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Order Bumps vs Upsells. What's Best?

Order bumps work best when the offer is a continuation or upgrade of the current product that is about to be purchased.

For example, if you’re selling software, then the order bump might be an extended license that allows the user to own it for a lifetime rather than renewing it each year. Or it could be a set of videos that help the user to install and use the software, in case this sort of thing is new to them. Or maybe it’s resell or PLR rights to the software.

On the other hand, 1-click upsells are best when the offer is complementary to the original product.

Let’s say you sell a course on how to drive traffic using Facebook. An upsell could be another course on how to drive traffic using TikTok or Instagram.

Examples of Order Bumps vs Upsells. What’s Best?

When you purchase electronics, you will almost always see an order bump for a warranty plan. For example, when you purchase an iPad you’ll be offered ‘AppleCare’ for two years of tech support and accidental damage coverage.

Well isn’t that nice of the cashier to ask that? Of course you would like her to do that, and you might even thank her for being so thoughtful.

Congrats, you’ve just discovered how to increase the size of your orders on your website.

The most difficult part of marketing is getting the sale. But once someone has committed to making the purchase, it’s relatively easy to get them to upgrade. They’ve already decided to buy. That decision is made. Purchasing more simply reconfirms their commitment to that decision.

Plus, you’re giving them a great deal, so what’s not to love?

Your customer has added your $99 course to the cart. You ask if they would like to add 4 weeks of email coaching for just $49 more, making the total sale $148 instead of just $99.

Just to be clear, an order bump happens before someone clicks, “buy now.” It adds an additional item or upgrade to the shopping cart before the checkout is complete.

In contrast, an upsell happens after someone has completed the purchase. The upsell is usually on the thank you page, and it can be done with a single click so the customer doesn’t need to enter their credit card details again.

When Should You Use Order Bumps vs Upsells

When you purchase from Omaha Steaks, there is an order bump for Filet Mignon at a discount.

The brand Thirty-One uses a slightly different approach in their order bump, placing it on every product page. The visitor has two choices – “add to cart” or “personalize’. They’re selling more by offering the personalization service to increase the value of each sale and they are also subconsciously making their buyers think of who they can send a personalized gift to.

The #1 Reason Why Order Bumps are so Effective

Just as your customer is about to click the buy button, they get a chance to upgrade their order to something even better.

And because the order bump is personalized to exactly what the customer wants, it can make the original offer even more compelling.

On top of that, most people are impulsive buyers. Presenting an offer upgrade just as they’re about to buy vastly increases the chance they will accept it.

Think about what happens at a new car dealership. The customer might agonize over whether or not to make the purchase. But once they become committed to their chosen vehicle, it’s very easy for the dealership to sell all kinds of add-ons that contribute significantly to the sales price and the customer’s satisfaction.

Once people make a decision, they will reaffirm to themselves that they have made the right decision. And taking the order bump is one more way they show themselves that they’re on the right path.

10 Order Bumps to Add to Your Offers

While this list is not comprehensive, it does give you an excellent starting point in figuring out what offers you can make to your customers in the form of order bumps.

1: An Additional, Different Format

This one is so simple – for example, if your customer is purchasing a pdf, offer them an audio version or even a physical copy in addition to the pdf.

2: Related Accessories

This should be something that enhances the function of the original product. For example, if you’re selling a course on how to approach the right people at companies in a specific niche in order to do deals, the order bump might be the contact info for 100 of these executives.

Or if you’re selling a course on something, the order bump might be a 20 page pdf on how to learn anything quickly.

3: Personal Assistance

This works especially well if you are selling courses and programs. Your order bump could be something like email support for any questions they have, group conference calls to answer questions, or a private Facebook Group.

4: Community or Partners

Again, if you are selling courses and programs, the biggest obstacle is getting your customers to take action on the product they’re purchasing. Offering them a private community they can join where they are in touch with others learning the same material can be extremely helpful. It also provides them with a way to make contacts.

And something I don’t see very often but can be even more effective is assigning accountability partners. When you pair two or more people together to stay in touch with each other and keep each other accountable, the work tends to get done at a much higher rate.

Why is this important? If your customers are not just buying, but also USING your programs and courses, they are much happier with their purchase and MUCH more likely to purchase more programs and courses from you in the future.

5: Expedited Shipping

The company I purchase supplements from offers expedited shipping for just an additional $2.99. It’s a great deal and I get it every time.

Faster shipping can mean two things: Either it gets shipped faster, or it gets shipped by a faster delivery method, such as USPS Priority Mail instead of Ground.

6: Auto-Delivery

If you sell anything that requires repeat purchases, such as foods, supplies, or supplements, you can offer monthly delivery through an order bump. This won’t increase the size of the initial order, but it will increase the number of times something is ordered.

7: Maintenance or Support

Does your product require maintenance? Upgrades? Support? Electronics and cars almost always have order bumps for extended warranties. Which of your products needs these things, too?

Warranties and protection plans are similar and also a great thing to offer as order bumps.

8: Preferred Members Group

You could create an insider’s circle or preferred members program that offers discounts, free shipping, exclusive deals and so forth. Amazon Prime is a good example of this. And many companies offer a 10% discount on all purchases made within a year of purchasing a preferred membership.

9: Upgrades

This can mean so many different things. For example, if someone purchases a resell license, you can offer a PLR license as an upgrade.

Or let’s say you offer 2 or 3 different versions of your product, software or service. If they choose one of the lesser versions, on the order page you can present them with a bump up to the next level. Odds are they were on the fence anyway, so asking them if they wouldn’t like to move up one level will often get a yes, especially if you throw in some small incentive.

10: Bulk Discounts

If you’re selling tangible products, then this can work really well. Offer them 3 of the item they’re purchasing for a reduced per item unit. Or offer them the second unit for half price.

In some cases this can work with digital, too. Let’s say you have a series of videos or books. Maybe it’s a series of 5 books, each building on the other but also acting as stand-alone products. Your customer adds one book to the cart, and on the order page you offer a special deal to get all 5 books right now. Because odds are they will be back for more anyway, so why not grab them now?

Final Notes on Order Bumps vs  Upsells

The tricky part is to keep the order bump simple while still doing your best to sell it.

1: Go for a clear and concise message that covers the big benefit of getting the order bump. Use a short headline that grabs attention. Be ultra-specific in what they’re getting. Show how it is useful to the purchase they are already making. Create a sense of urgency that this is THE time to grab the offer – not later. And if applicable, show how it is unique.

That’s a lot to fit into 2 to 4 sentences. You’ll have to play with this until you get it just right, then test it and adjust accordingly.

2: Try placing your order bump in a box outlined in a bright contrasting color, such as red or orange.

3: If the number is over 50%, make a note of what percentage of people take the order bump.

6: To say yes to the offer, have your customers check a box that says something like, “Yes! Upgrade My Order”. You might highlight these words and the checkbox in pale yellow to make them stand out.

7: Using a picture in the order bump box can work well, if appropriate. For example, if the order bump is for a book, use a pic of the book cover.

8: If appropriate to your order page, try placing the order bump box directly in line with the order form itself, with a button underneath that says to ship your order now. This makes it seem a very natural part of the ordering process.

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