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4 Cross Selling Examples For Marketers

September 17, 2021
Growth Hacking

Cross selling occurs at almost every purchase point from drive-thrus to grocery stores and everything in between. Cross selling is a useful technique for increasing the value of an order while also providing value for the customer. The best cross selling occurs without the customer fully realizing it’s happening because the segue feels so natural. 

In this article we will discuss the definition of cross selling before we explore examples. The examples of cross selling that we will elaborate on are in the retail, ecommerce, restaurants, and banking industries.

The Cross Selling Meaning

Before we explore examples of cross selling, we are going to discuss the definition of cross selling. Cross selling occurs when a related product or service is sold to an existing customer who’s already making a purchase. The most successful cross selling techniques work to provide value to the customer. 

Cross selling is not to be confused with upselling. Upselling occurs when a more expensive product or service is being sold to replace a lower-end product the customer planned on buying. Both techniques work to raise the value of an order in different ways. 

Cross selling is all about providing additional value to the customer that simultaneously increases your sales. You want to increase the average order value of each sale by selling them additional products. 

Related Reading: Effective Upselling Techniques to Increase Your Sales in 2021

Cross Selling Examples in Retail

Cross selling is a valuable sales technique in retail environments because it aims to maximize the order values of the foot traffic that’s currently in the store. Instead of working to draw more customers in from the mall and into the store, cross-selling focuses on the people who are already browsing your products. 

One of the most commonly occurring cross selling examples in retail environments are all of the product displays that flank the checkout lines and counters. They’re full of products that complement the other items sold throughout the store. They’re typically smaller items priced at the perfect “impulse buy” price. 

Another example of cross selling in retail happens with the purchase of a new phone. Oftentimes when someone purchases a new phone, they are offered additional products like phone cases, wireless chargers, and headphones. These items are useful to someone who owns a phone, and they’re being offered at reasonable prices compared to the phone itself. 

Cross selling is particularly important in retail environments because you want to quickly move through your existing inventory before having to mark it down on sale or even on clearance. The more items you are able to move through the store, the faster you are able to replenish your inventory.

Cross Selling Examples in Ecommerce

One of the most common cross selling examples in e-commerce occurs when looking at products and a pop-up appears that says, “Customers also bought...” It also includes a link to the other products. This tactic puts additional products in front of the customer that they might not have clicked on before. 

Related Reading: Selling Remotely? Here Are 8 Ways to Keep Transactions Secure

Amazon provides great examples of how to use cross selling in ecommerce applications. When customers click on any products, in this example a candle, Amazon provides them with a list of “products related to this item.” Now instead of just looking at the one candle, customers are looking at several different scents, candle holders, and wax melts. 

Cross Selling Examples in Restaurants

As a server in a restaurant, one of the main ways to increase the value of your table is to cross sell. As a server, selling additional products to the people at your table will increase their bill after the meal and your subsequent tip. 

One of the easiest cross selling examples in restaurants is for servers to suggest a glass of wine, or another alcoholic beverage, with their meal. The beverage complements the food they are about to eat, and it’s one of the easier add-ons to say yes to at a meal. Other examples include cross selling appetizers, extra sides, and dessert. 

In our restaurant examples, both the server and the patrons benefit from cross selling. The customers receive a delicious meal that turns into an experience complete with wine and dessert. The server benefits because they increased the bill and received a higher tip. This makes for satisfied customers and happier staff. 

Cross Selling Examples in Banking

Cross selling can occur across all aspects of the banking industry. From retirement services to investments, there are opportunities everywhere. 

A few cross-selling examples in banking are selling a home equity line of credit to someone who just signed a mortgage, selling investments to clients utilizing your tax preparation services, and selling checks to someone who just opened a checking account. 

Related Reading: Examples of Cross Selling in Banking - A Marketing Lesson

In each of these examples, the services the banker is cross selling are relevant to the services the clients are already using. If the banker was to try to tell a mortgage to a client who just opened a credit card, that wouldn’t make sense and the customer would most likely say no. These cross-selling work because the additional products and services provide value for the customer. 


After reading several examples of cross selling throughout industries like retail, ecommerce, restaurants, and banking, you may begin to notice examples of cross selling all around you as you continue making purchases. Take note of which cross selling tactics are successful in increasing your purchase amount and which ones are not.

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