Do you want fries with that? It’s a phrase that has become a common target for satire in popular culture. However, this simple phrase generates an additional 200 million in sales for one major quick serve restaurant chain according to the National Restaurant Association. Suddenly, as a retailer, the phrase “do you want fries with that” becomes less humorous and a marketing strategy worth looking into.

Cross-selling is a marketing tactic that aims at getting shoppers to buy additional items that complement the product they are looking to purchase. This strategy has a high success rate of increasing sales that is well documented. According to a Predictive Intent report it can actually increase ecommerce cart conversion by 3% on average and increases the overall size of the average order.

Based on conversations that the staff at SDS has had with clients in the past, one of the main reasons expressed for not wanting to engage in cross-selling is that they don’t want to come off as pushy to the customer. While this is certainly a valid concern, cross-selling has become an accepted ecommerce strategy and most customers will view it as unobtrusive when placed in logical locations.

Locations for cross-selling that are typically viewed as unobtrusive is at a products item page where it makes sense to show items that the customer may be interested that are related to the product they are viewing. This type of cross-selling is akin to merchandising strategies found in brick and mortar stores. For example, when shopping at men’s clothing stores, you’ll normally find belts located near the dress pants and ties located near the dress shirts. This location is unobtrusive to the customer so as not to be considered pushy, but convenient to the customer to remind them that a belt would go nice with those pants they are looking to buy.

A second location that makes logical sense for cross-selling is right in the shopping cart. Suggested items should be based off selections the customer has placed in the cart. This type of cross-selling is in the same style as “do you want fries with that”. The idea with this strategy is that you’re asking the customer if they are interested in items that make logical sense to what they are interested in purchasing.

There are a few locations where cross-selling should be avoided to prevent giving the customer impression that the site is being extremely pushy in trying to get them to buy additional items. The account management might sound like a good place to cross-sell items based upon previous purchases, but if not handled with great care this location can be an annoyance to customers looking to update their shipping information or track current orders.

The check out process is another location where cross-selling should be avoided. While it could be argued that the check out process is a great place to attempt add-on sales, it is the opinion and experience of the SDS staff that once a customer starts the check out process it is best to move them as quickly and painlessly through the process as possible. Distracting customers away from the check out experience gives them an opportunity to reconsider their purchase and abandon their cart.

When executed correctly, cross-selling can be a fantastic marketing plan to increase sales and the average invoice dollar amount. In the next entry in the SDS blog series on cross-selling, we’ll dive deeper into what types of times work well with each other and how start building your cross-sell list.

If you would like to learn more about cross-selling or how Six Demon Studio can help your ecommerce marketing efforts please contact us.

Roger (36 Posts)

In addition to being a cigar enthusiast, Roger is an accomplished graphic designer & marketer with extensive experience dealing with ecommerce and online marketing.