3 simple ways to create urgency with upsells

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Upsells have been around for ages, and have been used to offer value to customers, move product, and increase AOV across hundreds of thousands of online stores. But, what if we told you that with a few tweaks, your upsell offers can drive urgency and increase conversions by getting customers to act fast this holiday season?

Let’s chat about some strategic ways you can use upsells to increase urgency this BFCM.

Add a countdown timer

Countdown timers? On upsells? Yup, you got that right. Countdown timers have been used across eCommerce websites for years - on banners, product pages, collection pages, and product images. They incentivize the customer to act now, by creating a limited time frame when they can grab an item.

Now, we can use them on upsells to double the incentive for buying!

Upsells work so well because they offer value by creating highly relevant, upgraded offers on the original product customers are interested in. Upsells after checkout drive even more sales by offering an upsell after the checkout process is complete. In fact, they report higher conversion rates up to 10%!

With Upsell after checkout, customers are presented with a real-time countdown timer and an expiring upsell offer. With one-click of a button, the item is added to their order without the hassle of re-entering payment information or shipping details.

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To set up upsells after checkout install both Cashier and Upsell using your partner ref links, and enable upsell after checkout within the Cashier marketplace. Then, head to the Upsell admin to set up your upsell after checkout by choosing which items trigger the offer, and which items you’d like to offer on the upsell itself.

The countdown timer is automatically included on the upsell, set for a five minute window to harness the power of the impulse buy/upgrade.

Remember, if you’re setting up countdown timers for your merchants this BFCM, be strategic! Only include them on upsells and one other medium, like banners, to avoid overwhelming (or worse - annoying) their customers.

Use strategic language

“Last chance!”, “Hurry, this offer ends soon!”, “This weekend only!”

We’ve all seen these messages on both websites and brick and mortar stores around the holiday season. They catch your attention and pique your interest as a customer. So, why do they work so well? Language has an interesting effect on our psyche as consumers.

When we see that a deal or promotion is for a limited time, we immediately want to be involved. Loss aversion, or the pain of losing something, is similar to the psychological phenomenon FOMO, or fear of missing out. Both play into the notion that customers need to buy now in order to avoid missing out on great sales.

Since upsells have limited real estate on your customer’s sites, it’s important to be strategic with the language you chose. Include an attention-grabbing header that displays either how long the sale will last for, or language that explains that the sale is for a limited time.



Some common phrases that provoke urgency include:

  • One day only
  • Only until Monday
  • This weekend only
  • For a limited time
  • Grab em before they’re gone
  • While supplies last
  • Hurry - this offer ends soon
  • Low in stock
  • Last chance

No matter which header you chose to provoke urgency on your client’s upsells, make sure the language is still on-brand for your merchants.

The trick is to be strategic with the terms you use; choose one urgency-inducing phrase per upsell to avoid seeming too pushy.

You can customize the messaging of your upsell in Bold Upsell admin, by selecting Upsell Settings under the Settings in the Navigation Bar. With CSS you can customize the look and feel of the Upsell for a seamless brand experience.


Customize colours

You can easily customize upsells to match the look and feel of your merchant’s site, but choosing certain colours can also help drive the need to buy now!

Colour psychology has been studied by both psychologists and behavioural economists for decades, and they’ve found certain colours provoke different emotions in consumers and led to certain desired outcomes. It’s a powerful marketing technique used by popular brands all over the world.


The colour red for example increases heart rate and denotes a sense of urgency. Red has been historically associated with danger, so it taps into our primal nature and speeds up our reactions. It grabs our attention immediately, so consumers who view a buy button or sales announcement in red are likely to purchase much quicker. This is why you often see red sale signs across the retail market.


Blue, on the other hand, is associated with security, trust and comfort and is used by top banks, security brands and technology companies across the world. Since blue is so reassuring, it comes as no surprise that this study has shown blue links are clicked more often.

Using this data, we can create highly converting upsells utilizing these colours. Red can be incorporated in upsells as a background, CTA or accents to grab attention, and blue can be used for product names, descriptions and links to instil trust and confidence. Use CSS to customize colours in Bold Upsell by selecting the Settings option in the admin.

To wrap it up...

With a few small tweaks, you can create highly effective upsell offers for your merchants that will have their customers acting fast. When pairing a sense of urgency with strategic upsells, your merchants can exceed their goals this holiday season.

5 ways to make the most of BFCM

The countdown to Black Friday Cyber Monday is on. Whether you're a rookie or a seasoned veteran, get the strategies and resources you need to make this year a success. Create a discount, shout it out it, and sell more than ever before.

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Amy Polowy

Written by Amy Polowy

Amy is a Partner Marketing Manager at Bold and is a self-proclaimed peanut butter connoisseur.

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