Offering related products has long been known to boost sales. Showing complementary and related products is one way to get the customer to add additional items to his or her shopping basket, but don’t overlook upselling, which can tempt a customer to choose a more expensive product than they were initially stumping for.
Upselling is a form of cross-selling that shows the customer a related but slightly better product or offer. It could be a similarly-priced product that for you has a bigger profit margin. It could be an alternative, more expensive model that offers more features. It could be an enticement to purchase more of a product to receive a discount. It could be offering a better service for a small increase in price. In all of these cases, you’re getting the customer to commit to more than they previously might have chosen to.
Choosing a Shopify Upsell App
Shopify is a fantastic platform that allows you to drop in apps that extend the features of your store. There are apps for everything, and there is certainly no shortage of upselling apps.
Some of the initial things you should consider when choosing an upsell app are:
- Payment model (one-off payment, monthly payment, or yearly payment?)
- Install simplicity (do you just install the app or must you perform additional coding?)
- Support (will the app developer support your installation and answer your questions?)
- Versatility (is the upsell app only for a specific function or is it adaptable for your needs?)
Upsell Recommendation Engines
The other major consideration is how ‘smart’ the recommendation engine is.
Manual Upselling Apps
The cheapest upsell apps for Shopify have a manual selection process. You must personally choose every item that will be upsold and manually add them. This may seem fine if you have a small number of products, but as your products, services, and deals morph, it can be time-consuming.
Rule-Based Upselling Apps
The next step up are upsell apps that work on a rule-based system. You can set up rules that decide which products are upsold based on branding, price, vendor, color, and tags. This is OK if you have a strong grasp on your clientele but also tends to fall down when your product range grows and becomes more diverse.
Algorithmic Upselling Apps
Algorithmic upselling apps aim to take the job of writing rules out of your hands by automatically deciding the right recommendations based on a number of metrics. They might choose the products that have historically sold well together, products that customers often look at together, or products that match a large number of tags.
Personalized Algorithmic Upselling Apps
The most advanced upselling apps for Shopify use personalized data to show different products to each visiting customer. Apps like DataCue record a vast amount of data on the visitors to the site, what they buy, their demographics, etc., and the store and its products are tailored specifically to each person.
7 Popular Upsell Apps for Shopify
1 — DataCue Upsell Recommendations
One of the smartest upsell apps available for Shopify, DataCue is designed for stores taking in over $2,000 a month with over 50 products. Installation is simple and a team is available to help adjust the look and feel of the app should you have a complex site design. No manual configuration of rules is required, and the algorithm works automatically correlating the products that work well together. Further personalization is possible, from emails and banners to onsite notifications.
2 — SMAR7 Bundle Upsell
SMAR7 Bundle Upsell tries to make shopping a game by introducing an element of gamification to the shopping cart. Showing that by spending a little bit more the customer can get a bigger discount, this system can work well for some types of buyers.
Setting up SMAR7 Bundle Upsell is easy, but the look and feel of the upsell component is very basic and can turn some customers off.
3 — Smart Search & Instant Search
Smart Search & Instant Search by Searchanise is a smart search app that offers suggestions. Available for free up to 25 products (though check the fine print), you’ll need to stump for the monthly plan to get smart filters and merchandising. Customers suggest there are often issues with mobile browsing, making this app a poor choice if you have customers on mobile devices.
4 — Cross Sell Recommend Products
A cheaper option is Cross Sell Recommend Products. Working on an algorithm system, Cross Sell Recommend Products does a reasonable job of offering related products. It’s more tuned to recommend additional products rather than upselling and requires a certain number of rules to be set up before it begins to work OK.
5 — Frequently Bought Together
Frequently Bought Together is a very popular upsell and recommendation bundle app, partly due to its low monthly price. Frequently Bought Together apes Amazon’s system that shows the items other people have chosen to pair with a product in the past. A simple system, it’s fine for a site with lots of small purchases but requires quite a number of sales to be performed before recommendations are useful.
6 — Personalizer by LimeSpot
A personalized algorithmic personalization platform, LimeSpot can customize and personalize products for upselling and includes an internal A/B/N testing suite and multiple layouts. Recommendations can be placed on every page. Potential issues with Personalizer lie in the sweeping code changes the system makes to your Shopify store and the difficulty in removing it, according to customer reviews. Also, the pricing model is expensive as it works by taking a percentage of your revenue from sales.
7 — ReConvert Upsell & Cross Sell
ReConvert Upsell & Cross Sell focuses mainly on upselling to customers AFTER they’ve made a purchase. This can work well in some cases, and the app includes a drag-and-drop thank you page customizer so you can collect details such as email addresses and birthdays. However, the sliding pricing model does mean that unless you have a very small store the use of ReConvert Upsell & Cross Sell quickly becomes VERY expensive.
Cover image by Deepak Pal.