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7 Ways to Boost eCommerce Conversions With Down-selling

Have you been largely focusing on increasing traffic to your eCommerce website? Are you tapping the full potential of this traffic for shooting up the sales count? Bringing traffic to your eCommerce site takes a lot of your marketing effort. This makes it essential for you to make provisions for converting your website visits into sales as well. You can boost your eCommerce conversions by offering relevant substitutes for the product your website visitor is interested in. But there are many ways to present an alternative of your offerings. We are here discussing the different ways to boost eCommerce conversions with down-selling. Before delving any further, let us first understand the meaning of down-selling in a layman’s language.

What is Down-selling?

Down-selling is a method of presenting a budget-friendly option to your prospective customer to ensure a sale. It is based on the principle, ‘Any sale is better than nothing’. Down-selling, therefore, tries to ensure you some revenue from every visit by offering several alternatives for the same product. If your website visitor is interested in your products but cannot shell out a large amount, down-selling will help you in conversion. For instance, let us suppose you are selling laptops and your customer is interested in a laptop with a price tag of $1,200. He is about to move away from your website without making any purchase. You can, then, present him with a $900 laptop having similar but fewer features. It will considerably increase your chances of making a sale since the price is a major concern in buying decisions.

How to Boost eCommerce Conversions With Down-selling?

Now that you know the technique of down-selling well, let us understand the ways to utilize it efficiently. You don’t want to drive your visitors away permanently by portraying yourself as being pushy. The choices you offer should be valuable for your prospective customers and show your care for their budget constraints. Here are some of the best ways to boost eCommerce conversions with down-selling:

1. Use Personalized Onsite Offers

Onsite offers are the best way to boost eCommerce conversions with down-selling. Personalizing them for each of your customers will further enhance your chances of improving the sales figure. These offers are displayed only on your website to prompt the visitors for making a purchase.

What not to do:

Onsite down-selling offers shall not be displayed to each of your website visitors. You can use these offers for your regular visitors or returning buyers. Displaying onsite discounts to all the visitors will undermine the exclusivity of this down-selling offer. It might also put a question mark on the credibility of your standard price tags. A single mistake could mean a permanent loss of a customer and a bad reputation.

What to do:

Special onsite offers shall be reserved for your regular customers since they are already interested in your products. It is easy to convince them to purchase by offering an exclusive discount coupon. Alternatively, budget-friendly options related to the last purchase of the customer can be displayed on-site. You can grab their attention with a personalized offer mentioning their name followed by the recommendations. A returning customer trusts your brand and might interact with the offer resulting in a successful conversion.

2. Offer a Discount on Abandoned Cart

Abandoning a cart while shopping online is what we all do regularly. Sometimes we are short on time while at others we are short on finances. The reasons vary widely for different people. As an online seller, you have to find ways to make people reconsider their shopping carts. The best method to conquer this endeavor is by offering discounts on the shopping carts abandoned by your customers.

What not to do:

You must know the right time to bring a customer back to his abandoned shopping cart. Offering a discount too early might create confusion in the minds of your customers. They might feel cheated as your products will be perceived as being overpriced by them. It could mean a permanent loss of a customer. Therefore, you must avoid offering a discount on the abandoned cart on the very same day.

Additionally, some people genuinely get busy and forget about making the purchase altogether. Offering a discount in your very first follow-up email is, therefore, not recommended.

What to do:

You shall consider offering a special discount on the whole order value via personalized emails to prospective buyers. Such email shall be sent within 2-3 days of cart abandonment to avoid losing your customer to another seller. A discount coupon or code can be exclusively offered to a specific customer for use at the checkout page. Also, fixing a time frame for using the discount offer will increase the chances of bringing your customer back. Don’t forget to add a direct link to the customer’s shopping cart in the email. It will make the purchase process much easier and further help in bringing more conversions.

You must send at least one reminder email before offering a discount on the value of the abandoned cart. Some of your website visitors might complete the purchase following such a reminder email. Discount codes can be offered after sending one or two reminder emails.


