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Web Site Measurement Hacks by Eric T. Peterson

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Hack #87. Use Cross-Sell Data to Sell More Products

One proven strategy for increasing your average order value is cross-selling products when a visitor is committing to a purchase. Your web measurement application can provide great insight into who best to cross-sell to, provided you know where to look.

The actions that visitors take on your site represent the most valuable data available for determining product offerings and pairing. For example, on an apparel site, certain sweater/shirt combinations may sell particularly well together. By presenting these articles side by side, visitors will be more likely to purchase both, streamlining the shopping process and increasing average order size. By being able to intelligently recommend items that go together, brand owners can provide customers with valuable information at the moment when they are making their purchase decisions, while at the same time working to improve their bottom line.

Before examining the uses of product affinity data, however, it is worthwhile to define the difference between a cross-sell and an up-sell.

Cross-sell item

A complementary product that is purchased at the same time or immediately after a sale. For example, if a customer were buying a video game platform, a good cross-sell would be a few video games, even though he intended to buy only the game console.

Up-sell item

A product that a vendor persuades a customer to purchase in addition to the products that they are already interested in. For example, if ...

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