One of the best ways to encourage customers to buy more from you is by setting up WooCommerce upsell and cross-sell opportunities. When done right, it can help you subtly nudge customers in the direction of spending more money without affecting their shopping experience.
In this article, we’ll show you how you can set up upselling, product bundles, and cross-selling on your WooCommerce store – the easy way! We’ll share some best practices and examples along the way to help you get a practical understanding of how to get started. We’ll also explain how you can upsell and cross-sell to customers using WooCommerce upsell plugins.
Let's start by going over the key business benefits of upselling, product bundles, and cross-selling.
What are the benefits of upselling, product bundles, and cross-selling?
As an online store owner, you ideally want customers to buy more than one product from you at a time. This helps you increase your average order value, improve customer lifetime value, and boost sales.
Let's take a look at the differences between upselling, cross-selling, and creating product bundles, and the benefits of each strategy.
For those unfamiliar, upselling is when you recommend a higher-priced alternative to the customer’s current consideration. The goal is to help them see value in the alternative offering and encourage them to spend more money.
For example, if you sell women’s blouses and a customer is interested in purchasing a white chiffon blouse, you might show them similar blouses by different brands and designers that are available for a slightly higher price.
Or, if you sell books and a customer is interested in the paperback version of A Dance with Dragons, you might encourage them to purchase the hardcover version instead. This is exactly how Amazon does it. It sells the hardcover version at a higher price point than the paperback version.
The great thing about setting up a WooCommerce upsell strategy is that it doesn’t just increase average order value; it also increases the customer’s lifetime value. What this means is that customers spend more at your store while they remain customers.
Cross-selling occurs when you recommend related (or complementary) products based on the products customers have added to their shopping cart. Similar to upselling, the goal is to get customers to buy more from you, thus increasing your average order value.
Following our example, if a customer added the chiffon blouse to their shopping cart, you might show them other related products. For example, you could set up a You might also like… section or a Complete the look section that recommends pants, skirts, or jeans to go with the chiffon blouse.
Depending on the products you sell, it might make sense for you to create and promote product bundles. From the customer’s perspective, product bundles are high-value products that give them the most bang for their buck.
Following our example from before, if a customer expresses an interest in purchasing A Dance with Dragons hardcover book from you, you might encourage them to purchase the entire A Song of Ice and Fire series as a product bundle.
Product bundling can be either upselling or cross-selling depending on the types of products you sell and what would deliver the most value to your customers. For example, purchasing the entire A Song of Ice and Fire series would be a product bundling and upselling strategy. But if you were to create a product bundle of The Winds of Winter hardcover book and Game of Thrones: Seasons 1 to 8 Blu-ray then that would be product bundling and cross-selling since it's a related product.
Now that we have a better understanding of what upselling, cross-selling, and product bundles are, let’s step through a quick real-world example of WooCommerce upsell and cross-sells done right.
Case study – Inspire Cosmetics’ multi-step order form for cross-selling products
Inspire Cosmetics is a US-based cosmetics company that uses WooCommerce upsell and cross-sell opportunities to increase their average order value. They’ve used the WooCommerce Product Table plugin to create a multi-step order page that intuitively leads customers through the available products.
The table layout makes it easy for them to see all of the products and options alongside each other. The benefits here are twofold: customers can see all of the products and make a quick buying decision. The product table’s add to cart checkboxes makes this an effective one-click upsell implementation.
Customers simply tick the checkbox next to the products they'd like to add to their experience box and add them to cart all at once. They can also select product variations using a dropdown menu. The best part about this sort of upselling and cross-selling strategy is that it's not too pushy.
Related: If you’re looking to sell build your own products, check out our in-depth tutorial.
How to upsell products and encourage customers to buy more
Store owners often take a pushy, aggressive approach which drives prospective customers away. The key to effective upselling and cross-selling is to do it subtly. Here, we’ll share some WordPress plugins that you can use to set up WooCommerce upsell and cross-sell strategies the right way.
WooCommerce Quantity Manager
The WooCommerce Quantity Manager plugin lets you set quantity rules, step values and default to encourage (or even force!) customers to buy more.
Increasing the default quantity is the most gentle way to nudge customers into buying larger quantities. Set a higher-than-average but realistic default quantity value for each product. This creates the impression that it's normal to buy a bigger amount, without deterring customers from your online store.
