Cross-Selling Defined – Strategies and Examples


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Cross-selling involves offering customers additional products or services related to or complementing the one they have already purchased based on their expressed interest or prior purchase.


Cross-selling, a highly effective marketing technique, involves selling related or complementary products to a customer. This strategy can encompass various scenarios in the digital product space, such as selling templates for ebook customers or offering checklists and workbooks for online course buyers.

Difference Between Upselling, Cross-selling, and Down-selling

Image showing the difference between upselling, cross-selling, and down-selling.

Upselling, down-selling, and cross-selling are three distinct sales techniques. Upselling involves enticing customers to buy more by suggesting additional items or upgrading to a pricier version. Down-selling, however, addresses price objections by offering a more affordable alternative when the initial offer is declined.

Cross-selling is about recommending related products or services based on customer interests or previous purchases, enhancing the overall shopping experience and potentially increasing the total transaction value.

Each technique serves a unique purpose in optimizing sales opportunities and customer satisfaction.


  • Embrace Social Selling: Partner with social media influencers who align with your products. Offer incentives for influencers to endorse supplementary products on their platforms, widening your reach to a broad audience. Take advantage of platforms selling features, for example, TikTok’s shop.
  • Provide Genuine Value: When offering additional products and services, focus on delivering real value to the customer. Approach cross-selling from their perspective, prioritizing their benefit over immediate revenue gains. Quality trumps quantity; well-targeted offers enhance customer relationships.
  • Foster Customer Interaction: Create spaces for customer interaction, such as online communities, which can be surprisingly effective in promoting cross-sales. For example, an online forum for bloggers can boost sales of additional products such as hosting plans, social media scheduling tools, etc.
  • Target Strategic Touch Points: Identify your customers’ journey’s most effective touch points. If they frequently use your website, employ email or targeted ads for cross-selling. For in-person shoppers, leverage sales representatives or phone calls to propose supplementary products and services.
  • Harness Inbound Marketing: Incorporate supplementary products and services into your existing inbound marketing campaigns. For instance, if you have content related to Canva templates, weave in advertisements for premium fonts or affiliate programs within blog posts and product descriptions to stimulate cross-sales.
  • Leverage Customer Data: Embrace the power of customer data for personalization. Today’s consumers expect tailor-made experiences, even in cross-selling. Use data-driven insights and tools to provide personalized suggestions.

Cross-Selling Examples

Example #1 of cross-selling:

  • Original offer: eBook: How to Digitally Watercolor Flowers
  • Cross-sell offer: eBook: How to Digitally Watercolor Flowers + Digital Watercolor Brushes

Example #2 of cross-selling:

  • Original offer: Canva template
  • Cross-sell offer: Canva template + eBook: How to Create Canva Templates
Example of a cross-selling. Image credits.
Gumroad offers cross-selling by offering a complementary product at the checkout. Image credits.

Cross-Selling Statistics

  • According to Gitnux (2023), approximately 10% to 30% of e-commerce earnings originate from cross-selling. (Source)
  • Enterprises that implement cross-selling practices may witness a surge in customer lifetime value (CLV) ranging from 30% to 50% (Gitnux, 2023). (Source)
  • As Funnel Strategist (2023) reported, cross-selling can elevate sales by 20% and enhance profits by 30%. (Source)

Cross-Selling vs. Upselling

Upselling involves selling a higher-priced product to a customer, whereas cross-selling is about selling complementary or additional products.

Feature image credits.



Digital Artist

I’m a digital artist who is passionate about anime and manga art. My true artist journey pretty much started with CTRL+Z. When I experienced that and the limitless color choices and the number of tools I could use with art software, I was sold. Drawing digital anime art is the thing that makes me happy among eating cheeseburgers in between veggie meals.

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