The most popular merchandising technique is to connect products by establishing relations between them.
In general, there are three types of merchandising relations:
⬆Up-sell refers to offering a more expensive version of a product or additional product options. The goal is to increase the price of an individual product in the cart. This can be done by offering a similar but more expensive product or extra options for products to increase the overall price.
🔀 Cross-sell is offering related or complementary products to increase the order value.
🔁 Related products are used to display similar products or alternatives in case a product a customer is looking for is discontinued or out of stock.
Some examples to illustrate.
👠Let’s say a user is purchasing a pair of shoes.
Upsell, in this case, will be to offer similar shoes yet somewhat expensive and better than the current pair. As a cross-sell, the site could offer product recommendations like shoe polish, shoelaces, socks, etc. And as a related product, the shop will suggest different varieties and designs of shoes that may or may not be more expensive than the current pair.
📱With a smartphone, upsell means a smartphone that has better features than the current one and is more expensive; Cross-sell, in this case, will be products like screen protectors, mobile case cover, 1-year extra insurance, etc.; And as related products, you can show a range of similar mobiles, in the same price range.
✈As an upsell, a travel site will offer higher-ranking hotels or more sophisticated suites at the hotel you have chosen or suggest, as a cross-sell, extra luxuries, sightseeing, cab facility, spa treatment, or any other service you can offer. And related products could be hotel rooms in nearby hotels or rooms listed by private owners.
From the implementation perspective, all types of merchandising relations are done in a similar way. It is usually a link between two main products.
Sometimes, a relation needs to be on the product variant level, but it is less common.
Merchandising relations can be defined manually or created automatically based on collected data like products that are often bought together or people who viewed this have also viewed another.
There are multiple places on an ecommerce site where you may show product relations
⮚ Search results
⮚ PDP page
⮚ On Cart page
⮚ Order confirmation
⮚ Or Follow up emails