Earning revenue in eCommerce is like climbing a ladder. The first step is attracting visitors to the website. The next step is encouraging them to add products to the cart and purchase. One more step and your clients should become loyal customers.
But you may want not just to sell products but ensure that shoppers buy more goods at a time. There is one metric illustrating how much money people spend on one order on average. It’s the average order value (AOV).
Why should you measure AOV? This measurement is crucial because it tells you whether your business is growing or shrinking. This parameter helps analyze customer satisfaction and user behavior. If the AOV is increasing over time, then you know that customers buy more items on average. They may like the website user experience, quality of goods, discounts, and other incentives.
On the other hand, if your AOV is decreasing over time, then people buy fewer items. In this case, you should implement strategies to increase AOV for your eCommerce business. Let’s look at some of the ways to boost this metric.
1. Offer Bundles to Save Money on a Package
The first strategy to boost sales is to offer bundles. Grouping items together can provide additional value to customers in various forms, be it convenience or a lower price. Follow these tips for making the most of your bundle deals:
- Bundle products that make sense together, such as shampoo and conditioner, or a complete outfit. Make it easier for shoppers to find everything they need in one place.
- Provide attractive discounts for bundled items to encourage customers to buy more. For example, reduce the price if someone purchases two or three pairs of shoes.
- Suggest complementary items based on customer data. Identify who may be interested in purchasing complementary items. Suppose people frequently buy a T-shirt and running shoes, include both in your bundle deal for future orders.
Check the screenshot from Pipcorn below. The website has a dedicated page for creating bundles.
Screenshot taken on the official Pipcorn website
2. Consider Upselling and Cross-Selling
Upselling and cross-selling rely on the simple idea of showing users more items to add to their shopping cart. And they are among the tried-and-tested techniques to increase the AOV, eCommerce mobile conversion rates, and other crucial metrics.
According to statistics, businesses generate 70-95% of total income with upsells and renewals. And average revenue growth from upselling is between 10% and 30%.
However, upselling and cross-selling require more than leaving numerous products before customers’ eyes. Consumers are overwhelmed with the number of choices they have to make every day. So having multiple options may complicate the task further.
As people have short attention spans, you should make upsells and cross-sells fast, frictionless, and effortless. The most popular place to propose goods to customers is right before checkout or on the product page.
Take a look at these “Complete the Look” sections on Ariat and Indestructible MFG.
Screenshot taken on the official Ariat website
Screenshot taken on the official Indestructible MFG website
If you think you can’t do the same after the order is completed, there is good news: you can. Following a customer’s successful transaction completion, demonstrate a different product or a tempting coupon on the next purchase. Make the deal more enticing by setting a due date.
3. Introduce a Threshold for Free Shipping
It’s no secret that customers love free shipping, and not offering it can leave you missing out on potential sales. A 2021 Consumer Trends Report states that 66% of consumers want free shipping for all online orders, and 80% expect it when spending a particular amount on goods.
However, shipping implies costs on packaging, delivery, and so on. Introducing free shipping may seem counter-intuitive in the context of increasing revenue. But don’t worry; a minimum free shipping threshold is an easy and effective way to keep your buyers coming back for more. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- The demand for free shipping is only growing, so it’s essential to offer it to stay competitive in the eCommerce industry.
- Such a threshold can encourage customers to add more items to their cart, increasing their AOV.
- There is no one-size-fits-all approach to finding the suitable minimum. It depends on your business, industry, and shipping costs.
Here’s an example of how setting a free shipping threshold can boost sales. Welly automatically offers products, so you don’t have to search for goods.
Screenshot taken on the official Welly website
4. Launch a Loyalty Program to Earn Rewards
Another way to enhance the AOV is to reward customers for interacting with your brand. Start a loyalty program to encourage people to perform various tasks in exchange for perks, such as discounts, early access to new products, or cash back.
Loyalty programs aim at retaining clients. They also increase the average check as more products mean moving closer to the next tier and extra bonuses. The Canadian online store Mowellens leverages this strategy and assigns 16 points for every $1 spent.
Screenshot taken on the official Mowellens website
5. Speed up Decision Making with a Sense of Urgency
Have you ever noticed how limited-time offers seem to have a magical effect on online shoppers? It’s because they create a sense of urgency. They make people feel like they have to act fast if they want to take advantage of a great deal.
It’s a famous phenomenon known as a fear of missing out (FOMO). So by using a sense of urgency/scarcity, you encourage consumers to jump at the chance to buy something rare or in short supply.
