The term “cross-selling” refers to a specific sales strategy. This involves the promotion of complementary products or services which complement the products already placed in the shopping cart. The aim is to increase the revenue per customer by selling additional products.


In contrast to other sales strategies, cross-selling can achieve a great effect with little additional cost. At the same time, the company benefits from the side effect of customer loyalty, since the customer is more likely to buy from a company where he has already made positive experiences with. Therefore, cross-selling is also part of customer relationship management.


In online shops, cross-selling campaigns play an important role, as a customer usually only needs to click once in order to buy a complementary product. The placement of the cross-selling items is essential. The product detail pages and also the shopping cart are ideal for this purpose, as the connection to another product can be easily understood.


Shop operators can assign cross-selling products in different ways:


  • The shop operator defines certain keywords that are associated with the product. These keywords can then be used to link other, matching products.
  • An algorithm analyzes the product purchases of all customers who have already purchased the item and puts together further matching products on this basis.
  • An algorithm analyzes the purchases of the current customer and calculates which items might be of additional interest to him.
  • The shop operator defines suitable categories manually, for example, a jacket and a sweater.


A well-known practical example is the purchase of a printer, for which the matching printer cartridges are also available. However, this is also possible when buying shoes: here the customer is often shown shoe care products or the matching socks.

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