Alternatively, you can change the default WooCommerce quantity to zero. This lets the customer make a fresh decision on how many to order, instead of letting them assume that 1 is normal.
For example, if you sell pillows, you might set the default quantity to 2 or 4. This is because customers are likely to purchase more than one pillow at a time. However, they can still buy pillows individually if they prefer.
The benefits of controlling the default quantity
Here are some of the key business benefits of displaying default quantities:
- Speeds up the checkout processBy pre-populating the quantity field with the correct default quantity, you can effectively speed up the purchasing process and have customers spend less time on the checkout page.
- Frictionless shopping experienceBy default, the WooCommerce product quantity is set to 0 which creates friction in the buying user flow. Setting a realistic default quantity eliminates this.
- Increases average order valueIf you set realistic default quantities for WooCommerce products, customers will be more likely to continue through the purchasing process without manually changing the quantity selector. This is especially useful for store owners that sell products that are typically bought in multiples.
The great thing about the WooCommerce Default Quantity plugin is that it only acts as a suggestion. In other words, it doesn’t prevent customers from changing the quantity of the product before adding it to cart. This makes it a subtle way to set up a one-click upsell without controlling or limiting the customer’s shopping experience.
Other ways to control product quantities
Of course, WooCommerce Quantity Manager is much more than a default quantity plugin. You can also use it to control product quantities more forcefully, which guarantees that each order is profitable for you. For example, you can:
- Add quantity step values to force customers to buy in specific groupings. (E.g. they can only buy a certain product in groups of 3.)
- Set minimum order values to stop unprofitable orders.
- Add minimum quantities for your whole store, products or categories.
WooCommerce Product Table
WooCommerce Product Table is an order form plugin that can help you set up subtle WooCommerce upsell and cross-sell opportunities. It’s incredibly flexible which means you can implement it however you’d like!
One of the main reasons why it’s great for encouraging customers to buy more products is that it lists more products per page than you’d get with the default WooCommerce shop page layout. In other words, it helps you subtly upsell (or cross-sell) products by increasing product visibility.
Related: Be sure to check out our complete guide on How to Customize Your WooCommerce Checkout Page for step-by-step instructions.
Another huge benefit of using the WooCommerce Product Table plugin to upsell and cross-sell to your customers is that it lets them add all the products they’d like to purchase from a single page. Customers won’t have to visit individual product pages in order to add products to their shopping cart.
With WooCommerce Product Table, customers can see which other products are available which is what cross-selling is all about. This way, they’ll be more likely to buy more from you than if they were to add products to cart from the single product page.
We recommend using the plugin’s add to cart checkboxes to make it even easier for customers to buy from you. All they have to do is tick the checkbox next to the products they’d like to purchase and add them to cart in one go. The plugin also comes with search, sort, and filter options which makes it easy to quickly find what you’re looking for. Finally, you can also use it to sell product variations either by listing each variation on a separate row or by using a dropdown menu.
WooCommerce Quick View Pro
The WooCommerce Quick View Pro plugin offers a way to purchase from the shop or category pages. This way, customers don’t have to click through to single product pages to add products to their cart.
The WooCommerce Quick View Pro plugin lets you showcase products in a lightbox view. Customers can click the Quick view button to add products to the cart directly from the quick view lightbox.
After adding products to cart, the lightbox closes and the customer can continue from where they left off (i.e. they’ll still be on the same page). They can see browse other products and will be more likely to add more products to their shopping cart.
The WooCommerce Quick View Pro integrates seamlessly with WooCommerce add-ons like the Product Bundles extension which is great for implementing a product bundling and upselling (or cross-selling) strategy.
Related: Read our complete guide on Quick View for WooCommerce for more information!
It’s easier to get existing customers to spend more money at your online store than attract new buyers. Implementing WooCommerce upsell and cross-sell techniques is a great way to subtly nudge customers towards adding more products to cart.
We shared some WooCommerce upsell and cross-sell plugins that can help you implement one-click upsell and cross-sell opportunities on your online store. You might consider using one of the plugins we shared or use them in combination!
Have you used WooCommerce upsell and cross-sell methods to increase your average order value? We'd love to hear from you so let us know in the comments section below!