Getting more sales is an excellent goal, but it’s important to recognize that not all sales are created equal. Sales of products with higher purchase values or higher profitability margins, for example, are always preferable to those of products at lower price points.
Upselling will help you sell more of those high price-point products, and if you’re able to do this consistently you’ll be able to increase your profit margins significantly. But, unsurprisingly, it can be difficult to convince users to buy more than they maybe came to your site expecting to spend.
Just as there are traditional sales techniques that can be used in-store to increase purchase value, however, there are also great strategies that you can use online to do the same. In this post, I’m going to share the 4 strategies I use as a marketing consultant and copywriter that I use to upsell on Shopify stores.
What is Upselling?
The term “upselling” encompasses techniques designed to increase purchase value by promoting higher priced items, item upgrades, or other add-ons. It’s often combined with cross-selling, which is a strategy that’s designed to encourage users to purchase additional, complementary items that are relevant to what they’ve already purchased or committed to purchasing.
Upselling won’t happen on its own, no matter how great your products are. Customers care about their money, and they’ll only spend it on “unnecessary” upsells if you can convince them that they should, which isn’t always easy to do. These strategies will help.
1. Use Targeted Copy
Targeted site copy- which includes your product descriptions- is the first step towards upselling on Shopify. The language you use will make all the difference.
Sometimes, this just means labelling your high-value products as such. You might use the following labels:
- Labelling high price services “Professional,” “Plus,” or “Pro version” like Tape a Call Pro
- Labelling free or low-priced services as “Basic” or “Lite”
- Using terms like “premium” or “premiere”
The burden is also on your copy to demonstrate value immediately. Why should people add on that warranty, or choose the $65 bag instead of the $25 version? Be clear about the value that this increased cost will offer them in very descriptive terms. It’s why Whole Foods can sell a bunch of organic kale for nearly $5 while Publix sells it for $1.50; it all comes down to the marketing and branding, which is rooted deep in copywriting.
The following image, unfortunately, fails to show value; the non-premium product is listed as having more pieces of chocolate, and being a healthier (if slightly less tasty) alternative. They make it sound more appealing than their premium line, which will result in people not purchasing.
Focus on feature-benefit selling, in which you list features and then explain the value and benefit they offer to the consumer. For example, you could say “Our premium line of jackets are made with authentic leather and suede instead of faux-leather, making them more long-lasting and naturally beautiful for years to come.”
2. Add Upsells to Cart Pages
Adding upsells to cart pages and product pages is an excellent way to actually get those add-ons purchased. Do you offer warranties for your products, or the option to personalize, engrave, or add a little something extra to it? Remind users of this on the product and cart pages, prompting users to hit that check mark and pay the extra money for those small add-ons.
On the product page, this could appear as a small checkbox next to the “Add to Cart” button. On the cart pages, you can show users a prompt asking if they want to add the matching bracelet for that necklace, or if they want to pay $5 for the hat to be monogrammed.
This strategy is exceptionally effective for both warranties and small-cost add-ons (think $10 or less). Think of it as being asked “And would you like to Supersize your big mac meal today?”
3. Placing High-Value Products at the Top of Searches
You have the option of choosing what order your products appear in when they’re displayed on your site, or what featured products show up on your landing pages. It only makes sense that you’ll want to place your most high-value products at the very forefront of your product displays and search results.
Have you ever noticed that when you search for a product on a lot of major sites, the search results are listed in order of “Featured Products” first? It’s most likely designed to make the most expensive products the most immediately visible. For my fellow Office fans, it’s not entirely different from Dwight Schrute’s strategy to put the most attractive beets up front to entice people to purchase.
It sounds simple, and it is. Sometimes upselling is as simple as offering them your most expensive items first; this is done by putting them in front of your site visitors immediately. Sometimes, this will help them fall in love with it and get used to the price point before they see other alternatives. Psychologically, this will help you upsell more than if they were to see the lower-priced item first and wrapped their mind around that price point.
4. Utilize Upsell Plugins
Shopify has so many incredible plugins, and some of them are even designed to help you upsell on the platform in one way or another (some of which have been described as strategies in this post). A few good examples include:
- Product Upsell, which allows you to offer add-ons or product upgrades based on cart content, cart value, or a combination of both. The key to effective upselling is showing the right product at the right time to the right person, after all.
- In Cart Upsell, which keeps track of what’s in a customer’s cart, and shows them a quick pop up when they go to check out showing them an additional product based on its content along with a message that you’ve created.
- Ultimate Upsell, which allows you to offer add-ons and product bundles while maintaining the original product SKUs on product pages, cart pages, and the “thank you for your order” pages.
Upselling can directly increase your average purchase value and your profit margins at once. This, in turn, can actually make your average customer more valuable to you. It doesn’t happen automatically, though; customers typically won’t purchase the higher-priced items or those add-ons unless you successfully convince them that they should. Utilize these 4 strategies to increase upselling on Shopify by demonstrating value and putting your premium products at optimal visibility. You can even start seeing increases in purchase value overnight.
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