Even if you only have a single ‘standard’ product to see you need to start looking at what you can use as an upsell to generate more revenue with your business.

You are upsold pretty much any time you head in to a fast food restaurant. They all ask if you’d like to ‘super size’ that meal and most people say yes. Typically that means you get some extra fries and a bit more soda (or pop). That’s something that is of high value to you and really doesn’t cost them much to provide.

Does Upselling work?

8351789877_71023d6d69_oIn short yes it does. The automotive industry alone makes huge profits on selling you the carpet protection after you’ve purchased a car because adding $2/month to a payment of $400/month is barely noticeable. In fact the whole goal of the person writing up your lease/finance agreement is to try and sell you on extra stuff.

That and service are the highest profit centres in a car dealership.

But I only sell one product

Over on my personal site, I also only sell one product as I write this. I sell a single book for $29.99 but I also have an ‘upsell’ of videos to go with the book. I sell 2 books for every one set of books and videos but most of the income comes from the videos because of their pricing difference.

If I didn’t have the option to purchase the videos I would have left thousands of dollars on the table.

Can you upsell too much?

A great rule of thumb is that the upsell attempt should be useful to the customer and make sense. You wouldn’t upsell someone shopping for a point and shoot camera to a $5k dSLR plus a lens package, you’d show them a slightly nicer point and shoot camera.

One place that many stores get it wrong (Staples I’m looking your way) is to send repeated emails after a purchase to try and get you to upgrade the order before it ships.

When you embark on upselling your products do so in a way that you wouldn’t mind being upsold. Point out options that increase the value to the customer without being some crazy expensive add on that has little bearing on their current purchase.

photo credit: lego_bro cc

Posted by Curtis McHale

Web developer specializing in membership and ecommerce sites. I like to ride my bicycle.