Your eCommerce business can thrive on how you create ongoing value for customers and they, in turn, make choices that increase your AOV.
This is why you can’t put off upselling on your Shopify store for a later date.
Research says that for an online store to fulfill an order, they have to spend at least 70% of that order’s value.
But what’s also interesting is that the probability of selling more to an existing customer goes up by 60%-70% as compared to a new one.
When you successfully upsell, you don’t just hike up your AOV but also improve the lifetime value of customers by showing personalized recommendations.
In our work with 500+ eCommerce businesses across the world, many of them Shopify stores, we’ve seen repeatedly how relevant upselling works for better profits.
In this piece, we’ll cover the following sections:
How do I upsell on my Shopify product page?
a) Make the upsell a part of the “flow”
Since an upsell is really an add-on, you don’t want to break the unique checkout flow that the shopper is already on.
What we mean by this is that an upsell shouldn’t stand in the way—for example, making a pushy upsell right above the primary CTA on the product page can totally throw off a shopper.
b) Make it easy to add/decline an upsell
96% of shoppers don’t visit a website with the intention of buying—so seeing multiple upsells before they’ve even considered buying a product can be an irritant.
To make it more likely for shoppers to consider your Shopify upsell recommendations, enable easy check/uncheck.
If you’re surprising them with an upsell popup (which we recommend you do only if they’ve bought from you before or are in the process of adding to cart), make sure the “X” button is accessible.
Here’s an example from Shopify brand, Pepper—while they don’t use radio buttons for checking/unchecking, they feature a smaller add to cart button:
c) Promote a much higher priced bundle AFTER building the product case
Research says sessions that include product page views are much higher than other forms of micro conversions.
Now this means that if you can resolve objections and create conviction, potentially shoppers would more likely convert.
So, when it comes to upsells, the idea is to first create a strong product case and then introduce a relatively higher priced bundle upsell later in the flow.
d) Create a varied upsell pitch by bringing in value-add elements
Sometimes upselling other products isn’t such a great idea.
Upsell elements that can enrich the primary product you’re selling.
This is what Shopify brand Flower Aura does—instead of suggesting other kinds of bouquets, they show a bundle and other value-add elements like a vase, an extra quantity of flowers etc.
e) Highlight subscriptions through benefits
According to research, while 15% of shoppers are enthusiastic about subscribing, churn rates increase when they don’t get highly satisfying CX.
So, if you’re upselling a subscription version of a product, ensure your microcopy states what the customer can expect—is it a discount? Is it a surprise sampler pack for every three orders? Is it free shipping?
Clear mention of benefits makes eCommerce shoppers sit up and take notice.
f) Feature a “gift of choice” if they buy “x” numbers of the product
There’s 2015 research that has gone into proving that shoppers enjoy free gifts.
Free gifts can improve the overall buying experience while reducing dissatisfaction towards not-so-great online shopping experiences.
But it’s 2023 and shoppers on the product page are running after “Choice”.
So, one way to upsell in your product page is to use that as a hook when you suggest shoppers to buy a higher quantity from you.
Here’s an example from Shopify brand Feastables.
g) Offer the choice to “build your own bundle”
Apart from citing a discount or a free product of choice, this technique to upsell also requires you to tell shoppers what they will enjoy qualitatively.
Shopify brand Pipcorn, for example, piques a shopper’s interest by taking their attention towards “trying more flavors”.
h) Feature an extended warranty or money-back guarantee for an upgrade
It’s not news that de-risking purchases makes shoppers feel more at ease about making a purchase.
De-risking an upgrade can have a similar effect—offer a money-back guarantee or extended warranty to communicate the higher value in question.
In fact, research has proved a money back guarantee applied on search goods (the value and price of which can be clearly ascertained before purchase) is especially effective.
i) Display closely related products but use a “low on stock” label
If you’re able to finetune your upsell recommendations to match the main product, then shoppers naturally consider buying them more.
However, a sense of urgency can further increase this—so consider adding “low on stock” labels to at least a few of your Shopify upsell recommendations.
j) Avoid repeating showing the same offer multiple times
Repeating the same offer on your Shopify store is being pushy.
Let’s say you’ve already mentioned a quantity discount on your Shopify product page—avoid showing a pop-up with the same information splashed when the shopper is scrolling up and down.
k) Consider using a succinct comparison chart for upgraded recommendations
The idea is for you to offer your shoppers an additional reason to upgrade and not jump off towards other product pages.
Hence, a simple linked microcopy like “compare with XYZ” which upon clicking opens out into an expanded box offering a quick comparison, can have an instant impact on conversions.
The layout can be something like this:
l) Consider using an unobtrusive product bundle popup
eCommerce shoppers appreciate brands that offer them choice through their customer journey.
So to make your bundling information more appealing, consider using a manual click-and-expand button.
Shopify brand Bomber Eyewear, for example, recommends cheap add-ons on a product page, but uses such a feature to make high-value conversions.
m) Leverage seasonal events for “exclusive offers”
Apart from running year-round sales enhancements through upgrades, have exclusive upgrade offers tie in with a seasonal event.
