What is Cross Selling and how does this business strategy work?

Have you tried the Cross Selling strategy within your Online or physical business? If you want to increase the final ticket, perhaps you should not be focusing only on attracting new customers, but on taking advantage of those who do make a purchase or who have already purchased from you before.

This, far from being a utopia, is not only possible, but as I told you, it can considerably improve your profit percentage, as many Brands and companies already do today.

However, if you still don’t know what it consists of or how to apply it in your street-level store or eCommerce, don’t worry, because in this article I will give you tips so that you too can implement it successfully… Shall we start by knowing its definition?

What is Cross Selling and what is it for?

Cross selling , which could literally be translated into Spanish as “cross selling”, is a Marketing technique that focuses mainly on taking advantage of those customers who have already made a purchase or who are currently making one.

To make it happen, sellers need to seize the moment and encourage customers to buy additional products . If successful, the latter will walk away with one or more additional products to the one they originally intended to purchase, generating more profit for the business.

» It is not selling «for selling»

It is yes, at first it seems that we would be trying to “sneak” something extra. But it is important to note that, although the intention is to sell more by offering other products, the seller must always take the customer and their experience into account during the purchase process.

Therefore, we can affirm that it is not just about selling for the sake of selling. You have to do it right and without upsetting your client, or there could be negative consequences.

The first thing you should think about is whether what you are going to offer brings something of real value to the consumer , that is, if they might really like it or if they might need it at some point.

This can be done if we take into account complementary products, those that complement or are necessary for the product that the customer originally plans to buy.

» Examples of cross selling

  • An example of a complementary product can be memory cards , which are necessary to increase the storage space of mobile phones and to be able to use professional cameras, so you could suggest them during the purchase process.
  • We could take another example in those products that are usually used together, such as clothing.

Usually, if someone buys a new sweatshirt , there is a chance that they will want another piece of clothing that will match and fit it well. It is at that point where you as a seller should apply the Cross-Sell, advising and recommending something that can go well with the sweatshirt.

How does Cross Selling work and how can you put it into practice on your website?

To begin with, there are several factors that influence whether this technique will be successful or not, and among them the main ones are three:

  • Whether or not it is a recurring customer , since knowing his tastes may be necessary to recommend certain types of products.
  • The attention of the seller or the way in which he presents himself to the client .
  • The type of product that the customer originally wants to buy , since it is easier to recommend complementary products for certain types, such as clothing and technology.

With this in mind, let’s see how a strategy of this caliber really works:

1) The search for the product

First , a potential customer enters your store looking for a product to buy .

We must assume that the client already has in mind what he wants, he already knows what he is going to buy, due to the fact that he has carried out a previous investigation.

2) The purchase

He finds the product he was looking for and decides to go pay for it and thus finalize his purchase.

At this point, the sale is complete, the customer is satisfied with their product, and you have received a profit. However, it turns out that the product you bought can be complemented with other related ones and there are even some that may become necessary in the future.

3) Your opportunity

You take advantage of this and kindly make a recommendation to the client, offering them products that can complement the original and even some that they might need.

If the customer has the budget, there is a good chance that they will end up buying the add-ons, or at least those that they would really need for what they originally bought, such as a memory card for a digital camera.

How to implement Cross Selling in an eCommerce?

In an online store, curiously, it can even work better than in a physical one.

And it is that when a client arrives at a Web of this type, he does it with a single product in mind and goes precisely to this without considering other options.

However, once inside the product page, the customer realizes that there are other products that could be added to their original purchase, and there is a good chance that they will end up buying one or more of these complementary products.

But how do we put this sales technique into practice? There are a few methods you can use:

» Recommends products closely related to the one the customer is viewing

One of the most effective methods is the classic “ Usually bought together ”.

Cross-selling is selling products that complement each other, as I have already mentioned, and those that are ” usually bought together ” usually have a good synergy, such as:

  • A mobile with a cover.
  • A laptop and a mouse.
  • Even some pants and a leash.

When customers see these types of recommendations, they stop for a moment and think “ I might need it, and if they buy them together it’s because they work well, maybe I should too! ”.

As a result, you have a relatively large percentage of successful eCommerce Cross-Selling cases.

» Packs or “ Bundles ”

Another way to apply this type of strategy is through packs or “ bundles ”, which are basically products that you decide to sell together because they have some kind of relationship or complement each other in some way.

Generally, these packs usually include discounts or offers that make them more desirable and justify buying them together.

In some cases, “special editions” of a product are even included.

For a Pack it is also necessary to take into account important dates or special events, since this way you can create “themed packs ” that attract sales for a special occasion.

» Post-sale promotion

In an eCommerce, in general, the business-client relationship does not end with the closing of the sale, but there is still some post-sale interaction, generally through Email Marketing campaigns or Social Networks, and you can take advantage of this to cross-sell . .

As? Well, very simple: take advantage of the contact information you have for your customers and show them products or offers that complement their latest purchases on your website , something like:

“You have bought X product, maybe you may be interested in these too”.

Of course, remember that the intention is not to make you uncomfortable, so you should try not to be too intrusive or send massive spam to your buyers , or you will end up losing customers.

It is recommended that you take advantage of special dates and events to do so, and if possible send offers or some benefit for your client.

Examples of cross-selling on successful websites

If you still need inspiration, maybe looking at Cross Selling cases in examples will help you. And not just any examples, but the best eCommerce. Because yes, this is a technique widely used by online business giants.

1) Amazon

Let’s start with the classic: Amazon , where, as you know, hundreds of millions of people buy every day in this Marketplace, and even techniques like this are applied there.

As you can see, “ Usually Bought Together ” is Amazon’s preferred technique when it comes to putting it into practice.

And so that you get an idea of ​​how advantageous it can be, Amazon has ensured that the use of this technique represents 35% of the sales made , which is not little.

2) PC Components

Let’s see another case in an Online business like this store of computer products of all kinds, also widely used by video game lovers.

If, for example, you choose to buy a laptop, your ” usually bought together ” will show you some complementary products for your new computer, which in this case are the mouse, the briefcase and a Microsoft Windows 10 license.

And so it happens with many other products on this website.

3) eBay

Finally, I want to show you a different case, this time seen from another online business giant, eBay.

As you can see, it is not about another ” Usually bought together ” but about a Pack, another of the ways in which you can apply the Cross Selling technique.

In this particular case it is a ” Gaming Set” of keyboard, mouse, headphones and mouse pad , all together and at a discount price.

In this way, products that would normally be sold separately are sold in a single purchase, justified by a slight discount that will most likely attract the attention of customers as a “unique opportunity”.


Cross-selling is a very easy-to-use Marketing technique that can have spectacular results in an eCommerce, which is why it is one of the techniques that I highly recommend using.

In fact, by now it should be almost a must, as it will not only help you sell more, but also give visibility and movement to other items in your inventory that may not be so lucky to sell.

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