10 upselling techniques guaranteed to boost your profit

upselling techniques

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It’s no secret that using the right upselling techniques will dramatically increase your sales. 

These successful upselling tips will take your business to the next level and ensure you have a smooth path for growth.

But a good upselling technique must be simple to deploy, and it must come at just the right time when someone’s already interested in buying something from you. 

It should add value or improve what they’re trying to get. Here are some tips on how to upsell effectively:

Offer a package discount

This is one of the most popular ways people find out about products at large stores like Costco, Walmart, or Target. 

This gives customers an instant discount when they bundle multiple items together – and it’s easier for you to make a profit off these large bundles since there are so many items in one package.

Offer a trial subscription

Businesses with recurring revenue from products or services can use this upselling tactic to ensure that customers don’t forget about the service and subscriptions become due again. 

You can also re-engage them if they’ve been gone for a while, perhaps because their credit card expired and you lost touch with them, simply by sending out an email offering another free month of service or other incentives. 

Create a club for members

This is best if you have a small community of customers who like to get together or if they feel like part of a group that’s “in the know.” 

You can offer special products or services to this exclusive group and let them know each time something new comes out, so they’ll always feel like they’re being given insider information. 

This also works well with certain kinds of businesses where word-of-mouth advertising can be powerful. People in your club will be more likely to tell their friends about your business when it means that they’d have access to something nobody else would. 

Make suggestions

If you notice an item someone didn’t add to their cart, you can make a suggestion for something that would work well with it. 

Let’s say someone is looking at a laptop charger and hasn’t added one to their cart yet; they might be interested in buying the cord separately if you point out that they don’t have any way to charge the battery without this cord. 

Offer cheap add-ons

This is a great strategy if you have products or services that are expensive already but there are some things customers always want along with them – go ahead and offer these extras on top of what the customer has already bought, so they don’t feel like they’re paying an arm and a leg for something else they end up needing anyway. 

For example, if you offer a service that involves business cards and customers always want to pay extra for some special feature on them, don’t make the customer feel bad about wanting this. Just go ahead and tack on an extra fee for the additional design work – it’s probably worth it in the long run.

Offer a bundle 

This is a powerful upsell technique. 

People often like to have things that make them feel important, which is why some luxury car dealerships offer something called “the VIP package”. This includes fancy services and extras designed to make these customers feel like they’re getting the royal treatment at a discount price. 

This strategy can be applied in any industry; just think of one or two extra services you can offer for free (or reduced cost) to make people feel like they’re getting exactly what they want out of your product or service.

Create an incentive program

If you have products or services where repeat business is important, you can create an incentive program that rewards loyal customers with discounts on future purchases. 

You could also create a special VIP group just for repeat customers and offer them exclusive discounts off their next purchase if they refer business to you.

This also creates customer loyalty. 

Let them know about a product upgrade

If someone has already bought your product or service, let them know that there’s an upgraded model out now – this can be great for upselling because it implies that the new version has more value since they originally purchased it. 

It also puts pressure on people to buy again because they don’t want to feel like they paid for something outdated; remind them of how many years of use there are left in what they bought and ask them if they’re ready to get even more life out of their current purchase. 

Offer free shipping with another purchase

This strategy is great for customers who are on the fence about their purchase. If they see this option, they might end up feeling obligated to go ahead and make the larger purchase because they don’t want to pay for shipping twice.

If someone is already spending $100 on your website, they’re probably going to feel better about paying an extra dollar or two if it means getting free shipping. Learn to build a free plus shipping funnel here.

Include a sample of something else

Sometimes you can upsell by including something with one purchase that gives customers the urge to come back for more. 

Let’s say you sell clothing and you know several of the items you have in stock aren’t selling very well, but there’s one style that just keeps moving; why not throw a few of them into every order? 

This makes people feel like they’ve received extra value out of their purchase and prepares them mentally to spend money on things that are similar when they come back later.

Upselling techniques in e-commerce

Upselling online is the easiest way to increase the cart transaction. Any online store can apply an upselling technique. 

For vest results, apply these suggestions during the shopping cart checkout process or via email after the shopper placed the order. 

1. Add-ons (extras) – in this case, the shop owner just offers an extra product/service to current shipping and then asks the customer for additional payment over the original price of products in the shopping cart. 

