The upselling/cross-selling campaign stands out from those previously described by the fact that it applies only to the existing pool of customers. In the simplest terms, it is about presenting to existing clients the possibilities of extending their products or services with additional products or services. This can be done both during ongoing customers shopping, as well as after some programmed time, which is to encourage him to make more purchases. Thanks to this type of campaign, you can significantly increase the company’s profits with a relatively low involvement of the sales team, taking into account the fact that, as a rule, getting a new customer costs the most effort and time. In this case, this stage is already done. It is a mistake to believe that upselling and cross-selling are any kind of tricks. These are techniques that help the customer to buy a better product, but also to avoid a situation where they might forget to buy complementary products. It is also in the interest of the company that uses the described marketing techniques for such complementary products to be purchased from it and not from the competition.
What is upselling campaign?
Upselling is a marketing technique that encourages customers to buy more products or better/more expensive products than what they originally wanted to buy. It may also include an incentive to purchase add-ons or upgrades for products and services already owned by the customer. For a quick example, let’s assume that we are buying a laptop in an online store. We will likely be prompted to buy a higher laptop model from the same manufacturer, a competitive model from another company, or to upgrade the laptop we are watching, e.g. with additional memory or a larger hard drive. It is a technique that obviously aims to increase profit, but objectively looking at it, it is also good for the customer who may simply not know about the possibility of improving the parameters of the product that he intends to buy. A person who is not an IT specialist may not know what is the function of the random-access memory and why it is worth having a lot of it. He may also not know about the existence of a higher laptop model, which may have the functions that he needs at work or everyday life.
What is cross-selling campaign?
Cross-selling is a marketing technique for selling complementary products or services. Even if not everyone knows the name, surely everyone knows how this technique works in practice. On the above example of a laptop that we’re buying in an online store, cross-selling would manifest as suggestions to buy a laptop bag, an additional charger or a wireless mouse. It is also (just like upselling) a technique whose function is to increase the company’s profit, but there is also another important job it does which is to inform the customer that certain complementary products exist, which – as in the case of upselling – the customer may simply not know or not remember about. If he uses the same laptop at home and work, he will need a bag to transport his device safely, but also a second charger for convenience. If he often works at a desk, a wireless mouse will be very useful too.
Thanks to upselling and cross-selling, you can help your customer make a decision that will make him happier, avoid disappointments and meet the needs of which he may not be aware, allowing you to increase profit from a single transaction at the same time. Marketing automation allows you to gather a very accurate knowledge of customer preferences and based on data such as his previous purchases or viewed products in the online store, you can present him some alternative or additional shopping suggestions, which increases the likelihood that the customer will leave more money in your store.
Know the customer’s needs
Upselling and cross-selling campaigns can be used not only on a regular basis when the customer is in the middle of making purchases but also with a programmed delay and often this type of campaign is the most effective. Especially in the case of large expenses, where the customer will not necessarily be willing to immediately spend more money and buy accessories for his laptop. However, if we wait, for example, a week, the customer will have enough time to appreciate the purchased device and will be more willing to take care of its safety, but also his convenience and comfort of work, which may make him more willing to buy a bag, mouse or additional memory. After another programmed period, we can offer him an extension of his product set by e.g. a docking station and an additional monitor, so that work at home or office is as comfortable as on a desktop computer.
As you can see in the examples above, the important functions of an upselling and cross-selling campaign are not only to increase sales immediately, but also to improve customers’ relationship with the company, trust in it and to reduce the risk of moving to your competition. Since the customer has made purchases from you at least once, it means he trusted you. Take advantage of this great opportunity and try to give him ideas for the next shopping. There is a good chance that thanks to the data collected about him, you will suit his taste, which gives a high probability that he will appreciate it.
As you can see, the described topic is very broad. In upcoming articles, we will discuss this issue more widely, and also describe some sample upselling and cross-selling campaigns.