What is Cross Shopping? Definition, Example, Tips, 10 Facts

You have utilized your exceptional marketing abilities to lure consumers to your shop. Now you must convince these clients to purchase by providing them with solutions.

Cross-merchandising items across categories is an efficient marketing strategy for providing buyers with solutions and boosting basket sizes.

What is Cross Shopping?

Cross-shopping is a practice used by some buyers to obtain a better bargain from vehicle dealers. Cross-shopping can occasionally be utilized to save a large amount of money on things such as appliances, in addition to autos.

What is Cross Shopping?

Cross-shopping makes a purchase more difficult and time-consuming, but it may also be highly enlightening.

Why is cross merchandising important?

Cross-merchandising offers several benefits, such as fostering client loyalty and increasing sales.

Visual merchandising, a subset of cross merchandising, is an efficient method of utilizing retail space. It is necessary to optimize your area, whether it’s the floor, wall, counter, or entranceway, in order to facilitate client navigation and sales.

Consider the advantages of cross merchandising in retail:

Advertise new products

Cross-merchandising is a method for introducing new items to clients by exhibiting them in a high-traffic area alongside complementing products.

Numerous retailers sell year-round products, frequently referred to as “core” products. Typically, these things are the store’s bread and butter, i.e., products that sell consistently.

To increase sales and awareness of new inventory, you might showcase new goods alongside your main ones.

Attract new customers

Cross-merchandising should be used to pleasantly surprise browsers by letting them find things they didn’t actively seek but realize they need.

Point out a need

Remind buyers that a second item is required to complete their transaction. If your store offers lingerie and accessories, you may put detergent and a delicates cleaning bag next to lace bras and underwear.

Help customers save time

By presenting all of your customers’ necessities in an one location, you may save them the time they would otherwise spend looking around your business.

For instance, a grocery store may showcase avocados, garlic, jalapeo peppers, and tomatoes on a single display, allowing customers to acquire all of the ingredients necessary to prepare guacamole.

The addition of a bag of tortilla chips to the display further highlights the effectiveness of the cross-merchandising approach.

Promote customer loyalty

When clients spend less time browsing your retail business and discover what they need with ease, they are more likely to become loyal customers. Increased product sales are proportional to consumer satisfaction. And word-of-mouth spreads rapidly; dedicated consumers may become brand ambassadors.

Use cross merchandising to improve your marketing

Branding and marketing are vital to every business’s success. The objectives of these methods are to enhance sales and customer happiness.

By arranging products from different categories adjacent to one another, shoppers begin to form mental associations between them. By determining which goods are purchased together, you may produce more sales and achieve your goals with less cost.

Inspire ideas

By grouping items by occasion or experience, you may provide clients with inspiration for Do-It-Yourself projects, forthcoming holidays, recipes, and lifestyle decisions.

What is Cross Shopping?

A home goods store that groups products by room and decor so that customers can envision themselves in the same room at home is an example of a lifestyle store, whereas a clothing boutique can dress a mannequin in a full outfit and place it next to a rack containing all of the individual garments for sale. Make confident judgments about cross-merchandising

Who uses cross merchandising?

Cross-merchandising is used to improve sales across sectors and product types. Larger enterprises, such as supermarkets and department stores, may find it more applicable. But cross-merchandising may be used by all businesses to enhance basket size and overall sales income.

Specialty boutiques

Cross-merchandising can be utilized by boutiques to showcase new goods, promote best-sellers, and create thematic displays for seasonal or holiday merchandise.

Grocery stores

Cross-merchandising is mostly implemented in grocery shops to facilitate shopping and increase sales of related food goods.

Gift shops

Cross-merchandising is used to display things in gift shops that clients may require throughout their vacation. For instance, a gift shop at a beach resort may sell sunscreen and after-sun treatment alongside graphic T-shirts and postcards.

Electronic and game stores

A store that sells computers can also show laptop accessories in the same location. For instance, a consumer who purchases a new MacBook Pro may also choose to purchase a case, a screen cleaner, and a stand.

A portable gaming console may be accompanied with games and batteries in game retailers.

