How to Add Upsells to Your Shopify Store + The Best Upsell App

If you operate an eCommerce brand, you probably care a lot about your average order value, or AOV. If not, you should. Upsells increase AOV. They can also help move excess inventory/ Upsells can exist on product detail pages, encouraging customers to buy in quantity, add accessories, or purchase bundles instead of single products. They do so reliably, and can be implemented in ways that are non-obtrusive and organic. Done correctly, upsells increase your top-line revenue without changing your conversion rate or ad spend. The three most common upsells are:

  1. Recommending accessories for a flagship product.
  2. Recommending popular products on carts
  3. Bundle upgrades for products that happen to be a component of a larger bundle – or bundles that can be upgraded to bigger bundles.

It’s important that upsells are introduced to customers with thoughtful, deliberate optimization, especially if you operate a luxury brand. If you’re using Shopify, we really like the Rebuy app, as it allows for rule-based logic with different recommendations and positioning based on the cart contents. Using Rebuy allows you to upsell to your customers in a few places: homepage, PDP, cart, checkout. One key thing to consider when using is making sure the product recommendations load quickly, as this is one issue you see quite a lot with examples using third parties for recommendations (waiting for the Javascript to load). Ensure that your Shopify developer is experienced enough to make sure your store performance doesn't suffer as a result of adding the Rebuy app.

Other good options to consider are One Click UpsellCheckout Promotions & Upsells and Orderbump (for Shopify Plus only)

It starts with, unshockingly, research

We first took a look at our current situation. We wanted answers to the following questions:
  • What upsells are configured at each point?
  • For what products are upsells configured at each point?
  • Are there any “generic” upsells that pitch products based on machine learning?
  • What are the upsell take rates, conversion rates, and AOV from each upsell?
This quantitative understanding gave us an approach to answering the following two important questions:
  • Are there any upsells that are currently missing from our setup?
  • What experiments can we run to thoughtfully remove upsells, paring the customer’s experience back to two per funnel?
Because that’s what we really need to figure out. Anytime you have an incoherent, patchwork strategy in ecommerce, you can safely assume that there’s stuff missing, and stuff that’s extraneous. What’s missing for the funnel to do its job right? And what can we safely take away?


Good Shopify Upsell Examples

1. Casper Mattresses (cart drawer)

casper e-commerce upsell


2. Milkbar

milkbar ecommerce upsell

3. Cosabella Lingerie - PDP

cosabella upsells

Where to Put Upsells

  1. On a product page. This is especially good for subscriptions or bundles. "Complete the look" is a great way to display this upsell on the PDP. If you're selling items that can come in a set, this will be the easiest way to cross-sell a bundle. AI generated recommendations are also a great option. Last but not least, one of the favorite feature I love from Rebuy is their AI recommendations. Based on data sets that they collect from being on your site, this widget on your website will show products that the AI thinks your customers will pick.
  2. On a cart page/drawer. This is the most common place to put upsells. When using Rebuy for our clients, we like to add a "frequently bought together" section. Rebuy is custom design-friendly, so it's easy to make it look on-brand with your cart. We’d suggest trying to really justify the up-sell within the accompanying wording, helping to make them feel more curated or personalised. Most well-optimised cart drawers will feature product recommendations and in our experience, obvious up-sells can achieve up to a 20% add to cart rate.
  3. On a checkout page. This can happen, but most of the time you want to keep the customer focused on filling out the form. Checkout pages are good for warranties or insurance, though. If you're on Shopify Plus, you're gonna love this You can add a section to cross-sell products at the checkout page. We found this to be the sweet spot to cross-sell since buyer intent is very high
  4. After checkout, and before the thank-you page. This is called a post-purchase upsell. 
  5. In an email after purchase. This will likely result in a second shipment – but it’s good for encouraging subscriptions and repeat purchases. Rebuy has a feature that is called "Smart Cart Push to Subscription". If your product can be repurchased, you can incentivize your customers to subscribe and save — increasing subscriptions can lower your CAC (customer acquisition cost). If you have a luxury website design, lowering your CAC is something that you should strive to do.

Product detail page upsells: good for bundling like products

Product detail pages are generally great for including products that are similar to the one the customer is purchasing. That includes:
  • complimentary pieces for an apparel company
  • similar products in the same category for a food company
  • similar price point products in a different category for everyday carry companies
  • aesthetically similar products in different categories for home goods
Such an upsell should likely take place in the buy box, below the add-to-cart button.

The preferred tool for bundling similar products on product detail pages is Frequently Bought Together. We have used this for several clients in the past.

On-cart upsells: good for accessories

The most common place, and the first place you should consider putting an upsell, is in your cart – regardless of whether you have a sidebar cart or a full page. These are great for upselling accessories that work with anything already in the cart. Did someone add a camera to cart? Recommend lenses, batteries, and straps. Did someone add a dutch oven to cart? Recommend the matching pan.

As of press time, we recommend the app In-Cart Upsell or Rebuy.


How do you pick the best products to upsell?

First, review your store's order history. What products are frequently purchased together? Are there any pairings that surprise you? Make sure that any upsells you have look familiar, that the terms are clear, and that the customer is fully aware of what they're getting and why. We hope this guide helps you understand the needs of your customers.

As a result, with post-purchase upsells, as with everything else, you should carefully evaluate their appropriateness, test their existence, and optimize them over the long term. Please be thoughtful about where you introduce upsells to your customer; you can’t put a price on your brand's long-term reputation. With these tactics in place, you should be able to make upsells a more conscious part of your optimization strategy – and create a system that promotes the right products at the right time.

Looking to build or redesign your Shopify website? Check out the Exhibea Website.

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