Different Ways To Up-Sell 🤨

3 min read

As a fellow Brit, I admit; I hate being sold to. And yes, I am going to be talking about the S-word... Selling.

It feels uncomfortable — I just want to run for the hills when it happens. However, when it's done right, it goes unnoticed and you're left feeling special.

I spent a few years learning how to sell with subtlety and, more importantly, with trust. Nothing can happen without building a foundation of trust with your customers, so do that first — and be genuine. Be their friend.

Not only do you want to increase profitability and your average order value, you also want to help your customers look and feel confident. You want them to evangelise your products to the entire world.

The key to this is up-selling.

What Is Up-Selling?

In a nutshell, up-selling is a way to convince the customer to add more products to their order. It can't just be anything, it has to be relevant to the products in their order and something of use to them. In turn, this increases the basket value and if done consistently, it will increase your average order value.

When Should I Up-Sell?

Ideally, the up-selling needs to take part before the checkout phase — not whilst the purchase is happening.

The reason for this is mainly psychological, meaning that when a customer enters the checkout phase, they become very sensitive to interruptions and are also extra vigilant when interruptions take place. Anything that interferes with this process, the customer's brain will usually go into fight or flight mode.

You need to tap into the emotional part of their brain which is when they're shopping for the item they want.

Try to make subtle recommendations and introduce other items that complement their outfit whilst they try on items or when they pick items up. Remember, you can only do this if you've built the relationship first, otherwise don't bother with any of this.

It could be of use to inform them about what's a popular, what other people bought with the items they're looking at, etc. After all, humans love social validation — we never want to feel alone.

Try Them On At Home.

People nowadays are less likely to commit to a decision, mainly because a better offer could present itself in a short amount of time, so people love to remain flexible. This typically applies to the millennial generation and generation z.

Give your customers as many options as you can that cater to their flexibility. It should be fine for your customers to try the items on in the comfort of their own home, in their own time. It should also be made easy to schedule a refund/exchange if the item isn't right. Better yet, if you've got a returns solution that enables the items to be picked up without them having to move a muscle then you're on to a winner. But be sure to choose the perfect long-term partner to prevent any horror stories though.

Incomplete Order.

This is a very risky move and doesn't always pay off, however, it's a good trick to have in your arsenal. If you feel like you have the perfect outfit combination or a powerful recommendation in stock for that customer then it could well pay off.

You could lead them to believe that their purchase is incomplete with just a a few words: "Would you like to complete the look with [insert recommendation here]?" Just by using the word complete could lead them to believe that the look is not yet complete until they buy another item.

The next phase of this is to socially validate the recommendation with something like: "most people that bought this also buy [insert item here]" or try presenting the latest trend to them. Usually, they want to feel like they're part of the trend.

Can't Guarantee Future Prices Or Availability.

Again, another great way to increase urgency.

You could advise the customer that it's coming to the end of the season and a particular item may not restocked again or if you've got a current promotion then make sure that they're aware that if they come back to buy then the promotion may not apply.

And, again, if they try the items on in the comfort of their own home, just mention how easy it is to schedule a return if you've got a solution in place, just for peace of mind.


I hope this has given you some inspiration to try out ways to increase your order values. Whatever you do, don't be forceful or pressure the customers in any way — it's just bad customer service!

Be very honest, light and friendly with your wording, body language and tonality. Don't take offence if they decline any of your recommendations or offerings, just learn, adapt and move on.

If you've got any ideas just get in touch with me.

Email me at chris@carryr.com

Author image

About Chris Jordan

Previously managed high-street stores, now a full-on logistics nerd moving things from A to B — all day, every day!
  • Cambridge, UK
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