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Upselling and Cross-Selling: Boost Sales with an Omnichannel Approach

Posted by Julia Morrissey on Jun 8, 2022

Last updated on June 15th, 2022 at 02:42 pm

Your customer is just about to make a purchase, whether that means tapping their card at the point of sale or clicking the “buy” button on your website. 

While that will of course be a positive for your sales that day, it’s also the moment you could be losing money. The time between when the customer decides to make a purchase and when they actually buy is an opportunity to upsell and/or cross-sell.

Below we discuss upselling and cross-selling, two classic retail sales techniques, and how several omnichannel solutions can help you generate even more revenue. 

What Is Upselling?

Upselling is suggesting or giving a customer a reason to select a more expensive (or higher margin) item than the one they originally intended to buy. For example, a store associate informs the buyer of a computer with 4GB RAM that an 8GB model might be a better choice if they like streaming. It implies that the merchant knows their line of products and is recommending a comparable one that may better fit the customer’s needs. 

What is Cross-Selling?

Cross-selling is the skill of proposing a complementary product from a different category for the customer to buy, often with a small discount attached or a reason why it’s time to buy this now. Whether that’s from an experienced sales associate in-store or an algorithm for an online transaction, the idea is the same: “Since you’re buying Product X, we recommend Product Y.” Some brands, like Outdoor Voices, have permanent cross-selling offers. At OV, if you buy a kit (a top + a bottom), you’ll get a free gift.

What Is the Difference Between Upselling and Cross-Selling?

Upselling is the practice of suggesting an alternate product that both gives the consumer satisfaction and the brand a higher profit margin, while cross-selling is showing the customer a related or complementary product they may not have previously considered. 

When they’re successful, whether used together or separately, both can help increase average order value (AOV). That’s an important metric to consider, as is the buying experience which will drive up customer lifetime value.

4 Omnichannel Tools That Support Upselling and Cross-Selling

You’re likely familiar with omnichannel retail, which unifies digital and physical retail and creates a seamless customer experience (CX). However, you may not be aware of how to leverage an omnichannel approach to enhance your sales program. 

Below are omnichannel solutions that can drive your ability to upsell and cross-sell.

1. Mobile Point of Sale (mPOS)

A mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) system provides opportunities for upselling and cross selling by making it easy to offer retail clienteling, the customer-centric service approach that allows for the creation of more personalized relationships.

With an omnichannel mPOS, store associates can see the customer’s purchase history across all channels, giving them a holistic view of the shopper so that they can make targeted upsell and cross-sell recommendations. 

For example, while helping a sporting goods customer buy a tent, the associate can see they purchased new sleeping bags last month so that suggestion is unlikely to be successful. However, perhaps they would be interested in a propane stove for their next camping trip. 

In addition, although upselling and cross-selling typically occur at the moment of purchase, a mPOS allows store associates to communicate with the consumer after the sale through an app, SMS, or email. This gives the associate more opportunities to suggest additional purchases to customers.

2. Consumer App

Investing in a consumer app can be a big boost for your business. An app enhances the customer journey significantly, allowing you to form deep connections with customers and drive loyalty.

With a consumer app, you have the ability to send push notifications that notify customers about new products, offers, and even product availability in real-time as they browse in-store. You can also send personalized messages to customers about their loyalty points, order status, vouchers, and rewards.

Consider a shopper who walks into one of his favorite shoe stores. The brand’s app knows his purchase history and that he buys running shoes every six months. The app can then send him a personalized message about a new model and offer a discount if he buys the shoes and a pair of performance socks today.

3. Order Management System (OMS)

A modern order management system (OMS) can support your ability to upsell and cross-sell since it supports store fullfillment services that connect customers with products.

There will also be those unfortunate times when a customer needs to return a product. It’s possible, however, to turn a return into a sale. With buy online return in-store (BORIS), you have an opportunity to get customers into your store. Now you can learn more about their needs and what products may be a better fit. The customer may return the ill fitting pair of work pants, but now you’re able to upsell them a sleek pants suit.

With buy online pickup in-store (BOPIS), you have the ability to cross-sell. A customer can come in to pick up the pair of pants they purchased online, and then be convinced by an associate to purchase the matching shirt. 

4. Inventory Management

Having precise inventory gives your upselling and cross-selling program the power it needs to work. 

Real-time inventory visibility allows you to easily track products and sell across channels. And with endless aisle the phrase, “We can’t get you that product,” has effectively been eliminated from store associates’ vocabulary. 

Endless aisle allows you to order out of stock or unavailable items for in-store customers. So, if you present the perfect complementary pair of shoes to the dress your customer is about to purchase, but they are not available in store, the customer can still walk out having purchased the shoes too.

Unlock Opportunity with Omnichannel 

Leveraging omnichannel tools that allow you to deliver a highly personalized customer experience will greatly help support your upselling and cross-selling programs. 

If you’re ready to grow your sales, reach out today to learn about how NewStore’s solutions can help your store associates better upsell and cross-sell.

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