McDonaldsHave you noticed that McDonald’s cross sell and up sell every burger order?

They ask: “Do you want fries with that?” (cross selling) and “Do you want to go large?” (up selling).

Here are some other classic marketing success stories to inspire you.

Creative thinking or sneaky tricks? You decide.

Suggest the most popular choice

People are busy. Too busy to do diligent research. Adding the ‘bestseller’ concept is a short-cut that helps them make an easier decision.

For example, when I had new double-glazing fitted, I couldn’t decide which pattern I wanted for the opaque bathroom window. I had in mind a sand-blasted glass effect, but that option wasn’t available. I dithered about the different patterns, until the provider said: “This is the most popular design at the moment”. Suddenly, it became my favourite.

A call centre doubled responses when they changed the script to: ‘Most people choose option B but you can choose options A or C if you prefer’. (Source: Rory Sutherland)

Offer bitesize bits

People love variety. An experiment was conducted at the entrance to an office. One bowl contained multi-coloured sweets; the other was filled with red only. Above them was a sign reading: “Please help yourself”. People grabbed a handful of the multi-coloured sweets to ensure they got one of each, but only took two or three of the red ones. Similarly, it’s been shown people eat 40% more at a buffet compared with a served plate of food.

Can you offer your customers the equivalent of a tasting platter? A package containing a little bit of everything instead of one big thing?

Allow people the power

People don’t like being ordered about, so there is a trend towards ‘bottom-up’ language exceeding ‘top down’. Here are some examples of how delaying the commitment boosts results:

  • By changing the ‘Checkout’ button to ‘Continue’, Best Buy added $300m to their sales. For the full story, read this article from 2009
  • Schuh altered its product page call to action from ‘Buy now’ to ‘Add to bag’. This led to a 17% increase in people adding products to their check-out (Econsultancy)
  • By changing the call to action from “Order Information and Prices” to “Get information and prices” a real estate website increased their conversions by 14.79%. (Content Verve)

Rethink usage

Have you noticed how hard it is to stop eating ice cream when you can glimpse a tasty piece of nut, cookie or caramel peeking out of the next layer? That’s because the likes of Haagen Dazs and Ben & Jerry’s know the tubs get emptied faster when they contain just enough ‘bits’ to be seen in each spoonful.

  • Tabasco and toothpaste manufacturers ensured their products were used up more quickly by doubling the size of the hole.
  • Alka Seltzer ads boosted sales by 70% when they used the slogan ‘Plink Plink Fizz’ to imply that users needed to take two tablets instead of one. See Snopes for details.
  • Shampoo sales famously doubled by adding the word ‘repeat’ after the instructions to ‘lather’ and ‘rinse’.
  • Swan Vesta halved production costs when they realised only one side of the matchbox needed glass paper. (Source: Ayd Instone)

It’s not just products. A web designer can sell monthly maintenance with each new site. A financial adviser can include annual reviews with each one-off service. A professional speaker can add follow-up workshops with each keynote.

Take action

What can you cross sell, up sell, or change, to encourage your customers to buy more?

If you want some ideas, please get in touch.

photo credit: Táp via photopin (license)

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