Cross-selling: Your road to increased sales

by Kristof Maletzke, 02.07.18

Cross-selling is a simple way of increasing profits. The idea behind it is straightforward: when visitors to your shop view a product, they are also shown other articles that are related to it. These can be complementary or alternative products specified by you.

This article is directed at ePages merchants using ePages Now as the shop version. To find out the version of your shop, select Help from the main menu in your shop’s administration area. Your version (ePages Now or ePages Base) will be displayed at the bottom of the page.

Many customers consider marketing material such as online advertising as intrusive whereas cross-selling is not usually viewed so critically. Instead of being bombarded by advertising messages that are not always very appropriate, users simply receive product recommendations instead. Ideally, the cross-selling function performs at least some of the tasks of a well-trained sales assistant in a shop who is able to point out potential additional products or to recommend similar articles that might meet the customer’s needs better. In such cases, customers perceive cross-selling as a useful service rather than as simply another means by which to make them spend more. This is exactly the situation in conventional stores, for example at petrol stations: in addition to their core products these almost always sell confectionery, drinks, etc. which are generally viewed positively as an additional service. One of the major advantages of cross-selling is that it catches the attention of visitors who have already decided to order something from your shop. The important decision to buy has already been made by these customers. Now they need only be persuaded to add other products to their basket or to select a product that you would prefer to sell in place of the one they originally chose.

You can define cross-selling items for every product in your shop. These will then be displayed on that particular product page.

This could for instance look like this:

Cross-selling products in an ePages shop

You can define the headline for this section yourself and also if the cross-selling assignment of products should work reciprocally.

“How does Amazon do it?”

Cross-selling is used by most of the major online shops. As you might expect, Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, is also at the forefront of cross-selling. Here we see as an example, the top half of the Amazon product page for a random TV. We have highlighted the cross-selling offers:

Cross-selling offers on an Amazon product page

As you can see, at Amazon a great deal of space is given over to cross-selling. The huge variety of cross-selling offers is also noticeable. Amazon offers wall brackets, aerials and Blu-Ray players, to name a few examples. Additional services such as warranty extensions or an installation service are also pushed here.

Types of cross-selling products


Accessories are usually products that are useful or indeed necessary in order to use the main product. By defining sensible accessories for your products, you can prevent potential frustration for the customer: there’s nothing worse than buying a new television, only to find when you unpack it that a vital cable is missing.

Example of an accessory: If a customer is interested in buying a torch in your shop you can have the required batteries displayed as accessories.

Related products

As the name suggests, these products are sensible complements for the item itself.

Example: If you are selling brown shoes, you can offer a brown belt as a related product.

Alternative items

Alternative items are a particularly interesting type of cross-selling. Here you are not speculating that the customer will purchase additional articles over and above the actual product. Instead, here you present products to the customer that he or she should purchase instead. Logically, it follows that here you can only offer products that you would prefer to sell in place of the one the customer actually chose. Since alternative products are often more expensive than the original product, this marketing method is also called up-selling. Alternative items do not necessarily have to be more expensive. This method can make it possible to advertise items with a higher profit margin or products that you want to sell as quickly as possible.

You determine the cross-selling products in your shop’s administration area

How you specify products for cross-selling

1. In the administration area in the main menu, select Products then View products.

2. The table shows an overview of all products in your online shop. Select the product number of the product you want to edit.

3. Select Cross-selling.

4. The table displays the products that are currently set as cross-selling items for this product. Select Assign products .

5. In the left-hand column, select the products that you wish to assign as cross-selling items.

6. Under Assign products reciprocally select whether the main product, for which you have just defined cross-selling products, should also be displayed as a cross-selling item for these products.

7. Select Apply.

8. Under Advanced options, you can enter a Headline for the cross-selling area. This is shown above all cross-selling areas in the shop.

9. Save the changes.

About the author

was Communications Manager at ePages.

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