Want Fries and Shoes With That?
By Shari Altman
Improve Your AOV With Well-crafted Upsells and Cross-sells.
When you visit McDonald's or Hardee's and place your order for a burger or chicken sandwich and a beverage, you will almost certainly be asked, "Would you like fries with that?" At its core, upsells are just like those french fries—an added item that "goes with" your initial purchase. In fact, a telemarketer I worked with years ago even used the term "french frying" as a pseudonym for upselling. Cross-selling really is a variation on upselling, where an item is offered that doesn't necessarily "go with" your customer's initial purchase, but that you know she is likely to be interested in based on what she just purchased or has purchased in the past.
First, a clarification: Much of the time, the difference between upselling or cross-selling is treated as a matter of semantics. But upsell and cross-sell offers are made for different reasons. If the customer calls to order a navy dress, upselling gets her to upgrade to the outfit including the matching navy jacket; cross-selling offers the dress buyer a new set of decorated, black high-heel pumps, not because they "go with" the navy dress, but because historical buying patterns show that dress buyers are also high-heel pump buyers, or because this customer has purchased high-heel pumps from you in the past.
Upselling and cross-selling often are ignored as tactics, or given no more than last-minute consideration. The most important advice I offer any client about upselling and cross-selling is simple:
1. Do it!
2. Manage it!
Appropriate vs. Custom
Upselling and cross-selling can add 5 percent to 25 percent to your average order value (AOV) for a minimal incremental cost. If you've ever run a promotion where increasing the average order by 5 percent to 25 percent could take your promotion from a loss or breakeven to profitability (and who hasn't?), it's not hard to understand the value of implementing upsells and/or cross-sells on your inbound and outbound calls.