Cross-Selling in Apparel B2B and B2C
In brick-and-mortar stores, the practice of cross-selling clothing, accessories and footwear is done through attention to the layout of the store, the displays and the customer service personnel. This type of niche sales process improves the overall sales for the company, as consumers make purchases beyond what they originally intended.
Apparel e-commerce shops can and should take cross-selling seriously as well. Although the customer touchpoints differ somewhat from those found in traditional retail establishments, they are no less powerful. And the more you can entice someone to buy, the more money you can bring into your organization.
Cross-selling is possible with both B2B and B2C e-commerce sites, and the procedures governing cross-selling in these two types of environments are very similar. Whether you are looking for B2C or B2B cross-selling tips to better manage and predict your sales returns, you’ll appreciate the following tips governing how to sell online apparel.
How to Cross-Sell Online Apparel for the B2B/B2C Industry
If your cross-selling currently happens by chance rather than by design, it’s time to up the ante. Implement one or more of these apparel e-commerce cross-selling tips to cross-sell effectively online and move more merchandise weekly, seasonally and annually than before.
- Offer suggestions based on customer searches. When someone visits your site looking for apparel products, you should consider it an opportunity to make recommendations for additional items. For example, if a retail clothing buyer is seeking to purchase units of a certain jacket, you may install software that can immediately notify the B2B customer of complementary purchases that make sense to have available, such as hats, gloves, scarves, purses, jewelry and/or shoes. Never assume that a customer will think logically and look for other items intentionally. Instead, be the concierge for your shoppers.
- Showcase images that include the main piece of merchandise along with other pieces of merchandise. In a brick-and-mortar store, mannequins are typically decorated with several pieces of clothing and accessories. This gives the consumer an understanding of how to highlight the garment. You can do this in an online setting by including images that not only feature the main product, but also items that would look exceptional with the garment. For instance, if a consumer at your internet-based B2C retail store searches for maxi dresses, she may find one that is featured on a model who is also wearing a certain hat and pair of sandals and carrying a purse. In your description about the dress, you can add links to the other items the model is wearing to enhance the dress. This will cleverly steer your visitor to other products and potentially increase the amount of merchandise in her shopping cart.
- Entice B2B and B2C consumers with limited-time offer tiered discounts. People hate to miss the opportunity to save money, whether they are shopping for themselves or their company. Provide tiered discount packages to encourage consumers to meet specific levels in order to save. As an example, you might offer 5% off of a $100 purchase, 7% off a $150 purchase, 10% off a $250 purchase, etc., during a weekend. When someone adds an item to their shopping cart, you can program your software to remind them that they are only “x” dollars away from getting a special discount. Then, you can cross-sell them by explaining the products they might want to purchase to reach that discount level. Watch other e-commerce sites that you regularly visit. This is a practice that is done frequently because it successfully improves overall sales rates.
- Tell your consumers what other shoppers bought. Individuals tend to follow “group think” and will often do what likeminded people do. After a consumer has added an item to their online shopping cart, notify them about the products you sell that other people bought in tandem with the item. A good example could be if a B2B shopper purchased several units of pants. You could entice the shopper to put more in the cart by sharing what similar shoppers bought, such as units of belts or shirts. Instead of the shopper feeling like you’re telling them what to do, they have a sense that they are “keeping up” with other shoppers. It’s a low-pressure cross-selling technique that is useful for e-commerce settings.
- Remind your customers of your other similar products. After the sale has been closed, it is still possible to cross-sell and up-sell your B2C and B2C customers. If you capture their personal data during the sales process, you can then send email or text reminders about products that they might be inclined to also purchase. You might be surprised by how many customers take you up on your offers to return to your e-commerce site and buy more items. An additional way to cross-sell is to add a little savings to the mix by giving them a unique promo code that needs to be used immediately to get a discount or receive a gift.
When you begin to focus more on cross-selling for your online store, you will no doubt see a rise in your sales. Over time, you can analyze the results to give you a more predictable understanding of just how powerful and lucrative internet-based cross-selling can be.
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