10.3 C
New York
Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Upselling Vs. Cross-Selling: Which is Better & Effective?

Research proves that 32% of customers order from the same brand within a year of purchase of an item or service. The marketers might be very eager to earn new customers to like and buy from their brand but old customers are the best targets for upselling. Converting past customers into being more loyal to your brand and upselling products is very useful for the growth of any brand. The average value for a product increases in this way. It is important to know what is upselling and cross-selling exactly and also the difference between upselling Vs. cross-selling. It is easier to leverage a past successful selling venture on social media advertising. Upselling to existing customers becomes easier when using social media advertising due to the use of Artificial Intelligence in them.

What are Upselling and Cross-Selling?

  • What is Upselling?


It is when the brand suggests an added value to the customer so that he buys a better/ more expensive product from the same brand. Upselling also includes the selling of services in addition to selling a product. These services might be used to provide insurance or add other value to the bought product. A successful upselling is completed if a potential buyer can be convinced that a higher-end product of the same utility would cater to their needs better. A brand should help its customers to visualize the value of the high-end product.

  • What is Cross-selling?


Cross-selling on the other hand, is offering and selling a complementary or supplementary product of the main item purchased by the customer. One of the best cross-sell examples is when you purchase a mobile phone, a protective screen guard and back cover are offered to you as complementary products. These added products are advertised and marketed in such a way so that people believe that they prevent the risk of damage and provide protection to the bought gadget. Cross-selling is, therefore, a very potent marketing strategy. Cross-selling is an effective strategy for ensuring repeat purchases by customers. 

It is extremely important for all businesses to focus on both upselling and cross-selling to strengthen customer relationships, increase the longevity and loyalty of customers towards the brand, encourage repeat purchases from the brand, etc. Therefore, exploring the strategies of upselling and cross-selling is becoming a potent option to increase the brand value and sales of a company.

Benefits of Upselling Vs. Cross-Selling

Although it has been observed that both cross-selling and upselling are beneficial for a brand to increase its customer base, sales, and brand value, they have mutually exclusive benefits for the brand or company.  

cross-sell example

  • Benefits of Upselling

Upselling or selling high-end products of the brand helps in producing maximum value of a product to the customer and the revenue is easily increased without incurring any recurring cost to the company for marketing. By selling a high-end product instead of an average product, customer satisfaction with the brand also increases in the long run thus creating strengthened relationships with customers.

  • Benefits of Cross-selling

By cross-selling, one might sell the product of a third party as a complementary or supplementary item and earn commission from the same. The revenue generation is comparatively lower and less direct than in upselling but it ideally creates a network of sellers who work for mutual benefits. If you as a businessman are equally concerned about selling a third-party product as your own, it not only generates revenue but also creates a harmonious environment of salesmanship.

Strategies of Upselling and Cross-selling

marketing strategies

  • Note demographics

Note down the demographics of your customers. This is easier with the support of social media advertising. The demographics of your potential audience are automatically noted down. Analyzing the demographics like location, age, gender, etc. might help a business owner in customizing strategies for specific target groups of customers. Artificial intelligence embedded in social media advertising also helps in identifying past purchases of products. This will help you in cross-selling and upselling new products and pitch them to your customers. Offering loyalty discounts or a cross-sell product at a discounted price also helps in earning more revenue for the brand and increasing customer loyalty.

  •  Create a list of past purchases

By creating a list of what purchases your buyers made in the last month or week you can strategically device cross-selling products. You can issue personalized campaigns for specific buyers so that they feel valued and remembered as customers and also gets to know about the offers your brand is making. As a cross-sell example, if your customer has bought a sofa from your brand in the last week, there is no point in advertising for a better sofa for upselling. Instead, it would be intelligent to customize an advertisement for cushions and cushion covers that can be used to embellish the sofa and add to its comfort. It is often seen that such customized cross-sell purchases are frequently made.

  • Remarketing

It is easy to group your customers according to demographics and target them with advertisements, which have a template message. Customize the template for each target group and issue an advertisement for the same. This becomes a very easy strategy for cross-selling products. Social media advertisements have made it easier to pick your target audience and trace their past purchases for ease of advertising and setting your template message. For example, if your target audience is buying outdoor accessories, you can customize a message for buying planters or other garden accessories as a cross-selling strategy.

  • Reminder

It is important to remind your target audience why they chose you in the past. Give them occasional reminders about the features of your products or the quality of your services. You can also choose to customize your reminder for particular target groups who gave you great feedback for your product or received quick service in case of breakdown etc. Try evoking emotions among your customers related to your brand. This helps in creating brand loyalty and widening the customer base as well.

  • Additional Incentives

Personalize incentives offered to customers. Loyalty discounts and free gifts and coupons customized to make your customers feel valuable are extremely appreciated. This increases the scope for a cross-sell or upsell. For example, if you are offering a discount of 10% on a hair spa and your customer walks into your beauty parlor to avail the same, you can pitch for a hair coloring, a shampoo, a head massage, and anything else that compliments the offer you made. This would be an ideal example of cross-sell.

  • Celebrity Quotient Reminder

Remind your customer of products of your brand that any celebrity has endorsed. This also helps in generating revenue and increases the scope for cross-selling products.


It has to be understood that upselling vs cross-selling should never be a debate in the sales and marketing of any company. Both should be strategized and intelligently combined to yield the best results. If upselling or cross-selling is only done with the motive of an increase in revenue, it is bound to fail as a strategy. Customer centricity and strengthened customer relationships should stand at the core of these strategies before being adopted. No brand can earn profits if it has no goodwill. Therefore marketing strategies should definitely be implemented but keeping the ethics of a brand intact.

Latest news

Kiara Dawson
Kiara Dawson comes from an Engineering background, with a specialization in Information Technology. She has a keen interest and expertise in Web Development, Data Analytics, and Research. She trusts in the process of growth through knowledge and hard work.

Read Also

- Advertisement -


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here