Marketing Complementary Products and Services  (Without feeling like a used car salesperson) 

Any business worth its weight doesn’t rely on the revenue from the sales of one product or service. Instead, they maximize profit margins and dollars by offering upsell and cross-sell options that complement and improve the main idea.  

When you buy a mattress, a good salesperson will offer you the opportunity to create the ultimate sleep experience. During my years at Mattress Firm as a sales manager, we were measured on several KPIs. One of those KPIs was accessory add-ons. We offered sheets, pillows, mattress protectors, frames, headboards, and more. Each of these items had high profit margins and would increase our bottom line (and my commission) substantially. Even offering these at a steep discount was mutually beneficial. Some profit is better than none.  

So how do we market these complimentary products and services? 

Let’s dive in.  

What are complementary products and services? 

You sell a product. It’s a product people need, you make it well, the price is competitive, and the quality is great.  

You sell that product for $1,000. Your profit margin is 55%. You just made a cool $550 in profit from the sale of that one product.  

Why stop there? 

Your product can be difficult to assemble, and it’s really heavy. You decide to offer customers the choice of paying you to deliver and assemble it. You charge $150 for this service, but the labor only costs you $75. You just made another $75 in profit.  

But why would a customer pay an added 15% of the cost of the item for this? 

Convenience. Value. Laziness.  

As a business owner, it’s your job to decide which complementary products or services your customers would buy and why. Then, make sure to educate your team on how to communicate why your customers should buy those items, and why they should do that from you.  

At Mattress Firm, we pitched the “best sleep experience”. Good sleep doesn’t start and stop with a good mattress. Those buttery bamboo sheets will wick moisture away from your body and keep you cooler. That memory foam pillow will support your neck and supply matching comfort. That mattress protector will protect your investment and make sure your new bed lasts for years to come.  

Those add-ons could equal big bucks for the company and for me, but they also provided value to our customers. Years later, I still only buy DreamFit sheets because they are the best I have ever used, and I believe in the product and brand.  

Make extra profit. Give your customers the choice to give you more of their money.  

E-Marketing Cross-sells 

I would argue that it’s much easier to upsell or cross-sell customers when a live person can explain why they should. A good salesperson has earned the right to explain features, advantages, benefits, and results of buying these items to the customer, and they would be well-equipped to handle any questions of objections.  

So, what do you do if your website is how people are purchasing from you? 

E-commerce has never been bigger and is the best opportunity to create brand awareness and generate more revenue, but without the help and personal touch of an in-person purchase experience, you must work a little harder to sell those added products.  

There are several ways you can convince buyers to purchase these items, so let’s chat about them. 

Suggestive Marketing 

You all have seen me talk about Kyte Baby before. It’s my favorite baby and children’s clothing brand for many reasons, but their online customer experience is a big one. It’s easy to navigate, nice to look at, and gives me exactly what I want.  

To prove what I mean, I added one of their Sleep Bags to my online cart, and this popped up: 

The site automatically suggested I could buy the matching zipper romper, and all I had to do was select the size I wanted, and it will add it to the cart, too. They have made it so easy to add another product to my cart that I regularly purchase that I do it… often. 

Even before I add it to my cart though, all I have to do is scroll down a bit on the product’s page, and I see this: 

Now, in this example I would have preferred Kyte to suggest something not sold out, but it shows you that they do sell crib sheets too. This could then lead you to peruse that section of the website because when you click that sold out sheet set, you are greeted with all of the in-stock ones: 

Creating Urgency 

Notice in the crib sheet snipped above that there is the small “Only 10 units left” verbiage at the bottom? Are there really only ten units left? I don’t know, but if I am entertaining purchasing that crib sheet, it may convince me to do so now rather than wait and hope it doesn’t sell out.  

We just passed Black Friday (er, week?) and Cyber Monday, and my email was absolutely flooded with sales advertisements boasting “TODAY ONLY” or “ENDS TOMORROW” discounts.  

Creating urgency with your marketing is a great way to convince people they need to buy something. If you think the price is only for a limited time, or the product itself is limited in quantity, you may be more likely to purchase it.  

This is where we have seen the rise of the modern phenomena called “FOMO Marketing”. Shoe drops. Ticket Sales. Amazon Lightning Deals. We see it everywhere. This exclusivity we create by telling the customer to buy things now or lose the opportunity really does work.  

But let’s be clear. We aren’t trying to take advantage of the customer. They need to gain something from it, too. If we are marketing a limited-time sale price, they get the benefit of buying something cheap. If we are offering a limited-edition shoe, they get the benefit of owning something very few people will.  

Advertise Bundle Pricing 

Incentives are a great way to encourage additional purchases.  

Advertising items already bundled and showing a total discount makes it easy for the consumer to get everything they want and need while providing more value. They don’t need to search through your website, read page after page, compare notes, etc. just to add the doorbell to your camera system. In turn, you sell more product and increase revenue. 

The important part of marketing this concept is showing the value to the consumer. In this Arlo ad, the customer can save between $50-100 by purchasing a bundle. They can see how doing this saves them money.  

In the ad below, Cricut links you to their bundle prices without mentioning actual savings, but uses “save BIG” to entice you to visit their site.  

The main point 

There is money to be made, and revenue to be generated. With a few effective marketing techniques, you can navigate the upselling and cross-selling realms for your business with ease. You provide added value to the customer which in effect can increase customer loyalty. You can make your brand more competitive as you offer the complete experience to consumers.  

Marketers have powerful tools available to them to use their websites and emails to build their businesses. How do you use these techniques to grow your business? 

One response to “Marketing Complementary Products and Services  (Without feeling like a used car salesperson) ”

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: