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Cross-Selling in Onlineshops

That's why cross-selling is so important...

Freddy Czaja


Cross-selling is a sales strategy that offers products and services (in addition to the actual product) that complement each other. Buyers are thus encouraged to buy not only one major product but also a byproduct - or vice versa. The most important goal of cross-selling is to increase the turnover and profit of the company.

Benefits & goals

In addition to the main goal of increasing sales and profits, there are a multitude of other marketing-related goals. The focus here is that it is easier to sell products to existing customers than to customers who do not yet know the online shop and only have to be acquired through marketing measures.

Within the marketing strategy, every e-commerce company should therefore define what its own goals of cross-selling are.

Goals & benefits could be:

Increase sales and profit.
Rejuvenate customer base.
Place more products with the customer.
Holistic sales strategy to cover the needs of the customer.
Improvement of customer loyalty.
Sale of older goods.
Introduction of new products.
Sale of the main products over the border products.
Sale of the border products over the main products.
Advantage with regular customers: Declining price sensitivity.

When should you use cross-selling?

It is not the question of whether cross-selling should be used, but how it should be used to achieve the company's goals. Amazon indicates that 35% of sales are due to cross-selling - there's nothing more to say!

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Picture: Zalando.de

Principle & Examples

The principle of cross-selling is basically old and not an invention of online trading. Every gas station uses it, every hairdresser and every car repair shop. The hairdresser recommends hair products that you can buy right in the salon. The gas station offers you car wash, vacuum cleaner and of course coffee, snacks, newspapers and much more ...

In the online shop, the cross-selling products are displayed just below the products or in the sidebar. Which products are this, is part of the sales strategy of the online shop. It can be accessories, products that fit the category (bicycles > helmets) or products that other buyers buy again and again with the product. The assignment of the corresponding cross-selling products usually happens through algorithms, tags or manually. Also, the highest-selling products can be advertised - if they are not too far away from the actual product; If possible, of course, relevant products should be displayed.

In principle, there should also be various areas (and allocations) in cross-selling, which separates accessories from other cross-selling products, so that customers not lose the overview in the product pages. The whole can be displayed below the products or side by side - that is a matter of taste. Possible headings are: Accessories for this article. Frequently bought together. Customers who are interested in this product also bought ...

Importance for search engine optimization

From a search engine optimization point of view, cross-selling is important for two reasons: Strengthening internal linking and lengthening the duration of the session.

Internal linking

Internal linking shows search engines (Google, Bing, etc.) how important individual HTML pages are. For example, a page is more important if it is linked from the header navigation and more times from other pages (with corresponding traffic). In contrast, an unimportant page, perhaps only a cross-link from the imprint out to be reached. This page will probably not be so relevant, neither for the mass of users, nor for search engines.

It may also be that some cross-selling products can only be found via the internal linking, under the products and otherwise do not appear (neither in the navigation nor in the categories). For this reason, cross-selling is a guarantee that these pages are indexed in search engines and also get good rankings.

Session duration

The time that a user stays on a website is referred to in search engine optimization as session duration or "time on site". It differentiates between the time spent on a single page and the time spent on the entire site.

It is assumed that the session duration is one of the most important ranking factors for search engines. The duration of the session indicates whether blogs, product pages, articles, etc. are consumed by users or whether they reject the content.
The session duration of website operators can be measured by Google Analytics and other tools. Google, as the main search engine, has other options for measuring user activity, for example the own Chrome browser.

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