Once you’ve acquired a new customer, you’ll want to try to gain as much value from them as you can. This is where cross-sell and upsell opportunities are so valuable.
Cross-sell and upsell strategies let you achieve two things. They help you increase revenue for every tour you sell, and they help you provide a better customer experience. The more personalization and customization options your travel business offers, the more opportunities you’ll have with each new customer.
In this guide, we’ll break down upselling and cross-selling, as well as cover some of the best upsell and cross-sell strategies your travel business can use.
What Are Upsell And Cross-Sell Strategies?
Upselling is a process where you encourage your customers to make their initial purchase more expensive through things like upgrades or enhancing their package with a premium option.
An example of this would be upgrading a tour to a “deluxe” version that includes transport in a fancier vehicle and stays at an upgraded hotel.
Cross-selling is when you encourage your customers to make additional purchases related to their main product. For example, if a customer has already purchased your tour experience, you could cross-sell private transfers or an after-tour dining experience to them.
These strategies are often confused with each other, although they both take a different approach. Using them together can help you generate more value from each customer.
Why Are Cross-Selling And Upselling Important?
Cross-sell and upsell strategies are excellent ways to generate more revenue with each tour sold. They’re also valuable tactics for improving your customers’ experiences.
In a recent travel trends report, 65% of travelers requested add-ons to their itineraries. The same report also found that 100% of DMCs let customers personalize their programs with add-ons, and 80% of these DMCs have seen increased customization requests for their tours.
The bottom line here? Tour customization is a major trend in the travel industry. It’s something travelers want to see from businesses and it's something that can help businesses generate extra revenue.
By offering cross-sell and upsell options, travel businesses can increase the value of each customer and generate more revenue with each tour.
6 Upsell And Cross-Sell Tips Before You Get Started
Before you start upselling or cross-selling, you first need to have a few things in place. Here are some of the most important elements to cover before you start upselling and cross-selling.
1. Know Your Product
This is essential if you want to cross-sell and upsell successfully. Have a deep understanding of your tours and travel packages, and know exactly what each offer includes.
At the same time, understand what additional opportunities exist for each package. This includes understanding the destination and tour package and knowing what kind of upgrades or additional services exist around these tours and can complement them accordingly.
2. Have A Thorough Understanding Of Your Customers
Upselling and cross-selling only work if you can demonstrate extra value to your customers. To get this right, you’ll need to understand your customers, their interests, and why they book your tours.
The better you understand each customer, the easier it will be to offer customized upsell and cross-sell opportunities to match their interests.
The more you can personalize and customize upselling and cross-selling to your individual customers, the greater your chances will be of them choosing these options.
3. Check-in With Your Customers
Always check in with your customers after you have sold them a travel experience. This could include a check-in during and/or post-trip to get feedback.
Doing so might help you identify new cross-sell or upsell opportunities. It also helps customers realize you’re available if they do wish to choose an upgrade during their trip.
4. Limit Your Upgrades
If you try to offer too many upsell or cross-sell options, customers might feel like you’re being pushy. Instead, try to narrow down only a few (maybe three) cross-sell or upsell options that will actually resonate with the customer. This will give you a better chance of the customer taking the bait.
5. Sell Ideas, Not Products
Whether you’re upselling or cross-selling, customers don't want to feel like you’re trying to sell them something. Instead, they should feel like you’re trying to improve their individual experience.
To pull this off, try to sell ideas to the customer, not products. Get them excited about what the upsell or cross-sell opportunity could look like and the kind of value they could gain from it.
Try to paint a picture for them or tell a story about the experience instead of just listing it as an additional product.
6. Use Technology
The right tech tools can make it a lot easier to cross-sell and upsell. For example, you can use a CRM to understand your individual customers better to make more personalized offers.
You could also use email marketing tools that segment your different types of customers into different lists, and advertise relevant offers to each list automatically.
Using tools that can automate these processes will save you time and effort, while also helping you offer more relevant offers to the right people.
Upsell And Cross-Sell Strategies For Travel Businesses
If you run a travel and tour business, then you should absolutely be making the most of all the cross-sell and upsell opportunities. This can make a major difference to your bottom line.
