Rethink Commerce Blog

How to Maximize ESD Revenue with Effective Cross-Selling

Posted on April 24th, 2015 by

In its relatively short existence, the SaaS model has obviously gotten many things right. One thing in particular has been its relentless focus on the customer relationship. What other businesses, like ESD vendors, can take from this is that while, yes, products and services are important, the real money is in increasing the value of the customer over her lifecycle. While there are many strategies to increase customer lifetime value, one of the most effective and relevant for ESD vendors is the cross-sell. 

While you can cross-sell at different points in the sales and customer lifecycle, two stages are ripe for the picking:

  • During the initial sale, where you can suggest relevant products that enhance customers’ experience and value.
  • When you’re marketing new products to existing customers.

Now, let’s look at cross-selling tactics that can give your revenue a big boost.

  1. Propose complementary products

A classic but effective cross-selling strategy is to suggest one or more products that are complementary to the products a customer is about to buy. For instance, if you’re selling website design software, you can offer an SEO package. Buyers will think that they might as well get started with making their website search-engine friendly as soon as they’re done designing it. This is more of a pull than a push technique where the product offer is keeping with the overall needs of a webmaster/website owner. For it to work, compatibility checking is critical; unless your suggestion(s) are aligned to the main product being purchased, there’s a good chance customers will ignore them.

Make it easier to buy promoted products along with the main product. Include an ‘add to cart’ checkbox under the main product being sold. Buyers can then add the promoted products to the shopping cart directly with the main product. Add the most important information about the promoted products on the page without overshadowing the main product. Plan the design and layout of the cross-selling page carefully to attractively position the main products, as well as those being cross promoted

Note: You can also explore up-selling here, by proposing a higher-priced ecommerce software platform with SEO, analytics and email management. Other up-selling strategies include offering software upgrades or longer software licenses/licensing deals.

  1. Don’t push products, satisfy real needs

Products proposed through cross-selling must be relevant to customers’ needs. Effective cross-selling focuses on identifying and satisfying needs, not just pushing products. That means going beyond customers’ past purchases to understand what they might be interested in. And having your finger on the pulse of customers’ unmet needs and tailoring cross-sell offers to close those gaps.

Your customer representatives are in the best position to gauge customers’ unmet requirements. Plus, they know your full product line while customers don’t. In fact, customers may not even realize that another product or service package can solve a related problem or serve a related purpose. Customer reps – who’re always tuned in to what customers are saying – can spot good opportunities for cross-selling and make appropriate suggestions.

  1. Find a cross-selling partner

Cross-selling is an opportunity to find a common ground with the competition, and collaborate to acquire more customers.

  • Strategic alignment is critical to optimizing revenue and reaching out to new users. Unless other vendors understand your business, target similar markets and sell complementary products, your partnership(s) may not deliver the envisioned business benefits.
  • It helps to find out your target customers’ preferred vendors to give your cross-selling suggestions more credibility.
  • It becomes easier to work with the competition when you can spot a gap in their business that can be filled with your product. They will be more open to partnering with you when your product complements theirs.

Revenue share partnerships unlock doors to other companies’ customers. A percentage split of each transaction or a percentage of net sales are two simple revenue sharing options you can explore.

  1. Try automatic cross-selling

A popular technique used by online stores, it informs customers about what others (fellow customers) are buying. It does not sound like a recommendation from you, and plays on the psyche of buyers curious about knowing or at least not ignoring the chance to know about fellow customers’ purchase habits and software choices. The ‘other people who bought this also bought…’ strategy also affords buyers the opportunity to learn about another product without them having to do the research themselves.

Use the cross-selling tips discussed above to enjoy a high return on your marketing efforts without any extra investment. Associate your brand with better-known brands in the market and introduce your products to new markets and customer segments.

Avangate specializes in providing customer-centric, digital commerce solutions. Contact us for more information about how we can help you to cross-sell your products in your shopping cart.

 

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Marius Oiaga

Technical Writer

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