Want to boost profits?
Then get strategic about related products. They’re one of the easiest ways to grow your eCommerce store.
Today, you’ll learn:
- Which areas on your site convert best for upsells and cross-sells
- How to make related products impossible to ignore
- Five types of high-converting related products and when to offer them
With that, let’s dive in!
Editor’s note: We practice what we preach, so here’s a short pitch for our related product—SEO services. High-quality educational content like this article can help your store break through sales plateaus. Sound interesting? Send us a message, and see if we’re a good fit.
Where on your site to include product suggestions
Related products have a single goal—increase average order value.
But which area of your store will have the highest conversion for related products?
The answer might surprise you: on every single page.
Correct. I recommend a related products section on every page. The home page. Category pages. Each product details page. The cart page.
If you study the world’s best eCommerce sites, you’ll find this pattern.
In general, if a potential customer scrolls past the main product information, it means they’re still looking. That’s the perfect place for a recommended product module.
Our client work has shown that whether or not a post includes related products is the best way to predict how well it converts.
If you’re not using those placements already, add them to your page templates as soon as possible.
But what if you already have those blocks, and they’re just not converting?
The secret to related product boxes that convert
If your related products aren’t converting well, here’s the most likely reason:
The products aren’t very related.
An automatic related product block tends to pull similar products, not complementary products. And similar products will always have a low conversion rate.
Let’s say your store sells back-to-school gear, and I’m looking at a backpack. Here’s the difference:
- Similar products are different backpacks, which is perhaps the least appealing product you could show someone planning on buying a backpack.
- Complementary products might include a matching pen case, laptop sleeve, and water bottle.
To improve your product recommendations, you can include better product tagging or even create a “complementary to” tag for sorting. Some platforms, like WooCommerce, include a built-in version of this feature.
If you’ve set default related products to display, you can remove them to make everything dynamic.
And the best option would be to move to a custom related products plugin (instead of an automated one).
Better related products mean more sales.
But knowing which kinds of products to offer will let you increase sales even more.
5 types of related products (and when to share them)
There are plenty of types of related products you can sell. I find the industry terms upsell and cross-sell a little unclear, so I’ve come up with my own.
1. The upgrade—spend more on a better product
What about 16 ounces instead of 12? Hardwood instead of laminate? Pro edition instead of starter?
If you clearly explain why a better product costs more, a surprising number of customers will upgrade.
Describe the product with a good blend of emotional benefits and concrete features.
Best time: On the product page, on the cart page.
2. The double up—buy two at once
The top panel of this baking soda box is some of my favorite copywriting of all time:
The English translation is, “Buy 2 boxes: 1 for the fridge, 1 for the freezer.”
That’s it. That’s the double-up technique in action. That’s probably the best-converting cardboard panel at any supermarket.
If there’s a reason for customers to buy two of the same product instead of one—to skip the next order, have a backup, get one for a friend—mention it.
Best time: On the product page, a “reminder page” before checkout.
3. The add-on—buy a complementary product
These are the pen cases, laptop sleeves, and water bottles from the previous example.
Most of us think of these when we think of related products, so include them wherever you’d like. Just remember the rule—complementary products should cost less than the main product.
For bigger purchases, you can include complementary products as part of the “choose your product” process to add to your cart.
Best time: On the cart page, pre-cart reminder.
4. The product bundle—buy a set of products together
Let’s say a customer is buying lipstick from your store.
Would they rather buy the entire starter kit that the lipstick comes from?
Usually, product bundles are a better deal than buying everything separately, so emphasize the total value compared to the list price.
Best time: On the product page, on the cart page, pre-cart reminder, pre-checkout reminder.
5. The service—add priority support, a warranty, or a subscription
Services and memberships are some of the most profitable promotions you can offer.
Best time: On the product page, a pre-cart reminder, a pre-checkout reminder.
You can see dramatic sales increases by promoting one or more of these kinds of related items.
How to leverage related products
Want to get the most out of every product recommendation on your eCommerce site? The only way that works is to keep testing and improving.
A marketing strategy that includes this kind of eCommerce optimization guarantees success over the long term.
And if you’re looking for a partner to help boost traffic and conversions, reach out to our team.