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The workshop is open! Take advantage of this great opportunity to ask the DOBA team how you can merchandise, cross-sell and up-sell in your eBay Store and eBay listings for increased sales and profits this holiday season.
Workshops are interactive, so please feel free to ask your questions that directly relate to this topic. We will answer all questions!
My name is Ken Woodbury and I’m the Marketing Director at Doba. Today we are here to discuss how you can use up-sell and cross-sell strategies to increase your Holiday sales on eBay.
Doba was one of the original eBay Certified Service Providers, and we’ve maintained this eBay validation since 2004. Our business is to facilitate product sourcing for the online retail entrepreneur and small business. We do this by offering a catalog containing well over 1 million products from hundreds of wholesale suppliers and manufacturers, which you can list and sell on eBay. All our products, once sold, are drop shipped directly to your customers, so you don’t have to be involved in the warehousing, packaging, or shipping any of the products yourself.
It’s important to take advantage of up-sell and cross-sell strategies to increase your sales, particularly in the Holiday season. As a retailer, you know that the majority of your annual sales place during the final quarter of the year. To capitalize on the added traffic to your listings during the Holiday season, you need to pull out all the tricks you can to help increase your profits.
We have all heard how it is more costly to acquire new customers than to retain existing customers, and using cross-selling and up-selling strategies are useful tools that can be used to increase profitability from your existing customers.
Plus, surveys show that customers enjoy being offered additional items that may meet their needs or that they have not been offered in the past. So long as you are being wise with your actions, your customers will enjoy your efforts rather than see them as intrusive.
You have certainly heard the terms cross-sell and up-sell. However, sometimes these terms are used almost interchangeably. So I would like to throw out the definition of the terms so that we are working from a common point.
What is an up-sell?
Wikipedia defines an up-sell as a sales technique whereby a salesperson induces the customer to purchase more expensive items, upgrades, or other add-ons in an attempt to make a more profitable sale. Up-selling usually involves marketing more profitable services or products, but up-selling can also be simply exposing the customer to other options he or she may not have considered previously. Up-selling implies selling something that is more profitable or otherwise preferable for the seller instead of the original sale.
Using a real-world example, the up-sell is “do you want to make your Value Meal large size today?”
The Oxford English Dictionary defines a cross-sale as "the action or practice of selling among or between established clients, markets, traders, etc." or "that of selling an additional product or service to an existing customer". The objectives of cross-selling can be either to increase the income derived from the customer(s) or to protect the relationship with the customer(s).
Using a real-world example, the cross-sell is “do you want fries with your burger today?”
Now that we have defined cross-selling and up-selling as distinct sales and marketing strategies, how can we capitalize on each to increase your sales and profitability during the Holiday season? The bottom line is that you should incorporate both of these techniques into your online sales and marketing strategies.
We know that these techniques are used by big companies worldwide both in regular retail settings as well as online because they are proven to be effective. Half.com for example, not only suggests books by the same author to customers purchasing a book, they also suggest other book titles that were frequently purchased together. Many companies also offer free shipping on orders over a certain dollar amount.
The carrot theory as it relates to your up-selling activities
One of the most widely used and most effective methods of promoting up-selling for online retailers is to offer an incentive when the customer reaches a certain spending threshold. The incentive can be items such as
• A free product with the order • Free shipping on the entire order
A couple of things you should keep in mind when using this technique are that the goal is to increase not only total sales dollars, but also net profits. Adding additional sales should add to your bottom line. So when you are calculating the incentive you plan on giving customers that reach the threshold make sure you know all your related costs.
Using bundling and packaging is a text book example of increasing sales through up-selling. Bundles can be created to not only provide the customer with a large set of items they may be looking for but also as a way to increase your total profit on an order. Bundles and packages are also a way to help you stand out from your competition on popular items.
Primes example of this strategy can be found every day in the electronics categories on eBay.
