Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

How to cross-sell high margin products

By Carl Hillier, Account Manager, OGL Computer

More transactions are taking place online, so traditional retailers have realised the importance of their ecommerce sites in selling those high margin items that would usually have been stocked near shop tills, for consumers to pick up as last-minute impulse purchases. Items such as maintenance sprays and disposable gloves are the kind of products that merchants, retailers and trade counters stocked near the till as high margin impulse buys. So they are not missing out on profits from those high margin purchases, successful merchants are using their ecommerce sites to cross-sell to customers who are buying online rather than in-store in person.

To ensure your business is successful in cross-selling online, these are the key considerations that should assist in maintaining profitability via multiple sales channels:

Identify your high margin products

Having clear and regular reports on sales and product history will give you in-depth knowledge around what core products and services sell well along with what complementary products and services can be cross-sold to new and existing customers. Knowing your core products and the products that complement each other will enable you to cross-sell with confidence and ease. Once you have been able to identify these items the next step is to define what the margins are going to return, to determine the optimum price point for each.

Select the best place to display relevant related products

Plan the journey a customer will take from landing on your website to the checkout, to identify the best place to view and interact with cross-selling suggestions. Studies show that products pages and my basket pages are the best places to display relevant related products, as it is at this stage that customers make quick impulse buy decisions.

Ecommerce customers that click on product recommendations are 4.5 times more likely to add featured products to their basket, so think about highlighting related and relevant items below the price point that make their overall transaction eligible for free shipping.

Know your customers’ buying habits

Once you have chosen what items to sell, the best price to sell them for and the pages on which to display those items, you need to monitor and report on what’s successful and unsuccessful. This can be achieved by using tools like Google Analytics to reveal where customers are landing on a website, how long they spend on a page, the most popular products being viewed and at what point customers leave a website, with or without purchasing.

Knowing and tracking a customer’s buying habits and behaviours can also be done via an online marketing specialist but Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software solutions are another, more cost-effective method for merchants.

Use ERP software to cross-sell

ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software is a simple and easy to use integration tool for merchants to work alongside existing IT infrastructure. For instance, cutting tools distributor, TBS Oxford, shifted its existing business processes onto OGL Computer’s ERP solution Profit4 to increase visibility, gain control and drive the business to the next level.  It did this by eliminating the time spent duplicating tasks or searching for information on disparate systems.

Profit4 has seen TBS Oxford transform its daily operations, achieving unprecedented time and cost savings, during its busiest periods and, being cloud-based, the team can manage the system from a tablet as no data is stored on-site.

With Profit4 in place, TBS Oxford was able to achieve its peak period to date, when it turned over 20% against its target, showcasing the benefits of ERP.

Other considerations to help increase Average Order Value

Once a customer is on-site, increasing AOV can make a huge difference to the bottom line via:

·      Keeping products relevant – having the latest product or version and changing what you recommend according to seasonal trends

·      Aftersales – offer a discount code on a next purchase from you in the order confirmation email or alert those customers to related products and send them links for consideration

·      Feedback – speak to customers and find out what they think and what works for them then use this invaluable insight for future planning

·      Tenacity – don’t give up. If at first something doesn’t succeed, just keep trying different products until you find the one that everyone wants

·      Keep it simple and easy to add cross-sell products to the basket.