Cross-selling is the process by which complementary and/or compatible products are associated with the core assortment. A compatible cross-sell is the association of an item based upon product attributes that make it "fit" or in some way make it relevant with the core product. An example is a wall mount for a television where weight and length of the television must fit within the range of support offered by a mount.
Another example is the association of the correct size and color to the size and gender of a doll. A complementary accessory is a related item/accessory that is not dependent upon a specification but rather to a subjective affinity of two products. For example, a laptop computer may have an external mouse and large desktop monitor associated with no connection to any specifications. The mouse and monitor works with any USB or wireless enabled computer. However, the screen protector and case accessory items must be compatible with the laptop size.
While technology can simplify the cross-selling process for retailers, too often the "Customers Who Bought This Also Bought" section of the product detail page is utilized for this function. While technology and rules-based associations drive product placement, this section is populated primarily based upon shopping cart choices when a product is purchased (or viewed). A review of items in this section across a majority of categories in the online channel confirms these associations are often not compatible or complementary.
Virtucom suspects retailers receive a very low percentage of cross-sell additions to the shopping cart. Why? To be effective, cross-selling requires two critical elements that many retailers do not have:
In the absence of complete product attributes to create relevant cross-sell associations, Virtucom extracts product attributes contained in the marketing text of the product detail page for both the primary item and its related accessories. This approach requires development of association rules with attributes to determine compatibility and complementary associations - a task that is required whether or not product attributes are contained in a granular and normalized data model.
The next step is to create the product associations by identifying complementary and compatible accessories for each product in a category and to assign those product associations on a regular basis, observing the percentage increase in additions to cart from products in the "Related Accessories" section of the product detail page.
This process, backed by Virtucom's robust ecommerce data model, has yielded attachment rate increases as high as 60% in just month following implementation. One 10th of this would've been considered a success
Virtucom Group has more than 15 years of experience as a content development agency. We've grown with the content writing industry and have the knowledge, talent and commitment to fuel your inbound marketing with rich, engaging content.
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