Liquor stores

The placement of secondary products, such as chips with beer or crackers and cheese with wine, is utilized by liquor stores.

Homegoods stores

In home goods stores, cross-merchandising is employed to create an immersive environment. Customers may enter a product display and sit on, engage with, and interact with various goods that fill the area.

The Ikea showroom is one illustration of this. While perusing the objects on exhibit, you are able to picture various interior design concepts as you stroll through the display and peruse its contents. This style of layout can let overloaded consumers select many things in a single visit.

Department stores

Cross-merchandising is a strategy that retailers who stock a variety of apparel, footwear, cosmetics, and personal care items can employ to bundle products and enhance sales.

Sarah Shapiro, a retail and merchandising expert, states, “At many major shops, the buyer or merchant for one department may not be the same buyer as the area you wish to cross-merchandise with.

It is crucial that there is a shared understanding of how to improve the client experience and that the in-store personnel assists with inventory management.”

Products can be categorized by topic, occasion, or lifestyle. It is essential to consider your clients while selecting complimentary items with a logical relationship.

For instance, if the graduation season is coming, you may make it simpler for consumers to locate an appropriate clothing. Place occasion-appropriate outfits, dress shoes, purses, and cosmetic products together to create a one-stop store.

Stationery and paper supply stores

At first sight, many of the items at stationery stores appear to be identical. Creating seasonal or holiday-themed displays can assist in directing people in the appropriate path.

You may store birthday cards with birthday wrapping paper, as well as pens and pencils beside notebooks. The counter may be stocked with impulsive goods such as mints and little notepads, and bookends can be put close to the books.

Not only does this make things easy for customers, but it may also improve product sales.

Beauty and pharmacy

Face cream can be placed next to face wash, and soft face towels can be hung from the same display as a secondary product placement. This strategy can aid in highlighting the necessity for clients to complete their skincare regimen with a luxurious towel.

What is your reopening plan?

Utilize our playbook to establish the new normal for your retail organization, from protecting workers and consumers to embracing new purchasing patterns.

What is Cross Shopping?

How to cross merchandise

To display items in a way that will increase sales, you might begin by producing a planogram, detailed sketch, or visual layout. A visual depiction of your store’s layout and displays might assist you in determining the precise placement of merchandise.

Work on cross-merchandising techniques after you know where you wish to place items.

Complementary products

Complementary items are the most prevalent cross-merchandising technique. Complementary items are those that are utilized or eaten in tandem.

For instance, beer near almonds, syrup and other toppings near pancake mix, and tomato sauce near pasta. This type of secondary product placement can improve sales and simplify the shopping experience for your clients.

In order to increase sales for both products, larger complementing items might also be positioned next to comparable commodities.

For instance, many pharmacies separate shampoo and conditioner from body soap. The consumer may recall that they need both things, while having initially intended to purchase only one.

Themes and occasions

Cross-merchandising can be used to attract attention to an impending holiday or event’s subject. This can assist shoppers link things with a memorable experience and elicit a favorable purchase response.

Thematic displays bring together objects from several categories and might spark inspiration or give a solution.

For instance, a Memorial Day display would contain hamburgers and buns, fruit, beer, and balloons. Typically, you would locate these things in various store departments. However, on this particular occasion, they are paired.

Unexpected products

Contrasting items might be cross-merchandised to provide an unexpected experience. Utilize this strategy to attract attention to limited-time or seasonal products, such as Christmas decorations. Or, employ contrasting product displays to promote sales of products that shoppers would not normally purchase together.

This cross-merchandising test conducted by Tesco outlets is an excellent example. After realizing that a substantial number of diaper purchasers were males, Tesco began displaying beer and snacks alongside diapers and witnessed an instant rise in beer sales.

This unexpected product pairing demonstrates that by carefully analyzing sales data and consumer behavior, you may identify a cross-selling opportunity.

Substitute products

To persuade people to select the alternative, you might put a simpler product with a bigger margin next to a conventional one. Cross-merchandising substitutions may save customers time, spark creative ideas, and enhance your profit margin.

