3 min read

Good UX (user experience) can improve upsell by placing it at the seductive moment in the user journey that you design for your customers. The seductive moment is the point in a digital experience when your customers are most receptive to upsell opportunities.

Two aspects of the UX are critical. First, delivering what the customer wants before any attempt to upsell. Second, delivering the upsell at the correct time and at the correct place within the experience. 

Satisfy your customers first

Your customers use your service to complete a specific mission. Enabling customers to complete their mission is what enables the opportunity to upsell. Good UX starts with Cognitive Behavioural research to identify the heart and nuances of your customers’ mission. Allowing the customer to easily complete their mission builds trust in your ability to deliver your service and builds commitment on the part of the user to complete their mission with you. Trust and commitment greatly increase the chance of a successful upsell by keeping the user engaged and increasing the likelihood of completing the primary transaction.

A notification popup for a weekly mailer

For example, a user in this electronics e-commerce website can be assumed to have the specific mission of purchasing a piece of home electronics. However, within two seconds of landing on the home page, the user’s mission is frustrated by a popup to sign up to a weekly mailer.

The popup requires unwanted user actions leading to anxiety that the site may not enable the user to complete their mission. This lack of trust increases the chances that the user will choose to pursue their mission on a competitor’s website.

The offer could have been positioned once the user had achieved their mission. At this point, the user may be receptive to sourcing additional services from a source that is likely to be fast becoming a trusted supplier.

Right place, right time

Timing is critical. Only once your user’s mission is nearing finalisation will an upsell of complimentary products and services become desirable to your users. User testing prototypes is the most efficient way to identify the moment that users are ready to consider additional purchase decisions beyond their primary mission. Similarly, placement at the correct point within the flow of the experience increases upsell success. If the upsell call to action is outside of the focus of the user, it is likely to be missed.  User testing rapidly confirms and improves the best positioning of upsells within the user’s journey.

Let’s take an example from an acknowledged e-commerce leader, Amazon, who makes no attempt to upsell throughout the user’s mission to find a home security system.  Amazon allows the user to land on their site, search, add an item to the cart, and open the cart without hinderance.  At the point that the user is finally committed to buying the selected item and clicks on the “Proceed to checkout” button, Amazon makes its offer: In this case, a complimentary product with a relatively smaller price.   

Amazon makes an additional offer to a user before checkout

Amazon targets a point in the user’s purchase decision funnel when the user has demonstrated a commitment to buy.  Amazon’s offer complements the user’s original purchase and has an accessible price (4% of the selected item) simplifying the user’s additional purchase decision.

In summary

Allowing the user to achieve their mission without interference is a necessary enabler to creating the opportunity to upsell. Identifying the correct time and positioning of the upsell improves the likelihood of a successful sale. User research identifies the nature and nuances of your customers’ primary mission with your digital experience whilst user testing of prototypes optimises both the timing and the placement of the seductive moment.