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6 Successful Upselling Tactics You Can Borrow From Amazon

By: Jeff Bullas


Grocery cart in supermarket filled with food products seen from the customers point of view

Amazon is arguably the largest eCommerce store in the world.

Selling products from thousands of retailers means consumers can look for the best deal possible in a matter of clicks and scrolls.

It is just human nature that we will trawl everywhere to see our hard-earned money stretch further.

Amazon has mastered the art of upselling and taken it to a whole new level. Sure, some have worked better than others, and that is what we intend to find out in this article.

How you can implement successful upselling tactics, just as Amazon did. By tapping into human behavior and emotions, and the insights into the impressions from other consumers, you can boost your sales.

Let’s explore 10 successful upselling tactics you can borrow from Amazon, and how by introducing some, if not, all, of these tactics, you can achieve the best possible results.

1. “Customers Who Bought This Also Bought This”

As you scroll through the page of your chosen product, you can’t miss the “customers who bought this item, also bought these” section. This is perhaps the mastery of all upselling tactics, as it delves into the human psyche and says “well if I end up purchasing this product, maybe some of these will go well with it”. In fact, according to CXL, when the company introduced and implemented this particular strategy in 2006, its sales grew by 35%!

Say for instance you purchase a mobile phone off Amazon and scroll down to take a look at its specs and features. Just underneath, you’ll see a choice of cases for that particular phone. Sure, they might be a bit more expensive than others you can buy, but why not save time and add it to your cart right away? This is what has allowed Amazon to be so successful with this technique in particular.

By implementing a section to your individual product pages like this, you will be adding to the ease of use for consumers, and therefore they will be more likely to click through and purchase.

Amazon Frequently Bought Together Upselling Tactics

2. Recommend relevant products

Just like the above point, Amazon does an excellent job at adding items to a general search which may not even be what you’re searching for.

What do I mean by this? Well, let’s take an example of a search for “iPhone 11”. As well as the selection of relevant search products iPhone 11’s, we can also see some additional products listed such as necessary electronics, cases, and other accessories that may come in handy.

By doing this, it gets the consumer to think they may need some additional items without even having to click on the desired product first. Again, convenience for the consumer can result in a higher conversion rate.

Relevan Products in Amazon Upselling Tactics

3. “Selling Fast” and “Limited Stock Available” tactics

We have all seen this slapped on products before, not just on Amazon, for services such as hotel rooms or flights. Is it true, or is it just a marketing strategy?

Whatever the answer, it prompts consumers to act quickly as they might miss out! Unfortunately, it can be used unethically very easily. If it is not true, and indeed you do have a lot of stock, it is considered false advertising and could result in dire consequences for your business.

If you have a product in your store which usually sells out fast, you could consider labelling it as such, to let consumers know to act quickly or it will be gone until the next batch arrives. This benefits both you and the consumer, as you are more likely to make a sale, and the consumer is informed that they may have to decide quicker to purchase or not.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Selleng Fast Limited Stock Upselling Tactics

4. Use a rating system

Consumers love reassurance – that is a fact. If a potential customer notices two products next to each other, one with reviews and one without, which one will they click on? If people can trust the product they are about to purchase, you’ve done your job.

Studies suggest that 94% of customers avoid a store or products as a result of reviews. It is human nature to be attracted to a product with even just a few positive reviews, as opposed to a product without any.

Implementing a rating system for your products can help bolster sales without really needing to delve further into upselling if you don’t want to. Allowing your clients to talk for you will automatically help potential clients click through and purchase.

iPhone XR in Amazon - Rating System Upselling Tactics
iPhone 11 Pro in Amazon - Rating System Upselling Tactics

Which mobile device are you choosing?

5. Exaggerate what people want

Free Shipping? $10 discount? What more could you possibly want, add it to the cart immediately!

By exaggerating what consumers want, or maybe didn’t even think about but would be a great bonus, you will grab their attention. Free shipping is a major selling point, as people could head to the old brick and mortar shops and purchase a similar product with no shipping fee, so why should they pay extra?

Of course, if the item is quite awkward and heavy such as a refrigerator or heater, shipping will have to be compulsory, but if you are selling most tech, cookware, clothing, and accessories, free shipping could really boost your sales. Not to mention consumers may opt to purchase more items as there is no added cost of transportation.

As per the example below, there is free delivery on orders over $39 and the pan comes in at just under half of that. As humans, we will search the rest of Amazon to try and make up that all important $23 just to save on shipping costs.

Lodge Mini Cast Iron Skillet - Exaggerate What People Want Upselling Tactics

6. Make use of the add to cart or add to wishlist icon

If a consumer has the opportunity to add any preferred items to a “wishlist” or straight to their cart and continue shopping, this can positively impact further sales.

Even if the item is not purchased right away, if the consumer can rest easy knowing that their desired product is safely tucked away, they can continue shopping and purchase all items at once. As a result, their shipping costs are drastically reduced, hence they will be prepared to spend more on actual products or services.

Make Use Of Add To Cart Or Add To Wishlist Icon Upselling Tactics

Final thoughts

Amazon has tapped into the minds of consumers to attract different products to the same people, or ones who may be interested. Sure, they might be using backend techniques that use coding and algorithms, but on the face of it, the strategies they have implemented are quite simple.

One important thing to remember whilst enhancing your upselling game, is to put yourself in the shoes of a consumer and ask yourself “what would make you want to stick around and shop more?” Whatever the answer, note it down, strategize, and execute these plans.

Many of these techniques don’t even cost a penny but will help in seeing those penny’s quickly add up as shoppers keep on shopping. By introducing some, if not, all, of the aforementioned upselling techniques, you can bolster your sales.

Guest author: Jake Leavy is a writer for CandyBar and ReferralCandy. He is an SEO enthusiast and has traveled around the world immersed in the realm of digital marketing and content. Specializing in content for the eCommerce, travel and wellbeing industries, Jake enjoys taking new topics and transforming them into compelling and eye-catching reads for his audience. If you are interested in his services, please reach out to him on LinkedIn.

Published: August 10, 2020

Source: Jeff Bullas

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Jeff Bullas

Jeff Bullas is a consultant, blogger, strategist, and speaker. He works with companies and executives to optimize their online personal and corporate brands through the use of social media channels. Author of the Amazon best-selling book Blogging the Smart Way—How to Create and Market a Killer Blog with Social Media (Jeff Bullas, 2012), Jeff's own blog is included in AdAge.com's Power 150 ranking as a top 50 marketing blog.

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