Welcome to the e-commerce marketing podcast, everyone. I am your host, Arlen Robinson. And today we have a very special guest,  Liat Karpel Gurwicz who is head of eCommerce Marketing at Wix.com. She leads growth and strategic marketing for the Wix eCommerce platform which powers more than 700,000 online stores worldwide. In 2020, Wix sellers surpassed $5.4 Billion in online transactions, with 140% YoY growth in sales transactions and 114% YoY growth in overall sales revenue.

In addition to driving the eCommerce marketing strategy at Wix, Liat also leads product marketing for the company’s eCommerce hardware development and its Payments platform.

A seasoned branding and marketing expert, Liat previously headed up marketing for tech companies including Como, Conduit and dbMotion.

Welcome to the podcast Link.

Thank you so much for having me. I’m excited to be here. Oh, no problem. And I’m definitely excited to talk to you. This is quite a time we’re in and I know you guys being on the side of, I guess you could say, kind of making things happen for online businesses, providing that platform. I’m sure you guys have been really busy within the past year or two with the covid-19 shutdowns and everybody’s flocking online. So I could imagine it’s been interesting for you guys.

Absolutely. I think, you know, we feel super grateful to have been in a position where we were able to help support businesses and our users and help them figure out how to handle this year. You know, I think the pandemic forced everyone to adapt and shift in order to survive and in some cases even thrive. But definitely been a hassle for all of us. Yeah.

Yeah, definitely has. Definitely has kept us all on our toes. Well, today, I’m really excited to talk to you about our topic at hand, which today is going to be talk. We’re going to be talking about creating a cross-sell marketing strategy to drive your e-commerce sales, because that’s really a hot topic these days, because I think businesses these days are always looking for ways to increase their average order value and get maximum benefit out of every customer.

And I think all of us really know cross-selling is is a great way to do it. And so we’re going to really dove deep into some actionable tips on how businesses can do that and maximize cross-selling. But before we do get into all of that, let’s you tell us a little bit more about your background and really how you did get into what you’re doing today.

Sure. So I’ve been with Wake’s about seven years now, so quite a while. But I’ve always worked in tech. I’ve done brand marketing, part of marketing, strategic marketing for online platforms, B2B and B2C my entire career. So this is what I do because it means I’m used to functioning in an online setting myself. My customers are always connected to our platforms through online and we’re selling online. So that’s kind of how I got to where I am today.

And I’ve been leading the e-commerce group Earthquakes for the past two years.

OK, that’s awesome. Great. Well, thank you for sharing that. And, you know, it’s like you said, you’re very familiar. You’re not a newbie to the online space. So we know you definitely have to be able to, you know, had a lot of value to not only our listeners, but everyone that you guys deal with there on your end. But really where I want to kind of start with the discussion today is why don’t we kind of start with really at the beginning with as far as really what is cross-selling and why is it really so essential when a business is looking to increase their average order value?

Sure. So I’ll start, I think, just by talking about both up sell and cross-sell, because I find that a lot of businesses tend to confuse these. And it is important to kind of clarify the differences because we’re going to use them in slightly different ways across the buyer journey. So upswell is when you try and get your customers to buy comparable but superior and more expensive products than the one they’re considering. So, for example, if I had a burger place and you came in to get a burger, maybe I convince you to get the double cheeseburger instead and then a cross-sell.

When you try to get your customers to buy related or complementary products in addition to the ones that they’re considering. So again, as a burger joint, you want a burger, I give you fries along with the burger. So that’s the price, though. And these two things are really important to think about when you’re doing your sales strategy and how you’re going to use them, because essentially you want to use them to get customers to spend more, buy more, increase that average order value if you want to do it in a way that’s providing value to your customer, not in a way that feels like a, you know, a pesky sales strategy or you being pushy, but you really understanding what they need, that makes a lot of sense.

And these days, if you’re looking at just even just the big change in the online in the online space, one, I guess example that I always think about, I always go back to that really has kind of been a leader in the whole, I guess you could say, cross-selling and even upswelling space that many people may be familiar with is GoDaddy. They always ring a bell when I think about cross-selling and up selling, because a lot of our listeners know that I’ve been around for a long time.

