What is the difference between Upsell and Cross-Selling: Which way to choose?

Upsell and Cross-sell strategies are familiar to businesses. It is not exaggerated to say that these two methods are "small but powerful" because of the benefits they bring. McDonald’s - fast food retailers say they increased more than 28 million in revenue in 2014 alone by asking simple questions:

  • “Do you want more fries?”
  • “Do you want to try the combo?”

According to statistics, you only have to spend another 10-20% in cost to increase 30% more revenue when applying Upsell, Cross-sell compared to selling to new customers, so why don't you try?

What is the difference between upsell and cross-sell?


Upsell, also known as added sales, stimulates buyers to choose the newer, higher-value version of the product. It is based on the psychological behavior of spending a little more to get a better product. This method greatly increases the revenue for your business, for example, how would you decide when the salesperson at the coffee shop asked: “Medium-sized coffee costs 49,000 VND, while Large is only 51,000 VND, will you get a large size?”

Cross-sell vs Upsell

Upsell and cross-sell


Cross-sell encourages customers to choose more products that complement the product they have just selected. For example, suggest your customers buy more protective cases and headphones when they bought cellphones and laptops!

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Should you choose Upsell or cross-sell?

It is difficult to decide which strategy to choose between Upsell and Cross-sell. It depends on the customer, the judgment, and the response of the salesperson.

Upsell and cross-sell are similar tactics. Both are effective sales methods, increasing the profit of the business. Upsell helps increase revenue by offering a higher-level product, while cross-sell creates the same effect by recommending more products to customers.

The difference between these two strategies is customer intent.

  • For Upsell, the customer already has the intention to buy. The seller simply offers to bring the customer a superior quality product.
  • For Cross-sell, customers have no need to buy products. After being recommended by the seller, the customer can consider purchasing additional products that are suitable and complementary to the main product.

You can think of upselling as an upgrade to an existing purchase when cross-selling is an additional purchase.

Should you choose cross-sell or upsell?

Should you choose cross-sell or upsell?

>>>> Learn More: What is Sales Gamification?

Core principles of upsell and cross-sell

  • Build trust: This is the first and most important element of upsell and cross-sell. Trust is a key element in customer relationships. Understanding customers' desires and providing quality products is the best way to gain customers' trust.
  • Track the customer journey closely: When a customer is serious about choosing a product, they tend to reach out through a variety of means. Therefore, businesses should track the customer journey to understand and recommend products that really suit them.
  • Be a consultant, not just a salesperson: To upsell and cross-sell, the seller needs to meet the customer's wishes as much as possible. At that time, dedicated consulting is necessary to exploit the needs of customers and provide accurate related products.
  • Upsell and cross-sell what customers need: Businesses should not try to cram and sell products that customers do not need. Instead, businesses should increase sales with the right products, giving customers the best buying experience.
Core principles of upsell and cross-sell strategies

Core principles of upsell and cross-sell strategies

The benefits of Upsell, Cross-sell strategies to business growth

Boost revenue

The most direct benefit when successfully applying Upsell and Cross-sell is to increase the total value of orders, thereby significantly boosting revenue for the business.

Reduce costs compared to finding new customers

An unknown fact: sales profit from an old customer is accounted for 60-70%, while the profit earned from a new customer is only 5 - 20%. Furthermore, finding new customers to increase sales is very expensive and time-consuming, while selling to old customers is much simpler. Let's compare two situations:

  • In the first scenario, the customer who used your service comes back to buy more products.
  • Scenario two, you go find new customers and convince them to buy.

It is not so hard to realize that the first scenario will be much easier for sellers.

Product promotion, brand coverage

Instead of customers only knowing you through one product, Upsell, Cross-sell strategies are doing a great job of promoting and helping customers have more experiences with other products and services of your business. 

Thus, this is a good opportunity to introduce the benefits of your products and services to customers.

3 ways to apply Upsell, Cross-sell effectively with Viindoo Software

Make customers feel they benefit more

Let customers compare prices and benefits before they decide to buy more. Features of our E-Commerce Application - Viindoo eCommerce software helps you to set up price and product options for customers’ reference. 

Display different versions of products with Viindoo eCommerce

Display different versions of products with Viindoo eCommerce.

Customers can easily choose combos instead of being in two minds about individual products. They tend to feel more favorable in terms of price when choosing a set of products instead of buying them individually, along with the convenience of using combos. This is a thing to keep in mind to get big orders.

Customers love promotion​

Offering free delivery or free product to orders with minimum value is very effective.

In fact, a large percentage of customers abandon their purchases just because of shipping costs. Free shipping policy can be a motivation to make shoppers add more products to their carts.

Moreover, 48% of consumers will add additional items to their cart just to qualify for free shipping. That is when you successfully apply Upsell strategy.

You can refer toYou can refer to Create a free shipping promotion with the Viindoo Sales Management app in this article by Viindoo.

Set up a free shipping promotion with Viindoo Sales Management app

Set up a free shipping promotion with Viindoo Sales Management app.

Suggest suitable products​

According to research by the Administration of Small Business and the United States Chamber of Commerce (USDC), acquiring a new customer costs 5-7 times more than maintaining an existing customer.

You should add products and utilities accompanying the products that customers have selected in the shopping cart. For example: When a customer buys a phone, give them a list of accompanying suggestions like cases, chargers, headphones, etc., They certainly won't check out with just one phone!

Recommend suitable products

Recommend suitable products.

All these useful features are available on Viindoo sales . Not only that, but this software also has a lot of useful features, which is an effective assistant for the sales of businesses and individuals waiting to be discovered by you. Contact Viindoo via hotline 0225 730 9838 for 15 days free trial!

Here are the ways to apply Upsell and cross-sell strategies more effectively with Viindoo Software, hope this article is useful to you.

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What is the difference between Upsell and Cross-Selling: Which way to choose?
Annie Do June 3, 2022