Here are some of the best upsell and cross-sell strategies that you can use.
As a tour operator, you could upsell things like:
- Meal packages
- Extra days
- Extra activities
- Accommodation upgrades
- Extra experiences with partner brands
And more. Once you have a list of all the different upsell opportunities your business can tap into, there are a couple of different ways you can sell these.
Offer Upsells From The Get-Go
Try to upsell as soon as someone makes a booking. This is your opportunity to increase the value of each “sale” your business makes.
One of the best ways to do this is to use tour booking software that includes add-ons, such as WeTravel. WeTravel’s unlimited add-on feature lets you offer as many extras and upsells to any existing tours you sell.
Customers can view all of these options before checking out. They could even go back and purchase an add-on after they have made the booking.
Using a tool like this makes it easy to entice your customers with upgrades and add-ons without actually putting in any extra sales effort.
Offer Upsells After The Purchase Has Been Made
Ideally, you’ll want to offer customized add-ons for each customer. Offering this after the customer has made a purchase can be very effective.
This is because once a customer has made a booking, you can collect data on the customer - like whether they’re traveling as a solo person or a couple. Now you can offer more relevant upsells to match the specifics of the customer to target them effectively.
You could personally reach out to the customer with relevant upsell ideas for them. You could also trigger an automated email to send out after the customer makes a booking, offering them enticing upgrades.
There are various ways you can cross-sell products and experiences to people booking your tours. Here are some of the best strategies.
Automated Email Campaigns
Running automated email campaigns is one of the best cross-sell tactics out there. When a customer makes a booking with your business, you can send out an automated email with relevant cross-sell offers based on their booking.
For example, if you make an accommodation reservation through Booking.com, you will receive an email straight after with offers to experiences in the city you booked. You’ve just booked to stay somewhere, so these are all enticing cross-sell opportunities that make sense for you.
To roll out email marketing effectively, you’ll want to segment your leads and customers into different lists. This could include separate lists for customers of the different tours you offer. This way, you can send email campaigns to each list with relevant cross-sell offers.
Partner Up With Other Businesses
If you’re going to have a list of cross-sell opportunities available, you’ll need to work with various partner businesses to make it happen.
Try to find as many relevant partners you could work with in the areas you offer tours. These need to be businesses that complement (not compete with) your tour offerings. Examples include restaurants, hotels, and spas.
Create a network with these businesses and propose special promotions or deals you can run with them. This should be beneficial for both companies, and it will help you add more value to your customers.
Using WeTravel’s supplier transfer feature can make the process of dealing with different businesses and setting up a payment transfer network a lot easier.
Offering discounts is one of the most effective ways to cross-sell. Try to offer a small discount to your customers for any relevant cross-sell opportunity.
For example, there might be a popular activity in the area where the customer booked a tour. They might have considered doing this activity, but aren’t sure about it yet. If you give them a discounted offer on the activity, there’s a much better chance they will book it straight away.
Again, partnering with other businesses and coming up with strategic offers is paramount.
Use Limited-Time Offers
Creating a sense of urgency is an effective cross-sell strategy. Once someone makes a booking, you can send them a limited-time offer for other activities or experiences related to the booking.
By making this time-sensitive, you give your customers more reason to quickly add the cross-sold opportunity to their trip.
Make Relevant Suggestions On Your Booking Pages
When a customer is in the process of checking out on your booking pages, consider offering cross-sell options before they check out. You can do this through pop-ups on your site, or banners that display at the top, side, or bottom of your checkout page.
Amazon is an excellent example of a company that executes this well. When you add an item to your cart, they have additional product recommendations, saying “People also like these products…”.
As a tour provider, you can create relevant cross-sell offers and display them on relevant booking pages. This can be a quick way to increase the value of each cart on your site.
Upselling and cross-selling are highly effective ways to generate more revenue for your business. It’s also important for keeping your customers more engaged and helping them access travel experiences that are more relevant and customized to their needs.
With the right tools, applying the right upsell and cross-sell tactics is actually pretty easy. Get this right, and it could help make your travel business a lot more profitable.
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