12 Shopify Cross-Selling and Upselling Strategies to Increase Store Sales in 2024

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If you own your own Shopify store (or any e-commerce store, for that matter), one of your main goals will be to find ways of consistently increasing profits and revenue. 

For business leaders using Shopify, cross-selling, and upselling is one of the best ways to boost average order value, customer lifetime value, and profits. Used correctly, it can even improve customer loyalty, ensuring you give your customers the “best deal” for their needs. 

As demand for online shopping continues to soar, with the ecommerce market set to reach a value of around $8 trillion by 2027, opportunities to make an incredible profit in this space are growing. However, at the same time, there’s more competition for your target audience than ever before. 

If you want to ensure your Shopify store is a success, you need to find ways to make the most of every conversion. That’s where upselling and cross-selling comes in. With these strategies, you’ll take advantage of your customers’ existing “intent” to buy to increase potential revenue.

Defining Shopify Cross-Selling and Upselling

Man in Business Suit Stands on Stage and Talks about Advantages Upselling and Cross-selling Strategies

Cross-selling and upselling aren’t new concepts. For years, retailers in both the digital and offline worlds have used these tactics to prompt consumers to spend more money. For Shopify store owners, cross-selling and upselling are both excellent ways to increase profits. 

However, upselling and cross-selling are slightly different tactics. 

What is Shopify Upselling?

Upselling on Shopify is a technique used to persuade customers to buy a more expensive version of a product or service. Imagine a customer who comes to your online store and decides to add a specific computer system to their cart. Upselling would involve showing them a more advanced version of that computer, with more features and capabilities, encouraging them to pay a higher price.

Upselling works because it focuses on leveraging the intent your customer already has to buy a particular product. Existing customers (those who have already chosen to convert) are more likely to buy extra than new customers. For instance, the probability of selling to an existing customer is between 60-70%, compared to just 5-20% for a new customer. 

The key to success here is convincing your customer they should abandon their previous decision to purchase a lower-cost product and upgrade to a more valuable alternative. 

What is Shopify Cross-Selling

Shopify Cross-selling is a little different. Instead of convincing your customers to buy the “better” version of your product, you encourage them to make additional, complementary purchases. In the case of the computer store mentioned above, this might mean suggesting a customer buys a keyboard and mouse or hard drive alongside their new system.

Once again, the benefit here is that you’ve already convinced your customer to make a purchase. All you need to do is remind them there may be relevant “additional” items they still need. 

Like upselling, cross-selling can increase average order values, but it’s also a great way to improve the customer experience, ensuring they have everything they need to get the most value out of their purchase. You might even offer specific discounts on add-ons or bundles to help ensure customers get the most value for their money. 

The Benefits of Shopify Cross-Selling and Upselling

Upselling cross selling blue gradient concept icon

On a Shopify store, there are a few different ways you can increase your profits. You can use marketing campaigns to drive more traffic to your store and run promotions to encourage additional sales. However, upselling and cross-selling are perhaps the most effective ways to drive rapid results. 

Cross-selling focuses on convincing customers to purchase additional products alongside the item they want, while upselling is all about “upgrading” the purchase. However, in both strategies, you’re taking advantage of the fact that your customer has already decided to buy something.

Essentially, you’re building on the fact that your leads are already nurtured and ready to convert. Used correctly, Shopify cross-selling and upselling strategies will:

  • Increase average order value: You’ll boost the average amount each customer spends on their purchase by offering more valuable products or add-ons.
  • Boost conversion rates: Placed at the right point in the customer journey (when purchasing intent is strong), these strategies can improve conversion rates. 
  • Improve customer experiences: Helpfully offering customers solutions they genuinely need will improve the loyalty they feel towards your brand. 
  • Drive business growth: Increasing conversion rates and boosting average value will help your business to grow faster. Upselling alone can increase revenue by 10-30%. 

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The Best Shopify Cross-Selling and Upselling Strategies

There are various ways to approach Shopify cross-selling and upselling. In most cases, you’ll use apps and add-ons (via the Shopify app store) to implement new strategies. 

