Upselling: An Easy Way to Increase Profits (and make customers happy)

Do you have a plan in place to serve customers who come to your shop but don’t find what they’re looking for?

Upselling to Increase Profits

A few days ago, I was craving a hot fudge sundae from a fast food restaurant (which shall remain nameless, but I’m sure you can guess which one it was). I entered the restaurant, waited in line at the front, and finally made it to the cashier.

“One hot fudge sundae with nuts, please,” I said.

“Our ice cream machine is broken,” the cashier replied.

That was it.

Not “I’m sorry for the inconvenience.”
Not “Would you like a warm apple pie instead?”
Not “Our frappes are really good. Would you like one of those?”

If the cashier had offered me one of those other options, I probably would have made a purchase, even though the replacement item wouldn’t have been my first choice. Instead, I left that restaurant empty-handed and drove 10 minutes to the next franchise in that chain and found that their ice cream machine was working (thank goodness!).

The cashier at the first location lost a sale, all because she failed to offer me another option when my first choice was unavailable.

So what lesson can a small business owner learn from this story?

Offer your customers other purchase options with each listing. This process is called upsellingUpselling is such an easy technique to add to an online shop, but many of us forget to do it.

Upsell in the product description.

1. Suggest a coordinating item.

If you sell a coordinating item in your shop, be sure to link to it in your item description.

If you don’t sell a coordinating item in your shop, consider it! Particularly in the area of fashion (clothing, jewelry, accessories). Customers love matching sets!

2. Suggest a similar item.

Link to another shop listing that is of similar size, color, or purpose. For example, “See my other bracelet listings here (insert link).”

Upsell with your product photos.

1. Use all 5 photo slots available (on Etsy).

In the last photo slot, you might consider uploading a photo that includes the current listing item as well as a coordinating item. In other words, show the matching set!

2. Don’t forget the fine print.

Remember to clarify exactly what the customer will receive for this particular listing. Include some wording such as, “This listing is for the bracelet only. The earrings are for sale here (include link) in my shop.”

Take a few moments today and add some upselling opportunities to your shop. Your customers will spend more time in your shop, and you might increase your sales! :)

How about you? Do you use upselling in your shop? Feel free to post a comment below with a link to a listing that includes upselling. We’d love to see your examples!

Julie Signature

  • I never had someone asking me for something especific, but probably I would do what you say here, I would never say “I don’t have” and nothing more. It’s so rude!
    About your point 2, I sell hot-bottle covers, and I take those photos with the hot-water bottle inside so it fits nicely. In the description I specifically warn that the cover is sold without the hot-water bottle, but recently I sold one of those to someone who thought that it was with the hot-water bottle! Fortunately she hadn’t payed when she really read the description, and asked me to cancel the order. I think she was relief that she read the description before she had payed!

  • Yes, it really is important that the product description mentions that items used for staging are not included in the listing. Now, if customers will just read the description carefully! :)

  • I have just created a bundling(?) set but didn’t know how to market it in my shop – this article tells me how to do it!

    Thank you,

    PS – So glad I found your site On The Dot Creations! Finding very useful information here.ReplyCancel

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