Upselling has become part of internet sales tactics. Is this practice turning off consumers, or has it simply become a distraction from an original point of sale?

Prescott Valley, AZ Correspondent– Upselling is a sales technique that is most often used with various internet sales and services as well as everyday purchase interactions. The seller attempts to persuade a customer to buy more costly items, upgrades or other add-ons to bring about a more profitable sale. Usually the process involves the marketing of more money making services or products, or it can simply involve exposing customers to other available options that are at low to no cost.

The practice of upselling does turn off a number of customers. People don’t want upselling turned on them, particularly when they know what they want and can only afford so much. Trying to talk someone into buying some product or service that they don’t want or need is exasperating to the buyer, particularly when a normal purchase is made and at the end of the sale the person taking the order uses the standard phrase, “is that all?” with continued attempts to get a customer to go beyond the original point of sale.

Anything for sale today is open to upselling, whether it’s talking to a sales representative on the phone, buying something on the internet through a sales cart and internet chat or even going through a fast food drive-thru. Upselling is part of the game to take more money out of a consumer’s pocket while enticing them to satisfy their desires.

Upselling can be a “wearing down of the customer process” and it is one of the newer and more modernized trends in sales techniques that has become standard operating procedure in today’s marketplace. Gaining more sales on top of the original sale adds to increased revenues through the one customer at a time sales’ approach.

Buyers do need to understand and be aware that upselling is nothing to be taken personally as retailers and other sales representatives don’t have choices in the methods they use to sell a products or services, as they are given strict instructions to upsell. It is part of a marketing routine that becomes ingrained in new and old sellers and involves pressuring consumers as well as themselves to meet company sales expectations.

Customers don’t appreciate the forcefulness and are savvy to the ways of upselling since it permeates almost everything they buy, such as do you need ice or stamps, or would you like to upgrade that drink for another quarter, or you can get a hand held vacuum to go along with that upright model for just $5o more?

It’s all part of the selling game and many consumers buy into it willingly and others enjoy the game and added attention, while others suffer buyer’s remorse because they couldn’t say no, but budget minded shoppers, just reject it, as many times as necessary.

Upselling does turn off buyers, particularly those who know what they want, need and can afford, and it is a money making distraction from the original point of sale. If consumers aren’t already aware of upselling, they need to school themselves in the art of saying, “No thanks or that’s all, thank you, and be done with it. If other consumers want to be reeled in, that’s their choice, but they need to remember they are benefiting the upseller more than they are themselves.

Sheffield Jamaica Correspondent- Why settle for selling a single item when you can sell a bundle, right? That market or sales tactic has been strongly wielded for years with tremendous effect. However, is the practice of upselling really benefiting anyone except the sellers and marketers?

Frankly, I don’t find upselling as a distraction, but a sly and intrusive way for marketers and businesses to get their products across. These companies are now putting less popular products (usually more expensive) with prominent ones in an aid to sell more. In some cases, these companies mislead consumers into think that one cannot go without the other. That’s high way robbery. Not only was the initial product pricy, but the add-on takes the cake.

This happens a great deal with software purchases. You buy a software, but during the installation process, you might be downloading three other software (that’ll later prompt you to get the premium version) if you’re not reading the TOS. This is commonly referred to as a bundle. Instead of leaving with the initial good/product, you’re persuaded to take on a few others.

This type of sales tactic has turned many consumers away, including myself. If I’m buying a candy, don’t try to upsell a chocolate in the process. If I wanted chocolate, I would have bought chocolate. When companies upsell strongly, people will leave their sales funnel.

Owatonna, MN Correspondent– One of the basic tenets of competition among businesses is the constant battle to produce the highest-quality product at the lowest price. If Company A offers a better, cheaper product than Company B, then Company A will make more sales. Unfortunately, that means less profit per sale for Company A. The simple solution to that loss of income is selling more items at a lower profit per item, which increases overall sales for the company.

But getting new customers is difficult and expensive with more competitors vying for a share of finite sales. Businesses know that the easiest customer to get, at the lowest cost, is a repeat buyer. Naturally, it makes economic sense to encourage (or pressure) current or returning customers to buy more expensive or additional merchandise. So, upselling is a regular part of doing business regardless if it’s done in a brick-and-mortar business or on the internet.

The turnoff comes when the business goes too far in its attempts to upsell consumers. If the company offers additional items related to the original product, such as a scarf to match a blouse a woman is about to purchase, then upselling is not a turnoff. Most customers aren’t aware of all the add-ons and accessories that may be available for a certain product. They appreciate a limited number of helpful, appropriate suggestions.

But when upselling becomes more of a bait-and-switch tactic to extract greater profits from customers by persuading them to buy something they may not want or can’t afford, then the business needs to rethink its upselling strategy. Most consumers, myself included, will not likely do repeat business with companies that desperate to make a sale.

Gastonia, NC Correspondent– Back in the ‘90s, before the internet was part of the world’s everyday life, I ran a movie theater in Houston, Texas. When I hired a new concessions attendant, one of the very first things they were taught was upselling. If a customer bought a small soda, they were offered a medium. Candy went with popcorn. Nachos went with just about everything and hot dogs went to anyone with hungry-looking kids in tow. A good upseller could fill her register with twice as much money as her less-savvy cohorts, so it was considered a vital skill.

The fact that someone brought upselling to the internet is hardly a surprise. You’re already on the website of the company, so why not see some shiny pictures of their other offerings along with a sweet discount offer? Every time I buy big and tall clothes, the site where I shop gives me dozens of recommendations for products that will go nicely with what I’ve just bought. I have found some of my favorite stuff that way, but usually I just close it and move on.

Complaining about upselling is in vogue right now, and various people are claiming to have found ways to get around attempts to do so via programs that let you shop anonymously or obscure enough of your online trail to keep you free from ads. However, Big Data gets us all sooner or later, so we might as well just enjoy the ride.

That’s right! I’ve decided I’m going to stop fighting the silly fight. Google, Facebook and all the other data miners can have everything they want to learn about me. Sell me widgets, doodads, whatsits and beer can koozies that have my college logo printed on them. Offer me clothes a size smaller when I post on Facebook about my weight loss. Sell me Lego sets when I talk about my sons’ birthdays on Twitter. I’m going to enjoy the ride!

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