Upselling and Cross-Selling: The Ultimate Guide for Shopify Stores.

Sourabh Upreti
Sourabh Upreti
January 5, 2023

Have you ever wondered how some Shopify stores seem to be making a fortune online?

It's challenging to figure out how they do it with their simple websites.

You sit, relax, and sip on your coffee, dreaming of the day when you'll be able to make a million dollars in sales like them.

Yes, I know that, and I am here to tell you that it is possible. D2C sites often need help to increase sales volume, not only through growing the number of transactions but also by increasing average order values.

That's where you should implement upselling and cross-selling tactics to boost your sales.

And it's not as hard as you think because 🤫shush…. we are here to decode the formula for you. 😉

In this guide, we'll show you exactly how to upsell and cross-sell your products so you can increase your average order value and boost sales without spending a dime. 

What is Upselling?

Upselling is a sales strategy in which customers are encouraged to buy something that will improve their primary purchase. 

Consider this example: If a customer buys a new smartphone for taking pictures, you can suggest a higher-end camera with more storage space than the customer originally thought.

In D2C, upselling can increase average order value (AOV), as they will switch to higher-end products than they actually intended to get. Here’s an example, 


You should know that offering customers a discounted upgrade to their products convinces them to make the sale on the spot.

The customer gets a better (and newer) product than they were originally looking at—the perfect win-win situation! 

Upselling examples.

Here are some examples to help you better understand the concept of upselling:

  • If a customer is looking for normal earbuds, you can upsell a high-quality pair of noise-canceling earbuds.
  • If a customer is looking at a pair of running shoes, you can upsell them to a pair of trail running shoes with better grip and support for off-road conditions.
  • If a customer needs a laptop, you can upsell a protection plan that covers accidental drops and spills. 

Isn’t it? 

Yes, the possibilities are endless, and the best thing about upselling is that you don’t even have to be pushy; just offer customers something better, and they will usually jump at the chance!

If it's my chance, I won't let it slip by. And your customers too!

As a Shopify store owner, you can convince them to get more by leveraging WhatsApp marketing. It looks something like this, 

upselling example

What is Cross-selling?

Cross-selling is the process of selling customers related products or services that they may not have known about. This is a great way to boost sales because it allows you to show customers different options they may not have considered before.

Let’s understand this even better, 

You are taking your kids to shop and they promised to get only chocolates. But when you return home, you will find the bag full of chocolates, candies, cookies, and whatever they could lay their hands on.

It's a common thing, right? 

You can do this by offering complementary products a screen protector with your new laptop. Cross-selling aims to sell additional items to customers rather than selling one. 

In the D2C world, it's extensively used, as you can always see complementary products on the product pages, during checkout, or in your inbox as a reminder about other great things you might want!

Cross-selling examples.

Here are some simple examples to understand this better,

  • If a customer purchases a smartphone, you can cross-sell the charging cable, screen protector, phone case, and other accessories.
  • You can cross-sell the laptop bag and wireless mouse if a customer purchases a laptop.
  • You can cross-sell the socks and shoe cleaner if a customer orders a pair of shoes.

It's all about showing them the right products at the right time. You can use cross-selling to increase your revenue, as eCommerce retailers have seen a 30% increase in revenue by using this technique. 

Here is a live example of how you can cross-sell to your customers by leveraging WhatsApp marketing, 

cross-selling examples

The more products you sell, the higher your conversion rate will be.

What is the difference between upselling and cross-selling?

Definition: Upselling involves encouraging the customer to buy a more expensive version of the same product, while cross-selling involves suggesting additional products that complement the original purchase.

Importance of Upselling and Cross-selling.

Upselling and cross-selling are two important concepts in retail. Both help you increase your revenue and improve customer experience. If you're not implementing both tactics, you're missing out on an opportunity to increase your revenue.

Here's why you have to upsell and cross-sell your products;

1. Boosts your sales.

Isn't that sweet to hear?  

