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How To Use Downsell to Boost Conversions for Online Store

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upsell vs downsell on Shopify

As an online store owner, you must think of opportunities to constantly promote your store. You’re probably upselling and cross-selling. However, there are other somewhat related strategies for boosting sales, like downselling. Here’s what you should know. 

What Is Downsell? How Downselling Differs from Upselling and Cross-selling 

Downselling is used when there is a low chance of an online store visitor buying something. It typically involves promoting a low-priced product/service offer to avoid making zero sales. Downsells focus on pricing strategies that are irresistible. 

What about upsell vs downsell? Well, downselling differs from upselling and cross-selling mainly because it provides cusomters a cheaper solution. As the name suggests, upselling is about trying to sell a more expensive item or encourage customers to upgrade a product. It is also focused on promoting products/services related to those already bought by a customer. Cross-selling, however, the product being promoted isn’t similar or related, but complementary. 

How Downselling Differs from Upselling and Cross-selling

Implementing Downsell Strategies and Techniques For Shopify Store

Downselling avoids the scenario where online store visitors simply visit your site and leave without purchasing something. The strategy can therefore boost sales even among customers who are very budget conscious. However, how do you implement a downsell strategy that works? Here are some top strategies to follow;

1. Placing Downsell Offers Strategically on the Website

Since the goal of a downsell is to ensure website visitors don’t leave without purchasing anything, it helps to place the offer strategically i.e., just when a potential customer is about to exit. A popup with an irresistibly priced offer is a great place to start, especially if it pops up when they are about to end their browsing session.

It also helps to offer products/services like those they were looking at. There are some great apps that can help create perfect downsell popups. Zipify OCU app is one of them. 

Downsell Example: Improving Downsells with Zipify OCU app

Zipify stands out greatly for downsell offers. Here are the main ways;

The Funnel: With Zipify, downsell offers start showing when an original upsell offer is declined. Generally speaking, potential online customers are more inclined to purchase different offers if they decline an upsell (offer to buy additional items). Returning customers familiar with your company have a higher probability of taking on your new offers. Zipify customizes a sales journey (funnel) to boost the odds of downsells.

Product/Service Awareness: As mentioned, customers don’t have to take up downsell offers. However, they’ll still be informed about the offer. Zipify shows the number of people who have viewed downsell offers, which means that they were interested enough and may be ideal targets for future product offers.

Irresistible Discount: With Zipify, online store owners can set discount offers as they wish. The ability to set high discount prices encourages more customers to buy in a hurry before a product resumes full price. What’s more, customers who love discount offers have a high likelihood of returning for other offers, which is ideal for many types of products/services, including subscriptions.

Proven Increase in Sales: Zipify is proven to boost the average order volume even when downsells feature generous discounts. Discounts as high as 40% can still increase the average order volume over time. Zipify allows easy modification of orders and split testing discounts to ensure you still generate more revenue per sale while maintaining high conversion rates.

Social Proof Generation: Since downsell offers can be tested and optimized by Zipify, customers are bound to get downsell offers they really like, which boosts their chances of leaving positive reviews. Zipify is therefore an effective social proof generator, especially when set up perfectly. Zipify OCU downsells can generate reviews which can be used to push new products on a wider scale, such as running ads.

2. Utilizing Email Marketing and Retargeting for Personalized Downselling 

Email marketing is also crucial for downselling success. In many cases, potential customers can exit your store without taking up a downsell offer. However, if you can collect their email address, you can target them later with highly personalized downselling. 

The downsell process doesn’t have to end with a sale; however, customers can be requested to submit their emails to receive information on future offers. The emails collected in such a process should be used to tailor suggestions based on previous browsing history and preferences to boost the chances of making a sale.

3. Optimizing Checkout Pages for Smooth Downsell Experiences 

A customer may be willing to take on a downsell offer if it is placed strategically and if the offer is highly personalized with products/services they deem valuable. However, the checkout process must be smooth to complete a sale. 

Statistics show that 70% of online shoppers abandon their carts for many reasons, the most notable being a lengthy/complicated checkout process and few payment methods. If potential customers need to create accounts requiring too much information, they are likely to abandon checkout.

A shortage in payment methods can also compromise a sale. For instance, if you have a Shopify online store, offering payment options like Afterpay that allow installment payments may be the difference between losing and making a sale. Other options to consider besides the usual online payment methods include Shopify Payments and Shop Pay.


There are many ways of boosting sales for online stores. Most online store owners are used to upselling and cross selling. Well, there are other strategies like downselling, which target online shoppers who habitually abandon carts and aren’t likely to buy anything unless they get incredible offers. Such customers are extremely sensitive about price making it more challenging to target them. However, we’ve covered some key strategies to consider, from placing offers strategically to using email marketing and optimizing the checkout experience. Most importantly, don’t forget to use apps such as Zipify OCU to help make the downsell process simpler and successful. Other tools to consider include elementor upsell downsell.

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