Helen Ross 04 October 2017 2 min read

Are you focusing on the bull and forgetting the (cash) cow?

If offered the choice of $5,000 in a lump sum at the end of 6 months or $100/month indefinitely, which would you choose? How about if I told you that you could have both, but you’d need to work a little harder in the short term for it?


I promise I’m not about to start selling you a pyramid scheme... I’m talking about consumables.


When you’re focusing on budgets, it can be easy to look at those “big wins” that will get you over the tipping point. Don’t get me wrong, those big wins will always be necessary, but I think that focusing most of your energy on them every month can be a mistake.


One of the superpowers of eCommerce is its ability to increase spending on consumables. You may already see a bit of this naturally since your product offering is now easily accessible 24/7, but to really drive it you’re going to need to put in some legwork.


“What kind of legwork, Helen?” I’m so glad you asked, dear reader!


It falls into two main areas:

  1. Web-based changes
  2. Customer-specific communication



For our eCommerce-focused folks, let’s look at number one. We’ve got one or two tools in the belt that might help you out. Look at investing the time in updating accessories for your big sellers using the Cross Sell / Upsell Widget. It can be added to any product page to prompt users to add a few extra (useful) goodies to their cart, resulting in increased order values for you.  


Not sure where to start? Consider some of the following:

  • Suitable batteries for powered products
  • Disposable products like napkins/tissues
  • Consumables like sandpaper/bits for power tools
  • Matching leads/extension cords


If none of the above suit your particular industry, then try asking yourself two questions: “Why would I likely be buying this product?”, and “If I’m buying this product to solve a problem, what else would I add to my cart along with it?”.





For our more Sales/Account Manager types, let’s move on to number two - customer-specific interactions. While you may be speaking with a customer about the larger purchase they’re looking at making later in the year, it’s also worth taking the time to bring up the smaller things. Do they purchase cutlery from you? Suggest adding napkins.


Shifting the conversation from being about buying more to making their lives easier can make a big difference in how your company (and you) are perceived. It’s not about gaining business; it’s about streamlining their replenishment. If they only need to place and put away one order a week that frees up their staff to spend more time with their customers. It also positions you as a “one-stop shop” for their various needs.


This does, of course, have the side effect of increasing a customer’s monthly spend with you without needing additional ongoing support. However, the important thing to remember is that your primary driver should be solving the customer’s problems.



For the sake of keeping this blog “coffee length”, I acknowledge that I’ve simplified the process quite a bit. But the fundamentals are there. How do you encourage customers to become “stickier” with your business? Could you be shining a light on complementary products more than you do now?


Let me know!


Contact Commerce Vision