9 Upselling Examples and Strategies That Increase Order Values

9 Upselling Examples and Strategies That Increase Order Values

Customer experience ·

If you are a marketer or work in e-commerce, you must have heard of the terms upsell and cross-sell. These sales techniques can be revolutionary for your business when used correctly. The terms sound similar, but they serve distinct purposes in enhancing customer experience and increasing revenue.

Upselling is encouraging customers to spend more on pricier products. Think of it as upgrading a burger by adding premium beef or cheese. Cross-selling is offering complementary products or services alongside the primary purchase. It is akin to suggesting fries with a meal. 

In this article, we will dive deep into nine intriguing upselling examples and effective strategies used by Consumer Goods (CG) companies that can help increase your order values. We will also show you how Layerise can be integral in creating your upsell offers and increasing average order value. 

Upselling: What is it and why should you care? 

Upselling is a technique where you try to persuade customers to opt for pricier items, upgrades, or extra features. Why? To enhance customer relations, experience, and sales value. Effective upselling elevates immediate profits and contributes to long-term revenue growth. It aims to improve both average order value and customer lifetime worth, balancing the dual objectives of revenue growth and customer satisfaction. 

Upselling and cross-selling  

Though often confused, upselling and cross-selling are different techniques with slightly different end goals. 


  • Encourages costlier product variants or upgraded versions.

  • Example: Upgrading coach passengers to first class in airlines.

  • How should you upsell? Utilize comparison charts to showcase superior options.

  • Why should you upsell? Increases the average order value and customer satisfaction.


  • Recommends complementary or related items.

  • Example: Suggesting a comb with a blow dryer purchase.

  • How should you cross-sell? Show products frequently bought together along with user ratings.

  • Why should you cross-sell? Increases customer retention, adding value and boosting revenues by 10% to 30%. Upselling boosts repeat purchases and builds trust by introducing customers to relevant additional products. 

Both strategies are instrumental in providing value, informing customers about options, and understanding customer needs for success. But only if you do them right. Keep reading to learn about what you should do and what you must avoid.


Challenges of upselling and mistakes you should avoid 

Imperfect implementation of upselling strategies can lead to frustration or destroy customers' trust in your brand. Read on to understand the common challenges marketers face while upselling and pitfalls you should avoid. 

1. Not knowing what to recommend 

A common challenge when it comes to upselling is marketers do not know which products they must upsell. That can be due to a lack of insights into customer behavior or purchase patterns. Each niche has many micro niches. You must recommend only those products that solve the exact problem as the customer's chosen product or upgrade it. 

For example, suppose a company sells sports gear. A customer puts a small mountain bike in the cart. But the website shows large-size tire rims as an add-on on the checkout page. Does that seem relatable? Although both products are related to bicycling, the products do not match. Suggesting unrelated products harms trust and diminishes brand credibility.

2. Poor timing

Engaging in untimely upselling can be annoying for customers. It is a big challenge for many marketers to know when to upsell. One reason is an insufficient understanding of the customers' journey and psychology. It is best to choose moments such as when they add an item to the cart or at checkout to upsell.

3. Lack of personalization 

Personalized upsell recommendations are based on detailed customer data; not everyone invests in that. Thus, upselling becomes challenging, and companies miss out on a big chunk of revenue. Customers prefer personalized experiences. Approximately 76% of customers get frustrated (and are likely to leave) when the shopping experience is not personalized.  

4. Overpriced upsells 

Recommending expensive upsells that are way over the price of the item the customer chose is the wrong move. Marketers often struggle with upselling because of overpriced upsells. They recommend the highest value products in hopes of making the most profit. But that can deter potential buyers.

5. Inauthentic value framing 

Customers can generally spot a fake or overhyped offer. When your upsell is not believable, your strategy might fail. Some marketers do not know how to frame upsells around genuine value and thus sprinkle some extra features. This approach can cost you customers and hurt your brand image.

6. Inadequate presentation 

Upsell options should be clearly displayed, preferably beneath product details. Not doing so is a common mistake. When customers view the price before they can understand the benefit they will get from the upgrade, they can feel irritated and abandon the cart. 

7. Pressure tactics

When some companies learn how much money they leave on the table without upselling, they jump in without knowing the basics. That is when we see pushy recommendations or forced purchases. Unfortunately, such offers can backfire. Always put the customer first and prioritize their needs.

Tips to overcome these challenges and avoid these mistakes

For successful upselling, here is what you should do: 

  1. Prioritize authentic value: Frame your upsell around genuine value enhancement, and do not just let it be an attempt to sell more.

