How to Use WooCommerce Cross-selling to Boost Profits

header image for WooCommerce cross-selling article

All major eCommerce companies make use of cross-selling to increase the average order value as well as promote certain products. When done right, it is a strategy that can improve customer experience as well. Thankfully, WooCommerce provides simple options to set up cross-sells on your store. In this article, we will look into the different aspects of cross-selling that you might find useful for your store strategy. You will also get acquainted with some of the interesting WooCommerce cross-selling plugins in this article.

Check out some of the proven strategies to improve customer experience on your WooCommerce store.

Understanding cross-selling better

Before getting started with the details, let us see what cross-selling means. Cross-selling is a process where you encourage customers to purchase another product along with their original purchase. It differs from up-selling in the fact that it is promoting a complementary option, not an alternative one. For example, when a customer purchases a laptop computer, offering alternative products with better processors or memory options would be up-selling. On the other hand, if you are recommending accessories that go with the product customers are looking at, that goes as cross-selling.

Again, cross-selling need not always have to be complementary products that work together. Sometimes, you can suggest products that are related in their use, but not necessarily work together. For example, someone purchasing a specialized product like trekking boots, might be interested in a lot of other products related to trekking.

Selling services like extended warranty, or priority service too can be another cross-selling strategy.

How to set up WooCommerce cross-selling?

You can set up cross-sells manually on each of your products. On the Product Data meta box, you can go to the ‘Linked Products’ section and specify the products you want to display as cross-sells or up-sells.

You can set up products as up-sells and cross-sells from the product detail page.

Product Bundling

Bundling a few related products together is another great strategy you can employ. You can create a bundle of a few of your products and offer a discount on the total price compared to each product in the bundle. Then when customers are looking at one of these individual products, you can show the bundle as an up-sell. Now, this is something which you cannot do with the default WooCommerce install. Here is an extension that will help you set up product bundles seamlessly on your WooCommerce store.

WooCommerce Product Bundles

You can create different product bundles and offer them with a discount with the help of this extension. In addition, it helps in creating assembled products where you can combine different individual components to create the product. In its simplest, you can combine related products and sell them at discounted rates. You can also show product recommendations on a ‘Frequently bought together’ display. The plugin also lets you offer optional products in your existing product bundles.

screenshot of WooCommerce product bundles
Product Bundles offers a great option to encourage customers to purchase more from your store.

Chained Products

This is another option to create product bundles on your store. Here, instead of combining different products, you can associate several products to a main product. When a customer purchases this main product, all the chained products will be added to the cart. You can create product bundles as well as ‘buy one get one’ offers using this plugin. By creating pre-configured bundle deals on your store, you will be able to create more sense of value in your customer’s minds. In fact, this will help you improve conversion rate on your store as well.

The chained products come with the main product, without separate pricing.

The single site subscription of this plugin would cost you $49. A 5-site subscription is available at $79 and 25-site subscription is $149.

Force Sells

When you want to provide additional products or services when a customer purchases a product, you can use this plugin. It helps you to link products together, so they are added together in the cart. This plugin differs from the Chained Products extension in the fact that even the forced product will be able to retain its own pricing.

You can link products to a main product while maintaining the individual pricing of the forced product.

There are two options to link products with the help of this plugin. You can either make them simply linked where customers will be able to change the quantity of the forced product. The second option is where the forced product will be synced to the main product. In this case, customers won’t be able to change the quantity of the forced product.

The plugin is available for purchase at $49 for a single site subscription. The 5-site subscription and 25-site subscription come at $79 and $149 respectively.

Now, you can make use of the advantages of cross-selling even after the customer has added a product to their cart. Here we will talk about two WooCommerce extensions that you can use to create cross-selling options after adding products to the cart.

Cart Add-ons

This plugin provides you an opportunity to present cross-sell products when a customer is on the Cart page. This can be quite a handy tool, as studies have consistently pointed to the better chances of conversion when you recommend products on the cart. However, you should be able to present relevant accessories or complementary products to what is already in the cart.

screenshot of Cart Add-ons to promote products
Adding product recommendations on the cart page can help a lot in increasing the average order value on your store.

The single site subscription of the plugin is priced at $29.

WooCommerce Checkout Add-ons

With the help of this plugin, you can add several free or paid options on the checkout page. For example, you can easily add options like extended warranty, or faster delivery with an extra cost added. The advantage is that you can add different field types suitable for the options that you provide. You should remember with this plugin, you can only add extra options, which does not require inventory management. The checkout add-ons are tied to order details as well, to make it easier to manage orders.