We started operations about 20 years ago and we’ve been GoDaddy customers since inception. Our first domain was registered to GoDaddy. And I recall even at the early stage when they started to come up with ancillary products and services, aside from the domain registration, they prominently did the upselling, cross-selling. I mean, they they really went all out with it. And I mean, to an extent where I remember back in the day, I was like, wow, it was almost a little overwhelming.

I mean, I think they had a point right now where, of course, they’ve been able to fine tune it and really get it down to a point where it’s not too much. But I do recall that they were really leaders in and doing that in the online world for quite a while. So that would be true across the. So I do think about that is a great example. Now for the e-commerce business. Let’s say, you know, a business, maybe they’re a startup, maybe there have been around for a little while.

They’re not really doing any cross-selling or upselling you. Maybe they’re just selling their products. You know, they’re just really trying to keep things going and they don’t really have anything in place. What are some really basic tactics to cross-sell as well as upscale additional products or services? Sure.

So I think before you get started, make sure that you really understand that your customer base, what they value, what’s important to them, what products they’re buying. Look at all of your data. Look what similar customers from those segments bought, what they buy together. And this is going to allow you to really strategize how you’re creating something that’s valuable for them, that’s compelling, that speaks to their needs and wants. And then off of that, start thinking about what the offers are going to be like.

You want to think about which products go together which are related and get promoted as a cross-sell, which more expensive products maybe get promoted alongside other products as an upscale and possibly which are getting bundled together. So we spoke about upscale cross-sell, but bundling. It’s kind of like the weird offspring of those two together because you take like one main product, bundle some others and give it for a better price than the products individually. But essentially think about how now you’re going to group these products or put more expensive ones alongside others in a way that’s valuable to customers.

So maybe you want to recommend required accessories for proper use of a product. So you mentioned that I’m selling a laptop and you need a very specific charger that goes with that. And it doesn’t come with you want to recommend that you want to bundle related products so customers don’t need to go around looking for components or accessories. If you’re and you want to offer discounts which are encouraging immediate purchase of the bundle, and if you’re abandoning with a really expensive item, then maybe you want to give some free gifts in that bundle so that customers feel valued when they’re making that more expensive purchase.

And you can also even think about offering things like loyalty points if customers are purchasing more expensive or multiple items. So I would say in e-commerce, the most basic way that you’re going to do an upscale cross-sell is on your product page and we’re going to add related items. And if you’re adding related items, you could do product customers like you actually bought or products that customers like you also pay. And one of those was an absolute one was the price.

So what customers actually bought? You’re saying, hey, you’re looking at this jacket, but don’t you know, we also have these other fancier jackets, different material jackets, whatever jacket or you’re saying people who buy this jacket also want these shirts, these shoes, these hats make whatever goes along with it. So I can tell you that from our network. Of stars, stars who display related related items on their product pages actually get an average of 43 percent more sales transactions.

So that’s a really basic way to make a huge increase in your sales using these strategies. And you can carry that through on your website all the way to the checkout card experience. But here is where we’re going to start differentiating between an upscale and across town. So let’s imagine that you came to my online store. You were looking at Checketts, you found a jacket that you like, and now you go to class and you’re ready to check out if I try to sell you in that moment.

So you’re in the checkout process and then I show you, hey, did you see these other fancier or more expensive jackets? I’m actually creating friction for you and confusing you because you’ve chosen what you wanted to buy. And now I’m confusing you at the critical point when you’re about to make the purchase. Right. And you’re like, hmm, I don’t know, maybe I did want the other jacket. Maybe I want this jacket. Maybe I’ll just go and have a coffee instead and not deal with this issue right now.

On the other hand, if you try to do a craft sale in that scenario, so imagine you choose your jacket to come to checkout. And then I do a suggestion to something like, hey, did you also want to get this great lint roller for an extra five dollars? Right. And you’re like, I really need a controller for this jacket. I don’t have one at home. It’s only five bucks. Yeah, sure. Let me add that into my cart now and check out.

So that’s a scenario where you need to be super sensitive to what you’re offering your customer. It can be really effective if you do it well.

And yeah, that makes a lot of sense. It does sound like you do have to be really strategic about it, whether you’re up selling and cross-selling, because like you said, you don’t want to overwhelm the customer. That’s the last thing you want to do. So as far as upswell is concerned, like you said, somebody maybe already in the cart, they’re purchasing, you know, let’s say, say a leather jacket or whatever, and then you’re looking to up sell them maybe a higher end version of that.

