How to maximize profits with cart upsells in WooCommerce

Woocommerce cart upsell

Promoting a WooCommerce cart upsell or cross-sell offer is a powerful strategy to boost revenue, manage inventory, and increase customer satisfaction in your online store. I'll show you how to set it up in 10 minutes or less.

If you're looking for a quick and easy way to add a WooCommerce cart upsell or cross-sell offer to your website, this guide is for you.

We'll explore:

  • How eCommerce cart upsells and cross-sells work.
  • The difference between an upsell and a cross-sell.
  • The benefits of promoting a WooCommerce cart upsell or cross-sell offer.
  • How to add in-cart upsells using the powerful WooCommerce Fast Cart plugin.
  • Top strategies to significantly boost revenue and enhance customer experience with upsells and cross-sells.

First things first, let's get clear about what in-cart WooCommerce upsell and cross-sell offers are and their key differences.

What is a WooCommerce cart upsell?

In WooCommerce, a cart upsell technique is used to entice online shoppers to add more items to their carts by suggesting complementary or upgraded offerings they might be interested in on the cart page. This takes place after they start adding products to their cart, and before they begin the checkout process.

Here's how upsell cart offers work: When a customer adds an item to their shopping cart, they are automatically presented with order bumps — extra products that complement or upgrade the item they selected. The additional products might be related accessories, better versions of the same item, products from the same category, or items frequently bought together by other customers.

Central popup layout

For example, let's say a WooCommerce store sells fashion and accessories. If a customer adds a hoodie to their shopping basket, the store can recommend additional relevant products like t-shirts, other hoodies, and hats on the cart page to get customers to increase the cart total.

Sharing additional relevant options at the point of purchase makes customers more likely to add them to their cart and boost their order value.

Upsells vs cross-sells: Understanding the difference

Although upsells and cross-sells are usually used interchangeably, technically speaking, they are not the same. Let's take a close look at what they mean and break down their key differences:

Cart upsells

Upselling involves persuading customers to buy a more expensive, upgraded version of the product they added to their shopping cart.

With upsells, you encourage shoppers to spend more by showcasing higher-end alternatives. For instance, if a customer adds a basic laptop to their cart, you can recommend a more advanced model with better specifications and features.

Presenting compelling upgrade options on the cart page can be super effective because, at this stage of the shopping journey, customers have an existing intent to purchase. Since they already committed to buying a product, they're likely more receptive to suggestions about enhancements or upgrades.

Cart cross-sells

Cross-sells, on the other hand, involve recommending items that complement or are related to the one in a customer's cart. Unlike upsells, which focus on upgrading the current product, cross-sells aim to expand the customer's purchase beyond the initial item.

For example, if a customer wants to buy a shoe, you can cross-sell add-ons like shoe care products, insoles, or shoe bags.

These items complement the main purchase and enhance the overall experience or function of the primary product.

When implemented well, cart cross-sells can be highly effective because they expose shoppers to a broader range of products and drive additional purchases.

A quick note

Even though cart upsells and cross-sells technically have different meanings, we'll use them both for this tutorial. Here's why: Their core function is the same — to boost revenue by recommending relevant, related products to customers.

Benefits of WooCommerce cart upsells and cross-sells

In-cart upsells and cross-sells are super popular eCommerce strategies to increase sales and enrich customers' shopping experience. Here are their top benefits:

  • Boost sales: Cart upsells and cross-sells increase the average order value (AOV) by encouraging customers to add more or higher-value items to their carts.
  • Improve user experience: Sharing relevant, personalized product recommendations shows customers that you understand their needs and preferences. This makes their shopping experience more convenient and satisfactory.
  • Improve product discovery: It's highly unlikely that every customer has combed through your entire product catalog and is aware of every item you sell. Showcasing additional products in the cart can help customers discover items they would have otherwise missed.
  • Help boost slow-moving inventory: If particular products are overstocked or nearing their expiry dates, offering them as upsells or cross-sells can help move them faster. This prevents stock from sitting idle and frees up space for new products.

Adding in-cart upsells in WooCommerce with the Fast Cart plugin

While there's no built-in option to add cart upsells in WooCommerce, you can easily set it up using the WooCommerce Fast Cart plugin.

