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Increasing Sales 3: Upselling and Repeat Customers

As an online provider of digital goods, increasing sales in any way you can is always a wise business decision. While this often means bringing in new customers and getting your product listings in front of fresh eyes, it's important not to underestimate the value of repeat customers and upselling to current buyers. Repeat buyers and upsell opportunities can be a very lucrative aspect of your business, so it's wise to make a point of understanding each of them a bit better.


What it Means

There are two primary concepts at play when increasing sales through current and repeat customers. First is to provide a series of digital products which encourage repeat store visits, and a series of purchases. This might mean a book series which brings your customers back for each new release, a subscription model which encourages regular purchases or even upgraded versions of current product offerings. The key is to find a way of bringing people who have already purchased your products back to your store, and encouraging them to make more purchases.

The second option for increasing sales through current customers is to upsell their shopping cart. Ultimately, upselling means offering perks and bonuses as separate purchases, and enticing your customers to purchase them in addition to the products they've already selected.


Upselling During Initial Purchase

Take an objective look at your digital products, and think of ways they can be enhanced. Booster items, add-ons and exclusive content are all opportunities to upsell your customers when they make their very first purchase. Every added item is a boost to your revenue and your sales figures.


Selling Again to the Same Customer

Few things are as valuable as a repeat customer. Not only are these the people who'll keep coming back to purchase all of your subsequent releases; they're also the ones most likely to spread the word to others about your products. Selling again to the same customer means you have to regularly release updates, new products or expanded content. In addition to helping you court repeat customers, regular releases help to build your product catalog.


Bundling Items for Upsell

The quickest way to sell add-ons and extras is to build a promotional package at a discount. You don't have to slash your prices, but offering a combination of products at a slightly lower price than the combined retail price of each individual item encourages the upsell bundle.


Discounts for Upsell

Bundling discounts are a great way to drive revenue, but so are discounted prices on individual upsell items. Limited-time promotional periods of discounted bonus items and expanded content encourage not only the sale of those items, but also the base products they complement.


Creating Complimentary Products

There's nothing quite as enticing to buyers as the words "free" and "complimentary." Offering a promotional product for free can be a very powerful incentive for sales, ultimately increasing the revenue of your entire business. There are a few different methods of making the complimentary product plan work:

  • For Upsell – When your customers purchase a base product and an upsell item, they also get a complimentary bonus. In order to get the free content, your buyers will be more encouraged to purchase your base and upsell items.
  • For Repeat Buyers – Your repeat customers want to feel like a valued part of your business. One way to accomplish this goal, thereby encouraging them to promote your business through word of mouth, is offering complimentary products as part of a loyalty program. Offer a free download with every five purchases, for example, and your repeat buyers will keep coming back for more.
  • Announcing New Items to Existing Buyers – When you release a new product, you need to get the word out as quickly as possible. One way to do this is to offer complimentary downloads of new content for a limited time to existing customers. Even if you only offer a “lite” version of your new product, you're effectively creating the buzz you need to keep people talking about your web store.



What makes you want to purchase expanded content and add-ons? How do online sellers make you want to spread the word about their products? Evaluate the sales tactics you know to be effective on a personal level, and find ways to adapt them to your business model. Remember, driving sales is the only way to build a successful venture.

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