While the methods that work for you can vary depending on various factors, here are some of the methods that are proven to deliver measurable results: 

1. Leverage Upselling and Cross-Selling Pop-Ups 

Probably one of the easiest ways to get started with Shopify cross-selling and upselling is to take advantage of “pop-ups.” Although overwhelming volumes of popups in your store can be annoying, strategic ones can help you gather leads and convert more customers. 

For instance, you might decide to use slide-ins and floating bars on your Shopify product pages to draw attention to other products or upgrade options when your customer adds something to their cart. You can even add cross-sell messages to the “added to cart” popup:

25 Creative Popup Ideas for Your Shopify Store | Mageworx Blog

When it comes to using pop-ups to increase cross-sell and upsell opportunities, there are a few best practices you should keep in mind:

  • Simplify the experience: Don’t use your pop-up to direct customers to another product page. Allow them to add products to their cart or upgrade their purchase with a single button click.
  • Ensure relevance: Make sure you’re recommending products relevant to your customers’ interests by creating product “categories” and connected products on Shopify.
  • Incentivize the offer: Encourage your customers to act with a discount, free shipping offer, or another promotion to sweeten the deal.

2. Cross-Sell or Upsell on the Product Page

Another excellent way to get started with Shopify cross-selling and upselling strategies is to add specific segments to product pages that encourage higher conversions. For instance, if you want to upsell your customers, include a block on your product page that compares the product they’re viewing to a higher-value option. 

This is a common strategy used by SaaS companies, which list the benefits of each pricing package in an easy-to-understand table for customers:

A screenshot of a websiteDescription automatically generated

If you’re trying to increase average order value with cross-selling, there are various ways you can do it. For instance, you might include:

  • Complete the look sections: Carousels or images that show products that will work well with the item the customer is already interested in, like accessories for a dress. 
  • You may also need sections that show customers other add-ons they might need, such as warranties for a device or accessories. 
  • Frequently bought-together sections: Carousels or sections that show customers what customers frequently purchase together. 
25 Upselling and Cross-Selling Examples to Inspire Your Strategy

The key to success here is positioning your upsell and cross-sell offers to ensure they make sense to your customers. Make it easy to see why your customers should upgrade to a more expensive product or purchase additional solutions alongside the item they want. 

Most Shopify themes already include sections for things like “frequently bought together” carousels, so it’s easy enough to start using this tactic. However, you can also use Shopify apps too. 

3. Personalize the Shopify Cross-Selling or Upselling Offers

Studies show that personalization can increase your revenue by 10-15% on average. As standard, your Shopify cross-selling and upselling tactics should always involve recommending “relevant” products to your consumers. However, you can take things a step further with a more personalized experience.

For instance, certain AI-powered tools can track the journey your customer has on your store, leverage their previous purchasing history data, and more to suggest items relevant to their interests. There are even tools that can “predict” what your customers might need

Tools like GemPages can leverage customer data to ensure every cross-selling and upselling recommendation is specific to your target customer or audience segment. You can even use tools to offer special VIP discounts to customers who return to your store multiple times. 

Another potentially simpler way to implement this tactic is to integrate your store with a print-on-demand solution so you can allow customers to customize whatever they purchase. For instance, you can allow them to choose between different colors for a baseball hat:

This is a great upselling technique, as it encourages customers to pay more for a more “tailored” product. It can also work with cross-selling if you want to position customization options as an add-on for an existing product:

A blue hat with a white letter on itDescription automatically generated

4. Use Deals and Discounts Strategically

Sometimes, convincing customers to purchase a more expensive product or add other items to their cart can be difficult because they only have a limited budget to work with. Experts suggest that if you’re “upselling” to a customer, the higher-priced product should be no more than 25% more expensive, or else you risk losing the sale. 

Even if you stick by those rules, there’s a chance you might need to “sweeten the deal” for your customers to increase your conversions. This could mean offering customers a special “one-time” discount if they choose to upgrade their purchase within a specific time. 

