Five ways to increase upselling on your website

Creating your online ecommerce empire means exploiting every means possible to make a sale. One of the main tricks that many entrepreneurs miss is the upsell. This is where you suggest an improved version of a selected product, supporting products to complement the chosen one, or special offers before they check out.

Upselling is a valuable tool for squeezing those extra dollars out of a customer before they check out. Done right, the customer feels as though you’re doing them a favor and not just pushing more stuff.

We’re going to cover five effective ways to increase upselling on an ecommerce website. They include:

  • Pitching the right product
  • Timing
  • Caring
  • Not being pushy
  • Offering alternatives

Pitching the right product

Choosing the right product to pitch in any upsell is vital. There is no point trying to suggest a DVD when selling a digital camera. However, offering a memory card, camera bag, or spare batteries would be ideal.

Suggest complementing products is also useful, such as offering a digital camera tripod or digital photo frame. Customers tend to view these as helpful, rather than pushy.

Timing the up-sell

Internet customers are very task-oriented. They visit your website for a purpose. The trick with the timing is to upsell once they have finished that task. In the digital camera example above, the right time to pitch the up-sell would be after they have added the camera to their basket.

A website design that takes that into account is the one that will bring in the most money.

Caring for your customer

In these challenging times, customers are more aware of finding bargains and getting a deal. Building them into your ecommerce website will allow you to sell while appearing to care. Highlighting cheaper alternatives to products the customer is selecting is a useful way to show you care. While your bottom line may be out a few cents, you create brand loyalty which is measured in dollars.

Highlight special offers at the top of a page, suggest cheaper alternatives and recommend bundle deals to maximize that feeling.

Avoid being pushy

Nobody likes pushy sales people. The same is true for internet sales. A website design that allows you to add recommended items, popular items and other special offers will allow you to make the most of upselling without the pushiness.

Avoid opt-ins at all costs. The budget airlines have learned to their cost that adding travel insurance or extra paid service automatically while buying flights is a big turn off to consumers.

Offering alternatives

A great way of up-selling without making it look like a sale is the alternative method. Apple and Amazon do this very well. To emulate their success, dress the upsells up as recommendations or “other people bought,” “you might also like” and so on. While they are clearly sales pitches, they don’t feel pushy and are more likely to succeed.

If you’re looking for an ecommerce website design, these elements are going to be very important in your life. The ability to effectively up-sell can make the difference between success and failure of your online venture.

What makes a Good Website Product Page?

Designing a website product page is probably the hardest part of website design. We have to keep it simple, leave plenty of whitespace, include enough information to influence the buying decision, but not overwhelm the visitor with information. It’s a difficult thing to juggle, and one that takes considerable practice to get right.

There are certain things that must be on a product page, the name, price, image, description, and buy now button. There are also nice to have’s, including quantity options, multiple images, extended product descriptions and social proof.

The product name is an important part of the website design. It needs to be individual and SEO friendly. So rather than saying, “computer mouse,” say, “wireless 8-button computer mouse.” It makes it easier to find, and to refine.

The price is obviously a deciding factor in any buying decision. The web audience is predominantly made up of working folks like us. That means the price should be displayed prominently on the page. Ideally it would be just to the left of a large image of the product and just above the buy button.

An image is vital. As visitors can’t touch or inspect the product, they need to see it as clearly as possible. A good quality image is essential in providing reassurance that it is what the visitor is looking for.

The description works with the image to provide reassurance that the product is what it say it is. It should be brief, but complete, and contain everything a prospective purchaser needs to make the buying decision.

The buy now button is the most important part of that website design. It’s the conversion, and the place the site owner needs to work best. Proper placement is key. It should ideally be to the left of a clear image and slightly below the price. Exhaustive usability studies have shown this is the most effective placement of the button.

Looking at some successful ecommerce sites shows you how effective placement of page elements works in real life.

The nice to have’s should be included in the website design wherever possible, but not if it compromises the user experience. For the relatively little space, and code, needed to make a quantity button happen, it should be there.

Multiple images provide further reassurance that the product is indeed what the visitor is looking for. Integrating an interactive image, or providing several images from different angles is a very effective way of converting.

An extended product description is useful on technology products or complicated ones. These can be integrated using a tab for further information so it doesn’t spoil the page, or provided as a link. The more information the better, but not on the product page itself.

Social proof is a relative newcomer to ecommerce, but one that’s proving hard to beat. A buyers review or feedback comment is a great way to further reassure buyers that the product is worth the money. Hearing it from real people makes more difference than you could possibly imagine.