eCommerce Insiders

Cross-Selling for the Holiday Season

As the holiday season has arrived, online retailers should be looking at ways they can entice “showrooming” shoppers to stay on their site, while also increasing cart value. One very easy solution is to use cross-sell recommendations across your retail store. Cross-sell recommendations are an excellent way to not only highlight relevant complementary products but also convert browsers to buyers and increase cart value for retailers. Based on individual behaviors (more on this below) and personalized for each shopper, they are highly influential in driving purchases. An example of a cross-sell recommendation is including recommendations for both pants and a jacket when a browser is looking at a shirt.

Since there are so many products offered online, personalized cross-sell recommendations offer browsers a faster way of accessing all of the items in your inventory that are most interesting to them. It’s a cost-effective way of enhancing the merchandising of your online store while providing shoppers with a more engaging experience.

Let’s take a look at some of the way these incredibly useful recommendations can help build better value for shoppers on your site and increase your overall sale.

Where is Cross-Sell Most Useful?

Cross-sell recommendations are most relevant and useful in both the product pages and the cart of a retail site.

  • Product Pages: Adding cross-sell recommendations to product pages enables a retailer to suggest items the shopper may not have thought about originally. Or, perhaps a person does not end up buying what they originally came to purchase (a shirt), but do end up buying the pants that were offered as a cross-sell recommendation.
  • Carts: When adding cross-sell recommendations to the cart, the retailer is able to offer the buyers of product “A” that they have decided to buy with the product “B” that naturally pairs with it. In this way, the shopper is exposed to additional merchandise that can complement their purchase and increase the overall sale.

How are Cross-Sell Recommendations Created?

The most effective cross-sell recommendations are truly dynamic. They look at all actions of the shopper, from current product being displayed, what was previously viewed, what’s in the cart, and what was on their initial search page. In addition to this information, aggregated shopping behaviors are factored in as well as what the shopper has looked at while online.

We like to describe the advantage of cross-sell recommendations as the combination of what behavior we predict the shopper to engage in, along with what they’re looking at in the current browsing session. For instance, a person with a shopping path of winter coats to snow pants will see different recommendations than a person whose browsing path is from snow boots to jackets. As soon as the shopper makes their first click, the recommendations begin changing dynamically based on their actions.  

Cross-sell recommendations can even work for an anonymous shopper because they begin creating recommendations immediately after the second click.

 What is the Future of Cross-Sell?

We live in an era where technology has placed the shopper in control. Buyers can now walk into a brick and mortar store to experience a product (say the way a jacket fits) and then shop price points and buy it online. They can browse online and purchase the merchandise on their mobile phone; or speak with an associate online and then buy in-store. The entire experience is built around the way the consumer wants it to happen. This is where cross-sell fits in and the most successful retailers today are catering to each individual buyer.

Using dynamic recommendations built around the actions of each individual, cross-selling merchandise is more on-target than ever. The most exciting advantage is that cross-sell recommendations can work across all channels that shoppers use. It doesn’t matter if the shopper is online, in the store, on their phone or at a kiosk, a cross-sell recommendation can be used across all of these channels to deliver the best shopping experience to the consumer, regardless of the way they access the information.  It’s going to be an exciting time as we move forward with even more personalized ways to tailor the shopping experience to each individual.

Chris Crompton

Chris Crompton is the Group Marketing Manager at ROI Revolution, a retail-focused digital marketing agency.

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