That can be a little questionable because, yeah, it’s getting somebody at another decision making point where they’re all right. Did I first is the right thing. Do I want to get that other jacket? Do I have enough money? So it’s a fine line because I think if you do that, if you cross or sell the wrong item, you can tend to put the buyer in a position where they they have too many decisions they have to make where it’s not a clear path to the confirmation of that purchase.

That makes a lot of sense. So I think you do the strategic like you said in your example, the lint roller for that item, perfect cross-sell where it’s a little bit more, five dollars more. That’s not going to most people. Of course, that’s not going to break their bank. They could easily add that on and that could work for the jacket that they’re purchasing or even items that they have. So that’s something reasonable. And that little extra amount definitely adds to the order.

Value is just a smaller item. So it makes a lot of sense. One thing, though, I was thinking about when you talked about this process is and I know a lot of our listeners are wondering as well, is really how do you make all of this happen, whether they’re on a Witz platform like you guys platform, whether they’re on any platform, whether Shopify be commerce, whatever the platform is. How do you make all of this happen?

How do you implement cross-selling and up selling? What’s the typical way to do it?

Sure. So I think there is the part that you do. That’s your homework, right. Which is where you’re reviewing all of the sales data, all of your product catalog, thinking about what your customers want and then planning how these things are going to work together. You definitely want to look for a platform. And, you know, most good e-commerce platforms are going to give you tools that you’re able to add these things into your storefront, whether it’s things like related items or like, you know, pop for Slider’s that’s coming along the way or these additions to your checkout.

Sometimes you can look for apps in the markets of this platforms, certainly in ours, where you’re also going to find additional ways that you can do that. So there are a lot of tools out there. But again, going back to that really basic example I gave you of related items on your product page that, you know, I think that the most basic form of doing is pretty standard on ecommerce platform, and it’s already going to give you that really big increase.

And then there are other things you can think about doing. So while we’re still in the website’s setting before we get to make the retention part of it and, you know, once the customer goes away. But one of the things that I love recommending is live chat. So when you’re in e-commerce, unlike a brick and mortar setting, your customers don’t get to engage directly with you as a business owner or your staff or your products or your store.

If I had a retail store and you walked in through the door, I’d be like, hi, how are you today? What can I help you with? And you said to me, you know, my friend’s getting married this weekend. You really need a nice jacket and then we walk around the store together and I tell you the jacket and you tie them on and you feel them. And in an e-commerce setting, your website has to do that work for your business.

So you want to make sure that, A, you’re giving the customer all of the information. A lot of times people say to me, yeah, but like crosslin up sales, maybe in like the example you initially said to me, it’s just about getting customers to buy more. And I keep going back to that value. It’s not a cost. We want to increase the revenues there. But you want to do it in a way that’s really helping the customer, right?

If they’re browsing, they came to your website, maybe they saw an ad came landed on a product page for this stuff that they don’t necessarily know you or your brand and they don’t know what else you have in your product catalog. You want to help them easily browse easily, understand what products you have, find all the elements that they need for their needs in a great way. So one of the things I suggest is use live chat on your website the same way that I would walk back to you and go, hey, how are you today?

You can do that on the website. And here we the network of stores that have life check usually get eight to 12 times higher revenue. So that’s a lot of money. And those who are actually actively recommending products to customers in the check. So doing that, Kressel, generates 71 percent more sales. So that is huge. That is a crazy number. And if you think about the advantage that you have in an e-commerce setting, when you walked into my brick and mortar store, I don’t know anything about your history with my business.

I don’t know what you bought last week or last month or last year when you’re on my website and you start chatting with me. I think if you’re an existing customer, I can go into your sales history with me and see, oh, this is your size. Oh, these are the products that you like. Oh, usually when customers buy this product, they also buy these products. And then I can give you really great tailored, customized service.

So it just when you connect with your customer in that key stage of their shopping journey, you get these little windows of opportunity to excel and cross-sell because you start to understand what it is that they need and want. But of course, like any questions, so make sure you’re being sensitive to your user’s needs and your promotions should be subtle and offers should be value driven.

