Before we discuss in detail about Ecommerce cross selling and how D2C brands are using it to grow their AOV, here is a scenario of how it actually works.
After months of hard work, Founder Rohit was thrilled as his D2C organic skincare brand was finally ready to launch. He had the products formulated, the branding designed, and the website developed. Now, it was time to get sales rolling in.
The first few weeks went okay, some orders trickled in from promotional efforts but conversion remained low. Upon analyzing, Rohit realized that most visitors only purchased one item while checking out. That’s when he decided that there was a need to encourage the buyers to purchase more and cross-selling was a great solution to this challenge.
He started showing complementary products as customers browsed and checked out. Soon, they saw an increase in the average order values, and repeat purchases. In just a few months, the brand’s revenue skyrocketed.
That is the power of Ecommerce cross-selling. If executed thoughtfully, it can lead D2C brands towards success. In this post, we will dive deep into understanding cross-selling strategy and provide you with actionable insights for implementing cross-selling seamlessly into your D2C Ecommerce store.
What is Ecommerce Cross Selling?
Ecommerce cross-selling refers to recommending related or complementary products to customers during the purchase process. The aim of this is to encourage the buyers to spend more thereby increasing the order value.
For instance, several ecommerce brands often suggest purchasing a phone case when a customer buys a mobile phone or recommends a matching outfit accessory with an apparel purchase. .
However, understand that this differs from upselling, where the goal is to persuade customers to upgrade or buy a more premium version of the product.
At its core, cross-selling is about intuitively predicting what customers might need next. The USP lies in its simplicity: it’s about making life easier for the customer. Something similar to when our local stationery shops suggest purchasing a pen along with our notebook.
The psychology behind cross selling
We like it when things are simpler and we know it. While shopping online, getting related product recommendations that meet the buyer’s upcoming needs makes it much easier for them to make the purchase decision.
For D2C brands, Ecommerce cross-selling presents a huge revenue opportunity. By better understanding customer needs and purchase behavior, you can boost order values across channels.
The key here is to ensure that the recommendations should come across as a genuine assistance for the buyers instead of a sales pitch. With thoughtful suggestions, it enhances the shopping experience rather than pressuring sales.
While the benefits are immense, brands need to be thoughtful while implementing cross-selling as mindless recommendations may backfire and irritate customers.
Benefits of Ecommerce cross selling for D2C brands
Successful implementation of Ecommerce cross-selling strategy can lead to:
Increased order value
Suggesting complementary products directly increases order value. For instance, customers who buy a mobile phone case along with their phone will spend more than those who don’t. Hence, Ecommerce cross-selling helps capture this additional revenue rather than losing sales from external purchases. The more relevant your suggestions, the higher the order value boost.
Higher long-term revenue
The revenue impact of cross-selling goes beyond the initial order value. By satisfying more customer needs per order, cross-selling improves loyalty.
Satisfied customers have higher lifetime value. They come back to purchase again, respond better to marketing, and refer friends. This compounds revenues over time.
Improved customer experience
Thoughtful cross-selling makes the shopping experience smoother for customers. Rather than needing to place multiple orders, you suggest complementary products during checkout making it easier for the buyer to purchase in one go.
This convenience improves the buying experience. Customers also appreciate personalized product suggestions based on their purchase history and interests.
Using cross-selling to delight customers also differentiates your brand. You stand out from competitors by understanding and catering to customer needs.This builds loyalty beyond just transactions and customers develop an emotional connection with brands that “get them.”
Maximizing marketing efforts
Every marketing campaign aims to persuade buyers and. Cross-selling helps extract the full revenue potential from your efforts.
Rather than a customer making a single purchase from a campaign, cross-selling facilitates additional sales once they arrive at your store.
Winning customer loyalty
The convenience and personalization of thoughtful cross-selling breeds loyalty. When customers’ needs are quickly satisfied, they stick with the retailer.
This loyalty then enables more cross-selling opportunities in the future, creating a virtuous revenue cycle over time.
Deeper insights into customer behavior
The more you cross-sell, the better your insights into customer preferences. This creates a feedback loop, refining product development and marketing strategies.
Best practices for Ecommerce cross selling execution
Now that we’ve covered the immense benefits, here are some best practices for executing cross-selling successfully:
#1 Product suggestions during checkout
The checkout process presents a natural opportunity to suggest add-ons before order completion. Recommend accessories, consumables, and complementary products during this purchase funnel stage.
As the checkout stage involves the customer to finalize their purchase, suggesting additional products that might be of interest can increase cart value.
