Upselling is one of the best ways to increase your profits. Think about it: It is easier to convince someone who is already paying money to pay more money than to convince someone who has not yet parted with their money to make a purchase. 

Once people are in “buying mode,” they are more likely to spend more money. Also, when you are upselling a product, you are targeting people who likely have more money to spend than someone who is undecided as to whether they want to make a purchase or not. 

Today, I will go over five tips to help you upsell your products, increase online sales, and improve your bottom line. Let us get into it. 

1. Upsell Your Best Products Only

Don’t upsell any product. Upselling is called upselling for a reason – after you successfully sold one product, you can upsell a superior product for a premium price. If you upsell an inferior product or even a product that is on the same level as the first product, that is not called upselling – it might be called cross-selling or even down-selling. 

By upselling your best products, you are more likely to get conversions. Keep in mind that upselling is something you do to get “extra” profit. Ideally, you should be covering your base costs with your original sales and using your upsells to make or increase your profits. Stick to upselling your best products to get the most conversions. 

Also, avoid giving too many options. That is a mistake that too many marketers make. If you provide too many options during the upsell, it won’t increase conversions. That’s due to something called the paradox of choice. The more choices people have, the more likely they are to overthink things. If you upsell too many products, people will get confused and might spend too much time analyzing which product to buy. In the end, they may buy nothing at all!

By upselling only your best products, you can reduce the number of options and make things less confusing for your buyers. When you only upsell your best product, the choice will be obvious. Try to make things less complicated for your buyers, not more difficult. Think about things from the perspective of a buyer. 

2. Provide Better Alternatives

Your goal when upselling should be to provide better alternatives to just buying the original product. For example, you might market an add-on that will make the buyer’s life easier compared to if they would buy only the original product. Here are some ways to provide better alternatives: 

  • Provide better performance: The upsell can provide better performance than the original product. This can be an upsell that replaces the original product altogether or an add-on that improves the performance of the original product. 
  • Larger size: Larger size can be a way to upsell a physical or a digital product. For example, if you are selling a burger, you can upsell the option to buy a double burger or a combo with fries and a Coke for an extra few dollars. If you are selling a car, you can upsell a larger car with more space. If you are selling a cloud storage solution, you can upsell a solution that provides more GB of cloud storage. 
  • More features: Adding features is a great way to upsell a product, especially digital software solutions but also physical products. 
  • More storage: I already touched upon more storage, as it is a great way to upsell digital products. For example, if you are selling hosting solutions, letting clients upgrade to an option with more storage for their files is a great idea. A great example of using more storage as an upsell is how Dropbox charges more for more storage. 

3. Make Side By Side Comparisons

Side-by-side comparisons are one of the best ways to demonstrate how one product is superior to another or how one product will improve someone’s life compared to the other. Comparison tables and charts provide a great way to do this. You can create a simple table with a side-by-side comparison of the features and benefits of the upsell compared to the original product. Use checks and X’s or green and red colors to show how the upsell has features and services that the original product does not. 

You can also use bullet points. The point is to make the features and benefits stand out so that someone scrolling through can quickly see how the upsell is superior and will improve their life. Someone who just finished buying a product does not necessarily have the time to scroll through a blog post detailing how the second product will improve their lives, so make it easier for them. 

4. Upsell During Checkout

Earlier in this article, I mentioned that the reason upselling is so effective is that it targets people who are already in “buying mode.” Statistics say that it is 5x cheaper to retain an existing customer than to acquire a new customer, and that is true for a similar reason: Once someone has parted with their money, they are more likely to part with more money, either because they have money to spend, are frequent spenders, or just really want and need the product you sell. 

Upselling during checkout can help increase your conversion rates because people are already in buying mode. Also, people during checkout usually have at least some time on their hands, as they had enough time to make the original purchase. 

Let’s compare that to upselling via an email a day after the customer made their original purchase. At that point, the customer may no longer be in “buying mode.” They may have had some pretty big emergency expenses the previous day after they made their original purchase and now no longer want to spend a lot of money. Perhaps they are watching their budget until their next paycheck. 

They may also not have a lot of time at that point. Just because they had time the day before, it does not mean they will have time to even open your email the next day. If they do open it, they may not read it thoroughly, or they may plan to go back to it when they have more time, only to forget about it forever. 

Target your customers when the time is ripe – during checkout, either before or after they complete their purchase. That’s when they are most likely to purchase an upsell. In addition to the points I just mentioned, that is when they feel the need for the product most and are more likely to pay more for a better product with more features.

5. Automate Your Upselling

Although it is essential to upsell your buyers at checkout, it doesn’t mean you should stop there. You should set up an automated system that upsells your visitors. Here’s an example of how such an automated system might work:

  • During checkout, buyers are asked if they want to upgrade to a premium version of the product. 
  • If they accept, that’s great! If they decline, you can offer them the premium version at a discounted rate. For example, you can give them 20 percent off. 
  • If they decline and complete their original purchase, you can upsell another best-selling product of yours that you think they would like after checkout. 
  • If they decline, you can send them an email the next day giving them that best-selling product at a discounted rate. 
  • You can send them another email a week later. 
  • You can use automated PPC retargeting to target people who have visited your upsell page. This type of campaign will allow you to show ads to those people while they are scrolling through Facebook, for example. 

The goal here is to not let an opportunity pass by in which you could have upsold your customers. At the same time, you don’t want to be too annoying, as that will have the opposite effect of what you want. Three upsells during checkout is probably the maximum, with other upsells being sent via email or retargeted PPC ads. 

Conclusion 

Upselling is an art. It’s not about pushing random products on your customers and hoping you buy them. When you upsell, you need to be focusing on the buyers’ perspective. Ask yourself how you can improve their lives even further. Which product will help them solve their problems? If they are buying a product, it is because there is a need that the product fills, so what other products can help them fill that need? 

Be smart about it. Choose the products you upsell carefully, and present them in the right way. Side-by-side comparisons work great, and an automated upselling machine can help you get a lot more conversions. Don’t be too pushy, but also make sure to take advantage of the opportunities you are presented to upsell your products and get more conversions. Practice A/B split testing to test out different upselling methods and choose the ones that get you the most conversions.