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Cross Selling / Related Products – Are You Making the Most of the Opportunity?

There are millions of potential customers out there—the trick is converting them into buyers. In today’s ultra-competitive e-commerce arena, you need every competitive advantage to maximise the potential for a sale.

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Eliminating “Tunnel Vision” with Cross-selling

When promoting your site through Google Shopping and other similar channels, one of the biggest challenges you’ll face is customers having “tunnel vision”—meaning that online shoppers are drawn to your site for an individual item or type of item, without browsing through your other product offerings.

If they like what they see—and if your site has been optimised to promote conversions—some may buy at first glance. If they don’t immediately find what they’re looking for, they’ll likely leave your site and head back to their Google results in search of other vendors with similar products, even if you have a number of product alternatives that meet their needs.

This is where cross-selling & related products come in. This entails suggesting alternative products that are relevant or complementary to an item the customer is viewing now, or to an item they have previously purchased. Cross-sells can also be based on popular products that are currently trending on the site. This is a proven strategy for keeping customers on a website longer and increasing the chances they leave having purchased a product.

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Streamlining Cross-selling with Magento Extensions

Magento has a vast amount of these capabilities already built in and ready to use out of the box. As long as your chosen web designer (I’m rather good if you are looking for someone!) builds this functionality into your site, you can start cross-selling immediately (and relatively effortlessly). When Magento is configured correctly, you can simply log into a product record and quickly update the cross-sells and related products in the defined section of the product within the admin. With just a few clicks, you’ll be offering intelligent product alternatives to boost not only instant sales but also long-term trust in your brand.

But what happens if you have a large online inventory with thousands of SKUs? It would be a mammoth task to open each individual item record and manually update the related product details. In that case, I offer two additional solutions designed to handle high-volume cross-sells without requiring any manual work on your part.

AheadWorks: Automated Related Products

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AheadWorks offers a huge range of Magento extensions and plug-ins that can be integrated into even the most highly customized online stores. One of these is Automated Related Products, a module that allows you to configure rules for cross-sells and up-sells. Product suggestions are automatically generated based on the customer’s current viewing activity and previous purchases, as well as the site’s universal product trends. Cross-sells will dynamically update based on inventory, location, category, newness, price, or whatever parameters you define. Set it up once, and then sit back and let the aheadWorks plugin do all of the cross-selling for you, while you reap the benefits of increased conversions, larger orders and longer site visits.

Below are just some of the things you can do with this powerful module:

  • Generate separate cross-sells for a shopping cart, category, and product pages
  • Choose from four cross-sell page positions
  • Customize which segments of users can see which cross-sell blocks

Automated Related Products 2 is also now available, powered by the all-new aheadWorks engine for advanced performance in sites with high product volumes (up to 100K or more).

However, there is an option that can take your related products further still…..

Nosto: Personalized Recommendations to Keep Customers Coming Back

Nosto is an advanced recommendation engine that allows online businesses to promote featured products that rotate on a regular basis. This product takes cross-selling a step further by offering the ability to make personalized recommendations to individual customers based on the types of products they search, view, or purchase, based on the recorded behaviours of other customers behaviours on previous site visits.

And with the Advanced edition, Nosto also incorporates the behaviours of other shoppers. When serving up product recommendations, the tool looks at not only the current user’s online activities but also the site as a whole. For instance, if other shoppers have viewed or purchased items that are relevant or complementary to the current item, Nosto may display those items as cross-sells.

Below are just some of the things online stores can accomplish with Nosto:

  • Customize product recommendations based on the customer’s online activities and behaviours
  • Boost sales by serving up products that other customers have viewed or purchased
  • Send automated cross-sell or reminder emails to customers, based on pre-defined triggers
  • Analyze performance and results on a real-time dashboard

Paired with Magento, Nosto will help keep customers on your site longer and increase the chances of conversions.

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