What is Upselling?

Ruben Buijs

Founder & Digital Consultant

Written on Jul 31, 2023

2 minutes

Lead generation

Upselling is a sales technique that involves persuading customers to purchase a higher-priced product or service than what they originally intended to buy. It is a way for businesses to increase their revenue and maximize the value of each customer interaction. By highlighting the benefits and additional features of a more expensive option, businesses can encourage customers to upgrade or add on to their original purchase.


Let's say you visit a fast-food restaurant and order a regular-sized meal. The cashier may ask if you would like to upgrade to a larger size or add a dessert for a small additional cost. This is an example of upselling. Another example could be when you are shopping online for a new smartphone and the website suggests adding accessories, such as a protective case or screen protector, to enhance your purchase.


Upselling is an important strategy for businesses as it not only increases their revenue but also helps to build stronger customer relationships. By offering customers additional value and personalized recommendations, businesses can enhance the overall shopping experience. Upselling allows businesses to showcase their premium products or services and demonstrate their commitment to meeting customer needs.

How to use Upselling

To effectively use upselling, businesses should follow these steps:

  1. Understand customer needs: Take the time to understand your customers' preferences, interests, and budget. This will help you identify products or services that align with their needs and offer valuable upgrades.

  2. Highlight benefits: Clearly communicate the benefits and advantages of the higher-priced option. Explain how it can enhance the customer's experience, solve their problems, or provide additional value.

  3. Personalize recommendations: Tailor your recommendations based on the customer's specific requirements and preferences. Offer personalized suggestions that show you have listened to their needs and are genuinely interested in helping them make the best choice.

  4. Timing is key: Present upselling opportunities at the right moment during the customer journey. This could be during the initial interaction, after they have made a purchase decision, or when they are ready to check out. Timing plays a crucial role in capturing the customer's interest and increasing the chances of a successful upsell.

  5. Provide incentives: Offer incentives such as discounts, exclusive offers, or bundle deals to entice customers to choose the higher-priced option. This can make the upsell more compelling and create a sense of value for the customer.

Useful Tips for Upselling

Here are some useful tips to make your upselling efforts more effective:

  • Know your products: Have a thorough understanding of the products or services you offer so that you can confidently explain the features and benefits to customers.

  • Listen actively: Pay attention to what customers are saying and identify opportunities where an upsell could genuinely benefit them. This shows that you value their needs and are not just trying to make a sale.

  • Be transparent: Be honest and transparent with customers about the pricing, features, and limitations of the higher-priced option. Building trust is critical for long-term customer relationships.

  • Offer alternatives: If a customer declines the upsell, provide alternative options that may still add value to their purchase. This shows flexibility and a willingness to accommodate their preferences.

  • Follow up: After the upsell, follow up with customers to ensure their satisfaction and address any concerns. This helps to foster customer loyalty and encourages repeat business.


Upselling is a sales technique where a customer is offered a higher-priced or upgraded version of a product or service they are already interested in purchasing.
Upselling allows businesses to increase their average order value and boost revenue by encouraging customers to spend more on additional features or premium options.
Examples of upselling include offering a larger size of a product, suggesting a higher-tier subscription plan, or recommending add-ons and accessories.
No, upselling and cross-selling are different techniques. Upselling involves offering a more expensive version of the same product, while cross-selling suggests related or complementary products.
To effectively upsell, understand your customers' needs and preferences, highlight the additional value they will receive, and offer personalized recommendations based on their specific requirements.
While upselling can be beneficial, there is a risk of alienating customers if the upsell feels pushy or irrelevant. It's important to strike a balance and ensure the upsell genuinely enhances the customer's experience.
Yes, with a widget like Boei, businesses can automate upselling suggestions based on customer preferences, purchase history, and real-time data, making the process more efficient and personalized.
Not every customer will be receptive to upselling, so it may not always result in higher sales. However, when done effectively, upselling can significantly increase revenue and customer satisfaction.
Upselling can be applied to various industries, including retail, e-commerce, hospitality, and software services. It depends on the specific products or services being offered and the customer's buying behavior.
Not every customer will be a suitable candidate for upselling. It's important to identify customers who may benefit from additional features or upgrades and tailor the upsell offer accordingly.

Article by

Ruben Buijs

Ruben, the founder of Boei, leverages over a decade of consultancy experience at Ernst & Young to optimize lead generation. Boei specializes in converting website visitors into qualified leads. Outside of work, Ruben is passionate about crossfit and enjoys gaming occasionally.

Table of contents

  1. Examples
  2. Importance
  3. How to use Upselling
  4. Useful Tips for Upselling
  5. Related Terms

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