Difference Between Upselling and Cross-Selling

Upselling and cross-selling are the terms used in marketing. Upselling is the process of increasing the sales profit by convincing the buyer to increase the quality of his/her purchase.

Upselling vs Cross-Selling

The main difference between Upselling and Cross-selling is that upselling increases the profit by promising a product of better quality and cross-selling increases profit by increasing the number of products sold.

Upselling vs Cross selling

Upselling as the name suggests is the increase in the expected sales. When a customer intends to buy a product, the seller insists the customer to check out for a better quality.

Cross-selling is a similar pattern of sales in which the seller convinces the buyer to buy a product that may not be in his/her needs.


Comparison Table Between Upselling and Cross-Selling (in Tabular Form)

Parameter of ComparisonUpsellingCross-selling
DefinitionA better quality of the required product is being promised in upselling.An extra product is being sold along with the required product in cross-selling.
PatternA similar item is sold which was intended by the customer.A different item, which may have some connection with the needs of the customer, is sold.
KnowledgeUpselling is about selling a more expensive product, hence the business is much easier when compared to cross-selling.Cross-selling requires knowledge about the items that are associated with the product bought. So a better idea of products is needed.
ResultThe sale of a particular product goes high and the profit is due to a single product.The sale of multiple products is increased and hence profit is even higher.
ExampleWhen a customer needs an ordinary pen, insisting him/her to buy a Parker pen is what upselling is about.When a customer comes to buy a pen, selling notebooks and pencils along with it is the process of cross-selling


What is Upselling?

In marketing, upselling is the process of selling a better quality product than what was requested by the customer. By this process, the profit acquired by the seller increases.

To improve the sales by implementing upselling needs a tricky mind. A salesman with this tactics knows the business well and can find opportunities in this field.

The laborers are taught this technique before they join the sales. They also give salary hikes for the laborers who attain the target and eventually the laborers try their level best to promote the brand.


What is Cross-Selling?

Cross-selling is more common in day to day life. This happens in small shops to large malls. When a customer buys a certain product, making them buy another related item and gaining profit is called cross-selling of a product.

Cross-selling is simple as many products share a relationship with a product. So, many options are available for the seller to convince the buyer.

Cross-selling must be implemented carefully as this can affect the relationship of the client with the company. If the customer is forced to buy an item, he/she may not be back to the shop later.

Companies dealing with a wide range of products promote cross-selling. There can be incentives for the laborers attaining the target sales. Hence the laborers are also motivated for this.

cross selling

Main Differences Between Upselling and Cross-Selling

  1. In upselling a selected product is sold for a higher amount and the gain is from a single product. In cross-selling multiple items are sold and the net profit is gained from all of these.
  2. Upselling is usually done in a large market as varieties of a single item are required. Cross-selling can be done in any sort of market.



Upselling and cross-selling are the business strategies that help to increase profit. The customers get a better service while the seller tries to upsell a product. In this way the customer gets a better option.

During cross-selling, one or more products are sold along with the requested item. The customer may find this helpful since the products may be closely-related. Also the seller can sell more items.


  1. https://pubsonline.informs.org/doi/abs/10.1287/mnsc.2016.2600
  2. https://ejournal.bsi.ac.id/ejurnal/index.php/swabumi/article/download/5399/3039
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