For instance, a supermarket may sell pre-cut fruit platters near the fruit section. Pre-cut fruit may have the same wholesale price as whole fruit, but a higher retail price. Therefore, in this situation, the grocery shop earns a greater profit from the sale of pre-cut fruit plates.

Impulse buy

The majority of cross-merchandising initiatives are designed to increase impulsive purchases. There are, however, certain impulsive goods that are more prevalent than others.

In a grocery store, the checkout aisle typically has a variety of inexpensive things, including mints, chocolate, candy, magazines, and lip gloss. Except for the fact that they are popular things that consumers may purchase on their way out, these items have nothing in common.

What is Cross Shopping?

A boutique that sells pajamas is another example of this. Place eye masks, hair ties, lip gloss, and coffee cups at the cash register so that customers can buy them on a whim. Although they are low-priced goods, they can boost order totals and sales.


Many businesses place their best-selling items at the heart of their store. Cross-merchandising is the placement of identical products alongside best-sellers in order to increase the sales of products that are not selling at the same rate. This strategy could need extra explanation from the salesman.

For instance, if you offer athletic apparel, place your best-selling leggings beside related shirts. Then, suggest that customers try on the merchandise together. You will attract their attention with the leggings, and improve their purchasing worth by including the shirt.

Cross merchandising tips and best practices

Customer research, retail data, intelligence, and logic are required for an effective cross-merchandising strategy. Depending on region, consumer behavior, and items, every shop has a unique business plan.

However, when you construct your cross-merchandising strategy, you might consider a general process.

Logical connection between products

Ensure that consumers comprehend the reasoning for product placement. Without a clear relationship between adjacent objects, customers will get distracted and overwhelmed.

Rather of odd displays, such as feminine goods next to crackers, cross-merchandise products that solve problems or spark ideas.

“It is crucial to strike a balance between consumer behavior and intended behavior. If you want to increase the value of the basket, you must ensure that the goods next to one another make sense and that there is a logical flow or underlying theme.” —Sarah Shapiro, retail consultant and merchandiser

Use fixtures and displays

Cross-merchandising is most effective when executed deliberately. Arrange fixtures so that items appear to be a part of a collection. To implement your cross-merchandising plan, you can employ product displays such as mannequins, tables, bins, and display cases.

Get inspired by other stores

Visit and conduct research on other establishments to determine what cross-merchandising tactics they employ. We do not recommend that you reproduce their presentations word-for-word, but you can utilize their samples as a source of inspiration for your own business.

Promote underperforming products

Place items that aren’t selling well in other locations of the store to attract more attention and convince buyers that they need the product.

For instance, a grocery shop may enhance sales by reminding customers of a requirement by displaying corn on the cob holders beside the corn. If the holders are positioned across the store and out of sight, the likelihood is that they will not sell as well.

Sample and demonstrate products

Allowing clients to sample a product before to purchase can be beneficial for marketing cosmetics, food, and beverages. Here, we will especially discuss cosmetics. Create a demonstration or sample station and utilize cross-merchandising to exhibit the beauty items required to replicate a certain look at home.

For instance, if your beauty theme is summer simplicity, design a display that includes several items that customers can utilize to accomplish this look. This may consist of concealer, blush, lip gloss, and mascara.

You or your in-house beauty artist can give a complimentary cosmetics application as a trial. Customers will be able to test the various goods before purchasing all or a portion of them. It might potentially lead to greater sales.

Identify shopping patterns and understand your customers

Cross-merchandising is most effective when buyers comprehend the purpose of each product and how they may be used in tandem. To ensure this is apparent, it is crucial to understand your clients and their requirements.

Collect consumer data, such as the sorts of things they buy most frequently, the quantities they buy, and comments such as whether the items they purchased were on sale.

This data may help you evaluate which cross-merchandising techniques may work for your shop, as well as provide useful insights into your consumers’ wants and needs.

Once you have this knowledge, you can create a cross-merchandising strategy that lets clients see your items in their homes. This may be accomplished through the use of models, photographs, or interactive shopping experiences.

