Our marketing wiki for brands reeling from Covid-19  ‣
Growth

Hidden Marketing: Upselling at Checkout

Jim Babb
Jim Babb

Hidden Marketing is a series where we examine the customer experience and optimization techniques of 50 of the top D2C retail brands. How are they improving the shopping experience, and how can we learn from these top digital marketers by dissecting their work?


For many years, retailers have used strategic merchandising at checkout to encourage customers to find more products. Traditionally this space has been utilized to display smaller-sized, lower-priced items: candy bars and magazines at the grocery store, candles at boutiques, phone chargers at electronic stores etc. These are often items that customers did not enter the store to buy, but upon seeing realize they want. Hidden Marketing is a series where we examine the customer experience and optimization techniques of 50 of the top D2C retail brands. How are they improving the shopping experience, and how can we learn from these top digital marketers by dissecting their work?

Screen Shot 2020-06-25 at 11.47.48 AM.png

Sephora’s shoppable line dividers, are a great example of heavy merchandising at checkout.



One of the appeals of online shopping is that there are no lines. On average, customers spend over five minutes just waiting in line to check out in-store. In contrast, people spend an average of only 4-5 minutes for the entire process of buying a product online. Customers also spend less money per purchase online. A First Insight Report found that 71% of all shoppers surveyed spent $50 or more when shopping in-store. This compares to only 54% of respondents spending more than $50 when shopping online.

Makes sense. Looking for a specific pair of shoes on an e-commerce site? Pick “shoes” from the menu bar, add the pair you want to your cart, and check out. We’ve made navigation and purchasing so frictionless that it can come at the expense of browsing. One way eCommerce sites are increasingly bringing back some of the magic of merchandising is by adding products into the checkout process.

Screen Shot 2020-06-25 at 11.48.00 AM.png

At least 58% of the 50 DTC websites we looked at have an upsell in their checkout flow.
Screen Shot 2020-06-25 at 11.48.07 AM.png

We say “at least” because we only checked a few products on each site and upsells can be product-specific. A nearly 60% adoption rate is a great indication that this technique is becoming a best-practice, and it works.

The brands implementing this are generally selling multiple products in the same category and products that compliment or enhance each other. Upselling works best when there is a natural inclination to bundle products together in a single purchase.

There are a few ways you can use upselling to increase your average order value:
Screen Shot 2020-06-25 at 11.48.14 AM.png
Screen Shot 2020-06-25 at 11.48.23 AM.png

You can use the upselling technique before check-out as well, by encouraging customers to  bundle like items together. We were able to raise the AOV by 28% for one of our clients by encouraging customers to add complementing products to their order for an incremental discount.


Questions to ask yourself:


When strategizing around when/if to add an upsell to your checkout imagine you’re the salesperson. What would you try to sell to the customer? For example, if someone was buying a swimsuit top, you wouldn’t want to suggest they also buy a flat screen TV. Instead you’d offer the matching bottom. The smarter your upsell is the more conversions you’ll get.

If your site is on Shopify there are now a number of plug and play apps you can use to easily implement an upsell into your checkout.

Have you tried upselling? Are you thinking about adding it to your site? Reach out and let us know! We’d love to chat about it.