Online Shopper Behaviors Indicate Best Cross-Sell Strategies


ADOTAS — Online retailers can boost sales by using consumer shopping behavior patterns as the basis for cross-selling and marketing efforts. Brick-and-mortar stores have done this for years, promoting peanut butter with jelly, placing high-traffic drivers like milk and diapers in the back of the store, and stocking impulse products in the checkout line. The goal is to boost the sales per shopper, also known as the value of the market basket. Online retailers now have more tools available to help accomplish this.

HookLogic recently analyzed more than 4.3 million online transactions representing more than $500 million in sales across a network of retailer sites. The data reveals three distinct types of shopping trips: A) destination purchases for high-replenishment CPG categories, B) extensively researched trips for higher-price Durable goods categories, and C) browsing trips, which often result in mixed baskets of CPG and Durable goods.  Underlying data from this research highlights specific opportunities to drive cross-sell, upsell, and impulse purchases for each kind of trip.

Destination Consumable Products

One of the prime considerations for online shoppers, especially those on a destination trip, is convenience. They want to complete their shopping quickly and easily within this “moment of truth” for toothpaste, diapers, dog food, or laundry detergent. Consumers are spending an average $46.23 on these CPG-only shopping trips, which is more than a quick stop at a brick & mortar drugstore but less than a stock-up trip to a club store. Upselling these online trips to even larger pack sizes, and cross-selling additional highly consumed products, such as paper towels, feminine hygiene products, and coffee, could easily boost the average basket.

Researched Durable Goods

Accessories are often missed online during the Durable goods shopping trip. Consumers spend $134.69 on average during these trips, as they acquire a digital video camera, a vacuum cleaner, or a baby stroller.  But often these consumers are so focused on researching one item during their multiple visits online or in-store that they forget to think about what else they may need with it. Online retailers have an opportunity to upsell accessories, such as extra batteries, filters, or a sun shield.

Such purchases can also indicate a lifestage change.  For example, if someone just bought a stroller, one of the top registry items for prenatal moms, that shopper may also need other Durable goods, such as a diaper pail, or other CPG products, like baby shampoo. Brands that want to be considered at these times may take steps to advertise their presence on retail sites, via sponsored search and other approaches.

Browsing to Buying a Mix of CPG & Durables

Some shoppers love to browse. The Internet provides an extended journey of exploration, as well as the opportunity to cross-sell purchases across both CPG and Durable goods categories. This type of shopper spends on average $99.65 per basket and is the most likely to respond to cross-selling or impulse. Research shows that this shopper typically spends less on CPG than does a shopper on a destination CPG shopping trip, so there is definitely an opportunity to upsell the basket to include bulk sizes of the CPG items she’s already buying, or additional highly consumed products.  Items with expandable consumption, such as cooking utensils, shoes, or toys, are also great examples of impulse or add-on purchases to expand the basket size for this trip.

By focusing on the different shopping behaviors of different types of shopping trips of CPG, Durable and Mixed Baskets, online retailers can increase the market basket through cross-selling and upselling.


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