Do your research and stay on top of industry trends

Keeping abreast with market developments might inspire new cross-merchandising strategies. The key to a retail store’s success is to meet consumers where they are in their behavior, which is always changing.

How to cross merchandise online

While cross merchandising is primarily viewed as an in-store sales approach, online organizations can also employ product-placement strategies to increase sales. You may raise your average order value using strategies other than product presentations (AOV).

What is Cross Shopping?

Here are some online tactics to consider:

Use lifestyle photos

Add lifestyle images to your ecommerce store to illustrate how your items are utilized in the real world. Create blog posts that discuss the look and provide links to the featured goods. Create a collection for each outfit to make it simple for site visitors to purchase the entire ensemble with just a few clicks.

List complementary or similar items on product pages

Include three to five complementary goods in the “You may also enjoy” section of product pages. This is an ideal location to display other colors or products that your consumer may use or wear with the product they are presently browsing.

Cross-merchandising T-shirts and pants, for instance. In the “You May Also Like” area at the bottom of your product page, you may recommend jeans to customers who are viewing your t-shirts. Alternatively, you may rename the section “Wear with”

Bundle products

Examine your consumer data to see which items are commonly purchased together. Based on purchasing habits, generate bundles (or groups of items) and sell each bundle as a single product with an all-inclusive pricing.

Getting cross merchandising right

In retail, no two cross-merchandising tactics are identical. Combining items to increase sales requires trial and experimenting.

To effectively cross-merchandise, it is crucial to have a finger on the pulse of client behavior and sales data.

It may increase sales by enhancing customer happiness, generating new ideas, and reminding individuals of a problem or need they wish to remedy.

Nine examples of cross-merchandising in action

Here are nine instances of cross-merchandising that give answers and enhanced in-store experiences to consumers:

1. Display combinations which tap into shopper missions

The Telegraph states that “when beer and nibbles come together, pleasant things occur.” Beer displays are always shown with a variety of salty finger foods, such as chips, peanuts, and biltong, to take advantage of this fact.

Another example would be prepackaged lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and celery that are placed together to enable customers quickly assemble a salad.

When you understand the objectives of your customers, you can build cross-merchandising displays that respond to their needs. And when consumers are able to relate to the display, they are more likely to make a buy.

2. A combination of field marketing and cross-merchandising

West Point Market in Ohio explained how to use their grill machine by creating and handing out samples of freshly grilled sandwiches. As clients tried the samples, they not only purchased the grill machine, but also the necessary supplies to prepare melted cheese sandwiches at home.

3. The unexpected buyer persona cross-merchandising opportunity

A number of years ago, Tesco supermarkets in the United Kingdom realized that a significant number of diaper buyers were guys.

After conducting some study, it was determined that the ladies had dispatched their husbands to the store to restock diapers while they were at home caring for the infant.

What is Cross Shopping?

When Tesco got aware of this purchasing trend, they began displaying beer and munchies beside the diapers and quickly saw a sales surge.

This beer and diaper combination demonstrates that by carefully analyzing sales data, market research, and client personalities, it is possible to identify a very profitable cross-selling opportunity.

4. Make the shopper’s life easier

Cherry pitters were sold alongside packs of cherries by Buehler’s Fresh Foods in the United States. They made a fortune and completely sold out of cherry pitters at all fifteen chain outlets.

The cherry pitter has always been present at the store, but it had previously gone unnoticed by customers until the use case was highlighted.

This example demonstrates the significance of a retailer’s involvement in making the shopper’s life a little bit simpler.

5. Save the shopper time

Historically, ice cream and scoops were presented in separate retail aisles. Customers who purchase ice cream love it when the scoops are displayed with the ice cream so that they may purchase both items simultaneously. Customers return due of the convenience.

Other time-saving cross-merchandising concepts include placing ice cream toppings (glazed cherries and chocolate sprinkles), which are often available in the sweets or baking aisle, near the ice cream scoops; this will also encourage impulse purchases.

6. Associate your merchandise with a memorable experience

Intelligent merchants recognize the significance of unforgettable experiences. By linking your items with great experiences as opposed to individual things, you might elicit favorable purchasing responses.

