What Is Upselling and Cross-selling and What Are Their Benefits

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While customer acquisition is very important, selling to existing customers is much more profitable, as65% of a company’s business comes from previous customers. If you want to make as much profit as you can from people who have already bought your products, you need to start upselling and cross-selling.

But what does it mean to upsell or cross-sell? What are the actual benefits of these strategies for Neto stores? Are there successful examples you can use as a reference?

Keep reading to find out. This guide introduces you to these two methods and lists basic benefits and examples of upselling and cross-selling on Neto.

What is upselling?

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So, what is the meaning of upselling?

This strategy is used to encourage a customer to purchase something that would make their primary purchase more expensive while also offering great customer service. Businesses use this technique to make a larger profit, but also help customers get a better deal and more value from their purchase.

Upselling is best described as a more costly, premium, or an upgraded version of their chosen item or perhaps an add-on that works well with the existing product. This practice is usually very successful and if it’s paired with great customer service, customers have nothing against upselling at all.

For example, if a customer purchases a subscription for a marketing tool, they can be encouraged to buy an additional integration. If they do, they will have a better experience with the tool and the company will make more money, so it’s a win-win situation altogether.

To look at it from a different perspective, let’s say your company sells printers, and a customer wants to buy a model that’s several years old. Through upselling on Neto, you can explain all the benefits and upgraded features of the newest printer and sell a product that’s more valuable to the customer but also makes you more money.

What is cross-selling?

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What is the meaning of cross-selling?

Unlike upselling, the items you offer to customers while cross-selling aren’t the premium or upgraded version of the product. Instead, they’re complementary products and work in conjunction with the primary product so it still adds value to the original purchase.

Cross-selling is very common and you’ve probably experienced it yourself without even realizing it in your day to day life.

One of the most common cross-selling techniques most people have experienced is the question “Would you like a dessert?” that employees at restaurants often ask their customers. In this instance, the main course is the original item and the cross-selling of the dessert is a natural thing to ask because people usually like to have something sweet afterwards.

If you’ve ever purchased something on Amazon, for example, and saw a “Customers who bought this also bought” list of items, you’ve also encountered cross-selling. Lists that show items that are frequently bought together are also a great example of this practice.

Let’s go back to the example of printers. While cross-selling, you would sell the printer the customer came in to purchase and then offer complementary items to them such as ink cartridges or printer paper. This way, the customer walks out with everything they need for printing and you make a larger profit.

Why is upselling important?

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Some sales techniques such as upselling can have a bad connotation, but there are actually many reasons why upselling is important. If you look at all the Neto upsell benefits, you will realize why this marketing technique is not only important but mutually beneficial as well.

Increases your revenue

The most obvious benefit of upselling and the most compelling one for most business owners is that it increases your revenue. As we already explained, most of a company’s business comes from existing customers, so selling to someone who has already shown interest in your products is a smart move.

Instead of spending a lot of money on acquiring new customers, you can simply recommend a better and more expensive version of a product to an existing customer.

Upselling doesn’t require any additional cost but still has the possibility to increase your revenue. Even if the item you’re upselling doesn’t cost much more than the original one, as long as you manage to upsell to enough customers, you can grow your business over time.

Helps create a more meaningful customer experience

Customers nowadays want to see that the companies they do business with actually care about their needs, not just about making money. As a business owner, you need to make sure each of your customers is getting the best possible service, and that can be done through upselling.

Since you own the business and are an expert in your field, product recommendations from you carry a lot of weight. No matter if you’re upselling a product or a service, as long as you explain all the benefits to the customer, they will ultimately feel like they got a great deal from you and be satisfied with their experience.

Improves Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)

The net profit contribution you get from someone while they’re your customer represents their Customer Lifetime Value, or CLV for short. The higher someone’s CLV is, they generate more revenue for your business.

Upselling is a great way to increase someone’s CLV and turn them into a profitable customer. Not only that, but since upselling shows customers that your business brings them more value, they will often come back for more and increase their CLV even further.

And when we combine that with the meaningful customer experience that occurs through upselling, your customers’ lifetime value will be much better.

Why is cross-selling important?

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Cross-selling and upselling have one main benefit in common, and that’s increasing profit. However, there are some unique benefits that show why Neto cross-selling is important.

Helps reduce selling costs

One of the biggest expenses of every business is the selling costs, which represent the amount of money a business has to spend just to make a sale. These costs are much higher when you’re trying to acquire a new customer.