2. Bundle-offers (buy more, pay less) – in this case, the shop owner offers a bundle (collection) of products and asks for one price instead of selling each item separately.

3. Cross-sell items – cross-selling can be applied in different ways: all products are presented as cross-sells with links to another category OR only some specific products are selected as cross-sells on that specific page. 

4. Temporarily out-of-stock items – a shop owner can sell the product with an option to notify later when the product is back in stock and then offer a free gift or discount on the next order if the customer wants to be notified of future availability.

5. Free shipping – the most common technique used by online store owners. They offer free shipping with purchase of minimum amount/order total, etc… (e.g., spend $50 and get free shipping). If your shop accepts PayPal as a payment method, then use this technique: Offer “Free Shipping” items under your special deals list when the buyer purchases any one of these products from your deals list.

6. Coupon Codes – a coupon or discount code can be provided to a customer upon request, for example, when the user asks how much money he/she will save if he purchases the products at the moment… etc.

7. End-of-season sale offers – during end-season sales, you’re able to offer promotional deals such as Buy 1 Get 1 Free or Buy 2 Get 3 Free, etc

Upselling techniques in restaurants

Since people aren’t usually buying big-ticket items when eating out, it can be a bit more difficult to get them to spend money during the meal. Here are some ways restaurants try to upsell customers:

1. Ask if they want a “combo” deal – most people like getting more for their money, so this often gets them to spend more.

2. Ask if they’re having “just a drink” or if they want to add something small like soup or other side dishes for just $1-3 more – you don’t have to overcharge on these extras. Just tack on another dollar or two and almost everyone will feel compelled to get it because they didn’t realize how much the additional item would cost before now. 

4. Add an appetizer or dessert that goes with the meal – this is especially easy with restaurants that offer all-inclusive meals, where each member of the party has to pay a set price no matter what else they order. Customers often feel obligated to go along with it when their food arrives since they’ve already committed themselves to pay for it.

5. Include an extra side item – restaurants that sell a lot of combos do this because people like buying the combo. 

6. Suggest other ways they can experience your restaurant – if a customer is already planning on coming back anyway, suggest some things they can try during the next visit that might be new to them and are slightly more expensive than what they ordered this time around. 

Again, if they’re planning on coming back anyway, it isn’t that much of a stretch to get them to spend more money since they’ve already decided that you have something worth visiting again.

A lot of the time, people don’t realize just how effective upselling is and how many places use it as part of their business model. With a little work, you can get your customers spending even more at your website or store by offering additional options for them to choose from when they check out. 

This strategy works best when used sparingly, so try to avoid overdoing it with multiple items – aim for one or two per purchase instead of 10 separate add-ons. 

Be careful that you don’t try too hard to make a sale because it can be an easy tell for the customer; the last thing you want is to look like you’re trying to force something onto them even if it is just an impulse buy.

Upselling techniques in retail

Retail stores use upselling techniques more than any other place because it’s a much easier way to make an extra sale. 

Almost every shopping experience that requires you to walk around and interact with salespeople will upsell at some point.

This makes retail stores one of the most lucrative spots for anyone who wants to learn how to upsell effectively; if they can master this environment, their skills will translate well anywhere else go they go.

Retail Tips: Upselling in retail stores uses a two-pronged approach where your goal is to compel customers into purchasing additional items while still providing them with value for their money. If they feel like you’re forcing items on them, they won’t buy anything from you at all.

1. Suggest items that are related to the first product – if people buy a specific kind of clothing, then suggest other similar pieces that may complement what they already have. This provides them with more value for their money, and you get a bit of commission on the sale as well.

2. Entice them with seasonal offers – during certain times of the year, stores offer special deals on certain products in an effort to boost sales and get people into the store. This is one way they upsell customers because there’s often another product or two nearby where the customer can easily see it and decide right then and there whether they want to spend more money or not.


Upselling can be a very effective way to bring in more revenue with minimal effort.

There are many forms of upselling, each with its own strengths and weaknesses; some work better than others but all of them have the same goal – to get people who came in for one thing to buy something else instead.

You need to understand which techniques work best with your business model and then focus on these strategies while making sure you don’t overdo it. 

It’s easier to sell to an existing customer than a new one. 

It’s also important that you don’t come across as manipulative or forceful because this will only turn off customers, turning them away from any future purchases they might make with you.

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