Here is an email sent by Kate Spade for converting an abandoned cart into a successful sale. It offers a discount of 15% on the entire order for prompting the prospective customer to make a purchase.

3. Offer Custom Packages with Individual Price Tags

A bundle of products or services might look expensive to your prospective customers. You can consider splitting the bundle into small pieces carrying individual price tags. It will allow your website visitors to make a custom package by picking the individual products from the lot. This down-selling strategy is beneficial in case the prospective customer is willing to forego some features due to budget constraints. Since the package as a whole is unaffordable for the visitor, he can pick and choose the desired items. In this manner, a custom package can be easily created by the prospective customer considering the corresponding price tags.

What not to do:

You need to be careful with choosing the package that can be made available for customization. Not every bundled offering is suitable for applying this down-selling technique. The products that compliment each other cannot be offered separately with individual price tags. For instance, you cannot offer a newly launched phone without a charger.

What to do:

Select the product or service packages that carry related items within themselves. Split the whole lot into smaller lots each carrying complimentary items. The supportive products can be placed in two separate small lots. For instance, suppose you are offering a package containing a phone, charger, earphones, and memory card. You can make a small lot of the phone and charger with a combined price tag. The other two items can be offered separately with individual price tags. Your website visitor can add these additional items as per his budget and requirements.

4. Create Exit-Intent Pop-Ups

An exit-intent popup is displayed to your website visitors when they are about to move away from your website. You can utilize it for offering a lucrative down-sell to convert your visitors into customers. These exit-intent pop-ups allow you to offer discounts only to the customers who might not otherwise make a purchase. This down-selling technique is highly profitable since you don’t have to offer a discount to each of your website visitors. You can sell your products at full price to the people who complete a purchase on their first visit. These pop-ups will help you bring additional sales by offering irresistible deals to the ones planning against a purchase.

What not to do:

You shall not use exit-intent pop-ups for all your website visitors. Some people might not be in a mood to purchase at all and they will anyway leave your website. If someone moves away from your site after spending just 1 minute, it wouldn’t be right to use this technique. Nobody can make a purchase decision in such a short time. Offering a discount at this stage might create a bad image of your brand in the eyes of your visitor.

What to do:

The correct way to use exit-intent pop-ups is to show them to the visitors who spend considerable time speculating options. People who visit your website intending to make a purchase will explore different products. They will spend at least 3 minutes scanning the products and prices before moving away from your website. Therefore, it is wiser to use exit-intent popups for every visit having a duration of 3 minutes or above.


The following exit-intent pop-up is used by Skullcandy to attract the attention of website visitors going away from their site. Not only does it offer a discount for successful conversions but also prompts the visitors to share their emails.

5. Offer Several Budget-Friendly Options

While shopping on Amazon, you must have noticed that the site displays several suggestions for similar products. You can use the same strategy by modifying it a bit. Offer your website visitors several budget-friendly options similar to the products they view. This down-selling technique is extremely powerful since it helps build trust between your brand and prospective customers. You are adding value to your customer’s overall experience when they pay a visit to your website. The visitor perceives that your brand helps make a purchase decision. Also, a positive image is built since you are thinking about the customer by displaying budget-friendly items. This down-selling technique has the potential to win many life-long customers.

What not to do:

You shall avoid displaying budget-friendly options on the first few product pages visited by the customer. It takes time for a visitor to explore some options and make a purchase decision. So, it is natural for all the intended buyers to check out several products available on your website. It will be too early to display only the budget-friendly options on the first few product pages visited.

What to do:

If the prospective buyer is not able to make a purchase decision after checking out a few products, the price might be the cause of concern. It is wise to solely display the budget-friendly similar items after 3-4 product pages have been visited. It will increase the chances of converting your website visitors into customers.


