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Your Shopping Cart: It’s Not Just What You Sell, It’s What You Up-Sell
14 December 2009

eCommerce WebsiteThe advent of online commerce marked a powerful evolutionary milestone in the way we do business. The Internet and the natural progression into online sales have allowed small companies and niche products to reach a global audience and be as, if not more, competitive than some larger retail companies.

The lifeblood of any eCommerce website is its shopping cart: the engine for processing sales online. There are many options and features that can distinguish one online shopping cart from others. As a merchant, it’s important that you find a shopping cart that is as all-inclusive as possible—with fundamental selling tools such as the ability to receive and fulfill orders—but there is so much more to consider.

What truly makes a shopping cart stand out is the tools that accompany it. Marketing tools such as built-in email marketing, affiliate management, and sales reporting are paramount to running a successful online store.

Another evolving sales strategy that few shopping cart providers offer is the ability to provide up-sells or down-sells. Traditional up-sell tactics include adding language such as “customers have also recommended this,” offering accessories on a product page, or recommending additional items before the customer completes their order.

However, the next step in the evolution of up-selling your customer is to offer up-sells post-sale. When using post-sale up-sells, a customer can be offered additional products to purchase after they’ve already made their initial purchase. This means your customer will remain focused on completing their initial order, and only then offered up-sell or down-sell items. This limits the risk of cart abandonment, while still providing opportunities to increase revenue.

With post-sale up-sell tools, the customer does not need to provide any more information because their initial order will be placed. With an up-sell tool such as Upsell Express, the customer simply clicks “Yes” or “No” to adding the additional item. If the item is rejected, the merchant has the ability to offer a different or less expensive item. Again, because the customer has already made their initial purchase, there’s no risk of losing the sale, and closing the browser only ends the up-sell session.

Remember, when you’re looking at shopping cart solutions, keep in mind that while the objective is to sell an item online, your business will grow by ensuring that you have built-in marketing, affiliate and customer management, reporting, and the most effective up-sell tools available. Every “Yes” button clicked is added revenue in your pocket.

    1. Great post, Cliff! A strategy like this is an incredible way to capitalize on customers who already have their wallet out.

    2. I was just starting a search for a cart. What luck in reading this informative article. I’ll definitely be looking for a cart service with these 5 important features and preferably a developer/provider from the U.S.A.

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