Offering a discounted cross-sell as part of the bundle

Or it could involve using strategies like:

  • Product bundles: Product bundling is an excellent way to encourage customers to purchase more from your store. You can offer quantity discount bundles, buy-more-save-more bundles, or bundles of frequently bought together items, with discounts that show customers they’ll get a better deal overall if they’re willing to spend a little extra.
  • Free gift offers: Consider offering customers something for free if they buy more than one item at the same time or upgrade to a more expensive product. For instance, you could offer an upgraded computer system with a free 2-year warranty. 
  • Free shipping offers: If you don’t want to give products away or reduce the price your customers pay for products, offer them another benefit. For instance, you could encourage customers to spend $40 or more to get free express shipping. Free shipping deals are one of the best ways to improve your ecommerce conversion rates

5. Create a Sense of Urgency with Your Offers

Aside from offering great deals to boost your chances of customers taking advantage of your Shopify cross-selling and upselling offers, another option is to create a sense of “urgency” that makes consumers feel like they don’t want to miss out on a great opportunity. 

For instance, if your customer can purchase add-ons for the product they buy from your store at any time for the same price, they’re less inclined to feel like they need to increase their order value straight away. However, if you tell your customers they only have a limited time to take advantage of an exclusive deal, bundle, or offer, they’ll be more likely to convert. 

Studies show that creating a sense of urgency can increase conversion rates by over 10%. With that in mind, experiment with limited-time offers like:

  • Exclusive bundles: Temporary bundle offerings that customers can only access for a certain length of time, such as a bundle for a collection of new mugs or home décor items.
  • Introductory offers: Discounted prices on a new product that are only available to the first 100 customers or for the first week of a product launch. 
  • Special deals for specific customers: Discounts that are only available to first-time purchases or new customers who sign up for your email newsletter.
How to Add a Post Purchase Upsell to Your Online Store

6. Cross-Sell or Upsell During the Checkout

We’ve already discussed a couple of ways you can use Shopify cross-selling and upselling techniques as soon as customers arrive on your site (with popups) or when they’re on the product page. But there are plenty of great points in the customer journey that are ideal for cross-selling and upselling.

For instance, one option is to add upsell or cross-selling offers to the cart page. One of the reasons why this strategy works is that your customers are already at the final stage in their purchasing journey. They’ve added their items to their cart, and they’re ready to enter payment details.

If you can remind them of a great offer for a better product or show them complementary products at this moment and allow them to add those to their cart in seconds, this increases your chances of conversions.

Cross-sells | Stripe Documentation

The most important thing to keep in mind here is that taking advantage of an offer on a checkout page should be as simple as possible for your Shopify customers. Don’t make it so your consumers have to go back to a product page and go through the last stage of their purchase all over again.

Additionally, it’s worth noting that Shopify’s standard checkout solution doesn’t give you a lot of customization options. You may need to work with a developer or use a specialist app or alternative payment processor to leverage this strategy. 

7. Cross-Sell on the Thank You Page

If you think the checkout page is the last opportunity you’ll have for Shopify cross-selling and upselling, think again. Just because your customers have made and finalized their purchase doesn’t mean they’re still not open to some great offers. 

You can use apps for Shopify, like “Prisync”, which allows you to create a “thank you’ page that both shows customers their existing order and gives them an opportunity to “update” their purchase or buy something new. This page is a great place to showcase the items customers commonly buy together again and draw attention to any offers you might have:

10 Thank You Page Examples and Ideas to Boost Conversions

Some tools will even allow customers to change their minds post-purchase and add something new to their order without having to re-enter all of their details or pay for additional shipping. If you use this strategy for your Shopify store, remember to:

  • Make it simple for customers to purchase something again or increase their order.
  • Draw attention to the benefits of making an additional purchase (such as free shipping)
  • A/B test the products or offers you recommend on the thank you page.

8. Send Post-Purchase Emails

Similar to using cross-selling and upselling tactics on your thank you pages, selling post-purchase emails that highlight offers is an excellent way to draw customers back to your store. Intent to buy doesn’t disappear completely after a customer makes a purchase. 

Sometimes, if you can contact your customers at just the right time, you can give them another opportunity to rethink their purchase and decide whether they want to buy something else straight away. To use this strategy, you’ll need an email marketing platform with dynamic tagging capabilities, which allow you to trigger specific messages when a customer makes a purchase.

Tools like Klaviyo are excellent for this. Once you combine your email marketing platform with Shopify, you can create post-purchase email campaigns where you thank your customer for their purchase, mention the product they bought, and add a tag recommending similar items.

