Upselling, Cross-selling & Down Selling

Alastair Kidner

Alastair Kidner

Customer Success Director

Dov Dewar

Dov Dewar

Solutions Consultant


Upselling is a strategy used to increase both customer lifetime value (the amount of money a customer spends with you over their lifetime) and average order value (the amount of money a customer spends on one purchase).

Some examples of effective up-selling strategies include: 

  • Buying a more expensive item [pre-sales]
  • Upgrading their experience [post-sales]
  • Encouraging additional products to their order [Product Bundling]

Upselling is an extremely effective tactic because your customers ultimately want the very best they can afford. If they can get something a little bit better, but still close to budget, they will stretch for it. This is an example of loss aversion.
Upselling relies on the psychological effect we feel when the negative impact of losing something is far more than we feel the positive impact of gaining something. A good upsell is not only about increasing the amount spent, it’s also about increasing customer convenience.

This could be by: 

  • Getting there faster
  • Enhancing the process
  • Complimenting the process 
  • Making it easier/ quicker to get there


Cross-sells are related or complementary products that might go well with their purchase. Customers are always looking to complete something. Whether that be a beauty regime, a look, or a DIY project. Therefore an effective cross-sell must enhance the existing purchase. For example, a beauty retailer may have a foundation in which they’ll cross-sell the primer and cream.

Some examples of effective cross-selling strategies include:

  • Product Bundling – showcasing other products on product pages and product listing pages to help customers achieve their goals.
  • Checkout add-on – Offering an additional item on the basket page that can be added at the click of a button.

Down Selling

Down sells are for the people that have rejected an offer and you want to grab them with a cheaper product that might encourage them to buy. This will be detrimental to your AOV but can help increase conversion rate.

Down-selling should be used as a last resort if upselling and cross-selling has been unsuccessful.

Some examples of effective down-selling strategies include:

  • Giving discounts and deals
  • Offers on exit-intent
  • Giving an offer for a second purchase
  • Provide free shipping
  • Offering an additional item on the basket page that can be added at the click of a button.

We’re releasing a new episode on “Your Ultimate Guide to AOV” every week. Give us your email below for access to all 7 episodes

We’ll be interviewing industry experts who’ll be sharing tried and tested tactics you can use to boost AOV. As we head closer to peak season, we want to help you retain and grow your AOV in a period where discounting will help your drive volume and sales but ultimately will be detrimental to your AOV and profit margins.

Details of the entire series including all videos…

Hear from the experts

Tune into our 10-minute episodes all about how you can implement AOV boosting strategies.

Episode 1

Why should we care about AOV?

Episode 2

Upselling, Cross-selling & Down Selling

Episode 3

How to optimise Google Shopping for higher AOV

Episode 4

How to optimise PDP & Basket Page

Episode 5

How to Discount Strategically

Episode 6

What is Dynamic Recommendations

Episode 7

How to measure the ROI & prove Incrementality