Upselling & Cross-Selling Hacks To Take BFCM 2023 To The Next Level

Ellie Bradford
Jun 7, 2024
3 min read

To really win this BFCM, you need to be equipped with strategic know-how on ways to entice shoppers to high-value orders. This is where upselling and cross-selling come in. A technique that, when done right, drives up the average order value (AOV) and leaves your customers beaming with joy.

In this article, we’ll give you the inside scoop on the best upsell and cross-sell strategies that will push your BFCM sales through the roof.

Upsell vs Cross-sell: What’s The Difference?

Let’s start off by distinguishing between upselling and cross-selling.

upsell cross sell differences | upsell bfcm | cross sell bfcm

When you upsell, you are encouraging a customer to purchase a higher-value, premium product. It’s important to point out that this can’t just be any high-priced item in your store. Rather, this product is related to the one they intended to purchase and acts more as an upgraded version.

On the other hand, a cross-sell involves persuading shoppers to buy complementary products.

The difference here is that an upsell invites the customer to purchase a product in the same category instead of the one they had their eyes on. Whereas cross-sell items would be completely different products to buy alongside their original ones. These suggestions, however, will be relevant to the intended item in some way.

Why Upsell and Cross-Sell For BFCM?

One of the greatest advantages of upselling and cross-selling is the effect it has on your bottom line. Both techniques inherently involve prompting customers to spend more than they had originally planned. In doing so, the AOV of BFCM purchases will shoot upwards.

Moreover, when you increase the AOV, you’ll also increase your return on investment for the marketing tactics you employed to acquire customers.

There are also benefits uniquely related to cross-selling and upselling that work towards lifting your income during and even after holiday sales.

With cross-selling, as you are suggesting related products, you’re in turn creating greater awareness of your store’s offering in a way that’s in line with a shopper’s preferences. This leads to an enhanced shopping experience as it becomes more personalized.

customer loyalty graph

The 3Rs in customer loyalty and retention are centered around personalization. (Source: Accenture)

This is particularly beneficial over BFCM as personalized experiences affect loyalty. In fact, 70% of consumers say the understanding a company has of their individual needs impacts their loyalty. Thus, relevant cross-selling suggestions will have new shoppers coming back to your store post-BFCM.

Cross-selling has also been found to increase profits by 30%. Aside from the positive effect, it has on AOV, it’s actually cheaper to make use of cross-selling techniques. Why? Because acquiring a new customer is 5 to 25 times more expensive than selling to an existing one. You’ll reap this reward when you cross-sell just as someone is about to checkout.

A unique benefit of upselling is that it can play a role in helping you manage your inventory. BFCM always brings in higher-than-average orders. This can be a problem if the amount of orders for particular items exceeds what you have in stock. You can skirt around this issue by recommending a product that you have more of and also presents more value to the customer.

Speaking of presenting more value, another unique aspect of upselling is that you offer a shopper a product that will give thema heightened experience. This will lead to higher satisfaction for visitors to your store.

Where To Upsell and Cross-sell For BFCM Campaigns

When upselling and cross-selling for BFCM, you have a few options as to where to present these products.

Cross-sell & Upsell on Product Pages

Product detail pages are a great place for both cross-selling and upselling. When a customer clicks on to these pages, you know they have a vested interest in the product. It also gives you a very good indication of what a customer is interested in and can be used as a basis to recommend relevant items.

cross sell example ninewest

Nine West cross-sell bags that go with the shoes on the product details page

Cross-sell at Checkout

The checkout page is a good opportunity to present complimentary items as the customer has shown high intent of purchasing a product. Remember, it’s much easier to sell to an existing customer. At this point, they are already in your pocket.

sourcebmx cross-sell at checkout

SourceBMX cross-sell services and t-shirts at checkout

Cross-sell in Post-Purchase Emails

In light of the ease of selling to an existing customer, you can also try your hand at cross-selling in a post-purchase email. Trigger them to go just after a purchase has been made, or once their order has been delivered.

sambag cross sell post purchase via email

Sambag sends a personable post-purchase email to encourage shoppers to buy complementary items. (Source: Salescycle)

Upsell on Collection Pages

You can optimize your collection pages or sales collection page for the promotion of higher-margin products. The first row of these pages should consist of the products within the category that you want to upsell. Be sure to also hide out-of-stock and demote out-of-fashion items on these pages to give more prominence to the products for upselling.

Leverage holiday sales with Boost

Upsell in Search

Similarly, search can be used as a tool to promote higher-priced products. In the search dropdown suggestions, you can pin such products related to the search at the top.

camilla search suggestions upsell

High-priced items take precedence in the search suggestions on

On the search results page, prioritize the products for upsell in the first couple of rows, just like you would on collection pages.

To get all these capabilities plus more, make sure you have Boost AI Search & Discovery installed on your Shopify store.


6 Upsell & Cross-Sell Tips For BFCM 2023

It’s time to dig a little deeper into some effective strategies and tips for optimizing upsell and cross-sell over BFCM.

Tip #1 - Leverage AI and ML to deliver relevant suggestions

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) will be your best friends when it comes to providing highly relevant products to upsell and cross-sell to shoppers.

Make use of recommender systems that take a look at what someone has previously purchased or added to their cart to then give personalized product suggestions. These items can be complementary for cross-selling purposes, or a similar premium product that’s also part of your BFCM sale for upselling. This presentation of a better deal can work wonders in encouraging an upsell.

In the same vein, a product that is currently being viewed can be used to generate relevant items for cross-selling and upselling.