On checking out a specific model of Sony’s wireless headphones on Amazon, the following similar items are recommended. Three similar products are displayed along with the one I looked for. Only two of these similar products were cheaper than the item I was interested in. When you are aiming to boost your eCommerce conversions with down-selling, recommend only the budget-friendly options. Therefore, the item with the price tag of $379 in the below picture shall not form part of your strategy. Offer only those similar products that carry a price tag lower than the item your visitor is interested in.

6. Offering a Free Trial

Offering your website visitors with an option to try your services for free is another form of down-selling. You can offer a 3-day or 7-day free trial to prompt the visitors to become a member of your website. The ones who will like your services will continue their association with you resulting in successful conversions.

If you are into selling physical products instead of services, you can still use this down-selling technique for your website. Offer a VIP membership for your eCommerce website that notifies the members about discount deals in advance. Alternatively, such membership might be utilized to let the customers earn cashback on their purchases. You can allow them to use this cashback for further purchases on your website. It will further boost your sales figure. You can offer this VIP membership as a free trial in the beginning and choose to charge for it later.

What not to do:

When offering a free trial, you shall not limit the features of your services or membership plans. The sole purpose of offering a free trial is to let your prospective customers try out your services in advance. If they don’t know what’s in store for them on making a payment, how can you expect them to purchase?

What to do:

You shall offer a free trial to all your website visitors to boost your eCommerce conversions. It will prompt them to stay on your website longer and check out your offerings at least once. The ones who will like your products or services might stay with you forever. Give your prospective customers the exact idea of what they will receive when their free trial will be over. All features shall be freely offered to let your visitors experience the real deal.


The eCommerce platform Shopify presents you with a lucrative 14-day free trial offer at its homepage. It is hard for any of its website visitors to notice this deal. You will notice that the platform doesn’t demand any credit card information while signing up for this offer. This is the best part since it results in more conversions. Visitors who are not yet associated with you need some time to trust you. By not demanding their financial information for the trial, you are taking a step forward in building a long-term relationship.

7. Developing Different Payment Plans

Giving options to your website visitors in terms of payment plans will prove beneficial in boosting your sales. The biggest hindrance in making a purchase decision is the budget constraint of your prospective customer. If you are successful in removing that constraint without slashing the price, it would be a win-win situation for all. You can achieve this goal by offering several payment plans that are light on your customers’ pockets. This method is particularly suitable when your customer base possesses people from widely varying income levels.

What not to do:

You cannot develop different payment plans for all of your products or services. Offering several payment plans for a low-priced item might not be useful at all. The majority of your website visitors can afford low-priced products and services. So, you shall not focus on creating flexible payment plans for budget-friendly items.

What to do:

It is tough to afford high-priced items for many people. If you offer them a solution to afford such products, you can skyrocket your eCommerce conversions. Bring up an installment plan where the customer can purchase your product or service by paying easy monthly installments. You can add several such plans like a 3-month payment plan, a 6-month payment plan, and so on. Along with increasing your conversion rate, it will also create a positive image for your brand. It is because you are making it possible for your customers to purchase the items they cannot afford otherwise.


The Australian clothing brand Eva’s Sunday offers an installment plan for boosting conversions. You can collaborate with a third-party for a timely collection of installments or handle the task in-house. However, by incorporating this down-selling strategy into your eCommerce store, you are bound to see the positive results.

The Bottom Line

Down-selling is an excellent way to boost your eCommerce conversions since it is beneficial for your website visitors as well. Instead of returning a visitor empty-handed, it is always better to down-sell while understanding his purchasing requirements and budget. You only need to take a few precautions to avoid pushing away your prospective customer permanently from your brand. You will agree to the fact that generating less profit any day is better than generating no profit at all. So, follow a mix of the above down-selling techniques as per your brand’s requirements to skyrocket your conversions.

The Author

Rozal is a content writer with five years of experience in writing SEO content for websites and blogs. Additionally, she has two years of experience in social media management. She is a contributing author at Web Hosting Advices where she researches and writes about various hosting platforms.

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