Retailers should upsell only when
it adds value to the customer.
Most online stores exist to generate sales and drive revenue, like any other commercial business entity. However, there is no denying that it's in the best interests of merchants to be customer-focused. Happy customers are more likely to become loyal customers.
There's a fine line, however, between trying to profit from customers and trying to serve them. It can be easy for merchants to lean too far into the selling aspect of the job, which shoppers may perceive as too pushy. This can often come into play when upselling and cross-selling products.
As Power Retail contributor Kush Naidu recently noted, although upselling and cross-selling are effective means to generate additional sales, that should never be the sole goal of these initiatives
. Instead, retailers should aim to upsell customers only when it makes sense relative to what they're purchasing - for example, batteries are a great upsell for many electronics purchases, but they may not make sense in other types of purchases.
Online stores in particular may have an issue with upselling because suggestions are made based on trends from customers who made similar purchases. In that scenario, the customer feels like the retailer doesn't understand their needs and it looks like the seller is simply trying to milk them for a bigger purchase.
Merchants don't want to send the wrong message to their customers, which is why they must carefully consider when and how they launch upsell/cross-sell efforts. Retailers must find ways to do this while providing value to their customers.