It is no secret that a customer who buys more of your product will generate more revenue for your business. However, it takes more than simply retaining customers you already have; growth means continually increasing the size of each customer's wallet allocation.

The path to greater profits might be right in front of you, and it lies with your current customers. As they already have trust and confidence in your brand, you can easily upsell or cross-sell them additional products by suggesting something more.

2. Increases customer loyalty.

For many, the term 'upselling' brings images of salesmen luring customers into purchasing expensive add-ons they do not need.  

In reality, however, upselling is about much more than this and can be used in various ways by most businesses. 

When you upsell, you give customers all their options so they can make an informed decision. It shows them that your business cares about and respects their needs.

This will increase the chances that they become loyal customers who come back again and again.

3. Increases your average order values.

When you upsell, it increases the average order value of your customers. This is because they are buying more than they originally intended to, therefore spending more money with your business.

This can help you increase your revenue without raising prices or offering new products/services that may be less profitable.

And yes, you don't need more customers, but you need a strategy to increase the average order value of each customer. 

You can do that by using some best Shopify upsell apps.

4. Increased customer lifetime value.

Improving customer retention by just 5% can produce a 25%-95% increase in profits. It's more profitable to sell more products or services to a customer than one and boosts that customer's value over time.

This is because you can build a relationship with that customer over time, which means they're more likely to buy from you again. The longer a customer stays with your business, the more profitable it can be.

Difference between upselling and cross-selling.

The main difference between upselling and cross selling is that upselling is about selling a more expensive version of the product, while cross selling is about selling related products.

Upselling is when you encourage a customer to buy a higher-end product than one product or service. Cross-selling is when you introduce them to another complementary product or service they might want.

upsell vs cross-sell

Either way, you can taste more profits than you get from a customer. Just imagine how much you can make when a customer buys more than one product.

One more difference lies in the customer's intention. When a shopper is cross-sold additional items, they have no intention of buying them before—only after the suggestion arises might they consider adding those items as they match their primary order.

And don’t do this: 

8 Best ways to cross-sell and upsell on Shopify.

Though you can get tons of benefits through upselling and cross-selling, you should not get too much into this strategy. You should not make it annoying for customers to buy your products, as it will hurt your business in the long run.

You must be conscious of how often you upsell/cross-sell something to a customer. If you do it too often, your customer will say goodbye to your brand.

We won’t let you face that situation. 😉

Here are some tips that can help you effectively cross-sell and upsell on Shopify:

1. Create a relevant offer for the product (Upselling).

Relevancy is the key. Customers don't want to get a free comb with a hair trimmer.

Cross-sell or upselling is not just about making money. It’s also about providing value to your customers. Make sure you offer something that can be used with the product they are trying to buy. If you do this effectively, it will make them feel good about buying from you.

Here's how Blue Nectar upsells their product without being pushy, 

creating an offer for upselling

You can either give something for free and make it a part of the package or offer a discount on the add-on product. For example, if you sell a 10 ml item for $10 and want to upsell 50 ml, offer the customer a 10% discount if they buy the same item for 50 ml.

That way, you’re not asking them to pay more than they originally intended. You’re just giving them the option of getting more for less. A win-win situation.

2. Frequently bought together (Cross-selling).

With this, you can bundle up similar products with the original product that your users intended to buy from you. This is a very common strategy used by many D2C websites. You can offer related and complementary products or add-on items to the original purchase.

For example, if you sell a smartphone, you can offer add-ons such as screen protectors, cases, and chargers. Or if you sell clothing items, you can offer shoes or bags that go well with what they’re buying. To make it more interesting, you can offer free shipping if they get them together!

"I won't miss such an offer, but I hardly get some!" - Your customer.