How to Write Cross-Sell Emails [14 Real-Life Examples]

You could even boost your chances of conversions by giving your customers a limited-time discount if they decide to make an additional purchase straight away. Alternatively, you could dynamically show customers the products they also viewed in their buyer journey to remind them of the other items they may already be interested in. 

9. Use Shoppable Content

One incredible way to optimize the customer experience on your Shopify store and improve conversion rates is with shoppable content. Shoppable content is an ideal Shopify cross-selling strategy for certain companies, such as those in the fashion, beauty, and home decoration space. 

For instance, creating full pages that showcase how items in a collection work together can convince your customers to buy more immediately without the need for pop-ups. You might create “lookbooks” as a fashion retailer that show models wearing a range of products from your collection.

These lookbooks can give your customers to add multiple items to their cart on the same page, rather than asking them to sort through different product pages. 

For instance, the IKEA website includes images that show how various different products work together and allow customers to learn more about the pricing of features of each product just by hovering their mouse over dynamic sections:

A collage of images of a roomDescription automatically generated

Shoppable content is a great way to ensure your customers can visualize the benefits of buying multiple products at the same time. You can even expand your strategy by integrating your Shopify store with social media and creating shoppable posts for channels like Instagram.

10. Leverage Retargeting

Post-purchase emails are one of the best ways to follow up with your customers after they make a purchase, so you can try to “cross-sell” them more products or convince them to upgrade their purchase. Another option is to leverage retargeting campaigns. 

Retargeting is the art of presenting products to customers on a range of channels based on their previous purchasing behaviors. You can use tools like the Facebook (Meta) Pixel on Shopify to target customers with specific offers on Meta channels after they visit your store. 

For instance, if a customer buys a new pair of shoes on your website, you could create a retargeting campaign that shows them similar shoes, socks, or accessories they might be interested in, too. 

This strategy has two distinct benefits:

  • It can increase your chances of conversions: You can use retargeting methods to target customers who have visited your store and added items to their cart without making a purchase. Showcasing the products they’ve already looked at, as well as cross-selling and upselling offers, increases the chances of them returning to your store and making a bigger purchase.
  • It boosts repeat purchases: If you fail to convince your customers to take advantage of an upsell or cross-sell offer the first time they make a purchase, retargeting gives you a second chance to capture their attention and increase sales.
A screenshot of a social media ad of J.Crew Factory

11. Try Subscription Selling

Subscriptions have become increasingly popular in recent years. In 2024, the market for ecommerce subscriptions reached a value of $330.58 billion, demonstrating a growing desire among customers to ensure they have consistent access to their favorite products. 

Subscriptions are an excellent way to “upsell” your customers. Although they might not be buying a more advanced version of your product, they are committing to purchasing more of it, which still increases your average order value. 

Subscriptions can also be excellent for cross-selling, as they allow you to offer customers the opportunity to access bundles of products on repeat, often for a discount price. The key to success with subscription selling is ensuring your customers feel like they’re going to get something beneficial from their subscription. 

This could mean offering them access to exclusive products earlier than anyone else or providing them with unique experiences, like carefully curated monthly subscription products. It could also simply mean offering discounts for subscribers, as Amazon does with its subscribe and save option.

Maximize Your Savings with Amazon Subscribe & Save

To develop your subscription strategy, you’ll need an app that allows you to sell subscriptions, such as “Recharge Subscriptions” or the “Seal Subscriptions” app. Make sure you give customers ways to customize and control their experience, too, by allowing them to choose delivery frequencies (such as monthly or bi-monthly options). 

12. Design a Loyalty Program

Finally, creating a loyalty program for your Shopify store can deliver a lot of amazing results. It increases your chances of repeat sales and can even convince customers to recommend your products and store to other consumers. 

When it comes to optimizing your Shopify cross-selling and upselling strategies, a loyalty program gives you an opportunity to target your most valuable customers with great offers that convince them to consistently buy more. For instance, you can offer customers:

  • Loyalty points: Give customers the option to acquire points related to the value of their purchase. If they earn more points, they can redeem them for discounts or free products in the future by buying extra in the short term, and they’ll be more likely to make larger sales. 
  • Membership discounts: Give your loyal customers special discounts on specific product bundles, upgrades to higher-tier products, and add-ons. This will encourage them to keep coming back and purchasing from your store.
  • Exclusive offers: Such as instant access to new products with introductory price offers when you launch new items in your store. This can increase your chances of earning immediate sales for high-tier products and add-ons as you expand your website.

