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What Is Cross-Selling And How Can Small Businesses Benefit?

What Is Cross-Selling And How Can Small Businesses Benefit?

While purchasing your favorite burger at KFC or McDonald's, haven't they asked you if you want fries or coke with it? While online shopping on Amazon, you can find a recommendation section at the bottom of the screen. Amazon recommends other items you might want to buy, either based on your interest related to the products that you browse or products that you just bought. Businesses such as Amazon strive to increase their revenues by providing such recommendations. Amazon understands the benefits of cross-selling to its existing customer base. With the introduction of the latest mobile app design practices, cross-selling techniques are easily implemented in any business’s digital version.

Irrespective of industry, useful cross-selling tips, cross-selling strategies, and techniques can motivate buyers to purchase more products. Many businesses are trying to incorporate cross-selling in their business models and their mobile application development processes. A proper cross-selling technique can increase the sales of your small business. And it doesn’t mean to sell any products just for the sake of selling. It also includes anticipating the client’s needs, offering the best products related to the original products or services, and providing real benefits to the user.

What is Cross-Selling?

Cross-selling is one of the best techniques for marketing and sales. The Cross-selling technique persuades customers to spend more by buying an item that identifies with what people are purchasing already. To cross-sell is to sell related or correlated products to a current customer. Cross-selling introduces the total of integral or associated products or administrations that will deliver more benefits to the buyer when bought together. People pair products that function admirably together like cell phones and memory cards, bread and butter, shampoo and conditioner, and so on.

Cross selling definition

Amazon attributes up to 35% of its revenue because of cross-selling benefits. It's an extraordinary method of expanding customer loyalty and developing customer connections, improving customer lifetime worth and maintenance.

Cross-selling appears uniquely across business parts. However, all cross-selling deals must be devised for all intents and purposes because they enhance an incentive for the customer. The main risk with cross-selling is that an existing customer won't find added value to the additional purchase, breaking a business relationship.

Cross-selling Use Cases

Here are a few use cases that will help you understand the concept of cross-selling in more detail. 

Use case 1:

Suppose you buy a winter jacket or sweater. The retailer will suggest a winter cap or muffler to you or gloves and maybe socks. Here, he provided you an excellent and logical combination of useful stuff.

Use case 2:

You contact an agent for getting your health insurance. The sales representative will offer you life insurance giving the buyer’s needs. Along with that, he will suggest some other policies or insurance schemes that are beneficial to you. 

Use case 3:

A web development company or mobile app development company will suggest digital marketing services to an existing client who recently got their website or mobile application developed.

Use case 4:

Have you ever noticed those little things near the sales counter in a store that is kept there on purpose? Every child convinces their parents to buy those toys or games or chocolates while billing.

Benefits of Cross-selling

Every product has a specific power when merged, which benefits buyers also. Just connect the products smartly, and if effectively done, this technique will help your small business stunningly. Various benefits of cross-selling are:

Cross-selling improves profitability and lowers the price.

Most cross-sales involve some discount, which means your company makes less on the product than the product sold alone. Without cross-selling, you may not get good sales at all. Your overall profit increases due to cross-selling. Also, the customer is happy because they paid less for a product. One of the most significant and noticeable advantages of cross-selling is the company’s profit or customer discount.

Builds customer loyalty

Cross-selling openings should enable a customer to solve any issue and build loyalty. Returning to our insurance example (Use case 2), if you sell somebody a bunch of health insurance at a severe rate and, at that point, cross-sell them on life insurance, it discloses to them that you approach products that can take care of many issues for them. Furthermore, why would customers go somewhere else if all the arrangements are in one spot?

Develops more leads

Due to cross-selling, the number of leads that are generated skyrockets. Your existing customers are your loyal ones who regularly buy things from you, and they can recommend you first to someone else. So, you get the best leads that come in reference.

Cross-selling strengthens customer relationships and retention.

Cross-selling doesn't just increase your customer retention rate but also familiarizes you with new options. Fulfilled customers often share their positive experiences with others. They write reviews or recommend your products to their organizations. Again, don’t try to pitch the products your customer doesn’t need. It will strengthen your relationship with existing customers. Your customers see that you are looking out for their needs. 

Cross-selling Techniques and Tips

Out of numerous trending cross-selling strategies, some don’t target the concept right, and thus no fruitful profit is achieved. It is necessary to adopt a perfect approach and also execute them well. Here are some of the effective cross-selling techniques and cross-selling tips which can help:

1. You should know your customers

Knowing your customer means you must know your customers' wants, buying habits, and needs to suggest the right product to them. If the customer doesn't find the product that useful and exciting, they will leave with only the products they like, and you will miss a profit.

  • Learn more about your customers, and get to know what else they need presently.
  • To know that, you need to find their needs and wants, goals, concerns, challenges, and expectations.
  • Ask questions that are relevant to learn more about them for presenting the correct mixture of products.

If the customer has already come once before, collect and find the purchase history using sales reports. Find out when the customer purchased your product and why, and the customer was more responsive on which channels like call, email, or social media?

