Cross-Sell a Product With Itself to Improve Conversion?

Surely it doesn’t make sense to cross-sell a product with itself, does it?

At the 2010 Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition, Jay Greenberg, VP of Ecommerce at Spencer’s Gifts shared how he and his team A/B tested that very thing. It proved to lift conversion rates for products when they were shown in the product recommendations area.

Note that the cross-sells were labeled “People who liked this item ultimately bought,” which is more relevant and persuasive than “Related Items” or “You might like,” for which repeating the item might appear to be a mistake.

Dare to test this for yourself?

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7 Responses to “Cross-Sell a Product With Itself to Improve Conversion?”

  1. Adam says:

    There’s no risk there. You’re affirming that people viewed the item and then bought it. It better show up, otherwise there’s no confidence that it’s a good item (i.e. people looked at it and bought something else).

    If it is, however, cross-selling and the title of the section of the page is not accurate, then shame on the retailer because they are lying. That’s an issue.

  2. Josh says:

    Isn’t Amazon doing this since years?

  3. Clement says:

    Amazon has indeed been doing this for a while, at least in the UK in the section “What Do Customers Ultimately Buy After Viewing This Item?”
    It even gives the % of users ending up buying this vs. other items that have frequently been purchased by customers looking at this one.
    Very useful when a model has been replaced by a newer – or when the previous model is heavily discounted. It basically summarizes all the ratings and alternative recommandation.

  4. David says:

    Thanks Linda, this is a great bit of info which I’m going to test, it’s spurred me into looking at this subject in more detail.

    Here’s something of interest I found, Jay Greenberg & Johnny Lin have done a presentation called “Making Personalization Work – Finally!” where they touch on A/B Testing and Related product features. Here the link to the presentation pdf.

    Spencer’s use personalization in some of the following ways…

    - Customized Apparel
    - Order & Shipment Confirmation Emails
    - Post-Shipment Email
    - Product Recommendations
    - Filtering Choices
    - Social Navigation
    - Micro-sites
    - Site Search Learning Behavior
    - Abandon Cart Program
    - Email Shopping Cart
    - Retargeting Banner Ad’s
    - Recently Viewed
    - Bar Codes

    I especially like the Abandon Shopping Cart Email Campaigns, where you email the customer their basket contents to spur them onto complete the order (only works if you have an account with site).

    It’s a shame I can’t find any audio to go with this presentation, I’m sure you can work it our from the slides, if anyone spots the audio please leave the link in a comment.

  5. John Hyde says:

    It’s a great tactic.

    The site visitor now has something in her peripheral vision saying “this is the right product to buy”. Before this test she had distracting products in her peripheral vision.

  6. Ido Ariel says:

    A variation of this we recommend is to show alternatives (“Customers also liked” )when the visitor visits the product page for the first time and change it to “What Do Customers Ultimately Buy After Viewing This Item?” in subsequent views of the same product page (only when most visitors ultimately buy this product).

  7. Lauren says:

    That’s quite a good idea Linda. Thanks for sharing it.


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