Yeah, very true. And I’m glad that you mentioned the example of the the live chat, because I think a lot of times businesses don’t utilize the live chat to its fullest potential. I think a lot of times these days businesses, you know, they throw on the live chat app on their site just because they think it’s something you’ve got to have. Every business that’s alive said, well, it’s from my experience, a lot of startup young businesses.

A lot of times it’s not utilized effectively, it’s not manned properly. You know, it’s takes a while to get a response. But I think you really nailed it is very important because you’re interacting with someone just as if they were walking into your establishment, walking up and down the aisles. It’s the same type of thing. You’re approaching them. You know, most of these chats have the proactive feature where you can see who’s at the site and then you can pop something up and ask them how you may help and then further get information.

I think one of the key things a lot of businesses also don’t realize, this is an excellent data gathering tool. So even if you’re not really ready for the cross-selling of selling and putting that out there, you can use your chat reps to gather data to find out really what is what are people looking for, what types of items are they asking about? And then that can really help you direct your your up selling and cross-selling. That was really leads me to my next question.

And it could kind of circling back to my example from the beginning of GoDaddy, as we already kind of mentioned, it really kind of is a fine line when you’re doing this cross-selling and up selling, because the main thing is you want to make sure somebody gets through the checkout process as smoothly and as quickly as possible, because shopping cart abandonment is a thing. It is a big thing these days. There’s a lot of people that go on, put items in their car and then for whatever reason, they, you know, they jump away.

And so I think a lot of times people are a little bit leery of doing things. And that whole check out process is going to dissuade people from kind of fully pulling the trigger. What is the fine line? Because like I said in that example, when I think about, you know, some 20 years ago, I do remember there was certain points. And this is really way, way back when GoDaddy was at the early stages of their business, when they had their other ancillary products, they were super aggressive with the upselling.

I remember checking out and I mean, you almost had to go through four or five different pages of other products that you either had to say yes to add to your card or no thanks. And it was a little little overwhelming. I hung in there because I thought there was still a great company, but I did present a bit of friction. So, you know, how do you know when enough is enough? As far as what you’re presenting, right, so I think the core of it there is every product is a little different, every business a little different.

But going back to understanding of what stage or customer is, are they still in the decision making process? Are they browsing or are they shopping? So like category page of product pages, the home page, certainly those are great places to be doing excellent cross-sell because your customer is still actively moving around your store and figuring out what they need. And then once they start transitioning into their checkout process, then you want to be much, much, much more sensitive and make sure that you’re really only suggesting things that you think are critical for their purchase.

So, for example, if you’re buying that laptop and you have to have a certain cable that goes along with it and you see that the customer didn’t take one, you might want to suggest that to them. Right, because maybe they didn’t realize that they need it. And you don’t want the customers to even be upset or disappointed that they didn’t get all of the elements that they needed to use that product. So as long as you’re doing it based on their needs and being sensitive, then I think that you should be in good shape.

You definitely want to keep looking at all of your metrics and data and see where you have dropped points and then go and take a look at what’s going on there and see if you need to make some adjustments. And then in terms of like the abandoned car, I think that there’s some basic things that every business should be doing, like creating automation, recovering abandoned cars. I think something like 70 percent get abandoned. And it’s for many, many reasons.

Customers either have price sensitivity like they want the item. It maybe it’s too expensive. They could also still be looking for that perfect item like they’re not sure that’s the one they want. Or maybe life just got in the way and they got distracted and stepped away. So when you’re thinking about sending those automations to them to remind them about the items they left in their car, you can also think about maybe offering a discount or suggesting other items to go along with it.

Things that could remove some of those barriers. And setting up those automation’s are just something that always works for your business. So on that basic automation, we see the stores who add this increased sales up to twenty nine percent. That’s something you set up once and then it just keeps working for your business. So a really important tool to use and to think about. But there are lots of other automations that you can create. So for example, let’s say you sell a product that is a consumable that runs out.

So maybe you sell cosmetics. And I bought a hand cream and you know that that hand cream typically lasts 30 days. So send me an email five days after twenty five days saying your hand creams about to run out. Here’s a coupon if you want to get another one. And then you’re providing value to me or maybe reminding me that I needed to get that product. And you’re being sensitive to my needs. So there are lots of automation’s you can set up based on your products and also go and look at your customer data, see at which point customers typically make a second purchase, what are they typically purchasing and then use that to create the right automation’s for your customers and order.