And 15.9% of Shopify stores with Frequently Bought Together installed sell at least 250 different products.

frequently bought together cross selling

Here's how Curlin is using this strategy:

cross selling example

3. Leverage WhatsApp marketing.

WhatsApp is the pool of millions of people. WhatsApp messages have a 98% open rate and a 45-60% click-through rate—5x higher than emails or SMS. This is why you should definitely use WhatsApp for your business marketing & support.

And if you know how to use this app for your business, you can get massive results fast.

This strategy begins when the customer places their order. You can knock on their door with an order receipt and ask them to get another order from you. You can give them a discount to convince them to immediately get their hands on their product.

With BiteSpeed, you can create a workflow like If they order X, recommend Y. Set up the workflow and watch your D2C store do all the hard work by itself!

How bitspeed helps with product recommendations

It gets triggered when the customer places their order and follows them with a message to recommend a product they think they will like.

If manual setting seems time-consuming, you can automate that too via Shopify API. You can also set a workflow to trigger the message based on cart or order value. That way, you can recommend products aligned with their purchase decision.

And guess what? Our customers are generating 18% more with their upsell and cross-sell campaigns. No, we are not going to hide the strategies, here you can view the complete case study. 

Upsell & Cross-sell campaigns

It's a great way to build customer loyalty and increase your sales. The best thing is you can enjoy a 3% conversion rate with a 60% open rate.

4. "Also recommended" section.

Most users are familiar with this feature. It's a section that appears on the sidebar or bottom page of your product page, listing other products related to the one your customers are currently viewing. This is another variation of upselling.

Our tip to make you extra bucks: Personalize this area with the type of product you are selling. For example, if you sell dog foods, you can make this section "your dog will also love this" or "recommended by dog lovers."

This way, you can create a sense of community among your shoppers and increase the chance that they will buy more than one product. 

Here's how Blue Nectar applies this strategy,

recmmended products

5. Upsell on the checkout page.

You may have heard this before, but it's a good reminder: the check-out page is the most important page of your website. It is the last chance to upsell your customers and make them buy more than they are currently purchasing.

A great way to do this is by displaying offers that push them to buy more products.

upsell on checkout pages

When you do this, your customers will increase the number of orders they place. This is a great way to increase your average order value.

Even if you miss this last opportunity to make more sales, don't worry. Your buddy BiteSpeed can help you sell more by leveraging WhatsApp marketing.

6. Use your website header.

Use your website header to promote the products that you want to sell. This is an excellent way to increase your average order value because it lets customers see the offers immediately. 

When they are on your website, you can display some special offers like “Free shipping on all orders over $100” or "Free product over $100". This will encourage customers to buy more products than they otherwise would have.

Here's how Phool leverages the same,

Use website header for upselling

7. Bundle up your relevant products.

Bundling is a great way to increase your average order value. You can bundle together the products that are relevant to each other, making it easier for customers to buy them without having to go through multiple steps. 

You can even offer them as a package deal for free shipping to encourage customers to buy more products.

For example, if someone is buying a shampoo, you can bundle up a conditioner, a hair spray, and a comb together so that the customer gets all four of them at once. This will help you increase your average order value, which all retailers want to achieve.

Here's how Curlin does the same,

Bundle relevant products

Wrapping up.

We have explained everything that is performing the best out there. And starting from your website header to the checkout page, you have multiple options to upsell or cross-sell.

But if you tried every one of them and still didn’t get the results you were hoping for, it's time to put on your thinking cap and develop something new. And worry not, your buddy BiteSpeed is always here to help you. 

It helps you use the less competitive and highly effective platform: WhatsApp. The platform not only helps you to connect with your customers in a more personal way. With the order confirmation message, you can also cross-sell related items without doing any manual work.

Isn't that something more than you could ask for? So, what are you waiting for? Get your hands on BiteSpeed and start upselling today. 

Oh, we forget to say this: It's free to use, and you can start earning more while leveraging the free plan. Searching for a way to get started? Here you go: Add it to Shopify now. 

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