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Cross-selling, up-selling and post-selling are some of the main marketing techniques that Upclick uses to increase your revenue. The premise of cross-selling is straightforward and effective: Selling a product to a consumer while suggesting similar products, or products from similar categories. As for up-selling, it consists of suggesting a better version, or an upgrade of that product. Post-selling is self explanatory.

For the online buyer, it feels logical to be exposed to a variety of similar products to the one he is purchasing, in order to have a wider range of choice before making the final purchase. And now with email and ad targeting, the buyer is forced to look at online advertising for products that he previously viewed or searched for. But that’s another story.

If we take this selling process to a real life shopping experience, how do we relate to cross-selling and up-selling?

To answer this question, let’s make an analogy and compare these selling techniques to the action of buying new shoes. When a customer walks into a shoe store that sells different brands and models of shoes, he is exposed to all the products on display. Furthermore, the salesman is likely to bring and suggest other styles and models in the same category.

Sometimes, there will be a promotion, such as “buy two and get the third one for free”. This is an obvious cross-selling technique. However, when the sales person recommends a purse or an accessory that compliments the shoe, it consists of a more subtle cross-selling technique.

The psychology behind these highly effective marketing techniques is very simple: If there is demand for a product, and the choice has not been made yet, there is always the possibility that the demand could be fulfilled in a higher quantity. In other words, never assume that the buyer only needs one shoe.
Similarly, we can also discern up-selling techniques during the process of shoe buying. If the store advertises multiple brands of shoes, the sales assistant will undoubtedly try to sell the better brands, or the shoes made of better materials.

For example, if you are considering buying boots, why not buy winter boots that are 100% waterproof instead of boots that will only last you through the fall? Or, if you are looking at a plastic or faux leather pair, the seller will persuade you to get a pair made of real leather. These up-selling techniques are successful because the buyer ends up investing money on a better version of the product that he initially considered. Indeed, whenever the selling approach focuses on a better buyer experience, it results in better sales.

Finally, once the customer has finalized the purchase, the assistant will almost always suggest buying a protecting spray, or maybe an extra sole to make the shoe more comfortable. This technique is called post-selling, because it occurs after the purchase has been made.

Now, which of these three selling techniques has proven to be more effective when it comes to conversion rates? According to econsultancy.com, up-selling is 20 times more effective than cross-selling for selling online goods. However, our internal data at Upclick shows that when it comes to software sales, up-selling has a 60% success rate with a 40% ARO, while cross-selling has an 80% success rate with a 30% ARO. There are still no studies on which of these techniques are more effective for selling shoes.