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9 effective examples of Christmas cross-selling

Rich Towey
December 12, 2023
6 mins

Christmas is a massive occasion for eCommerce retailers in many different verticals. The average consumer spends $975 on festive gifts, translating to a short window for retailers to sell to a huge crowd of shoppers.

To make the most of the season of goodwill, many brands use cross-selling to suggest complimentary products. 

RevLifter has spent the past 12 months examining the best examples of this particular strategy from the worlds of fashion, beauty, DIY and homeware, and consumer electronics

To see how retailers are using cross-selling to maximize their Q4 revenue, we couldn’t resist the temptation to run a festive special. 

What is cross-selling and why does it matter? 

Cross-selling is the process of recommending complimentary products to satisfy additional needs that are unfulfilled by the original item. 

Let’s say a customer adds a dining table to their cart. A good cross-selling play would be to recommend chairs from the same set. 

These strategies are particularly important during events like Christmas, where customers are known to be driven by impulse. 

According to Google, one in every three purchases made over the holiday season are impulse buys. That means lots of opportunities to maximize your cart values by suggesting relevant products.

We’ve picked out nine Christmas cross-selling strategies to show you how some of the world’s leading retailers go about their business.

Example #1 - Molton Brown - Last-minute treat

Rather than pushing more expensive products, like a gift set containing our choice of shower gel, beauty brand Molton Brown opts for a small selection of low-value items. 

This is the best decision. When customers have already committed to buying something, getting them back into the purchasing mindset is hard. That’s why checkout-based recommendations tend to be small items that don’t require much consideration. 

These stocking fillers make for great extras and potentially help customers qualify for free shipping.

Example #2 - Laithwaites - Special offer

Champagne isn’t the cheapest festive drink, but could the right deal tempt many wine lovers into ordering it?  

Laithwaites thinks so. Its well-placed offer is perfect for festive shoppers stocking up for Christmas. Once they add a product to their cart, they’re a click away from redeeming the half-price promotion.

Laithwaites is no stranger to a clever Christmas effort, having worked with RevLifter on a festive offers page. Learn how the brand outperformed regular coupon partners by +55% CVR and +39% AOV with our case study.

Example #3 - Smyths Toys - Offer reminder

We noticed a heavy presence of offers when looking at retailer cross-selling strategies in 2023. One recurring theme was the repeated pushing of a promotion from the homepage to the checkout.

Take the example of Smyths, which makes the most of its ‘3for2’ offer on board games. It’s a timely reminder for customers to save money on multiple purchases.

Example #4 - Target – Fill your cart

We’re always keeping a lookout for brands that recommend relevant products. Target passes the test by pushing toy groceries to fill our toy shopping cart.

Gifters will thank the brand for remembering an essential item rather than leaving the cart empty on Christmas day.

Example #5 - Boots - Multiple recommendations

Health & beauty retailer Boots doesn’t bring a noticeable Christmas theme to its product pages but we like the consistency with its offers. 

We get a real mix of recommendations from ‘customers also bought’, ‘bought by customers who viewed’, and ‘popular in this category’. Each is on offer, corresponding to the festive promotion, making them hugely appealing.

Example #6 - Game - Protect the gift

For years, games consoles have never strayed far from the Christmas list. 

Many parents will head to an online store like Game to purchase an Xbox, Playstation, or Nintendo as a gift. Still, with any technology trusted with young ones, there is always the worry of accidents resulting in damage.

Game reads the script and promotes its breakdown cover when we add a games console to the cart. Given we already have plenty of games and accessories with our package, this is definitely the right call.

Example #7 - M&S - Matching set

Like them or loath them, matching pyjamas are still a thing around Christmas. Fashion retailer M&S capitalizes on this by promoting women’s, kids’, and baby versions of the same men’s product we’re viewing.

We visited other retailers selling pyjama sets and found these recommendations appearing below our original product’s details rather than integrated within them. M&S’s approach is far more sensible and, we’d bet, far more effective. 

Example #8 - GAP - Complete the look

GAP has a similar approach to M&S with recommendations of matching family pyjama sets and items to complete a look. 

The added visuals are a stand-out feature. However, we’re most impressed by the proximity of these suggestions to the ‘add-to-bag’ button, putting them firmly in the consideration process.

Example #9 - Argos - A sensible offer

Argos is a multi-category retailer with many opportunities to cross-sell customers, and consumer electronics is a key area. 

Here, we see TVs - a popular gift or pre-Christmas purchase - being paired with a soundbar as part of a special offer. Using a specific type of soundbar is key here, as the customer does not have to consider which one to opt for. 

We love the simplicity of the layout and the timing, with the recommendation showing via overlay once a TV is added to the cart.

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