
Now that said - this pop-up is a little intrusive and adds an extra step to the purchase flow. We talked earlier about how in general the less intrusive an upsell, the better. However, I’ve seen Native running this upsell for months now, so it’s clearly working for them.
If you’re thinking about deploying this tactic - remember to monitor your conversion rate to ensure you’re delivering a positive overall result in terms of profitability. In digital marketing, it’s always about testing to see what works for you and your goals.
If you want a more subtle way to upsell on the product page, here’s a nice example from Outdoor Voices:
Outdoor voices skip the pop-up and opt for a nice quick-add widget instead. This less in-your-face approach creates a smoother conversion journey for customers, but will probably net lower conversions on your offer too.
3. Ridge Wallet - Upsell in the cart drawer
As customers move down the conversion funnel, the next opportunity to upsell is in the cart drawer.
Of course deploying this shopify upselling tactic depends if your theme has a cart drawer feature. If so, it’s another low-friction way to tempt customers to bump up their cart value.
Ridge wallet does this well. Once a customer has added their main product to cart, Ridge offers them up to 40% off their most popular add-ons.
These reduced $17 products are relatively low priced in comparison to the $145 wallet (about 15% extra to the order), so it’s likely that a lot of customers will jump at the chance to snap them up on sale.
If you're interested in testing this strategy, there’s several apps to help you implement Shopify cart upsells such as:
4. Outdoor Voices - Upsell on the cart page
The next popular method for merchants to upsell on Shopify is using cart page upsells.
Cart page upsells work well because they’re well-timed. Plus, Customers on the cart page show more serious purchase intent than product page visitors.
Here’s a beautiful example of a well executed cart page upsell from Outdoor Voices:
One thing to note here is that, while you’re offered a selection of products, you’re not overloaded by them.
Outdoor Voices restrict the ‘You might also like’ section to a maximum of three products - offering too many may here create a ‘paradox of choice’ situation where customers end up putting it off the purchase till later.
It’s also wise to note that the products on show are below $30 which keeps the upsell offers below 20% of the total cart value.
Lastly, the gifting services are a nice simple upsell that both boosts average order value and enhance the shopping experience for your customers
5. Shopify upselling on the checkout page (Shopify Plus+)
If you’re a Shopify Plus user, you can now add upsells to your checkout page with ReConvert.
Checkout upsells are super powerful again because of shopper intent. Essentially, the further you move down the conversion funnel, the higher you can expect your upsell conversion rate to be.
Checkout upsells are the eCommerce equivalent to McDonald’s ‘Would you like fries with that?’ questions. Think about it: shoppers have chosen what they want, and proceeded to pay. All it takes now is a little nudge to convert some of them to a higher basket.
6. One click upsells after checkout
One click upsells are possibly the most powerful Shopify upselling strategy on this list.
One click-upsell are offers that you serve to customers immediately after they’ve completed a purchase. With ReConvert, these offers pop-up once payment for the initial order has been processed.
One click upsells are awesome for a couple of reasons. Firstly shoppers are in peak buying mode - they figuratively have their credit card in their hand.
Secondly, customers don’t have to re-enter their payment details. This means once-click upsells are virtually friction-free.
Thirdly, you can use triggers & segmentation to personalize your one-click upsells. For example, you can suggest specific upsells based on the items in your customer’s order.
Taking these three factors together, you can serve the right customer, the right offer, at the right time - meaning your upsell conversion rate will go through the roof.
We’ve seen merchants using ReConvert get over 20% CVR on one-click upsells. So ask yourself, what would your bottom line look like if you could add 20% in sales without spending an extra cent on advertising?
7. Forever 21 - Upsell on the order confirmation page
Another extremely slept-on upselling strategy is to add product suggestions to your thank you page.
In a similar vein to one-click post purchase offers, shoppers who land on your thank you page are fully qualified. They’re in buying mode and are likely to convert again if you give them the chance.
What’s more, our data shows that customers come back to view the order confirmation page an average of 2.2 times per order - giving you even more opportunities to capitalize on those impressions.
eCommerce behemoth Amazon is one of the first to implement thank you page upsells, but here’s another nice example from Forever 21:
In this example, Forever 21 doesn't offer an extra incentive to convert shoppers. However, adding a little scarcity along with a special discount can pump up your conversion rate.
When putting your thank you page upsells together, using triggers is a great way to hone your offers and give customers more personalized recommendations.
With ReConvert, adding such offers to your store is dead easy. You can build a completely native looking Shopify thank you page in minutes using the drag and drop editor:
Leverage automatic branding, pre-built templates and no-code implementation to create a thank you page that’ll help you reach your revenue goals.
Once your thank you page is live, you can forget about it - it’ll keep adding value to your orders in the background while you focus on more important tasks.
🔥 Pro Tip: You can also use a customized thank you page for other goals like collecting customer birthdays, encouraging social sharing, boosting retention with welcome videos & more
8. Crate & Barrel - upsell in your order confirmation email
So far we’ve discussed in-store strategies for increasing your average order value.
But email can also be a powerful channel to generate bigger orders. One simple strategy us to add product suggestions to your order confirmation emails.
This strategy is very similar to adding offers to your thank you page. But because your thank you page essentially has a 100% open rate, we recommend doing that first.
Here’s how furniture retailer Crate & Barrel do it:
This strategy is all about increasing the number of impressions you get on your related products. The more impressions you can get from qualified shoppers, the more sales you’re likely to make.
🔥 Pro Tip: Birthday emails are a great way to build brand loyalty and drive sales at the same time. Ava Estelle generated over £7,250 from their birthday email automation in just 6 months which took them 15 minutes to set-up. Read what they did here.
Use Shopify Upselling to Grow Your Business
Shopify Upselling is one of the most underrated sales tactics to grow your revenue. Upselling is relatively quick and low-cost to implement, but provides tremendous return when compared to other marketing and CRO activities.
When upselling on your shopify store remember that the majority of modern customers are smart enough to know when you’re trying to fleece them.
Good upselling is about helping your customers find the products that’ll make them most successful or give them the best value in the long-run.
That means you need to avoid being pussy, personalize the experience, price your upsells appropriately and recommend products that are actually worth the extra investment.
When done right, your customer will feel like they got a great deal - and you'll maximize revenue at the same time.