When it doesn’t work, cross-selling can be annoying for customers and ineffective at generating sales. This is almost always down to a lack of planning or appropriate data. If you recommend a product that makes no sense - for instance, promoting winter clothing to a customer who just bought a bathing suit - you may drive that customer away. If you approach a customer by phone who would typically place orders via email, you may not be able to make contact.
And strangely enough, cross-selling is not always
a great idea, even when it works. According to a Harvard Business Review study
published in 2012, certain types of problem customers can actually make cross-selling a profit-losing strategy. According to Denish Shah and V. Kumar, some customer types can put stress on your customer service staff, whether by returning or cancelling a large number of goods and services or withholding spending in other areas to spend on your cross-selling promotions.
It’s crucial to analyze customer data and metrics
related to your cross-selling marketing campaigns to evaluate which efforts produce cross-sales without reducing overall profitability, and which customers should be left out of cross-selling or approached with different methods, such as upselling. In general, cross-selling too many options to too many customers can be a losing endeavour if you don’t have a well thought out strategy in place.