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Boosting your sales with complementary products

When online shopping, in between filling your basket and checking out your products, there is a stage that makes online retailers between 10 and 30% of their ecommerce revenues. Is your brow furrowed, trying to calculate just what that stage is? This is the beauty of this stage, it is so innocuous, you do not realise that you are experiencing it. It is the art of the complementary products, otherwise known as the ‘add on’ products.

What is an add on sale?

The complementary products page is a page that offers products, shortly before completion of a purchase, that are complementary to what the customer is buying. This could be batteries to complement an electronic product, or a case to complement a specific model of phone. The value of these products never increase the overall price of the order by more than 25%, so adding these products to the order at the touch of a button does not require too much thought, but will certainly make a noticeable difference to your sales.

To enhance your sales with complementary products, consider what is logical to show to your customers at which point in the purchase process. Whilst customers are choosing options, consider offering products that are complementary to the product in question, but not essential. If you stock coffee machines, a water dispenser can be the perfect complement, if you stock water dispensers – the opposite applies! Aim for familiarity at this stage in the process, complementary products are often added without too much thought, so keep the price low and the product simple.

As your customer moves along the process to complete their sale, consider the essentials they may need to supply alongside the product. If the product is electrical, batteries may be a useful suggestion, if you stock water dispensers, your customers will need cups to drink the water out of! You should aim to suggest a product that will increase your customer’s satisfaction with your product, or their shopping experience, a happy customer will be far more likely to be a repeat customer.

Do you know what customers like even more than complementary products? Freebies! Consider offering product samples within your checkout process, these are proven to increase customer satisfaction and increase the likelihood of the customer buying the sample product in future.

How to employ this technique in face to face sales settings 

Those of us conduct our sales on a face to face, or telephone basis, may be questioning – how would I employ this internet based tactic to my real life sales? Due to the logical nature of this practice it should not be a problem. You may even be employing it already, instinctively. The key to interweaving complementary products into your sales is conducting conversational sales discussions, as opposed to ‘pitches’. A friendly tone will allow you to refer to products that may enhance your customer’s experience in a genuine manner.

Big brand supermarkets make a point of storing all customer orders, and reminding customers of products they have previously purchased at the check out point. This is also a method that can be utilised in B2B sales, consider checking in on whether your customers would like to repeat elements of their order. This can also be a useful technique for checking on any product issues or dissatisfaction – if the customer does not wish to repeat previous orders, why so? Is there something that can be done to change their mind?

To conclude 

The success of the ‘add on’ technique can be seen in the success of big brands such as Amazon, who use this method as a cornerstone of their revenue. The key to achieving success with this method is to make genuine and useful recommendations for products that you know your customers will wish to buy, fostering customer trust, and sales success.





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