Cross-selling and Up-selling techniques have been in practice from generations. Cross-selling is a technique that allows one in educating of products that would be essential with the product purchased. Up-selling, on the other hand, is a technique that allows one to decide on purchasing a better product than the one that is being purchased. Best example to explain both the techniques is while purchasing a laptop. If the buyer is educated about products from other categories that are somehow related to a laptop (like, laptop bag, mouse, cooling pad, etc.), this method is called cross-selling. In contrast, up-selling would happen when the buyer is educated about the models that are better than the model being purchased, like the ones with better processor, better features, etc.

A business would not just need to be aware of the current and the past status of the product but would also need to know what would be its value in the future. Predictive analysis plays a vital role in these situations. By implementing an algorithm that considers the past and present, value of a product is ascertained and the progress of its value over the future is predicted. This would help the business in deciding whether to consider the product for production or not. Predictive analytics are used in most of the businesses. These analyses do not just help in the production of items but also plays a role in informing the shareholders about what the value of the product is and what it would be in the future.

With the help of predictive analysis, we can seek profitable customers, estimate the results and understand the market needs. Some of the algorithms that are used to make a prediction with the data are by decision trees, time series, neural nets and linear regression.

  • Decision trees: These help in calculating the odds of a result based on the values.
  • Time Series: Time series helps in analysing and forecasting the data for long-term and short-term predictions, together with optimizing prediction accuracy.
  • Neural Networks: This helps in understanding the non-intuitive relationships in data
  • Linear Regression: This helps in knowing the relationship between columns in order to predict the results

Some of the e-commerce websites that use these methods are Amazon, EBay, Flipkart, etc

These algorithms are also used by fast food chains such as KFC, McDonalds, Burger King etc. and retailers like Chroma, Reliance and Spencer, among others.

They cross-sell their products by displaying the products in such a way that would make the customer think of adding related products to their current purchase. Up-selling is usually practiced by sales associates by educating the customer about the products that would be much better than the one selected.

This saying aptly sums up the importance of these two selling techniques: “Upsell and cross-sell, are the reasons we buy things JUST IN CASE”


Businesses that implemented these methods and got successful:
Hyatt Regency Orlando Airport:- Donald Hood, the director of Revenue Management and his front Office team embrace eStandby Upgrade as an integral part of their revenue maximization strategy. The hotel considered High Floor and Airport’s Runway View as preferred room for upsell offers, which successfully generated an additional $22,000 in revenue for the property.

BMW practises this method through their website. It enables users to build the car before buying. This is an opportunity for upselling their products. Users get the option to build their car by changing the seats, wheels, etc. for an additional cost, and thus get to see what their build will look like in real time.

In 2006, Amazon saw an increase in sales by implementing cross-selling method. They found 35% of the year’s sales had come from cross-selling. With the introduction of ‘Customers who bought this item also bought’ and ‘Frequently bought together’, they implemented cross-selling. This leads clearly into cross-selling without it seeming to look like Amazon has had anything to do with the recommendation at all and it, of course shows customers the products that they’re likely to enjoy.

McDonald’s is one of the predecessors, best known for cross-selling and they apply it all the time. By selling their complimentary products, they are greatly increasing their sales.


If the sales representative working on the drive-through asks a customer whether they want to upgrade their order, or if they want extra fries for extra bucks, they are cross-selling additional products. Similarly, when the cashier at the cash counter asks customers if they want an additional product, for eg, “Would you like a ‘meal deal’ to go with your quarter pounder?” or, “would like that ’super-sized?” that’s cross-selling.


To summarize, predictive analytics play a vital role in improving the business by understanding what the value of the product is and also gives the business an idea about how to market and sell further.

Suwaid Akbar