With the holiday season fast approaching, it’s important to fine-tune your marketing strategy. While there are many ways to drive traffic to your website (i.e. PPC, Affiliate Programs, Email Marketing, etc.), you need to make the most of shoppers’ time once they arrive, introducing them to relevant products, encouraging them to add items to their shopping carts and, ultimately, converting. And to take it one step further, you want to get them to buy more items and higher margin items.

Forrester research suggests that 10-30% of ecommerce sales come from product recommendations, such as upsells and cross-sells. If you’re not currently employing these tactics, you’re definitely missing out on potential profits. Let’s look at a few best practices for incorporating these and other strategies on your website.

Related Products

As marketers and shoppers, we all know that showing related or complementary products can be a very effective strategy for selling additional items. If I’m viewing a pair of dress shoes, I might be tempted to add shoe polish to my order. When presenting related products, however, it’s important to offer an easy way for the customer to add them to the shopping cart directly from the product page. Few things are worse than distracting a customer that is ready to add more products to the shopping cart. Don’t add any detours to the purchase path.

Upselling and Cross-selling

Once you have a captive audience, take every opportunity to encourage additional purchases, both by upselling items that are more expensive or have a higher margin, as well as cross-selling impulse buys. As with related products, cross-sells and upsells can be promoted in a number of places – from emails and banners to product and category pages. However, cross-sells have proven more successful when promoted in the shopping cart, while upsells are most effective when promoted on product pages. When selecting products to upsell and cross-sell, be sure to avoid items that will increase the total order value too significantly as the increased cost may cause shoppers to abandon the order altogether.


You might also consider featuring a banner on your site to draw attention to promotions or other important information. Use them in headers or footers to upsell or cross-sell, alert shoppers to shipping deadlines, or encourage them to sign up for a newsletter, or feature them on category and product pages to draw attention to sales.  While banners can be effective, it’s important not to use them in excess. They can become distracting to users and contribute to a cluttered feel on your website. And since Google recently announced it will be cracking down on the use of interstitials (pop-ups) on mobile sites, find creative ways to incorporate banners into your website’s existing theme and be mindful of the new restrictions.

There are so many ways to sell to customers on your website and encourage them to add additional items and higher margin items to their carts. As you head into this busy time of year, be sure to incorporate some of these tactics into your merry marketing plan to give your seasonal sales a real boost.

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