Cross-selling is a marketing tactic aimed to improve e-commerce by attempting to get shoppers to check out and order products that compliment or accessorize the ones they are shopping for.


By presenting product suggestions immediately, a customer adds a product to the cart, or before they leave the cart, their shopping experience can be enhanced. Additionally, it boosts the average order value by drawing shoppers’ attention to other items they may like or need.


However, cross-sells are only useful if they are relevant to the user’s cart items. Consumers prefer to be shown items related to the ones they are buying. Otherwise, they will doubt your motives and lose confidence in your site.

Ways to make your in-the-cart products suggestions relevant

Use user-specific data

Instead of utilizing general behavioral data to make products suggestions, employ a mix of customer-specific behavioral data to make product suggestions relevant to each specific shopper. Generalized approaches such as “Customers Who Checked out This Item Also Checked Out This” or “Customers Are Also Viewing This” are rarely correct on their own. 


After all, they may have viewed the suggestions but found them irrelevant. To make your product suggestions relevant, you also want to factor in the specific user’s shopping history, profile info, and current products in the cart. 

Label the recommended product clearly.

Let users know why you are recommending a certain product so they will give it a second thought before deciding. Shoppers are less likely to doubt your motives if you make them aware that the suggestions are based on their past browsing history, purchases patterns, or the items other shoppers of the same item also bought. Even if they appear irrelevant to their present search order, they won’t be quick to dismiss. 

Give precedence to compatibility-dependent items.

The other way to increase the relevance of your suggestions is by ensuring they are of the same “use case” or theme as those in the cart. For example, winter essentials are warm pajamas, sweaters, scarves, beanies, wool coats, and pac boots. Other product groups according to the theme include;


  • Back to School
  • Outdoor Entertaining
  • Country Kitchen

Prioritize supplementary products that complement those already in the cart

Is the promotional offer you are making logical and practical for the shopper? One example of an absurd promotional offer is encouraging customers to sign up for a credit card to save less than $2 on a $6 order. 


Another example would be encouraging customers to shop for $60 worth of products more in addition to their $4.99 item to qualify for free shipping when the shipping fee for their $4.99 product is only $3. Know when to present promotional offers to shoppers. 

Keep context in mind when making promotional offers

If you suggest supplementary products, go with those that complement the ones already in the cart instead of alternative products. This is the last step in the shopping process, and the user has already picked an item. 


The last thing you want is to make them doubt their choice, return to the products page to take a look at the alternative product, and never get back to the check-out process.

Wrap Up

With the advancement in technology, Users have come to expect and appreciate a highly personalized online shopping experience tailored to their preferences and needs at every step. Machine learning and sister-like technologies have made it possible to study consumer cart contents make product recommendations and promotional offers that matter. 


Utilize these technologies and other strategies so that your cross-sale suggestions cross-sales improve shoppers’ perception of your eCommerce business.