2. Active listening practice

Each communication you have with your customer is significant, so be mindful. A cross-sell opportunity may come at your door at any second. Effectively listen to your customers while they share their requirements and concerns.

Make sure that you are listening by recognizing them when they pause in the middle. Rather than thinking about what to say next, focus on what the customer is sharing and take notes of each detail to stay on track.

Customers will, in general, share more information when they are happy while addressing you. There are chances that they may give everything away at any second by referring to their business goals, plans, desires, or interests.

Now, it's an ideal chance to introduce them to the other service or product that could improve and help reach their perfect goal.

3. Staying relevant will increase your cross-selling

There are chances that you may annoy the customer by recommending things they don't need. What's the point of recommending an android charger to an individual buying an iPhone?

It may seem that you are luring to more products for expanding your deals. Be that as it may, you are cautious with what you are proposing. Un-related cross-selling suggestions often fizzle.

Consider your customers. It's essential to become a problem solver to prevail at cross-selling. You have to know which of your products/services has assembled to tackle the buyer's concern; rather than having a product-centric attitude, attempt to have a customer-centric approach.

4. Use emails to cross-sell your product.

Emails are the ideal approach to advise your customers about reciprocal products. Rather than picking the call and selling a product, think about a smart way.

Information based emails are the ideal approach to draw in with your customers and encourage associations with them for cross-selling your products.

You can catch their consideration by showing the benefits of utilizing one product with the other in an email. Keep sending them informative content consistently.

Many automation tools such as CRM software can help. You simply need to set work processes, and the information you need to pass on will continuously arrive at your focused-on customers.

5. Wait till you provide satisfaction.

Approach them just when they have arrived at a specific satisfaction level. If the customers had a positive experience utilizing your product, at that point, there are fewer possibilities that they would hesitate in buying an extra service or product.

Be careful while focusing on existing customers as they are now utilizing your products. Try not to rush to present a related product or service.

If, in any case, they are unhappy utilizing your product, then you may get in a difficult situation. In this way, take your customer's response before recommending a different product to see whether you are prevailing regarding living up to their expectations.

Cross-selling for Small Businesses

When a customer has chosen to buy from you, getting them to buy more items or buy for a later time is a lot simpler than finding another customer. The increase in faith is a clear advantage; however, the significant purpose behind cross-selling is to increase your primary concern of retaining customers and pushing them further in buying related products.

When a chance is given to buy a related thing or service to a customer,  they are much more liable to say yes than when purchasing their first thing. It essentially implies that the more a customer purchases from you, the more likely they are to return and buy more.

The whole idea brings more deals and more profit, all without the cost, time, and efforts associated with attracting new customers. Some of the other overall benefits that cross-selling can provide to small businesses are: 

Higher customer retention rate

By deploying cross-selling in small businesses, you can retain more customers, and that too, for a more extended period. The primary reason is when a customer spends more time on a business’s website or mobile app, the more they seem to browse through your combinations and are likely to buy them.

Increase in revenue

An important factor is increasing revenue, and it is crystal clear when we discuss an increase in revenue by implementing cross-selling with small businesses. If a customer buys more than the desired amount of products, it is evident that the payment will boost. Selling multiple items with an already purchased product can increase the business’s overall revenue. 

Higher conversion

If a customer is interested in the suggestions made by your website, or app, then it is obvious that they will buy those products. Thus there is a higher conversion rate as they are likely to return to your website once they are satisfied with the customer service, product suggestions, and experience. 

Fuels innovation 

The more the customers accept your business’ suggested combinations and product suggestions, the more likely you are to fuel innovation in taking a step higher in adopting cross-selling techniques. Thus, the customers get a new experience, and business owners can give wings to their innovative minds. 

Better customer service

The customers who are impressed by the suggestions and combinations offered by you will naturally experience a better service. These customers then spread the word in reviews, comments, sharing with near and dear ones, etc. Thus, cross-selling can act as the best tool to increase customer service.

Reduced customer acquisition cost

As the existing customers will buy more products than expected, the cost of finding and converting new customers can be decreased. By applying more and more cross-selling techniques, you can sell multiple products to a single customer and save on your customer acquisition costs. 


Cross-selling is offering an additional product that is supplementing the initial purchase. Understanding the term-cross-selling is necessary to excel in it. While in up-selling, the seller attempts to provide a more costly form of a similar product. Thus, attempt to give your best by doing all that it takes to cross-sell a product. Investigate different techniques, tactics, and technologies for cross-selling a product.

Cross-selling is an effective way to increase sales revenue for your company when you handle it with care. While you should take advantage of potential cross-sales, you need some tools for gathering and analyzing facts to use cross-selling in a way that benefits your customers and your business.

Bhoomi Ramanandi
Bhoomi Ramanandi

Bhoomi Ramanandi is a Content Writer at OpenXcell Technolabs.  With an IT background and more than 6 years of experience in the writing field, she loves learning new technologies and creating useful content about them. She loves pens and paper as much as she loves pan and pepper. Give her any latest technology or any recipe; she is always up for it.

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