Cross-Selling Strategies: The Ultimate Guide to Cross-Sells at Checkout

According to statistics, businesses that use cross-selling techniques see a 20% increase in sales compared to ones that don’t. Cross-selling can also increase the lifetime value of customers by up to 14%.

Given these stats, you’d be mad to ignore cross-selling. The right cross-selling strategies can boost average order values significantly and optimize the customer experience.

That said, you have to deploy them correctly. Poorly implemented cross-sells can cause friction and even increase cart abandonment rates.

In this guide, we take a look at some of the most successful cross-selling strategies, and how to implement cross-selling during the checkout process. Keep reading to get clued up on cross-sells at checkout.

The Best Cross-Selling Strategies to Consider

If you’re unfamiliar with the term, e-commerce cross-selling is the practice of selling a related, additional product or service to an existing customer. For instance, if someone is buying a printer, suggesting compatible printer ink as an additional purchase would be a cross-sell offer.

The key to successful cross-sells is relevance. The offers you display need to be complimentary to what shoppers already have in their carts. If you erroneously punt random items during checkout, this can be a) offputting, b) distracting, and c) ineffective.

Upselling and cross-selling is a great way to increase your AOV, but only if you can tempt customers into adding the additional items to their orders.

If this isn’t happening, your cross-sell offers will just be adding visual noise to the checkout process.

Here are a few of the best strategies to keep in mind when implementing e-commerce cross-selling at checkout.

Cross-Sell Smaller Items

Start by cross-selling small-ticket items.

Cross-selling at checkout is very similar to what grocery stores do with physical checkout. As you wait in line, you’re greeted with an array of last-minute, impulse-buy items. Candy, magazines, snacks, etc.

The common denominator? These products don’t have high price tags. Stores don’t display big, pricy items right at checkout, because these aren’t the kinds of things consumers want to make spontaneous, last-minute decisions on.

The lower the price tag, the easier it is for a shopper to make a snap decision and add to cart. No one is going to think, “Hey, why don’t I add this $1,000 Smeg refrigerator to my cart at the last minute, seeing as I’m getting the toaster.” That’s too big of a price jump.

However, the other way around is a different story. Someone who’s about to buy a large kitchen appliance might spontaneously add a smaller matching appliance to their order.

Don’t Display Too Many Items

It can also be tempting to display as many cross-sells as possible during checkout. After all, this is your last chance to get the customer to increase their order, why not give them as many options as possible?

Mathematically speaking, the more options there are, the higher the odds of including something the shopper can’t resist. Right?


Too many options can quickly overwhelm the customer. Choice overload can seriously impede shoppers’ ability to make a buying decision.

Choice overload can cause decision paralysis, causing us to postpone decisions.

In an e-commerce checkout scenario, this could mean:

  • The customer doesn’t add any of the cross-sell offers to their order
  • They abandon their cart altogether, thinking they’ll come back to the decision later

Neither of these options is what you want. Make things simple for your customers by displaying a small handful of relevant recommendations.

This will keep your checkout process smooth, friction-free, and result in less visual clutter.

Prioritize Best-Sellers

Another way to increase conversion rates when upselling and cross-selling is to prioritize best-sellers. Best-selling items have a track record of success, making them prime offerings to display.

Your best-selling items might also have more reviews. Lots of reviews can cement buyer confidence, making the decision process easier for shoppers.

Remember, cross-sells at checkout should be no-brainer purchases. They shouldn’t be something the customer has to agonize over.

Personalize Your Cross-Sell Offers

As we said above, you don’t want to clutter up your checkout process with an overwhelming number of cross-sells. Instead, you only want to display items that have the highest likelihood of being added to cart.

One of the most effective cross-selling strategies is personalization. Personalized cross-sells that’re based on shoppers’ past behavior can boost your AOV and increase convenience for customers.

Let’s say a customer has viewed a product multiple times. They added it to their cart, only to remove it during the checkout process. This could signal that they want the product, but it has increased their order total beyond their current budget.

By displaying the item with a limited-time discount at checkout, you could tip the scales on their decision.

How to Implement Cross-Sells At Checkout

If you’re in e-commerce, cross-selling at checkout can have big payoffs. But how do you go about physically implementing a cross-sell or upsell at checkout?

If you’re with one of the Big Four e-commerce platforms, the most common solution is to install a plugin or app. Shopify offers a few different cross-sell apps in the Shopify App Store.

BigCommerce has a couple of built-in features and certain apps that may allow you to cross-sell and upsell at checkout.

If you’re using WooCommerce, you’ll need to search for a plugin that will allow you to display cross-sells during the checkout process.

The Dark Side of Plugins and Apps

Although you can implement cross-selling at checkout with apps and plugins, this approach has a couple of drawbacks. If you’re with BigCommerce, your selection is very limited.

If you’re using WooCommerce, you’ll need to wade through a sea of plugins, compare their features, and test drive a few to see which one offers the best results.

Shopify has a relatively decent selection of apps, but its apps are notoriously expensive, and most don’t offer very good value for money.

Finally, installing too many plugins and apps on your e-commerce site can trigger plugin bloat. The more apps and plugins you have, the slower your site can become.

Given that conversion rates are 3x higher for e-commerce sites that load in less than a second, we consider anything that slows down your site the enemy.

Checkout Champ Offers an Easier, More Powerful Alternative

If you want to seamlessly cross-sell and upsell at checkout, without the hassle of combing through plugins and apps that might or might not work, Checkout Champ is the answer.

Checkout Champ is guaranteed to work with all e-Commerce platforms. It’s kitted out with powerful features while being ultra-easy to use.

With Checkout Champ, you can customize your checkout process minutely to your brand. You also get access to a cutting-edge CRM, 4-way split testing, and more.

Checkout Champ allows you to forget about third-party apps that slow down your site. It has everything you need to compete with multi-million dollar e-commerce brands and offers effortless migration.

Do You Want to Boost Your E-Commerce Sales?

The right cross-selling strategies can allow you to leverage low-hanging fruit and significantly boost e-commerce sales.

Are you looking for the most streamlined, seamless way to implement cross-selling at checkout?

With Checkout Champ, you can easily customize your checkout page with cross-sells. Unlike other solutions, Checkout Champ won’t slow down your site. You’ll also enjoy painless migration, a powerful CRM solution, and more.

Book a free demo to see Checkout Champ in action.

Get More Results, Work Less