Cross-selling has become one of the most essential eCommerce strategies for growing average order values (AOV). If you sell online and don’t have ways of recommending products to stretch your customers’ spend, you could be leaving revenue on the table.
We’ve already written about some of the best examples of cross-selling from beauty brands like L’Occitane, Dollar Shave Club, and Boots. Now, it’s time to look at examples from the fashion & apparel world.
What is cross-selling to fashion brands?
Cross-selling is the process of recommending supplementary products or services based on a customer’s interests.
Let’s say I’ve just placed a pair of shoes in my cart. A fashion brand could use this signal to recommend socks. If they’re even smarter, they could recommend products that are typically bought with my shoes.
Some brands get cross-selling mixed up with upselling. Less common in the fashion & apparel world, this refers to the process of encouraging customers to buy a premium version of something they’re interested in.
It’s more prevalent in verticals like consumer electronics, where something like a computer can be upgraded with extra features.
Why is cross-selling important to fashion brands?
Cross-selling is huge in the fashion industry. Some sites have tens of thousands of products with a limited shelf life.
The pressure is on brands to help customers explore their sites and add more products to their carts. Otherwise, they risk hoarding warehouses full of end-of-line items.
Here are some ways of cross-selling in the fashion & apparel world:
- “Complete the look”: Recommend a top to someone who already has the matching bottom in their cart.
- “Frequently bought with”: Use your data to push products that tend to be bought with the customer’s cart.
- “New arrivals”: No data to work off? Push new arrivals in all cases.
There are so many variations of cross-selling tactics. You might spot some new ones in our rundown of cross-selling examples from fashion brands. We’ve searched, browsed, and clicked, and these are the winners.
#1 – ASOS – Non-invasive recommendations
Add a product to your cart at ASOS and see a virtual rack of similar items.
We’ve got products from the same brand and others that carry the same style. This almost doubles up as a cross-selling and straight conversion play. I can add more to my cart, or replace my order with something even better.
#2 – Nike – “Complete the look” on another level
We headed onto Nike, added a hoodie to our cart, and saw one of the best examples of “complete the look” we’ve seen.
We expected to get a recommendation for the matching pair of joggers. Instead, we get those joggers along with four outfit suggestions. What can we say – they’re just doing it better.
#3 – Adidas – Utilizing the confirmation
Brands have many different ways of displaying an ‘added to bag’ confirmation. Some prefer a subtle approach, but Adidas goes big with an overlay. This allows the brand to recommend socks to go with my running shoes.
If we were to tweak this, we’d showcase a few running socks to align with the product we’re viewing. But we love the layout as it is.
#4 – Asics – Value for money
Here’s something different. At Asics, when you look at running tops, you see an offer for ‘Buy Running Shoes, Get 20% off on Apparel’.
Running shoes are obviously the most expensive items at Asics. If we were looking into buying a new piece of clothing, we might now be thinking about making a much bigger order.
#5 – Patagonia – Goes great with
Recommending items from the same collection is cross-selling 101. Patagonia does this by pushing waterproof trousers when customers head to the checkout with a waterproof jacket.
The first two are from the same collection as the jacket. It’s an important detail, as they have the same technical specifications.
#6 – Lulu Lemon – Low-value recommendations
Luxury activewear brand Lulu Lemon does cross-selling a little differently. It could have easily recommended a matching top for the bottoms I’m checking out with. Instead, we have accessories.
It’s a brilliant play, as you can imagine customers entering the checkout and seeing that they don’t qualify for free shipping. Accessories provide a way of pushing the cart value to help them get there.
#7 – Charles Tyrwhitt – Customers also bought
“Customers also bought“ is one of our favorite cross-selling tactics. Formalwear specialist Charles Tyrwhitt recommends some sensible pairings for my shirt alongside the three golden words.
If the retailer’s data is in order, these products will have the best possible chance of being added to the cart.
