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Top examples of upselling and cross-selling to inspire you

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Cross-selling and upselling are strategies and distinct practices to earn more revenue by approaching existing customers and convincing them to purchase additional products and services. Cross-selling and Upselling have multiple benefits for every business, irrespective of their size.

Cross-selling and upselling are the two most powerful tactics to boost your revenue which help in upgrading existing experience, provide value to visitors visiting your website for the first time, and of course, generate more revenue.

In both cases, organizations must effectively and efficiently utilize their existing and potential customer base to increase sales and revenue by offering appropriate products to the right customers. Keep reading to learn the difference between cross-selling vs upselling and how they can work wonders for your business.

What is cross-selling?

Cross-selling involves selling related, supplementary products or services based on customers’ interests, or the purchase of any of your products. Cross-selling identifies products that satisfy additional, complementary needs that are unfulfilled by the original item. It is one of the most effective and successful marketing strategies that enables the practice of marketing additional products to existing customers.

  • Cross-selling is practised in every type of commercial construct including banks, insurance agencies, and every type of industry.
  • In e-commerce, cross-selling is often used on product pages, during the checkout process, it’s a highly effective strategy for generating repeat purchases.
  • Cross-selling shows customers the products that they would have purchased anyway.

Examples of cross-selling

Frequently purchased together items

Direct the customer about the ways they can complement their order based on their purchased activity. Share the combination of products that are typically bought together with the selected item. 

Trial products

Offer users some trial products with their order. This is another cross-sell strategy, you can use this option at the checkout page with the ratings of specified products.

Additional services

Make a list of goods and services that would go well with the current version of the product. For example: if a customer is browsing for a tablet on your website, come up with setup offers, so the customer would be able to use the device right after the purchase.

5 Cross-Selling Examples From Leading E-commerce Brands


Amazon is a stellar example of cross-selling. It has created an automated formula of showing related products and frequently bought products to customers to influence them to continue their purchasing habits. Amazon’s algorithm tracks what kind of products are bought together to suggest those products to new customers.


Apple is an enormous company known for its innovative marketing strategies for its products. When we see an Apple product, we recognize it within no time. That’s because Apple’s marketing is tight and focused and it’s impossible to not recognize any Apple product. When a customer visits Apple’s check-out page on its website, they can see suggestions based on their purchase. Apple keeps it simple and doesn’t go overboard with suggestions, it only suggests some accessories and add-ons to complete your purchase.


Sephora is one of the famous makeup and beauty products companies with more than 300 beauty brands in stock on their website. Sephora offers pre-packaged, bundles and per-customer offers, giving customers a little bit of control over what items they should add to the deal. There are weekly offers also, highlighting different brands each week. Giving your customers the power to make their bundles and packages can be an incredible cross-selling strategy.


IKEA is a famous and well known international furniture as well as home goods store. It understands the mind and feelings of its customers and how exhausting it can get while furnishing the whole home. That’s where its cross-selling strategy comes in. It suggests its buyers’ additional pieces of furniture in the same set and making it easier for customers.


This sports brand is known for selling shoes, other athletics items, clothing and accessories. The company uses a straightforward approach to cross-selling to help buyers purchase a whole package of athletic gear instead of just one item. It offers different deals and packages to customers, and we all know combining different offers and deals is a stellar way to make a cross-selling strategy a success.

What is Upselling?

Upselling is a sales technique aimed at persuading customers to purchase additional products, a more expensive one, an upgraded or premium version of the chosen item to make a large scale. E-commerce websites and businesses often combine upselling and cross-selling techniques in order to maximize sales and profit.

Examples of Upselling

Related products

In upselling, this is the safest way to go, all you have to do is choose several similar products with better features and higher prices and put them on the product fly page. Another point to add additional products is the checkout page so that users won’t have to navigate somewhere else.

Free shipping

Expensive shipping is what keeps customers from buying products or finishing their purchases. You could provide an option for free shipping to motivate customers to complete their purchases.

Comparison list

Upselling works best when it shows how users will benefit from paying more for a product. Present a comparison list or show more features of expensive products. The benefit of this tactic is that the extra features and benefits you list outshines the extra expenses customers have to pay.

Deals of the day and popular products

Present a list of the most often brought and popular products among your customers and display them on the page. As people trust the opinion of the majority, showing the most popular and appealing products is another option for upselling. Take, for example, trends to upsell when a user is booking an apartment or a hotel.

So what this company does is, it positions less expensive options as deals of the day and recommends them with more expensive ones, with more facilities and resources. It also provides low-priced options as non-refundable while the expensive ones allow you to cancel anytime. 

Some of the Examples of Upselling from Leading Brands


When it comes to giving options to customers, Spotify gives its users only two options: free and premium. The options are compared side by side, giving customers a clear idea of the features they will be getting after signing up.

This company is a long-lasting contender in the competitive world of online hotels, flight booking, and travel assistance. Customers use it for its search engine for hotels, it automatically presents them with more options for hotels and rooms within budget.


Dell is one of the first computer brands and still it’s one of the leading brands in laptops and computers. It provides you with an option “Help me choose” which customizes recommendations for you based on the info you provide. This allows you to see all the options including the expensive ones.


Godaddy is one of the most bountiful web domain registrars and hosts. It completely focuses on consumers who want to keep things simple. Keeping that in mind, it offers bundles including website builders and emails for its hosting packages so that you get everything at one stop.

Hot spots to leverage Cross-selling and Upselling

Presenting the products on the right page and window is equally important so that it catches the eyeballs of your customers easily. Here are some of the options where you can list your products whether you are using cross-selling or upselling strategy:

  • Product page 
  • Checkout page 
  • Thank-you page
  • Transactional email
  • Confirmation page

For instance, you can add additional products in a pop-up window, or on a sidebar of your product page. Another option is to present products images on the confirmation page and in the transactional email so that customers would be interested to revisit your website.

Let’s understand Cross-selling vs Upselling more extensively

              Case  Cross selling example      Upselling example
A user has added a pair of sneakers to their cart. Presenting product recommendations such as socks, shoelaces, shoe care products, etc. Offering a pair of similar sneakers, but more expensive ones from the new collection.
A user wants to buy a cell phone. Presenting the products to complete the order, such as screen protector, headphones, phone case, other phone accessories, etc. Offering a phone with a bigger screen, better camera, upgraded features, latest technology, and higher price of course!
A user wants to book a hotel room for their vacation. Coming up with ideas like sightseeing tours, commute facility and other services a hotel can offer.  Offering higher ranking hotels, more sophisticated suits with more facilities.

Choosing between upselling and cross-selling is entirely your choice and is solely up to your business and marketing goals. By using these tips you will be able to understand the difference between cross-selling vs. upselling and how it can benefit your business. You’ll be able to build a marketing strategy that boosts your sales and income, most importantly keeps your customers satisfied and pleased.

About The Author
Ashu Chauhan
Ashu is an avid reader and writer, she loves reading books of different genres. She is a fitness freak and also enjoys travelling, dance and music.

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