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Best and Worst Practices of Cross-Selling

Automatic cross-sell generation is a verified tool for increasing chances that your customers will make another purchase. Shortly, cross-sells are items offered on the product page as related products. Usually, they are less expensive and can be used as supplements to the purchased item.

Looking for the best way to cross-sell your products, you should first accomplish a thorough analysis of clients' past activities on your store. First of all you should determine the logic of relations between the products being ordered and the products being offered as cross-sells. If most of your customers choose or place single-product orders, though cross-sell products are offered at your store, then something is wrong.

When selecting the parameters to choose the cross-sell products, you should primarily take into account the major similarities between the products, that include their price range, potential customers and point of use. After that you may add some conditions concerning their external properties, like style or color etc. You should remember, that the narrower the parameters are, the less quantity of cross-sells products will be generated but the more accurate they will be, so try to find the golden mean.

Below there are a few examples of how cross-sell works and how it doesn't work.

Worst cross-selling

bad cross sell example

As you can see, the similarities of these products are quite secondary and unlikely to attract a lot of customers. Buying a toaster, a customer would be hardly interested in getting a piece of furniture or an MP3 player. The products have the same color, however it might be not so important for the purchaser. Consequently, these offers will probably be passed by. A mixer, knife or a mincing machine that are best-sellers would be the thing in this case, due to their common price range and intended use.

You've got my point, so now try to figure out what's wrong with the following offers:

bad cross sell example

worst cross sell

Make sure not to use such examples of cross-selling and check out good cross-sell practices below.

Best Way to Cross-Sell

best cross sell

Here the connections between the products are prioritized in correct way. First of all their most important properties (price, point of use and potential customers) are taken into account. Same is true for the hands free along with a phone, gloves along with a scarf or towels along with a bathrobe.

good cross sell

good cross sell example

If you want to make the result of cross-selling more productive, you should also apply conditions concerning the previous orders. Customers' activity is the main indicator of the store's good or bad functioning. That's why the analysis of the previous orders is essential in the process of cross-sell products generation. Enterprise Edition of Magento Store Manager allows to set and apply the order conditions, including the status of orders, their price and date range automatically.

In order to get more information about the cross-selling generation basing on the customers' behaviour and get the algorithm of this procedure with Magento Store Manager (Enterprise Edition), check the following article How to Automatically Generate Cross-Sell Products Basing on Customer Behavior.

If you have some examples of right or wrong cross-selling, be free to share them with us in comments!

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