Cross-selling and Up-selling

A happy customer is the top priority of every retailer and along with it attached is the need and want of extracting a larger share of wallet (SOW) from these customers, in a way that their happy status quo is not disturbed. Helping retailers balance this well, are tactics like Cross-selling and Up-selling.  Cross-selling and Up-selling tactics allow the retailers to grab a larger share of wallet (SOW) of their customers.


In cross-selling, complimentary products are sold to a customer. For instance, if a person is buying corn-flakes then tetra-pack milk is something that can be cross-sold. These are cross-category products that the consumer uses or consumes together. If you buy a shirt at a store, the salesperson will ask you to buy a trouser also.


In up-selling, a higher grade of product or a higher priced product is sold to you. Up-selling involves changing the planned decision. For instance, if a person goes to buy a Samsung S phone and he is upsold to a Samsung S-II phone by selling him some benefits, promotions, etc. Similarly, a consumer who went to buy a 32″ LCD is upsold to a 32″ LED with some schemes and offers.

Cross-selling as a tactic is a unobtrusive technique that rides more on the in-store displays and visual merchandising and communications. So, when there is no salesman who will come to you and ask you to buy milk when you buy corn-flakes, but the products are arranged in such a way to bring that thought in the consumer’s mind. So, it happens more at the underlying layer with all the in-store displays, floor standing units (FSUs), standees, shelf-talkers, and visual merchandising. On the other hand, up-selling is more interactive.

When merchandise is presented in a logical manner maintaining the right adjacencies, it acts as reminders to the customers. If executed rightly, these techniques provide a whole deal of savings and enhance the shopping experience for the customers while increasing the sales volumes. It is a win win situation for all