• Digital cameras – Many sellers have incorporated packages to their digital SLR cameras including lenses, tripods, carrying cases, travel chargers, memory cards, cleaning kits and more to the basic, low-margin camera body. • Video game systems – With the popularity of many video game systems, sellers have learned that they can increase profits by adding a package of two or three games with each system sold.
One way you can easily up-sell on eBay, particularly during the Holiday season is to add the Gift Icon to you listings. When you add this icon to your listings it indicates you will add a gift card, gift wrap, express ship, or even ship to a recipient as a gift. To take advantage of this as a way to increase your sales, simply include details of the charges for each service on your item description.
One of the most common ways to implement a cross-selling strategy is to present a second, suggested item in addition to the original item the customer has committed to purchase. When incorporating this strategy the cross-sell item should always be at a lower price point than the originally purchased item. The idea is that it should be an easy, quick decision to add the second item. If the second item is a high priced item (higher priced than the initial item) you are asking the customer to make a large commitment which might require additional deliberation. The second item presented should be one that is easily added without much consideration.
Cross-sell items should be related to the original item being purchased
When you are planning on offering an item or items up to your customers as a cross-sell item, you should make certain that the item has a good, logical relationship to the original item. A clearly related item is referred to as having a natural relation or ontological relation. Closely related items are more likely to be purchased impulsively than completely unrelated items.
In fact, in cases where a secondary item might be needed for the operation of the original item there is a perfect opportunity to initiate a cross-sell. For example if you are selling a battery powered item, you can very logically and successfully add the batteries as a cross-sell.
It is a good example to highlight other items in your eBay store that the customer might be interested in.
A good way to not only introduce items for cross-sale but also to increase the confidence of your customers in your products and company in general is to introduce expert testimonials. The expert may be in the form of an employee of your company, a former customer, or even an actual subject matter expert. Your experts can go a long way in introducing additional products.
There are many ways to introduce your recommendations to your customers. Generally, you should not only label them clearly and accurately, but you should also personalize the recommendations and add some contextual relevance. For example, if you are selling pants, instead of simply stating “we recommend this belt” try something like “these pants look incredible with this belt”.
Some additional common phrases you might want to use when recommending a second item are:
“You may also like” “Customers who bought X also bought Y” “Customers who viewed X also viewed Y” “Frequently bought together” “Stuff you may want” “More from this (category, brand, author, artist)” “Looks hot with” “Complete the look with”
Instilling urgency in your cross-sell and up-sell activities
You may be able to increase sales more regularly by instilling urgency in your listings. Because the average consumer doesn’t like to know they have missed out on a hot deal, you can increase the frequency of your up-sells by using marketing copy that will create urgency in your listings. Some of the techniques you might try are, “offer ends soon” or “limited quantities available”. You might even offer free shipping or an additional free product for customers that use the Buy It Now feature.
To make the whole process of incorporating cross-sell and up-sell strategies in your online retail business easier, you may want to consider building the inventory of your online store to easily incorporate your activities. One of the best ways to do this is to build your inventory around key winning products that you have already sourced. In other words, select, target, and build your inventory around a specific product niche.
For example, if you have a source for, and sell a large amount of, a particular kitchen blender you might want to build your other store inventory to include measuring cups, baking pans, mixing bowls and other closely related items. Many retailers use a drop ship source such as Doba to easily add items to build out your product mix.
When you focus your online store inventory to a niche you are more likely to have multiple products that your customers will be interested in. You will be building a store for a group of loyal customers who return in the future to make additional purchases from you. People who are interested in your niche will likely find many things they are interested in and can use from your store.
Buyers will be more likely to save your store as one of their favorite sellers if you have clear, focused niche of products in your store rather than a mix of everything from toasters to wrenches to high-fashion shoes.
The final and overriding goal is that you should incorporate your cross-sell and up-sell strategies as part of your efforts to meet the customers needs better rather than simply a way to push more products. That way you’ll have much happier, more loyal, and more profitable customers in the long run.
Siometimes you have to do some research to find good margin products. We have a weekly list of products called Doba Deals that list 10+ products with great margins that you can sell. Here is one example:
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