The Art of the Upsell

Do you want fries with that?

It’s the classic upsell offer.

Translation: would you like something EXTRA?

Remember when they used to ask “SuperSize???” at the McDonald’s drive-thru window? Another classic upsell.

Translation: would you like MORE?

From the consumer, or guest, side of the transaction, the offer of something More or Extra may be received in a number of ways, positive or negative.

Positive Negative
YES! love Fries NO! hate fries
YES, forgot to order Fries NO! cutting calories
YES, hungry NO! don’t want to spend any more $
YES, good deal

From the vendor side of the transaction, the Upsell offer may accomplish several things, mostly positive.

Positive

— Increase the sales value of the transaction

— Enhance the guest experience, increasing the perceived value to the guest

— Inventory management – presells provide valuable information on what items eg. meals, snacks, collectibles will be needed on hand.

Negative

— Some Guests may be annoyed by the upsell offer but the chances of that are small – as long as you don’t overdo it and hit them with multiple offers at once, adding unnecessary friction to the checkout process.

Crafted thoughtfully, Upsell Offers can enrich both sides of the equation by increasing Sales Revenue and adding value to the Guest Experience.

Do you know your ABCs?

Always Be Closing sounds like a high-pressure sales tactic. It brings to mind the Alec Baldwin character in the 1992 film, Glengarry Glen Ross, berating his sales team ”Coffee is for Closers”. But A-B-C is really just a reminder to ask for the order. And once the order is in hand, to invite the buyer to take the next step.

P0E2BW Original Film Title: GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS. English Title: GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS. Film Director: JAMES FOLEY. Year: 1992. Stars: ALEC BALDWIN.

Online, asking for the order can be as simple as placing a “BUY NOW” button where the user can easily find it and navigate through to check out. What’s next?

The next step might be an offer to add something to the shopping cart on check out. Many retailers (DSW, TJMaxx) load the checkout aisle with last minute impulse items. Retailers will collect an email, offer a credit card or a frequent shopper club.

An offer at check out can be an “Extra” or a “Promise”. Extra = purchase an additional something. Promise = agree to do something

On the railroad, an Extra, or “UpSell” could be something like a wine glass or a T-shirt. ice cream, chocolates, a box lunch. Or, an experience: eg. a mine tour, museum pass, zip-line. Even a convenience or privilege such as pre-paid parking, preferred waiting area access. A “Promise” is an agreement to do something. For example: Subscribe, Join, Volunteer, Donate. Each of these actions can be the initial step in building a longer-term relationship.

Extras and Promises can increase the transaction value/gross sales revenue. Promises kept extend the relationship with the buyer into the future where you can again ask for the order.

Effort and expense were invested into selling the first ticket, perhaps through paid advertising, social media posts, emails, brochures, telephone calls. Increase your return on investment by knowing your A-B-C’s.