  2. Engage with trust: Trustworthiness is more crucial than aggressive tactics. Always prioritize trust over high-pressure sales tactics.

  3. Utilize data: Use data insights but always in tandem with understanding customer needs. Data will tell you when and where you should upsell. Layerise is an excellent tool for this purpose. It captures first-party customer data and decodes it for your marketing teams. 

  4. Highlight benefits: Clearly explain the advantages of an upsell while presenting the offer.

  5. Offer relevant upsells: Recommend upsells based on purchase history and avoid irrelevant products. In other words, let customer data guide your upsells. 

  6. Be transparent: Honesty in dealings and a clear display of costs can go a long way in building trust.

  7. Stay updated: Adapt to changing customer preferences and offer relevant product enhancements. Again, use current data to recommend products

  8. Do not upsell something significantly more costly: Set a realistic price margin to keep the customer engaged. Do not compromise the sale to maximize your profits. Learn to balance the two. 

Top 3 upselling examples 

You can harness the full potential of upselling by effectively avoiding the above-mentioned pitfalls and focusing on genuine value addition. That can result in satisfied customers and increased revenues. We can understand the principles in action by examining upselling examples from various Consumer Goods (CG) companies.

Example 1: Amazon 

One of the major players in e-commerce, Amazon, expertly upsells by leveraging different tactics. Every shopper on the platform knows the "Add an Accessory" tabs. Amazon also creates a sense of scarcity by mentioning the number of items left in stock. By incorporating subtle recommendation widgets that influence choices during browsing, Amazon shapes consumer decisions towards pricier alternatives. 

Additionally, their use of social proof acts as a powerful motivator, guiding customers to trust the value of higher-priced products. Amazon's execution clearly underlines the importance of transparent pricing, persuasive recommendations, and the integration of relevant product popups to elevate cart additions.

Example 2: Apple

This global tech giant excels in the art of upselling through the range of products they offer. Apple's strategy capitalizes on providing multiple choices, which in turn amplifies revenue. This approach is evident with offerings like Apple Premium, where customers are enticed to upgrade to a superior version of a product or service, thereby enhancing their overall experience. 

Key to Apple's success in upselling is their emphasis on the impact of language, using powerful words, and the fear of missing out (FOMO) to drive their sales.

Example 3: Dollar Shave Club

This online razors and personal grooming product retailer presents an excellent example of intelligent upselling. Their upselling techniques include offering affordable add-ons to their primary products. By simplifying the process and ensuring transparency and comprehensive information, the company makes it seamless for customers to add value to their purchases. 

Dollar Shave Club's approach proves that effective upselling does not always have to prioritize maximum profit. Instead, you can focus on value-added enhancements that enrich the customer experience. Upselling, when executed ethically and strategically, can offer enhanced customer experiences while driving business revenue. The examples above showcase different facets of this sales strategy, emphasizing personalization, relevance, and transparency.

9 strategies to increase order value 

Here are the 9 strategies to increase order value through upselling and cross-selling techniques. These strategies leverage data from a variety of sources to understand customer needs and enhance value, thereby increasing revenue:

1. Personalize offers based on customer preferences and previous purchases

Upselling and cross-selling can increase profits by 30% in eCommerce. However, pushing irrelevant services does the opposite. Personalization is key. Tailor your upsell based on preference, relevance, and user-generated content. Utilize customer data to understand needs. Then offer timely solutions and personalized upgrades.

Personalized and support-driven upsells, where offers are made after solving your customers' initial problems, can enhance sales. Tailoring these upsells to the customer's unique needs ensures that the upsell is both valuable and relevant. According to Forbes,  91% of customers say they would buy from a company if it offered them relevant recommendations. 

Informed upselling based on customer insights fosters trust. Gather data through surveys, studying case studies, testimonials, and feedback to enhance the relevance of upsell offers. Layersie is the perfect tool to automate this process and analyze data using AI to generate ready-to-implement insights.  

2. Personalized communication and understanding of customer needs

Effective cross-selling and upselling require a deep understanding of customer needs and behaviors. Tailor your communication and messaging to address these specific needs. Additionally, actively listen to signals for customer readiness. For example, customers are usually ready to buy when they click checkout and ask questions regarding delivery timelines. Then offer solutions to customer problems and significantly boost order values. 

