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Upselling on e-commerce sites performs 20 times better than cross-selling, according to new research from PredictiveIntent.

The statistics show that upselling, in which visitors are shown similar but more expensive products than the one in view, drives over 4% of sales compared to just 0.2% of sales driven by cross-sales tactics (such as displaying 'people who bought this item also bought').

However the data, which was collated from the aggregate of PredictiveIntent’s clients, shows that cross-selling can drive sales by 3% when shown on the check-out page.

PRWD head of usability Paul Rouke said that there is a significant opportunity for retailers to increase their average order size by providing more intelligent cross-sells through the browsing and buying journey.

Techniques our clients are adopting include incorporating the customer ratings of products when they are being presented, and clearly separating out what are 'upsells' and what are 'cross-sells'."

He added that another key technique for driving sales is keeping consumers on the product page after adding to the bag. This encourages customers to stay in 'buying mode' rather than 'checkout mode', so providing intelligent, clear and customer driven cross-sells on product pages is still one of the primary pages to cross-sell. 

One thing to be clear on is ensuring that the customer is clear at their shopping bag what the total cost of their order will be, including standard delivery at the very least, because if consumers are entering checkout not being clear on this then the chances of them being happy to add a suddenly presented cross-sell to their order is extremely small."

A well-designed checkout process is important to prevent dropped sales; fashion retailer ASOS was able to reduce its basket abandonment rate by 50% by redesigning its checkout experience, while HMV is still making elementary errors.

David Moth

Published 10 January, 2012 by David Moth @ Econsultancy

David Moth is Editor and Head of Social at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

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