A Simple and Effective Upsell Strategy to Increase AOV (And Some Benchmarks)


Chris Rausch


June 13, 2023

If you’ve heard about the incredible benefits of upselling and cross-selling but need some help making them work for you, you’re in the right place.

In this article, we’ll help you build and price your offers for multiple pages while giving you valuable insight into the metrics to keep an eye out for – backed by real data from UpsellPlus clients.

Upsell Strategies For Each Stage Of The Checkout Process

upsell at checkout

While the general guidelines for upselling and cross-selling strategies are similar, we’ve found that our clients are having success using specific types of offers at certain price points throughout the process.


The cart page is the earliest step of the checkout process. It holds information about the current items chosen, allowing customers to get an overview of their order at a glance to see if they’re missing anything.

At the cart page, consider adding cross-sells for complementary products that make sense with the item(s) in the cart. “You may also like…” can help to be sure that customers have everything they need before they proceed to checkout, including similar products or some other essentials.

We recommend that your cross-sells in the cart page have a cost of 20-30% of the AOV when possible. It shouldn’t be too high because customers at the cart are still finalizing their decisions, so you don’t want to come off too strong.


Checkout is where deals are made. Customers will be able to see the full cost of their cart and decide whether to go through with the purchase, so you’ve got to make a high-quality offer to convert.

Cross-sells work well at checkout for smaller items like necessary accessories, but offers should be kept between 10%-25% of the AOV. It’s easy for customers to see the added costs of your upsells and cross-sells at this stage, so you don’t want to inflate their final costs too much. 

You may also want to introduce the option for free shipping at certain cart totals during the checkout process so that customers can see how much they save in shipping from the order summary, encouraging them to buy more to get the added value.


Post-purchase pages follow a successful checkout. Here customers find their order information, shipping information, and your post-purchase upsell.

Post-purchase upsells and cross-sells are low-risk offers to make because you’ve already secured the purchase. Your offers won’t cause them to abandon their cart like a cart or checkout offer does, so you can make offers that are a higher percentage of the AOV – between 40% and 60%.

Upsells for added quantity, like BOGO deals, are effective for the post-purchase page. “Forget something?” cross-sells for accessories or important products for your niche can also perform well

Upselling Benchmarks Based On Real Customer Data

upselling customer data

At UpsellPlus, we work with a lot of different online stores that vary in sales numbers, industries, and upselling strategies. Using customer data from Q1 2022, we created some benchmarks for important metrics related to upselling that you can use to inform your strategy.

Average Upsell Conversion Rate - 5.4%

Conversion rates provide important information relating to the effectiveness of your upsells and cross-sells. We found that conversion rates for the offers our clients have created averaged to about 5.4% – about twice as high as the average ecommerce store’s conversion rate. So it’s clear that customers will take advantage of your offers if they’re well-crafted.

You can improve conversion rates by increasing your discounted rates so that it’s an easier sell or by testing different positions, verbiage, and products in your offer flows.

Average Upsell Value - 14.2% Of Cart

Your upsell value is going to vary depending on your industry and type of offers you’re creating, but you should aim to keep the cost of upsells relative to the price of the products in customers’ carts. Our data shows that the average upsell is 14.2% of the cart which is much lower than we’ve recommended above. However, the number decreases relative to the value of the cart which increases as more products are added without upsells or cross-sells since offers are based on individual products – not cart totals.

You can increase your average upsell value by increasing the cost, quantity, or quality of your offers. However, you may lower your conversion rate by doing so, which can actually hurt your revenue, so test different combinations until you maximize profitability.

Median and Average Monthly Revenue From Upsells - $9,392 and $6,603

The purpose of upsells is to increase your average order value, but the added revenue they generate is another important metric to keep track of. The businesses that we used to create this data spanned from $1M-$50M in yearly revenue, so they’re generating a median of about 12% return and average of 8% return on upsells.

You can grow your monthly revenue by making efforts to increase conversion rates so that you sell more or raise the cost of your offers so that you can generate more revenue with fewer conversions required. Like average upsell values, you’ll need to test multiple strategies until you find the right balance.

Average Upsells Created - 4

Upsells and cross-sells are a great way to increase your AOV and generate more revenue for your business, so it makes sense that you’d want to make as many offers as possible. However, our data shows that the average number of upsells created is four, so you don’t need to spam your customers with constant upsells at every stage throughout the process.

Aim to create upsells that make sense for the products they’re attached to and use testing to find which work best for specific products. Once you’ve discovered what works best for your customers, you can create offer flows for all of your major products wherever they perform best to give you the highest conversion rates.

UpsellPlus: Increase Your AOV With Upsells and Cross-Sells Backed By Data

Upselling and cross-selling are essential elements of your checkout process. Now that you know how to make the most of your strategy, get started with a tool that makes it easy.

UpsellPlus allows you to build custom upsell and cross-sell flows for your products so that you can grow your AOV. Choose from multiple locations on your cart, checkout, and post-purchase pages and use A/B testing and data from your store to find what works best so that you’re always in a position to convert.

Our clients have enjoyed the benefits of upselling – and you can too. Get started with a free 7-day trial today.

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