You can maximize insights by nurturing relationships through communication and making customers feel understood. Profitable upselling requires personalization tied to customer behavior, history, and feedback. Robust data systems and integration, such as those offered in Layerise, allow tracking customer journeys and optimizing upselling strategies. 

3. Offer bundles, including complementary products

Utilize bundles for upselling. You can list the individual price of each item in the bundle and then show the total price of the entire bundle. Furthermore, highlight the amount the customer will save in large font by opting for the bundle rather than one product to drive home the upsell. 

Ensure items are also available individually if customers want to check their detailed reviews or specifications. But the key is to match the bundle offer with customers' budgets. Do not set the price of the upsell too high or too low. There is a delicate balance that you must maintain here. Throw in a freebie, such as free delivery over a specific amount or a few low-cost items.  

Bundling is an effective strategy, combining main products with auxiliary items to encourage both upselling and cross-selling. You can offer two types of bundles; pure (strictly bundled items) and mixed (items available individually as well). 

Moreover, it is critical to understand your customers' price sensitivity and ensure that items in the bundle can be purchased individually. This approach boosts the average order value by simplifying choices and leveraging price anchoring.

4. Leverage user-generated content and reviews

Social proof is excellent for selling high-end products and increasing order value. Feature reviews of upsell items for higher conversion rates. Highlight precisely how the customers benefited by buying the bundle instead of the single product. Counter skepticism, which customers may face when presented with an upsell, with genuine customer feedback.

5. Simplified product choices

Too many options can lead to decision overload. Leverage bundling and personalized communication to simplify decision complexity and avoid overwhelming customers. Marketers often use the rule of three, presenting only three closely related offers. Three choices are memorable, readily comparable, and balanced. Avoid pushing upsells that have been previously rejected.

6. Efficient advertising and re-engagement

Re-engage past buyers through paid campaigns on platforms like Facebook and Google. You can offer loyalty discounts and endorsements based on buyer profiles. You can use Layersie to create detailed customer profiles and segment your audience for effective retargeting. Utilize personalized offers and smart remarketing for upselling.

You can boost the average order value by understanding user behavior and re-engaging past buyers through efficient advertising. Re-emphasizing the reasons for the initial choice and smart remarketing can automate upselling and encourage more conversions.

7. Utilize A/B testing 

Test different upsell and cross-sell approaches to find optimal conversion. A key to successful implementation is experimenting with various offers, channels, and timing to discover the most effective formula for your business and clientele. Monitoring metrics like conversion rates and satisfaction helps in continuous refinement. You can integrate your marketing tools with Layerise, and it will automatically collect such metrics and give you actionable insights to increase your average order value.  

8. Mapping journeys and building trust

Understand the audience and map their purchasing journeys. Emphasize problem-solution matching and focus on relationship building to increase your order value. Tailoring offers based on behavioral segmentation and mapping customer journeys ensures timely and effective touchpoints. That includes enhancing products with extras via cross-selling, like Amazon's "frequently bought together" feature. 

Upselling requires careful selection to prevent misaligned referrals, which can harm reputation and escalate service costs. Ethical upselling is vital, and strategies like email campaigns, alignment with needs, and education are essential. 

9. Focusing on education and continual value addition

As you read above, uninformed and untrained marketers often make big mistakes during upselling. To fix that:

  1. Hold training sessions and involve teams from every relevant department.

  2. Encourage sharing resources, monitoring progress, and providing regular updates across departments.

  3. Utilize alerts to maintain engagement between your teams and add value.

  4. Remember to prioritize customer satisfaction over profit.

Educational initiatives can equip teams with the knowledge to upsell and cross-sell confidently. Providing training, involving teams, recording demos, and continually adding value can maximize order values. Equally, for customers, linking upgrades in educational articles or showcasing product accessories can effectively promote both upselling and cross-selling.

These strategies can be adapted and modified depending on the specific market, customer demographics, and industry needs. It's essential to balance offering additional value and not overwhelming the customer with excessive options. The focus should always remain on enhancing the customer's experience and aligning offers with their needs and preferences.


Layerise: An effective tool to gather insights for upselling

Cross-selling techniques are pivotal in driving revenue growth and customer satisfaction. By integrating a customer-centric approach, leveraging data, and maintaining ethical practices, businesses can reap the substantial benefits of this powerful strategy. It creates a win-win scenario that enhances the customer experience while boosting overall business growth.

Ready to make it work for you? Start by understanding your customers' needs through first-party data by using Layerise. You can use the platform for active listening, mapping journeys, and personalization. Explore our features page to learn more.