Scarcity marketing can effectively drive up sales and increase the AOV. For example, that’s what Black Friday and Cyber Monday are about. These sales are famous for their ability to stir up FOMO in shoppers and create a buzz. That’s what Etro does in its newsletter by displaying a countdown timer.
Screenshot taken from the newsletter from the official Etro website
6. Run Promotions and Sales
The next tip is similar to the one discussed above. Here we speak about offering promotions and special deals. But although they can increase sales, they can reduce the individual value of each order. If you aim to boost conversions and preserve the AOV at a high level, you should combine deals with different tricks.
For example, introduce a discount threshold. You can let your customers benefit from discounts and raise your AOV by giving them a deal, like 15% off orders of $100 or more.
7. Minimize Friction on a Purchase Journey
Suppose your website visitors see enticing offers and want to add them to the cart. They click, but something is wrong. The links lead to nowhere, and the shopping cart doesn’t update. Or worse, they reach checkout only to find website errors or unanticipated extra steps. That’s frustrating.
Let alone these issues may divert people from purchasing from you in the first place, they can spoil the brand’s reputation, reducing the flow of new clients. That’s why you should take care of the technical part of the website as well as its design. Here are some hints for a start:
- untangle navigation;
- introduce filters;
- provide on-site search.
Proceed to product pages, a shopping cart, and checkout to reduce cart abandonment and churn, for example:
- Show additional expenses associated with the order, such as taxes or delivery fees.
- Give customers the option to checkout as a guest so they won’t have to register.
- Reduce the number of pages and fields at checkout. A good practice is to hide them and display them in drop-down menus or pop-ups.
Below is a screenshot from Whitetail Gin’s checkout page. The retailer asks for minimum information and marks the obligatory or optional fields. Checkout takes one page with the order details on the right.
Screenshot taken on the official Whitetail Gin website
8. Resolve Customer Issues Quickly and Efficiently
Another way to increase AOV is to focus on prompt and effective customer service. Let’s say a person wants to add something to the cart but doubts something. Give your customers a way to get in touch with you right away. That’s where you can utilize live chat and AI chatbots.
Live chat is beneficial for expensive items like beds and furnishings. In such stores, people may need additional assistance to click the “Buy” button. Apart from helping to make a single transaction, you can initiate a dialog leading to repeat sales. Check how live chat may look based on the example of Barker & Stonehouse.
Screenshot taken on the official Barker & Stonehouse website
9. Simplify the Return Process
A flexible return policy is an excellent way to ease consumers’ concerns and encourage them to purchase. Here’s how you can make the most of your return policy to increase your average order value:
- Set up a customer-friendly return policy: When shoppers know they can easily return or exchange items, they’ll be more likely to commit their time and money to the brand. It will also help you mitigate any misgivings they may have about buying from you.
- Be transparent: Make sure your return policy is clear and easy to understand. Avoid confusing or hidden terms and conditions that may discourage customers from purchasing.
- Make your return policy known: Once a customer-friendly return policy is in place, promote it! Use every opportunity to highlight your AOV-boosting return policy, such as purchase confirmation emails, social media posts, and website banners. A case in point is Maradji, which states “Free returns and exchanges within 30 days” at the top of every page.
Screenshot taken on the official Maradji website
10. Personalize the Shopping Experience
Personalized product recommendations are tailored suggestions shown to visitors based on their behaviors and profile. You need to leverage artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to enable personalization. However, not all recommendations are personalized. Here are cases when you can call them tailored:
- they are based on browsing or purchase history;
- the offers are customized according to customer location or profile;
- the website uses product affinities to recommend goods, such as offers based on user behavior and what others with similar patterns also liked.
You can observe such recommendations in the screenshot below. Seedlip Drinks triggers them based on users’ selection after adding a product to the cart.
Screenshot taken on the official Seedlip Drinks website
We’ve discussed ten tips to increase AOV. Remember that it’s all about the customer experience and stressing your clients’ importance. The better you organize the shopping process, the less effort it will take to make a purchase. And if you use some psychological tricks to persuade people to add more products to the cart, the better AOV you will have.
Optimize the website’s usability, instill a sense of urgency, and provide discounts on bundles. The best part is that by introducing the above changes, you also enhance other metrics and the overall brand perception. All of these will result in more sales and stable business growth.
About the Author
Kate Parish, chief marketing officer at Onilab, Magento development agency. Kate helps businesses grow by developing practical and measurable digital marketing strategies. She shares her expertise in SEO, branding, link-building, and digital marketing tools for attracting, nurturing, and converting the target audience into loyal customers.