Remember to monitor the results of your loyalty programs carefully and pay attention to feedback from customers to help you design your future campaigns. 

Quick Tips for Shopify Cross-Selling and Upselling

An orange key with the text sell on a white keyboard combined with a up sign

Shopify cross-selling and upselling strategies can be excellent ways to increase average order values and rapidly grow your store. However, it does take time to ensure you’re implementing the right methods for success. Here are some quick tips to keep in mind:

  • Use the right apps: Leverage the Shopify app store to find solutions that will help you design cross-selling and up-selling pop-ups, thank you pages, and sales funnels. Take advantage of tools that help you customize product and checkout pages and even deliver personalized recommendations to customers throughout the buying journey. 
  • Get the timing right: Make sure you present offers at the right time in the customer journey. Ideally, you’ll want to target customers when they’ve already shown intent to purchase your products by visiting product pages or adding products to their cart. However, you can also follow up and increase your chances of purchases after a sale.
  • Focus on great experiences: Remember, your focus shouldn’t just be on increasing sales; it should also be on improving the customer experience. Deliver offers and recommendations that are relevant and personalized to your target audience and their specific needs. Learn as much as you can about your niche so you can create more valuable offers. 
  • Keep it simple: Avoid overwhelming your customers with cross-selling and upselling strategies that harm the purchasing journey. Don’t fill your Shopify website with endless pop-ups, banners, and offers that make it harder for customers to simply make a purchase. Also, avoid decision paralysis, by only suggesting a few extra “options” each time.
  • Test and experiment: Experiment with different cross-sell and upsell discount offers, recommendations, bundles, and strategies to determine what works best for your target audience. Run A/B testing campaigns to examine the impact of every decision you make, from when to send pop-ups to how to showcase your products.
  • Measure conversion rates: Pay close attention to your conversion rates when implementing cross-selling and upselling strategies. Most apps available for Shopify cross-selling will give you access to data you can use to determine which of your methods boost conversions and which might cause customers to abandon their carts. 

Also, make sure you know when to choose cross-selling over upselling. Cross-selling is usually a good strategy when you want to promote related products alongside items customers might already be interested in. Upselling, on the other hand, is ideal when you offer various premium “versions” of products with more features or capabilities. 

Increasing Sales with Shopify Cross-Selling and Upselling

Marketing specialist think about upselling cross-selling and another sales technique used in e-commerce for more profitable sales

Taking advantage of Shopify’s cross-selling and upselling techniques is an excellent way to increase your revenue, improve the customer experience, and rapidly grow your online store. There are dozens of incredible apps available for Shopify that can help you implement all of the strategies used above and even give you insights into which tactics work best. 

However, if you need extra help optimizing your Shopify conversion rates, you can always consider working with an expert. A freelance Shopify specialist from Growth Collective can help you build cross-selling and upselling campaigns and monitor their performance. 

They can give you insights into which products you should be recommending to customers and when, as well as when to use different cross-selling and upselling techniques. Contact Growth Collective today to find your conversion rate optimization specialist.

FAQ

Can you cross-sell on Shopify?

There are various ways you can cross-sell and upsell through your Shopify store. However, you’ll usually need to take advantage of Shopify apps to implement your strategy. You can find apps for everything from creating cross-selling pop-ups to “frequently bought together” sections for your product pages and cart pages.

Is cross-selling profitable?

Absolutely, cross-selling is a fantastic way to increase average order values and boost the performance of your Shopify store. It allows you to take advantage of the existing “purchasing intent” a customer already has to encourage them to purchase more products from your store. 

What’s the difference between cross-selling and upselling?

With upselling, the focus is on encouraging customers to buy a more advanced or premium version of a product they’re already interested in. On the other hand, cross-selling involves encouraging customers to buy products related to the item they want to buy, like socks to go with shoes or a necklace to go with a set of earrings. 

Rebekah Carter
Former company
About Author
Rebekah is a dedicated writer with years of experience producing exceptional content for brands around the globe. Her commitment to producing the best possible content means she’s constantly developing new skills and experience.
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