Typically, families like picnics, when they eat, play games, and generally have a nice time. By exhibiting picnic-related items together, you as a merchant may offer an immersive solution.

7. Remind the shopper of their needs

Shoppers sometimes overlook the smallest of items. They may remember to purchase salad greens, but neglect to replenish the salad dressing supply.

Retailers could capitalize on this opportunity by assisting customers with their forgotten shopping lists. By cross-merchandising intelligently, you can remind customers of the smallest details.

Putting salad dressings and condiments among salad components in the produce department is one example of this, as is displaying soy sauce alongside curry pastes and stir-fry noodles.

8. Show customers how to use the product

Sriracha sauce. Some consumers enjoy it, while others would like to try it (and would likely enjoy it) but have no idea how to include it into their meals.

Such an unfamiliar product, such as Sriracha sauce, presents a chance to cross-merchandise by putting it among goods that are designed to match or complement it, along with simple recipe suggestions, to encourage shoppers to purchase the sauce and try it at home.

9. Group products together for a specific occasion

Cross-merchandising that highlights significant events will ensure that your specials and promotions are not overlooked.

Typically, supermarkets group back-to-school-themed merchandise, such as lunchboxes with a variety of snacks, for display.

Five tips for successful cross-merchandising

Understand your customers:

Consider the presentation from the customer’s perspective. If it makes no sense or does not appeal to their requirements, the bundled products will not sell well.

Create your product display around a central theme:

Cross-merchandising should not cause shop or aisle congestion. Your product must be visible to customers and consistent with the store’s other marketing and promotional materials.

The products must have a logical link or connection:

Cross-merchandising requires the grouping of items that are connected in some way. For instance, do not display strawberries and spaghetti sauce together, as there is no logical connection between the two.

Customers will not comprehend the pairing’s purpose. Better displays might include strawberries, fresh cream, and elegant dessert plates.

Track performance:

You should reevaluate your cross-merchandising approach if the goods you’ve shown together have not experienced an increase in sales, or if sales have declined.

Limited yourself:

In order for cross-merchandising to be effective, it must be limited to specific locations, potentially dependent on the season or based on performance, as stated above. A business that utilizes cross-merchandising in every aisle is likely to be exceedingly perplexing for customers.

Cross merchandising FAQ

What is meant by cross merchandising?

Cross-merchandising is a visual merchandising approach involving the juxtaposition of complementary items. Also referred to as secondary product placement.

Is cross merchandising a good approach Why or why not?

Cross-merchandising offers several benefits, such as fostering client loyalty and increasing sales. Cross-merchandising also enables for the promotion of new items and the saving of customers’ time.

What are the types of merchandising?

Product merchandising, visual merchandising, retail merchandising, omnichannel merchandising, and digital merchandising are the five principal categories of merchandising.

What is Cross Shopping?

What are the 5 R’s of merchandising?

The 5 R’s of retailing relate to the right product, in the right location, at the right time, in the right quantity, and at the right price.

What are the 4 P’s of merchandising?

Product, pricing, location, and promotion are the four P’s of merchandising.


Cross-merchandising is most effective when it enhances customer value and shopping ease. How to begin? Start with planning your shelf management, as planning is the key to an effective cross-merchandising approach.


Cross-shopping, which is when consumers visit multiple stores to get the best deal, is seeing a dip as people want to spend less time in stores. Instead, more people are trying to get the most out of individual shopping trips and find the best deals from one location.
Cross Shopping is neither good nor bad. This form of shopping depends on the retailer adjustment to the shopping style. This style can become a benefit to attract new consumers through sales promotions. Retailers can lose consumers if the person does not find the intended product.
Cross merchandising makes the shopping experience more convenient for your customers and may inspire ideas or remind them of additional items they need. When done effectively, cross merchandising can result in increased sales and average order value (AOV).
Cross-marketing or cross-promotion is a marketing strategy when companies or brands come together to help each other increase sales. In other words, cross-marketing is the process of advertising a product or brand across multiple marketing channels.
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