#8 – Ralph Lauren – The model’s outfit
On our travels, we saw a “complete the look” cross-sell from Ralph Lauren that was so good we had to capture it on video.
Yes, the animated demonstration is a nice touch. But we’re mainly focused on how Ralph Lauren pushes the other items worn by the model.
This is a sophisticated touch. It also makes customers’ lives simpler by saving them the task of trawling through pages to find the other items.
#9 – H&M – Styled and bought with
Being an affordable fashion retailer, H&M has a vested interest in helping customers build orders that qualify for free shipping. It’s possibly why we get two sets of recommendations to cover all the bases.
The “style with” recommendations align with the product we’re viewing. If the customer doesn’t want an outfit, there are other options to choose from.
#10 – Carhartt WIP – Keep it simple
Do not be fooled into thinking customers need reels and reels of supplementary products. Carhartt serves just three items based on what we’ve added to the cart.
As these products are what similar customers viewed, we gather there’s some strong data behind the suggestions.
#11 – Sweaty Betty – Assess your options
We add a top to our cart at activewear brand Sweaty Betty and head to the checkout. It’s not quite enough for free or express shipping, so we get the cost of those services, plus some recommendations to help us get them for free.
Very few fashion & apparel provide such an impressive overview of options. With this layout, there is no doubt about all the different paths we can take.
#12 – Reebok – Recently viewed
Reebok goes super subtle by reminding us of all the items we viewed before reaching the checkout.
The brand passes on the pushy sales tactics. Instead, we get a little reminder of things that could help us qualify for free shipping.
#13 – Dr Martens – Just what we needed
Dr Martens is a globally recognized footwear brand. Customers love its signature range of leather boots, which require extra measures to preserve their quality. We add a pair to the cart and see a recommendation for protector.
The logic is that if you’re already buying an expensive pair of boots, you’ve probably researched what you’re buying and don’t need to see other options. The supplementary product isn’t high-value, but it’s the right thing to promote.
#14 – Kay Jewelers – More like this
We ventured into the accessory world to find a truly dynamic and personalized set of recommendations from Kay Jewelers. When you browse a product, you get a line of similar items beneath it.
Buying jewelry online can be tricky. When you’re in a physical store, you can look at similar options based on your taste. We think that’s what Kay is going for.
#15 – Champion – Free delivery drive
Who said you need to recommend a product to cross-sell a customer? Champion requires customers to spend a certain amount for free shipping. Telling us how much extra we need to spend is basically an invitation to go back onto the site and add a product.
#16 – Columbia – An array of options
Columbia gives a fairly basic overview of products similar to the one we’re viewing. However, it’s the little touches that make this stand out.
We had a multi-angled view if it makes sense to have one. And on the fleeces, a choice of color. You can explore these items with some depth, all before heading to their product page.
#17 – Nasty Gal – Offer Wallet
We might be biased, but this Offer Wallet - set up by RevLifter - is a cross-selling dream. Even without adding a product to the cart, we get a load of ideas for collections to explore.
Festival fits, summerwear - it has it all.
#18 – Man Utd – Accurate recommendations
Now for something different. We wanted to see whether a unique type of apparel retailer had their recommendations down to a tee.
On heading onto soccer club Man Utd’s online store, we added a kids’ jersey to the cart. Notice the size of the football recommended to us – the smallest available, which shows just how relevant these are.
We can also shop the full kit by adding shorts and socks to our order.
#19 – Rip Curl – Offer banner
The checkout is the final chance to cross-sell the customer. Surf brand Rip Curl takes full advantage of this by using a dynamic banner to push its best offers.
We love how Rip Curl is going for it by highlighting great deals rather than just products. We bet it works.
We hope we’ve given you plenty of ideas to consider with your own cross-selling campaigns.
RevLifter works with leading fashion & apparel brands like ASOS, New Balance, Splits59, and M&S to grow their revenue through personalized recommendations and offers.
Simply get in touch and we’ll show you how our award-winning platform can help you grow AOV.