Upselling Online

Monday, February 15th, 2016

Many online businesses can easily increase the value of the sale. During the checkout / order process, think about other add-ons that are related to the item that is being purchased. Rental car companies typically do a superb job of this, where they offer extra insurance, snow chains, baby seats etc, but some other sectors are lagging behind. For example, the majority of online shopping sites are a little basic and they need to go to the next level of customisation where related products are tagged in their database, then presented at the checkout stage. Selected items could be tagged 25% off if two or more are purchased, there are many permutations of incentives that can be built into the checkout process.

In addition, once someone has ordered a product or service from you online, there’s a golden opportunity to present another offer. You already have a fully engaged customer, now’s the time to make an offer they find hard to refuse.

Recently I booked an overnight flight to a conference in Los Angeles with Air New Zealand. Being a cheapskate slightly outweighed the horrible prospect of trying to sleep on an uncomfortable economy class seat. Then a few weeks before I was due to travel, I got an email from the nice marketing people at Air New Zealand asking if I want to make an offer on a seat upgrade.

Air New Zealand’s upgrade offer system was slick and intuitive, it exemplifies how to make the upsell process engaging and compelling. It’s win/win all the way, they get to sell a more expensive product that’s left unsold and you can get a great deal on a better product.

The unsung hero of upselling online is email marketing. The key is to build a well-run email database that’s systemises your upsell offers. It can take some lateral thinking, but most businesses selling products and services online can create something of interest to their customers that will grow the sale value for all parties.

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Mark started in the Internet industry in 1994 working with one of Canterbury’s first Internet Service Providers. In 1997 Rocket launched New Zealand Tourism Online and then Avatar Web Promotions in 1998. New Zealand Tourism Online was sold to Telecom Yellow Pages in 2006. Mark enjoys meeting with Avatar’s clients and strategising winning Web solutions. When not at Avatar HQ, Mark’s into playing tennis, going on family camping trips and supporting the private space industry.

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