If you upsell right, sales will dramatically be increased. But, if you upsell wrong, you will "lose" sales.
Upsell at Right Time
The timing of upselling is very important. You should upsell when a shopper views his/her shopping cart. Or, if your site is a mini site (promoting one product), upsell when a shopper clicks "Oder" button in your sales copy. Some people upsell when the "Check Out" (starting payment process) button is clicked. This is actually an interruption of payment process. If you interrupt it, you cannot only upsell but you'll also lose sales which the shopper was about paying.
Taboo of Upselling
One thing you should avoid is adding products to shopping cart without shoppers consent. When I was buying Symantec's Internet Security, Extended Download Service was automatically added to shopping cart. I was able to exclude it from my order, but I bought one from McAfee. Because Symantec is well recognized name, many people still buy from them. But, if not-well-recognized Website does the same thing, they will lose visitors' trust. You cannot sell anything online if visitors don't trust you. Don't push upselling too far.
Upsell Right Products
When you order a burger at McDonald, they will upsell fries. But, if you order a burger and fries, they will upsell coke, instead of fries. This is how you should set up your shopping cart. Don't upsell products shoppers have already ordered. Upsell something shoppers want to buy in addition to what they have ordered.
Additionally, when I ordered a burger, fries, and a drink, a casher asked me to super size them. Don't complain about not having anything to upsell. Brainstorm a bit; you will find a lot of things to upsell.
© November, 2004