Those are some awesome tips and I appreciate that, especially the automation piece to it, because, you know, you’ve got to handle those things like the abandonment. And if you don’t have things in place, then you’re really businesses are really just going to leave in cash at the table if you don’t take care of that right away. So, yeah, it’s yeah, definitely a lot of things that you can do, as you were mentioning, to be strategic about the whole process.

One thing I wanted to get to as we get ready to, you know, to wrap things up, I’m a huge advocate, as my listeners know, of looking at case studies and examples of companies that are successful. So in your experience, whether they’re large businesses or small businesses, what are some e-commerce businesses that you’ve seen that have done a great job with cross-selling and up selling? And what specific things have they done to be successful with it?


So one business that I really love that does some great cross-selling on their website is so-called Wellbelove. They sell Harriott and and underwear and swimwear and they do bundles. First of all, they have really great bundles. Some of those bundles are based on specific types of customers, and some of those bundles are just based on similar products that usually get both together. And they, of course, use all of the related items on their pages, but they have a really smart checkout cross-sell.

So they have this little slider that comes in and suggests additional products to in the checkout. But they’ve done their thinking. You see that it’s really smart. They only suggest products to you that need to go with other products. So, for example, if you buy the underwear, then they suggest the parts that go along with it. So it’s very subtle, but very value driven. So that’s one website to check out that there’s some cool stuff.

Another website that I really love is colon cancer. So I really love candles. It’s usually my example today we did a session. But you see, I just talk about let’s sell candles, scented candles, because that’s what I want to buy online. So first of all, they create bundles that are seasonal. So, for example, they just add one for Easter. I’m sure they have a Mother’s Day one coming out. And then they create these bundles of unique scented candles that you can only get as a bundle.

And there are limited time. So there’s a photo around it. You can’t just buy the one then you have to usually they come in like Cryos. So that’s a cool way of doing an excel and there is huge demand for it. They always fill out of their bundle and they also have something in the cart that they do. That’s really interesting. You can even test it out if you go on their website. So if you add a candle, you go to the car and you’re getting ready to check out.

They ask you if that item is a gift, if there’s just like a little checkbox there. And if you say it’s a gift, then they ask you if you want to add a card for five dollars and you can actually type in your message for the car that goes along with that gift and just added as you check out. So that’s another example of a really smart cross-sell where they’re giving you value. They they understand that their customers are often buying these candles as gifts and they’re giving you an extra value there on the purchase.

So those are some really cool things that they do. Hockenberry actually also have a really smart email automation that they put up. So they know that their candles usually burn for around three months, so close to the three month mark, they send you out this automated email that gives you a discount for your next purchase. So that’s really cool. And then something that we didn’t touch on that we probably should if you want to use just like newsletters and blast offers.

So here you always want to make sure that, you know, you probably experience some of these where you just get these, like random emails are too many and feel annoyed if you want to make sure that you’re ready to segmenting your customer group and you’re only sending them relevant offers to them. So if we go back to the example of you buying a jacket for me, if you were to get an email from me offering you another jacket a week later, you probably wouldn’t want it because you just purchased a jacket.

And even worse, if I sent you an email offering you 50 percent off the jacket you just bought, then you would be super annoyed with both me and also yourself for buying this jacket and probably wouldn’t buy anything else from me anymore. So you want to make sure that you understand who your customer is and send them a relevant offer.

So there’s a website called Forth to Table. They sell Japanese handcrafted chef’s knives and they do really great newsletters and like Blast’s. So depending on what you buy from them, they make these relevant recommendations to you as either they get in like new stock or additional items that go along with whatever it is that you purchase. So if you like Cleaver’s and they have clever accessories, they. And, you know, if you buy from a specific line of metal and they get additional products, they’ll send you those.

So they’re just really smart in understanding what it is that their customers like and then sending them relevant offers and not just like blasting out whatever random products on the site.

Gotcha. Those are some great examples. And just to to recap, the first one was a ruby love dotcom, I believe you said. Yes, Rubinoff Colen Canary and then also forged a table from the second.