Shopify brand Biossance, in the following example, is attempting to make its target audience buy the father’s day bundle instead of the individual products.
Notice how they’ve anchored the price advantage—mentioning both the % discount as well as $ savings.
To amplify the effectiveness of this, you could even consider labeling it as a “limited time offer” and featuring a countdown timer to induce urgency.
n) Place the signup discount button strategically for improved savings perception
While email signup discounts can be an irritant, you could design them sticky and in a way they stand out on your Shopify product page.
This can make the shopper sign up to enjoy an additional discount on an upgrade/upsell.
Alternatively, you could have a personalized popup show when a customer has added a product to cart, saying “sign up and take an additional X% off on those add-ons.”
You may want to read:
How do I upsell on my Shopify cart page?
a) Position quantity discounts as “last minute” mini cart buys
Whether you enable subscriptions for your products or not, you can try enabling “last minute” discounts for additional quantities in the mini cart.
For example, when a shopper adds a facial serum to their cart, you can flash a message that says “before you go, add X more of the Y serum and get a 30% instant discount on the total price.”
b) Introduce a free shipping threshold progress bar
The Shopify 2021 Consumer Trends Report stated that 80% of shoppers expect free shipping when they buy products worth a certain dollar amount.
You could leverage this too by bringing in a free shipping threshold progress bar in the mini cart (just like Shopify brand Pipcorn.)
Additionally, bring in relevant product recommendations that the shopper might want to consider adding just to enjoy free shipping!
c) Recommend no more than three super-relevant products
Quite simply, three is the smallest number that lends itself to a pattern.
When it comes to upselling on your Shopify cart or mini cart page, this number of upsell recommendations ensures a shopper will find all the information right there—without having to scroll horizontally or vertically.
d) Avoid pushy messaging even when there’s relevance
Even if you’re recommending upsell products that are high on relevance, you’ll still have to be watchful about the language you use.
Instead of “Get these now!” or “You don’t wanna miss these”, a softer tone saying “You might like” or “Here are some useful add-ons” usually works much better.
e) Feature products that won’t tip the total price to a much higher amount
For a second, get into the mind space of a shopper who is viewing their mini cart/cart page—they’re likely ready to checkout without spending a lot more.
And this is why suggesting high value upsells in your Shopify cart page may be counterproductive.
Shopify brand Sephora sets a fine example:
f) Consider social proof labeling for upsell recommendations
Just like those yellow stars shine from beneath product page recommendations, highlight chosen words from customer reviews to drive value.
A benefit-oriented callout usually has a greater impact on such last-minute purchases.
Consider phrases like “this helped me reduce <insert problem> in just <insert number of days>” and “My challenge around <insert problem> has been replaced by <effect of the product>.”
g) Upsell a product they’ve checked out multiple times
While your Shopify product pages lend themselves perfectly for further consideration and exploration, the cart page is best used for quick recall.
This is why suggesting an upsell (can be a complementary product or even a different product) the shopper has repeatedly shown an interest in earlier is a good idea.
A simple heads-up like “We noticed you’ve been checking out…” could build better context for the shopper.
h) Position a higher-value product for lesser price
Shoppers love a good discount and it’s even better when they get hold of one right before they checkout.
This is why placing a higher value product at this stage along with its original & slashed prices can be beneficial for conversions.
Here’s how Shopify brand Luxy Hair does it:
How do I upsell on my Shopify checkout page?
Now there’s a whole debate out there about whether merchants should upsell on their Shopify checkout page or not.
One school of thought states that checkout poses the ultimate opportunity for any business to elevate their order value—another thinks it creates distraction and comes in the way of the primary conversion.
Here’s what we think:
It makes sense to upsell on the checkout page only if it does not take the shopper back to the cart and instantly updates the added product to the displayed bill & refreshes the price too.
Here are a few ways to increase the chances of improved order value on your Shopify checkout page:
a) Don’t repeat showing an upsell a shopper hasn’t chosen before
Let’s say, you’ve recommended an upsell on the product page and cart page, but the shopper has shown no interest in it.
Now it features yet again on the checkout page—the first thing the shopper is likely to think is,”how pushy are these people?!”
And for the sake of your primary conversion (the product that’s already in the cart), you don’t want this.
b) Feature just one, highly relevant upsell product
At a time when a shopper is all ready to key in necessary information and pay up, if you recommend multiple upsells, chances are they won’t even take notice.
Instead, make one super relevant product pop out along with a CTA that suggests “add & update cart.”
c) Bring in the limited-time feature to induce urgency
Considering the eCommerce cart abandonment rate is almost 70%, converting shoppers for upsells in your Shopify checkout is tough.
It’s because they will typically consider this an extra expenditure along with additional cognitive load.
When you bring a limited-time feature for a relevant upsell, the shopper is coaxed to consider purchasing it right then.
