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Upselling vs. Cross-Selling: Which Strategy Works Best on Shopify?

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Upselling vs. Cross-Selling differences

There are millions of Shopify stores currently. As a result, setting up a store is just the start. Your online store must differentiate itself in many ways to sell. Upselling and cross selling are among the most notable ways of boosting your Shopify store revenue. 

But which strategy should you select? What is upselling and cross selling and what are the differences between them? Let’s find out this and which strategy you should be considering.

Upselling: The Power of Upgrading

What is Upselling?

In the simplest terms, upselling is attempting to sell an existing customer more than they have bought. It could also mean an attempt to get them to pay more i.e., to upgrade on an offer.

Why We Should Use Upsell On Shopify Store?

The strategy has many benefits, the most obvious one being to boost sales. If you can show your Shopify store customers other products and they buy them, that’s a sure way of making more sales from existing customers. 

Upselling also boosts customer loyalty. If you can use upsells to offer existing customers incredible deals, they are bound to be more loyal over the long-term. As a result, upselling will boost the customer lifetime value or CLV (amount spent by a customer in the long-term).

Surprisingly, upselling lowers marketing costs. Upsells are usually presented as popups which have little to no cost. Besides the cost of installing an upsell app in your Shopify store, you will market and make sales without incurring additional marketing costs. What’s more, if you choose one of the best upsell app for Shopify, you can upsell for two weeks at zero cost.

How to Effectively Implement Upselling Techniques on Shopify?

Like anything else, there’s a good and a bad way to implement upselling in your Shopify Store. It all boils down to the upselling app you select. Candy Rack happens to be among the leading upselling apps for Shopify currently. 

You can read this detailed Candy Rack review to see why. The most notable reason is the AI powered features, exemplary customer support, and simply because the app is tested and proven to boost sales. The app’s reviews speak volumes. Provided you read our review and understand how to use the app, you should be able to effectively upsell on your Shopify store.

Implement Upselling Techniques on Shopify

Cross-Selling: The Art of Complementary Products

What is Cross-selling?

Unlike upselling where you are guided by products that have been bought by a customer, cross-selling focuses on recommending different products/services to existing customers.

Why Use Cross-selling Strategy For Online Store?

If done correctly, cross-selling will also boost sales and the customer lifetime value. However, since the products/services being recommended are different from what a customer would ordinarily buy, there’s an element of risk. 

Some customers may find cross-sells annoying if they don’t match their preferences or provide some sought of value. The best way of ensuring you do cross-selling as it should is to find a great Shopify Cross-sell app. Luckily, Candy Rack is also a great cross selling app. There are other considerations to make below.

Strategies to Seamlessly Integrate Cross-selling Into the Shopping Experience, For Examples

1. Related Product Displays

Cross-selling should include related product displays that have been generated using powerful technology like AI. The displays should have complementary products that tend to offer some value based on customer purchases. For instance, if you sell phone screen casings, a related product display with phone chargers can be ideal.

2. “Customers Also Bought” Sections

It also helps to show existing customers what other customers have bought. This section contains tested and tried products. If a customer buys two unrelated products, then suggesting similar products can influence purchases. 

Customers Also Bought

3. Collaborative Filtering for Product Suggestions

Lastly, cross-selling should include filtering. As a technique, collaborative filtering identifies similarities between different customers based on how they interact with your store and offers product recommendations on this basis.

Comparing Upselling and Cross-Selling: Cross Sell vs Upsell

To find the comparison and difference between upsell and cross sell, we can compare the pros and cons of each.

A. Pros and Cons of Upselling

As mentioned, upselling will boost sales, increase customer loyalty and customer lifetime value. Upselling is also among the cheapest and most effective online marketing methods for Shopify stores, if done right.

As for the cons, it may be seen as unnecessary and somewhat annoying by clients if the products being suggested aren’t related. Overselling can also be counterproductive and cause customer dissatisfaction if the upsell product bought doesn’t offer real value.

B. Pros and Cons of Cross-selling

As mentioned, cross-selling can boost sales. Showing the “customers also bought” section can convince existing customers to spend more. Cross selling can also boost customer loyalty if the products/services being recommended prove to add value.

However, cross selling also comes with notable cons. As mentioned, it can alter customer relationships when it is overdone or when products/services recommended don’t offer value. Cross selling may also be harder than upselling since it’s based on “unsimilar” products from those purchased.

C. Key Considerations When Choosing Between the Two Strategies

The key to choosing between upselling and cross selling as a marketing strategy for your Shopify store lies in the differences between the two. Upselling recommends an upgrade or enhanced versions of an original product/service. Cross-selling recommends additional lateral products that aren’t similar but complement an initial product/service. 

You should be guided by the kind of products/services you wish to move. This means considering many things, from existing products/services to factors like profit margins. You could also consider what your app is recommending. Consider upselling if there are more upsell opportunities than cross-selling opportunities, and vice versa.

How to Create Upsell and Cross Sell Offers on Shopify Store

We recommend Candy Rack app as the best upselling and cross-selling app currently on the Shopify app store. Creating upsells or cross sells is as simple as installing the app on your store and following simple instructions. Here’s a detailed guide on creating Candy Rack upsell offers (pre-purchase upsell and post-purchase upsell on Candy Rack).

When creating a cross sell offer using Candy Rack, install the app as you would when creating an upsell offer. Cross sells can be defined manually on the app since they complement certain products. 

creating an upsell offer for Shopify

Based on your store products/services, you can decide which products complement specific popular products. As shown below, batteries may be a different product but complement an alarm clock.

creating a cross sell offer for Shopify


Upselling may be generally preferred over cross selling since upselling promotes similar products with a higher likelihood of being bought when compared to complementary products offered as cross sells. However, depending on what you are selling, cross selling could be a better strategy. Also, don’t miss out the downselling on your Shopify store to retain customers! Whatever makes sense, ensure you have a good upsell and cross-sell app like Candy Rack powered by AI, among other features that increase the likelihood of selling.

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