Learning Up-sells, Cross-sells & Related products in Magento

pexels-photo-230544“Up-sells”, “cross-sells” and “related products” are three similar but distinct concepts in Magento that are useful to know about. Two of these usually appear while on a product page, the other typically appears when in the shopping cart. Effective use of these three tools can help you get the most out of Magento.

Up-sell products are items that you would like to entice your customer to purchase, instead of the product they are currently viewing. These are items that are in the same category as the one they are currently viewing, but are more expensive, better quality, etc.

Related products also appear when viewing a given product page, but they are products that are intended to be bought in addition to the one the user is currently viewing.

Cross-sell items can appear both on a product page and in the shopping cart, but they are more akin to an impulse purchase — you can think of these as the online equivalent of items near the checkout lines in grocery stores.

Reasons to use up-sells, cross-sells and related-products

  • Cross-selling and up-selling work great on existing customers:
    • The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60 – 70%, while the likelihood of selling to a prospective purchaser is 5 – 20%, according to Marketing Metrics.
  • Increase your revenue
  • Increase your average order value per customer
  • Expose more items of different types to the customer

According to a 2009 survey by Internet Retailer, 35% of Amazon’s sales are generated by cross-sales.

Cross-selling and related products are also beneficial to customers in that they can purchase any necessary supplementary products all through a single merchant.

Where to use cross-selling, up-selling or related products

  1. Before a purchase: in the product or category page below the main product or on the sidebar.
  2. During the purchase: in the shopping cart, at checkout and in abandoned cart emails.
  3. After purchase: in follow-up emails.


As already briefly explained, up-sells are intended to get potential customers to spend more money on a more expensive/feature-rich model of the category of products they are already viewing, or by adding some additional premium component to it. An example of an up-sell would be having several more expensive computer monitors displayed on a product page for a cheap monitor.

Related products

Related products are products intended to be purchased in addition to the product(s) the customer is already viewing. An example of related products would be having a box of nails displayed on the product page for a hammer, or offer a mouse and keyboard to someone purchasing a desktop computer. The more easy it is for a customer to purchase items they are likely going to need to together, the more likely they are to buy them.


Cross-sells are items typically displayed on the shopping cart page, after an item has already been added to the cart, although they can also appear in other situations. The purpose of cross-sell products is to direct customers to purchase items they likely wouldn’t have thought of / purchased otherwise. An example might be having product such as batteries or dish soap displayed to a customer with a shopping cart otherwise filled with clothing items. You can think of these cross-sell items as having a similar function to products seen near the checkout aisle in a grocery store — not specifically related to items the customer is already purchasing, but may catch their eye or be deemed a worthwhile additional purchase.


Here are some useful strategies for making the most of up-sells, cross-sells and related products:

Bundle Products

Bundling products allows for an opportunity to attract customers with an entire set of complimentary products. Often these product bundles will be offered at a price break, but they also allow you to sell items that may never have been bought under other conditions.

Do not offer expensive add-ons

The cost of supplemental purchases should be directly related to the initial item price. These add-on items should cost no more than 25% of the initial product price.

The primary draw of an effective up-sell is being able to offer the customer some reason to purchase an upgrade/add-on now, instead of later or not at all. There needs to be some significant benefit to be gained in order for the customer to be sufficiently motivated.

Show A Range, But Don’t Overload The Customer

Having too many available choices can lead to confusion. In the case of related products, it’s better to choose less but more suitable or more related products than displaying tons of available options. If you do decide to show a wide selection of items, use a carousel to display them.

Display Products According To Relevance

The more relevant a set of product suggestions are, the closer they should be displayed to the main product.

Personalize Headlines

Personalized copy works better than general headlines. For example, ‘You might like’ is more inviting to a prospective customer than ‘People also view’. Some other suggestions for headlines to use:

“You may also be interested in…”

“Complete the look…”

“May we suggest…”


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