WooCommerce Fast Cart

WooCommerce Fast Cart lets you showcase extra products — upsells and cross-sells — in a sleek, user-friendly quick cart.

Customers can add additional, relevant products to their carts in one click, and complete their purchases from any page on your site.

Here's a quick rundown of how WooCommerce Fast Cart's upsells work

Let's say you run an eCommerce clothing site. A customer decides to buy a hoodie and adds it to their shopping cart. WooCommerce Fast Cart opens up a quick cart where they can complete the purchase on the same page — whether that's the single product page, collection page, or even the home page. Customers can add extra products from the "You may be interested in..." section of the mini cart with a single click, and then complete their purchase:

Right-hand side popup images

The WooCommerce Fast Cart plugin seamlessly integrates the upsell and cross-sell process into the WooCommerce checkout flow and prevents interruptions or distractions.

Customers are shown additional products with prominent add to cart buttons and clear product images. They can quickly select additional items and complete their purchase from any page they are on your site instead of being redirected to separate pages — thereby reducing friction in the ordering process.

WooCommerce Fast Cart's key features

  • It adds a popup or side floating cart that shoppers can open from any page on your WooCommerce site — no need to visit a different page to access their cart.
  • Customers can place their orders in the fast cart without leaving the page they're on. They can also amend the cart items — change product quantity, remove products, update the cart total, etc.
  • It has a variety of in-built features such as Google Address autocomplete to help customers complete the checkout process quickly.
  • You can add relevant one-click upsells and cross-sells to enable customers to buy the upsell and cross-sell products with ease.
  • The fast cart is super responsive and adjusts to various screen sizes, including smartphones and tablets.

How to create a WooCommerce cart upsell

It's easy to use the Fast Cart plugin to add cart upsell and cross-sell offers to any WooCommerce site. Follow these steps:

1. Install WooCommerce Fast Cart

  1. Get the WooCommerce Fast Cart plugin.
  2. Save the plugin to a file on your computer.
  3. Open up your WordPress admin dashboard and go to the "Plugins" section.
  4. Select Add New Plugin Upload Plugin.
  5. Upload the plugin to your site and select Install Now Activate.
    Woocommerce fast cart setup wizard page 1
  6. Add the product key in the plugin setup wizard and click on "Check" to activate it.

2. Enable cart upsells and cross-sells within WooCommerce Fast Cart

You can configure WooCommerce Fast Cart by updating the options in the plugin's setup wizard. Alternatively, head to WooCommerce Settings Fast Cart within your WordPress dashboard and update it.

  1. Layout: Select the appropriate display options to control the quick cart's layout and behavior on the front end: You can present the fast cart as a side widget or in a pop-up in the center of the screen.
    Woocommerce fast cart wizard page 2
  2. Tick the checkbox to enable 'Auto open' if you wish to open the quick cart immediately when a buyer adds a product to their cart.
  3. Pick the preferred location for the floating cart icon on the screen — top, bottom, or center. If you prefer not to add the floating cart icon, select "hidden".
  4. Decide whether to show the cart, checkout settings, or both in the fast cart. (I recommend choosing "both") for optimum functionality.
    woocommerce fast cart cross-sells recommended products
  5. The "Cart contents" page is where you get to pick the options to be shown in the fast cart. Make sure you tick the 'Show cross-sells' option here. You can also opt to show additional fields, such as product images, prices, quantity pickers, order subtotals, delete buttons, coupons, shipping information, keep-shopping button, and more.
  6. Enable the "Replace cart page" and "Replace checkout page" options to keep customers from accessing the default WooCommerce cart and checkout pages.
  7. You can add extra Barn2 Plugins like WooCommerce Quick View Pro and WooCommerce Restaurant Ordering. Most store owners pair WooCommerce Quick View Pro with WooCommerce Fast Cart because it lets customers preview items in a popup lightbox for an even faster ordering experience.
  8. Click "Finish setup" to save the settings.


The fast cart automatically inherits the default colors in your theme. If you wish to customize the colors, go to WooCommerce Settings Fast Cart within your WordPress dashboard and locate the "Design" section.