Consider the Indian D2C brand Sugar Cosmetics. When a shopper adds lipstick to the cart, a pop-up appears suggesting matching products, subtly nudging the customer to make an additional purchase.
#2 Email/Push recommendations based on purchase data
Use past purchase data to personalize cross-sell suggestions via email and push notifications. Remind customers of products that perfectly complement their recent orders.
Using historical purchase data can yield highly tailored product suggestions. A well-timed email with relevant product suggestions can re-engage a customer and bring them back to the store.
Dollar Shave Club leverages purchase data to target customers with relevant cross-sell promotions post-checkout.
For example, after completing an order containing shaving cartridges, shave butter, and other products, customers receive a follow-up email recommending complementary add-ons like post-shave lotion and miracle repair serum. Conveniently, customers can take up these extra products before their original order ships out.
Dollar Shave Club taps into the momentum of customers still in a “buying zone” right after purchasing. The email arrives within hours while the initial order is top of mind.
#3 Bundled offers and deals
Provide discounted bundles and package deals that make it easier for customers to purchase complementary products together. Bundling relevant products together at a discounted rate provides perceived value to customers and encourages them to purchase more.
Mamaearth, a D2C brand focused on natural and organic products, offers bundled deals. For instance, they present a customer looking at a face cream with a deal that pairs the cream with a matching face wash.
#4 Offering add-ons customized to cart items
When customers add products to a cart, dynamically suggest accessories and add-ons precisely matched to those items. Complementary items based on what is currently in a customer’s cart can lead to increased sales and a better shopping experience.
The Man Company, dealing in men’s grooming products, does this with finesse. On adding a shaving gel to the cart, customers might see suggestions for after-shave lotions or beard oils.
#5 On-site recommendations during browsing
Suggest recommendations while customers browse your Ecommerce store. By analyzing a shopper’s online behavior, it’s possible to suggest products on the fly as they’re browsing, making their shopping experience more fluid.
Plum, a beauty and wellness Ecommerce brand, offers real-time recommendations. If someone is viewing a niacinamide cream, Plum shows them toners or moisturizers with the same ingredient.
#6 Personalized landing pages based on user behavior
By tracking a user’s browsing habits and preferences, brands can customize the landing page a customer sees upon returning to the site.
For instance, True Classics displays limited-time deals on its order confirmation pages. As you finish checkout, a pop-up offers 50% off a three-pack of premium boxers for just $25. A ticking 5-minute countdown builds urgency to act. And a bright “Add To Order” button lets you instantly tack on the bargain boxers with one click. The tactical combo of discount urgency and checkout convenience converts impulse into incremental sales.
#7 Augmented reality (AR) experiences
Augmented reality allows customers to virtually try out products, leading to related product suggestions based on the virtual experience.
Lenskart, an eyewear brand, leverages this technology as it offers an AR feature which enables users to virtually try on different frames and find the right fit for them. After trying a particular style, they might receive suggestions for similar designs or lens upgrades.
#8 Interactive product quizzes
Interactive quizzes that lead to product suggestions can be both fun for the customer and beneficial for sales.
Cosmetics and beauty ecommerce platform Nykaa has a “CSMS” quiz which allows. a customer takes the quiz and finds the right ingredients that their cleansers, serums, moisturizers and sunscreens should have. The results suggest a range of products tailored to the customer’s specific skincare needs.
#9 Incorporating user-generated content for suggestions
By showcasing real-life use cases or styles from customers, brands can instill trust and make product suggestions more relatable.
Bunaai, a fashion Ecommerce platform, encourages users to upload videos wearing their products. Browsing customers can see these videos, get inspired, and receive suggestions based on the styles shown.
These examples showcase the diversity of creative cross-selling strategies top Indian Ecommerce brands have implemented. The key is understanding customer context and intent to provide thoughtful recommendations.
Cross-selling provides a valuable opportunity to boost revenue from your existing traffic and customers. But the suggestions must be thoughtful, not pushy.
Keep these tips in mind when brainstorming cross-selling strategies for your D2C Ecommerce store:
- Know your customers and products intimately to suggest relevant pairings and bundles
- Test different cross-selling placements across the shopping journey to find optimal touchpoints
- Incentivize complementary purchases through deals and discounts
- Continually experiment with creative approaches and optimize based on data
- Delight customers by simplifying purchases rather than pressuring them
When done right, cross-selling will become an integral part of how you satisfy customer needs, differentiate your brand, and maximize revenues.
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