How does a complementary product increase the value of the basket?

Large retail chains, regardless of the industry, use such solutions in their stationary and on-line stores. For small companies, discovering what a complementary product is may result in a rapid increase in the average value of the basket by up to several dozen percent. This is what research shows, it is therefore worth getting to know the details of this phenomenon.

Complementary product - definition

Complementary product - what is it? The explanation of this concept is very simple. And yet there are still companies in Poland that ignore its power, thus depriving themselves of some of the profits.

Complementary product can be understood on two levels. Broadly speaking, they are simply goods that cannot be used without each other, such as a car and gasoline. Cars and gasoline are sold at different locations. They come from other suppliers. Their buying is not related to each other. And yet, in the macro plan, fluctuations in gasoline prices affect the number of cars sold and vice versa. Problems with the availability of petrol cars or legal restrictions mean that gas stations sell less of their goods.

In a narrower sense, complementary products simply press together and complement each other. This allows you to increase profits in a stationary or online store, the value of a particular shopping cart, and customer lifetime value. Here, the rules are understandable to anyone who has become acquainted with the available knowledge on this subject. In broad terms, the influence of complementary goods on each other is determined by a complicated mathematical formula and allows for the analysis of fluctuations in shares or fuel prices. In the practice of running an online store on a daily basis, the use of this concept is much simpler. 

Examples of complementary products

A complementary product may also be slightly cheaper than what the customer buys, such as a clock and batteries or a lamp and a bulb. However, if the price difference is too great, the propensity to expand the shopping list decreases. For example, when buying a luxury car, no one will buy a few liters of gasoline "included", and when buying a flat, the customer does not even think about buying a windshield wiper.

A complementary product is the basis for increasing the value of purchases made in the store or the number of services purchased. Its introduction to the offer is a certain success, but examples from the market show that even more can be gained by skillfully planning your pricing policy. This is well illustrated by the situation when the store with printer cartridges begins to offer printers. Printer inks are legendary and cost more per ml than blood or fine wine. When a complicated mechanism such as a printer is visible in their vicinity, at a relatively low price compared to this background, many customers will decide to buy a new printing machine.

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Complementary product and marketing strategy

Complementary products are divided into:

  • quantitative,
  • qualitative,
  • individual factors,
  • dynamic,
  • vendor based,
  • from different categories,
  • complementary.

Research by American and Chinese researchers (published under the title: "Complementsand Substitutes in Product Recommendations: The Differential Effects he Consumers' Willingness-to-pay") Prove that consumers judge not so much the price as price in relation to other products. In an experiment conducted for the purpose of research in a popular online store, items at different prices were displayed as suggested products to participants. They were complementary or substitutes. It turned out that: 

  • consumers were willing to pay more for the basic product if the price of the complementary product was higher than it; 
  • customers were willing to pay more if they saw the more expensive, recommended product at the second stage of the purchase decision (and not at the very beginning, when, for example, they only visited the store for the first time). 
  • Proposing a complementary product works best at the second stage of making a purchase decision, while proposing a substitute discourages and allows the customer to postpone the decision or give up. 

Sets, cross-selling, bestsellers

Everyone who runs an online store today based on the simplest e-commerce systems has access to tools that were once available to a few. Knowing what a complementary product is and how it works for buyers can create sets and otherwise influence the choices of shoppers.

  • Included the complementary product together with the base product are slightly cheaper together, so it is profitable to buy both at once; 
  • Best-seller from the complementary product category, it encourages people to buy what else is needed; 
  • Special offer for a complementary product may outweigh the scales and induce a purchasing decision even at the last stage of purchasing. 
  • News from the appropriate category, they can inspire you to complete your basket; 
  • Customers who chose this product, they also bought ... - this type of recommendation reminds us that a complementary product may come in handy. 
  • Personalization makes it easier to choose products that match those already in the basket. 

If the complementary products do complement the thing, there is virtually no risk of their introduction. You risk nothing, and you have the prospect of a significant increase in the value of the basket - this is invaluable sales supportCommunication strategy including mailing or telemarketing, it can also use these solutions taken from online stores. 

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