OK, great. We’ll definitely have those links. Also in the show notes and I appreciate you mentioning those because, you know, these days there’s a lot of companies doing some really creative things. You know, I’m not to say that you need to go on there and copy exactly everything that they’re doing. You can take a look at it and get some inspiration for your business. You know, you’re not going to be able to do exactly what they’ve done because, of course, those businesses have a specific product.

They have specific customers. And so what they’re doing may work for them, but it may not work for you. But the general idea of how they’re doing it, the cross-selling, the upselling, you can get a lot of ideas by checking them out, know maybe just going on there, you know, maybe even just purchasing something small just so you can see what they do, how they present you at the checkout. It’s a great thing. And then also, I appreciate you mentioning the newsletter piece, because that is also a very important piece when upselling the upselling part does not always have to be at checkout, it can be done later, like you’ve mentioned in the call and Canary, for example, with the candles, they know that their candles are going to burn out in about three months.

So they have a kind of a ticker going on for every customer to send out that automated email to see, OK, would you be interested in these candles now? And so very important to note that yet does not always have to be done right there at checkout so it can be done in various points. So that is awesome. And I really appreciate you coming on. I have definitely learned a ton and I hope our listeners have as well, because as we’ve seen, this is something that I think cross-selling up selling.

I think it’s definitely something that every e-commerce business needs to analyze for their business and see how they can implement it in some form or fashion. You may not be able to do it the same way other businesses are doing it, but I think there’s a way you can do it to help increase your average order, value your overall sales. And it’s a great way to do it. Well, lastly, before we let you go, I’m always my final question, which I’m always interested to know about people just so our listeners can get to know you a little bit more if you don’t mind sharing one closing fun fact about yourself that you think our listeners would be interested to know.

Well, I guess it’s not too much of a secret if anyone ever comes across any of my friends or whatever. I buy a lot of stuff online.

I get to know obviously a lot of e-commerce businesses in what I do. And I like to shop online for that to kind of make for a dangerous combination. Right. So I think, like, what are the things that I’m trying to do now is figure out also how I’m a more conscientious shopper and smarter about what I do. So, like, one of the worst things that I did during the pandemic, because I was ordering a lot of stuff online and obviously you can go a lot of places.

So there is the single store that I really like and I couldn’t go and buy the bagels. So I ordered frozen bagels, but I ordered thirty six frozen bagels, which came in a very gigantic box that ended up taking over most of our freezer. And my family did not appreciate that at all. So now I’ve been noticing a lot how I may be subscribed for products that I want to renew. So I’m more of a subscriber these days than a giant box of freezer bagels, but we did eat them all.

So I guess that’s good news. That’s awesome.

Thank you for sharing that. I’m I’m guilty of it as well as far as purchasing a lot online. And I think I follow the same boat. I do need to be a little bit more conscientious when I buy. And I’m glad you mentioned that the whole subscription model is something that also a lot of e-commerce businesses have done and offered the automatic refill option where after a month or so they’ll charge again and send you a resupply of whatever it is. And so, yeah, rather than, you know, taking up half of your freezer.

And they don’t do that unless you have another freezer. Don’t do that. Exactly.

So, yeah, that’s a subscription is a great way to do it. And it’s definitely a lot more easier to handle on your end when you’re getting it as you need it for sure. So, yeah, thank you for sharing that. I appreciate you sharing that story and definitely thank you for joining us today on the e-commerce marketing podcast. But before we do let you go, if any of our listeners want to reach out to you and pick your brain any more about upselling, cross-selling or anything about.

E-commerce, marketing, what is the best way for them to reach you? All right, so you can reach me on Twitter. My handle is at me at Calfo R.P.M. I’m on LinkedIn. So wherever you can just reach out, I’m always happy to talk to e-commerce or bagel’s or candles. That’s awesome. Thank you. Or definitely encourage our listeners to look you up on Twitter and LinkedIn and, you know, pick your brain any more as well.

Well, thanks for sharing that list and we definitely appreciate you coming on today. Onto the e-commerce marketing podcast.

Sure. Thank you so much for having me. 

Podcast Guest Info

Liat Karpel Gurwicz
Head of eCommerce Marketing at Wix.com