From there, you can update the cart icon color, button background, count text color, count text background, checkout button text color, and checkout button text background.

3. Add related products to each item

Follow these steps to use WooCommerce's in-built settings to add relevant, related products:

  1. Head into your WordPress admin and navigate to Products All Products.
  2. Locate the WooCommerce product you wish to add cross-sells to and click on "Edit" to access the product data.
  3. On the "Edit Product" page, scroll to the "Product Data" module and find the "Linked Products" tab.
    woocommerce linked products upsell cross-sell
  4. Enter the name of the related products you wish to be shown in the fast cart and select the items from the recommendations. Rinse and repeat until you've added all the cross-sells you want.
  5. After you've added all the products, scroll back to the top and click on "Update".

That's about it! We've successfully added extra product recommendations to the fast cart. Here's an example of how it'll look on the front end:

Central popup layout

How to effectively upsell products on the checkout page

WooCommerce Fast Cart replaces the standard WooCommerce cart and checkout pages with a slick, same-page quick cart. Customers can add upsells and cross-sells in one click and complete the checkout process in the fast cart.

Let's look at some principles to follow when promoting related products on the checkout page.

  • Share only relevant recommendations: Make sure you only offer items from the same product category or items that closely match those the customer adds to their cart. For example, let's say a WooCommerce store sells various kinds of electronic items. If a customer adds a camera to their shopping basket, they can recommend additional relevant products like camera cases, extra batteries, and tripods on the cart page. Recommending irrelevant items won't increase sales and can actually annoy customers and lead to abandoned carts.
  • Don't offer too many choices: Presenting too many related items can cause decision fatigue. Instead, limit the number of upsell options. Showcase a few high-quality upsell products that are most likely to resonate with customers.
  • Regularly test and iterate: Customers' preferences evolve with time. Continuously test different product recommendations and monitor their performance. Analyze conversion rates and average order values to identify what resonates best with customers, then update your offers accordingly.

The psychology behind post-purchase upsells

A 2022 study by HubSpot found that upsells and cross-sells drive up to 30% of overall revenue. Let's discuss why recommending additional, relevant products is such a powerful strategy and the key psychological principles behind it.

Money can (sometimes) buy happiness

Studies show that in many cases, money does buy happiness. Customers who visit your eCommerce store are looking for solutions to their needs or desires. Presenting extra products that solve their problems decreases their level of unhappiness. Presenting products that bring joy can increase their happiness level.

For example, let's say you sell skincare and beauty products. Recommending extra products that lead to smoother skin can boost confidence and create positive emotions in customers, making them happier overall.

People love convenience

A Harvard Business Review study found that brands that made it easiest for customers to purchase their products were 86% more likely to see actual purchases than those who made it complicated. This is because people are drawn to options that make their lives easier. That's why offering complementary items as part of a bundle with WooCommerce Fast Cart's one-click upsell can help customers streamline their purchasing experience and improve your bottom line.

Foot-in-the-door technique

Research shows that people who have complied with small requests are more likely to agree to larger ones later. You can apply this in your eCommerce store by offering low-commitment, low-cost items first. Then gradually suggest more expensive or complementary products.

For example, let's say you sell pet supplies online. A customer who has already added dog food to their cart is going to be more open to the idea of turning that purchase into a regular subscription, or switching to a larger portion of pet food, simply because they’ve already said “yes” to the implicit question asked by your site, “would you like to buy this item?

Anchor pricing

This concept involves presenting a higher-priced item to customers first. This anchors the customer's perception of value to make subsequent items seem more reasonably priced in comparison. You can implement this in your store by presenting lower-priced items as cross-sells to encourage them to view them as a steal.

Boost average order value and profits with a WooCommerce cart upsell offer

By default, WooCommerce doesn't allow you to add in-cart upsells and cross-sells. Fortunately, you can add them using Fast Cart, the best WooCommerce upsell plugin. It lets you promote relevant products as upsells and cross-sells on the cart page.

In addition, it replaces the default cart and checkout pages with a slick, easy-to-use popup or side cart and checkout. Customers can access and place orders from any page on your website using the fast cart.

Get WooCommerce Fast Cart and boost sales with upsell and cross-sell offers today!

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