Through Neto cross-selling, the marketing costs and effort you have to put in are greatly reduced, All you need to do is to target your existing customers and introduce them to products they will probably be interested in.

Increases customer loyalty

One loyal customer is much more valuable to a business than an acquired one and82% of companies agree that retention is cheaper than acquisition. There are many different ways to increase customer loyalty and retention, and cross-selling is one of them.

As long as it’s done right, cross-selling increases your customers’ level of satisfaction because they see you’re willing to go out of your way to make their shopping experience as pleasant as possible.

Promotes your products

If you want to promote your products and services to a large group of people without spending too much money, you can do that when you cross-sell. When you recommend a new product to a customer, there is a high possibility they aren’t familiar with that product.

The customer probably never would have purchased that product, but since they became aware of it and its features through cross-selling, their chances of purchasing it become much higher.

Makes shopping more convenient for customers

Every company nowadays understands that customers want to have a shopping experience that’s as convenient as possible. And through cross-selling, customers learn about products they probably want or need without even needing to search for them.

Allows you to collect invaluable customer data

If you want to be more successful, you need to have a better understanding of your customers. Cross-selling allows you to collect relevant data from your customers and understand their needs and wants much better.

You can use the information you get from cross-selling to serve your customers better and learn how to recommend better products in the future. And as you keep collecting data, you will also perfect your cross-selling and increase customer loyalty at the same time.

Difference between upsell and cross-sell

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Even though upselling and cross-selling usually go hand in hand and to some people these terms are interchangeable, they certainly aren’t the same. While both provide additional value to the customer and bring more profit to the business, the way they’re executed is different.

As we already mentioned, upselling is encouraging the purchase of something that would make the original purchase more expensive. Cross-selling, on the other hand, motivates the customer to purchase something in addition to the original product they intended to purchase.

While upselling asks the customer to replace the item they chose for a different one, cross-selling simply encourages them to purchase more items in addition to the original one.

Cross-selling includes products that satisfy a need of the customer which couldn’t be satisfied with the original product alone, while upselling provides the customers with practically the same product, just an upgraded or advanced version of it, which is also more expensive.

When done properly, upselling and cross-selling are mutually beneficial, providing maximum value to the customer and increasing the company’s revenue, all without any marketing costs.

Upselling examples

Now that you have a good grasp on what upselling is, take a look at a few upselling examples from companies that know how to do it right.

Dollar Shave Club

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Dollar Shave Club offers blades at different prices and their most expensive ones are at the very top of the landing page.

Additionally, their high-end razors have more appealing names than the cheaper ones. While their cheapest razor is called the Humble Twin, their most expensive one is called The Executive. The name of the razor as well as some design tricks encourage customers to believe the Executive is the preferable option.

Pro Flowers

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Pro Flowers understand their customers are probably buying their products for someone else, and so they upsell by offering products that will make a good impression. During checkout, this florist shop offers additional items such as greeting cards and plush bears that go very well with flowers.


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Tesla does a great job of upselling because they allow their customers to configure their cars before they purchase them. With every new configuration, the price of the car increases, and the customers get to enjoy a great piece of UX design.

Cross-selling examples

Finally, let’s take a look at some cross-selling examples so you can better understand how some businesses manage to make the most of selling complementary items.


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As we already mentioned, Amazon is the perfect example of a company that does cross-selling right. Most of the time, they cross-sell on product pages and promote items other people have already purchased. By showing people items previous customers have already bought, they feel validated in their decision to purchase those same items.


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REI is a co-op that sells outdoor equipment and camping gear, and their approach to cross-selling is very upfront. On the bottom of every product page, they offer “complementary items” as they call them, which is very direct but also informative to customers.


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Lush sells high-quality handmade cosmetics products and their approach to cross-selling is much different than their competitors’. Lush doesn’t show items that other customers have bought or that complement the customer’s chosen product well.

Instead, they use the space at the bottom of their product pages to promote the products that are currently popular with their other customers. With this approach, Lush also uses customers’ FOMO (fear of missing out) to get them to purchase the best items the company has to offer.

Final thoughts

Upselling and cross-selling are very common practices used by businesses of all niches to increase their profit and keep their customers with the company for as long as possible. Sometimes only one of them is appropriate and sometimes both are, but you’ll know from the context which one you should use.

Keeping your sales figures up takes a lot of work, but instead of focusing all of your attention to marketing, you need to think about how you can make more sales to existing customers. If you created your online store with Neto, you can increase your sales throughNeto upsells and build an even better relationship with your loyal customers.