Ecommerce and Onion RingsWhen I was in college, I waited tables to pay for school. One of the things that restaurants are very focused on is which server has the highest check average, meaning which server consistently had the highest check totals across all of their tables during a shift.

I was right in the middle of the pack, but the servers who knew how to up-sell and cross-sell had AMAZING ticket totals. These were the servers who politely and suggestively asked guests if they would like to try the spinach and artichoke dip that was served with homemade crusty French bread or offered a nice frosty beverage to accompany the house specialty sandwich, upgraded with hand-battered onion rings and served with the top-secret house dipping sauce. They knew their regular customers’ first names, their preferred beverages, and thought to ask how the kids were doing. They were friendly and approachable, never pushy, and always available when their guests needed them.

So, I bet you’re wondering what asking if someone wants an appetizer or a slice of pie have to do with ecommerce. More than you think.

Any business, including ecommerce, is built on continued sales. (I know, you’re probably thinking, “Duh.” but stick with me.) Since it’s always easier to get a current customer to purchase more rather than running out to find a brand new customer and convincing them to buy, you have to ask your current customers to increase their order. You do this by up-selling, cross-selling, offering special promotions, and personalizing their online shopping experience. Your ecommerce site should identify regular shoppers, promote special offers on products they have ordered in the past or that you know they might like, offer suggestions on products that will enhance the item they wish to purchase, and let them know that bigger, better options are available.

Does your ecommerce site ask its customers to upgrade to the half pound burger, offer onion rings and special dipping sauce for an additional charge, and suggest a frosty cold beverage? No? Check out the video below to learn how your ecommerce site can be more like those skilled restaurant servers and increase your average sales.

Want to know more about how to implement up-selling, cross-selling, promotions, and personalization on your ecommerce site? Download the white paper, Increasing the Cart: Creating a Personalized Online Shopping Experience.