Adding a paid service such as one-day delivery or gift wrapping can improve customer satisfaction as well as order value.

The single site subscription of the plugin would cost you $79.

Advantages of WooCommerce cross-selling

Now, let’s take a quick look at some of the obvious advantages of cross-selling on your store.

Increased order value

Cross-selling helps a lot in increasing the average order value on your store. Customers who already made a purchase decision on your store are more likely to purchase another product from your store. Technically the marketing cost in selling a product is reduced when you effectively cross-sell on your store. While comparing it with the cost of acquiring new customers, you can clearly understand the value that cross-selling brings to the table.

More income

In a lot of cases, you will be cross-selling complementary products, which are relatively smaller additions to your main products. In fact, this increases your chances to increase your profit margins as well. You can keep a bigger margin for accessories and similar small products, which won’t even cost much shipping and handling charges. By incorporating these small products in the sales funnel of your bigger, popular products, you are effectively increasing your revenue.

Increases average spend of customers

The lifetime value of your customers too will increase when you have an efficient cross-selling strategy. For each, of their purchases, you are encouraging customers too spend more on your site. This will be a significant component to your long term sales prospects, if you are able retain customers efficiently.

Learn some tips to retain customers more effectively on your WooCommerce store.

Best practices while cross-selling on WooCommerce

Cross-selling is definitely one of the best marketing strategies that you can adopt to increase order value and revenue in general. Here is a list of things that you need to focus on while creating a strategy for WooCommerce cross-selling.

Make the cross-sell products extremely relevant

Relevancy is a key aspect in a cross-selling strategy. Customers are going to be interested in a cross-selling recommendation only if it is really valuable to them. So, you need to be absolutely sure about the products that you recommend as cross-sells. A lot of thinking from a customer’s perspective would help you with this. The product that you recommend is going to add some value to the customer’s experience with the original product. If this is convincingly done, the customer won’t have any reluctance to pay the extra money for the related product.

Keep the cross-sell products at a significantly lower price

According to experts, the price of your cross-sell products should be at least 60% less than the price of the original product the customer intends to buy. This is a simple fact that would make a lot of sense if you think about it. Nobody would want to spend double the amount if they are purchasing a relatively higher priced product. And, cross-selling mostly works when customers are choosing higher priced products. For example, who would not want to invest in a case when they are purchasing a high-priced phone or camera?

Sell complementary products exclusively

It will be exceptionally interesting if you have some exclusive accessories that will work with the main product. If you are offering something that is rare or not at available in other places, chances are you will convert more often. For example, you can custom design a product that will work with your main product. If the cross-sell product contributes significantly in improving the user experience, customers would naturally prefer to opt for that.

Know the interests of the customers

You need to consider the subjective element of each customer too when you are developing a cross-selling strategy. What works for one set of customers may not necessarily work for another set. If you have developed a good customer profiling pattern, it can prove to be useful here. A good process to identify the interests and preferences of your target audience would help you achieve this effortlessly. Once that is in place, you can assuredly show product recommendations that convert.

If you would like to see some tips to identify your target audience, here is an article that will help.

Hand-pick your cross-sell products

When you are starting out, it will be best if you hand-pick your cross-selling products. If you select these products based on some of the above recommendations, soon you will start to see positive results. Once you optimize the whole process by creating a system, you can see more consistent results.

Keep a limit to the cross-sell options

Just because cross-selling works for you, do not overwhelm your customers by presenting more options than necessary. If you are presenting relevant, value-adding products as cross-sell, just three or four options would do the trick.

Present the value proposition effectively

If you are cross-selling services like extended warranty or privilege support, you need to catch the attention of customers with convincing copy. These are surely aspects that are going to improve the experience of the customers while using your product. Being able to get the message across well would do a lot of good to your cross-selling strategy.

Use customer testimonials

Presenting social proof too will work in your favor here. Customer opinion definitely matters, and customers sharing positive experience of using a complementary product would help spread the word. Even presenting ‘Frequently bought together’ lists would encourage customers to try out some of your complementary products.

Try WooCommerce cross-selling to earn more

You can easily improve your earnings through the WooCommerce store if you carefully craft a cross-selling strategy. WooCommerce, by default, offers simple configuration options to set linked products to each product page. Moreover, you can use extensions like product bundles, or Cart add-ons to make it more elaborate on your site. Hope this article has helped you with some actionable cross-selling strategies.

Further reading