Here’s an example:
d) Position the upsell as a gift
According to a report, 85% of gift buyers look at personalization to be the most important factor.
So, when you’re attempting to upsell on your Shopify checkout page, you might as well leverage this.
Bring in a relevant upsell based on the customer profile and position it as “gift this to someone you love”—and for good measure, throw in a discount.
You might like: How to Customize your Shopify Checkout Page: 23 Proven Ideas
How do I upsell post-purchase on my Shopify store?
The key issue with post-purchase upsells is that if shoppers click the CTA, they’'re taken back into the whole checkout flow.
It’s not the best idea when a shopper is about to leave from the order confirmation or thank you page.
However, Shopify has figured out a great hack: the one click upsell.
So what is the one click upsell feature? Let’s find out.
Leveraging the Shopify One Click Upsell
The Shopify One Click Upsell feature is ideal to be leveraged at the post-purchase stage because shoppers are already out of the checkout flow.
With this feature, eCommerce stores can urge shoppers to spend again post-purchase—but without having to re-enter their personal, payment or shipping details.
Here are a few tactics you can use to sell more through this feature:
a) Highlight a % discount with an applied code and immediately actionable CTA
Here’s a quick example:
b) Show a one-time offer popup on a product/category related to the last purchase
Urgency on a relevant product that'll add value to the customer after the immediate last purchase, always a good idea.
c) Introduce small ticket items that can be bundled for a discount
For this, introduce one click upsell CTAs individually for each product, and also have a separate CTA that allows shoppers to “buy the bundle.”
Apply Shopify One Click Upsell—but with caution
While this is a great feature to integrate into your Shopify eCommerce store, here are a few aspects you’ll need to watch out for:
- Misalignment with other apps
- Misalignment with customer expectations (shoppers who don’t entirely trust your brand or the offers you give might find it a tad pushy)
- Extra expenses to account for (whether it’s a high one-time fee or a recurring expenditure, you’d want to check if you’re prepared for it)
- Unchecked errors & bugs (if a one click upsell CTA fails, then it can create an instant negative perception on the shopper’s mind)
- A positioning that makes the feature seem intrusive (not placing the one-click upsell based on the customer behavior & preference can be problematic—for example, if it’s a new customer, showing the option on the order confirmation page might seem pushy whereas sending an email a few days later won’t)
Other ways to upsell post-purchase in Shopify
a) Send an email recommendation guide with exclusive discounts
Research proves that personalization is a “hygiene factor”—and this is truer in eCommerce now more than ever.
So if you want to drive more Shopify sales post-purchase, send your shoppers product guides that center around their preferences.
Shoppers see learning resources as a value addition and appreciates brands that creates them.
b) Feature upsell recommendations with normal discount & membership discount
With this, you bring loyalty & rewards into the picture, and give the shopper the choice to sign up to enjoy a steeper member-only discount.
c) Show early access discounts on new product launches
This can especially be valuable for older customers who already know how your brand works, the value they’re consistently getting etc.
d) Send across a next-purchase-discount with the order tracking mail
Old and new customers alike, this tactic ensures shoppers look forward to engaging/transacting with your Shopify brand.
What are good examples of a Shopify upsell?
Joggy doesn’t just highlight their subscription option with a discount—the brand also tells shoppers additional benefits they can expect.
2. THREE SHIPS
Three Ships ensures to build a product case before suggesting bundling options—this allows the shopper to breathe easy and make a more informed decision.
Chubbies features some upsell options with quantity discounts but priced lower than the product that’s been added—this way the shopper can also make an on-the-spot choice to add more of the lower priced products.
Allbirds makes it so damn easy to move an add-on into the cart—it’s super seamless and we love it!
Lovevery knows how shoppers need extra assurances if they’re being shown expensive upsells—notice how they bring in the “buyer protection” feature that when clicked informs the shopper about the kind of protection they’ll receive.
Huel smartly creates a break between their Shopify cart page and checkout page to show a quick list of upsell recommendations—it’s so in the “flow” that shoppers don’t mind it.
7. MADISON ISLAND
Madison Island puts off being pushy in their order confirmation email but right at the end slips in a time-limited discount that most shoppers won’t be able to ignore.
Questions people also ask:
1. Why is it important to upsell in eCommerce?
Beyond increasing the average order value of your Shopify eCommerce brand, upselling works towards deepening customer experience through better personalization and added value.
Once you’re able to earn a customer’s loyalty through precise personalization, it becomes likelier they’ll consider your future upsells more promptly.
2. What is the difference between upselling and cross-selling?
While cross-selling often refers to the recommendation of complementary products, upselling refers to the attempt at increasing the order value—it could be through suggesting more quantities, a discount for the next purchase or even a product upgrade that carries a longer warranty period.
3. What are Shopify upsell apps?
Shopify upsell apps are essentially plugins that can work with your Shopify eCommerce store to create widgets for upsell recommendations throughout the checkout flow and even beyond.
For more related inspiration, we recommend:
Want to upsell more on Shopify? Consider UX first...
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