Learn more about product recommendations: All you need to know about online product recommendation and how to optimize it


Tip #2 - Figure out which of your products work best for cross-sell or upsell

It’s important to note that not just any old product will meet the criteria for an effective cross-sell or upsell. Some products will actually work a lot better than others. Here are some things you should take into consideration when selecting products for cross-sell and upsell.

Be conscious of price

Cross-selling typically works best on big ticket items rather than on impulse purchases. The customer is highly invested in this product and therefore has a greater interest in it and its complementary products.

For example, when purchasing a smartphone, products that provide protection, like a phone case, require a lot less consideration. Of course you’d want to protect your brand new phone! So, if you have high-ticket products as part of your BFCM sale, this is where you’ll want to drop in some complementary items.

cross sell high price product

Notice how the recommendations are not just relevant, but also far cheaper than the primary product. (Source: JB Hifi)

Complementary products should also be a fair amount cheaper than the original one to lighten the decision-making process. Between 10% and 50% works well here. When it comes to upselling, the price jump from the original product shouldn’t be too high. A 30% increase is a safe price for an upgraded product.

Investigate what’s frequently bought together

Dig into your data to find out which products are often bought in tandem. This will help to improve the relevance of the items you suggest for cross-selling, thereby heightening the likelihood it will actually be purchased. You can highlight their allure by including reviews, ratings, and testimonials.

Identify your bestsellers

This works for both cross-selling and upselling. These products are trending for a reason, so inclusion of them is sure to boost your AOV.

Decide which products will feel like an upgrade

The point of an upsell is that it is a superior product to the original one. When selecting items for upselling, ensure that it will give your customers greater value. Dissect the features and identify ones that are more advanced in each product category. Make this clear by explaining how these features will give your customers a superior experience as soon as you present it to them.

Related Read: Top Shopify Upsell Apps To Boost Your Promotion Campaign


Tip #3 - Use Pop-ups

Pop-ups are a useful tool in grabbing the attention of visitors who have shown an interest in a particular product. They do, however, need to be crafted and implemented with care if you want to drive additional or higher purchases and not turn off your customers.

cross sell pop up

(Source: Medium)

Rather than triggering a pop-up each time an item is clicked on, only fire them when a product has been added to cart.

Use personable language and avoid being pushy in the heading. You can also use pop-ups as an opportunity to show the value buying additional related items or upgrading their chosen product can bring. Furthermore, use language to demonstrate how the items are interconnected. For example, with phrases like People also liked, and Frequently bought together.

You also don’t want to overwhelm shoppers with too many cross-sell or upsell options. Stick to a maximum of 3 or 4 to avoid customers facing choice paralysis.

Finally, make sure you do not show the same pop-up to a customer more than once. Otherwise, you’ll come across as pushy, irritating, and unknowing of what your customers actually want.

Tip #4 - Make the offers compelling

To boost your chances of securing purchases from upselling and cross-selling, you need to make visitors to your site feel like it’s a no-brainer.

upsell pop up example

The value proposition of upgrading to a pricier iPhone is made clear (Source: Digi Smoothie)

When you’re presenting a product for upselling, make sure you state precisely how your customer will get additional value. There should also be plenty of information on the advanced features it has. It’s a good idea to update your product details pages ahead of BFCM so that they clearly show this.

For cross-selling, leverage social proof to sway your customers. This can simply be by including star ratings underneath the thumbnail when you’re suggesting additional products.

The language you use as the heading for cross-sell recommendations can also act as a compelling lure. Try phrases like Looks great with and Complete the look. This type of language shows the value the additional products will bring to the primary one.

Tip #5 - Present shoppers with bundles

Bundles are an excellent cross-selling hack as it causes shoppers to feel that they’re getting a great deal. It also lightens the load on decision-making for your customers as you’ve packaged a set of products that work well together for them.

When you are creating product bundles for BFCM, the collection of items needs to make sense. Choose a few high-priced or popular products to be the centerpiece of the bundle. Then, think about the needs of the customer buying the primary product. Which products or services will make the use of the primary product easier or better? What items are often bought with the primary product?

product bundle for upselling and cross selling

Skull Shaver shows the saving a bundle can bring their customers

You should also really emphasize the savings they are getting by choosing the bundle as opposed to buying them separately. You can do this with text saying Save [x amount] with this bundle or showing the original price slashed next to the bundle price.

Bundles work best and are often shown on the checkout page as this is when the intent is highest and the likelihood of a cross-sell is, therefore, greatest.

Tip #6 - Reach out to customers post-purchase

You’re going to see a lot of new customers come to your store during BFCM. These new customers may be a little resistant to making a large or high-priced order. The trust isn’t there yet. But once the customer has received the product and experienced how great it is, seize the opportunity to drive retention with a cross-sell.

Set up an automated email flow that fires off once an order has been received. Thank them for their purchase and curate a selection of BFCM products that complement the one they received. You can also add a sense of urgency by making it clear that these savings won’t be around for long.

Boost Your Sales This BFCM With Upsells & Cross-sells

BFCM is a huge event in the eCommerce calendar, bearing tons of shoppers and tons of savings.

Implementing upselling and cross-selling tactics is a surefire way to drive your sales profits upward. Rather than banking on the sheer number of customers coming your way this BFCM, cross-selling, and upselling help you convert more visits into ones of high value.

Besides, the experience you can build by making use of our cross-sell and upsell tips will keep shoppers coming back even after the holidays.

So go ahead and delight your customers and your bottom line this BFCM.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Ellie Bradford
In-Product Marketing Lead
June 17, 2024
6 min read