8 MIN READ

No matter what you’re selling, you want your customers to be buying more of it. Increasing your average order value is a fantastic way to boost your sales, but it’s often overlooked. This guide is for you if you’re looking for how to increase your average order value effectively. 

Many retailers often focus on ramping up marketing campaigns and customer conversion efforts to bring in higher sales, but often, this revenue is misplaced. Instead, encouraging customers to buy more while on site is a smarter way to do things and should be a priority goal for any eCommerce site. 

Firstly, do you know the average value of orders placed on your site? Knowing how much your customers are spending per order can give you invaluable insights that you can use to boost sales by increasing your AOV.  If you’ve no idea what your AOV is – don’t panic! Use this straightforward formula to figure it out. 

 

Total Revenue ÷ Number of orders = Average Order Value 

 

You’ll also want to get this set up in Google Analytics by enabling eCommerce tracking and make good use of the features on offer there. 

Here are some of our fool-proof ways to boost your average order value and raise your sales in a smart, cost-effective way.

1. Optimise your delivery options to increase average order value 

A really effective, yet incredibly simple starting point to increase your average order value is to offer free delivery on higher spends. For example, “free delivery on orders over £30”. You may want to consider including click and collect in this offer too, which will appeal to more customers and drive spending further. 

Extra tip: Place low cost or low consideration items by the click and collect cash desk so shoppers pick them up while waiting in line.

2. Discounts on minimum spend thresholds 

Reward your customers for buying more with money off at different spend thresholds like the below from ASOS. We’ve ALL succumbed to this one, right? It’s hard to resist offers like “10% off all orders £50 and over.” Everyone likes to get more for their money. However, you’ll need to keep in mind overall costs so this doesn’t end up being a counterintuitive exercise – you want to offer a discount that will still result in profits.

3. Limited time offers to increase average order value 

Time-sensitive offers are a brilliant way to increase average order value, and conversions in general, during slower trading periods throughout the year. By putting a time limit on your sale, you’re leveraging the customer’s FOMO. We simply hate missing out, whether that’s a trending topic on Twitter, the latest viral cat video, or a simply unmissable sale.

4. Price anchoring 

This psychological marketing approach is a good way to use pricing to draw comparisons between products and influence the buyer’s decisions. For example, showing the discounted item next to similar items of full price will emphasize just how good of a deal the buyer is getting and increase likelihood to purchase. 

With this, you can also display the cost savings of buying the discounted items – this places a visual amount of money in front of the buyer which they will then be more likely to consider making further purchases.

5. Offering gift cards for spend thresholds  

Gift cards are a great way of rewarding customers for their order, whilst boosting the likelihood of them returning to buy again in the future. Make sure that the gift card amount won’t end up in a profit loss. Be transparent about how they can spend it (ie. limitations to spend when using other offers or free delivery, etc.)  Argos run this promotion quite frequently throughout the year, like the below.

6. Make sure your returns policy is flexible 

Buyers like the security of a good returns policy and having one in place is a great way to boost sales – even if the customer (hopefully) doesn’t actually need to use it! Customers are likely to order more when safe in the knowledge that they can return their items if they don’t want them. 

7. Cross-selling and upselling will increase your AOV

Cross-selling and upselling are absolutely key to increase your average order value, and you’re likely to see this technique deployed on most retailer’s websites.

Cross-selling is recommending products that go with the one the customer is looking at buying. Such as a perfect top for the pair of jeans being bought. You can support this further with seasonal edits, look-books, and buying guides.

Upselling involves strategic positioning of items that are similar to the one the customer is looking to buy but that are of higher value, larger quantities, or newer versions and models. A good way to upsell is to convey the improved features and benefits of going for the higher cost choice.

 

8. Target customers based on their browsing history

By keeping the products in a customer’s mind you can leverage increasing the chances of them buying it.

This is a really good technique to employ around the seasonal period when people are looking for the perfect gift, and browsing a higher volume of items. People will also be looking to buy more items this time of year, so it’s naturally a great time to increase your average order value. Make sure that they can hide their browsing history or clear items out of it – you don’t want to ruin someone’s Christmas surprise if they use shared accounts or devices!

9. Use mix and match offers 

A stand out example of a leading mix and match offer is Boots seasonal 3 for 2 on all gifts across brands. I defy anyone to say they’ve never bought or received a 3 for 2 Boots’ smelly set at Christmas! It’s such a big part of the holiday season that drives their sales each year by upping their average spend. 

You don’t just have to use this seasonally, many retailers apply mix and match throughout the year to items like underwear or makeup. Get creative with this, your customers are bound to love this kind of offer!

10. Low-cost add-ons 

 

You’re in a big queue in your local supermarket; you only popped in for a loaf of bread but 4 bars of chocolate, some batteries, chewing gum, and a Graze box have somehow worked their way into your basket. 

Supermarkets leverage low-cost items at their checkouts knowing that people waiting will see the low ticket price and most likely, impulse buy the tempting treats. You can replicate this online – Amazon does this really well  – with add-on items that can be added to your basket for a discounted price when your order reaches a certain value.

 

11. Loyalty and membership options 

By having a membership or loyalty program, you’ll increase your average order value and increase number of returning customers in one fell swoop. I have to admit, ever since ASOS initiated their Premier membership, offering free unlimited next day delivery, I usually shop with them.  It’s totally worth the one-off payment of £9.95 (although recently increased to £14.99). 

H&M also gets a fair chunk of my hard-earned cash since they’ve introduced membership that offers point building that translates into money off, free next day delivery for members (over a certain amount), and exclusive sale offers. 

By introducing loyalty points or strategic membership options, you’ll boost your sales revenue and see higher spends.

12. Exclusive discounts for new customers 

Most retail websites you go on will have a banner or pop up alerting new customers that by signing up they’ll receive 10% off their first order, like the below from Monki. This is a great way of driving conversion and order value simultaneously as they’ll be more likely to spend more to receive a higher discount. Plus, once signed up, they’re now in your funnel and you can begin to market regularly to them to drive repeat purchases.

13. Payment plans and finance options 

Consider offering payment plans and finance options for larger, more expensive items and orders of much higher value. A lot of people can’t generally afford to drop a load of cash on a high-cost item – things like technology, furniture, and some designer garments and shoes may fall within this remit. 

By offering the customer the ability to pay in installments, you can boost your average order value while securing the purchase with you – limiting the chances of them going elsewhere for the item (or similar, cheaper items.)

14. Bundle offers to drive up your average order value 

What is an eye shadow palette without brushes and mascara? A luxury face wash without cleanser and toner? Nail polish without a base coat and top coat?

Pair up products that will increase spending while offering a slight discount. Starter packs are a great way to do this to entice new customers. Think of what items you sell that work well together and offer a discount based on buying them at the same time.

 

15. Use chatbots to support the buying journey

Using chatbots to support the customer throughout the purchase process is a good way to drive conversion and boost sales. With automated messaging, bots are able to answer product questions that may halt the buying process. They can be used to upsell and cross-sell to increase your average order value, while giving an element of trust in you that there is an immediate form of contact on the page.

16. Split Testing 

Always AB test your campaigns – this will give you greater insights into what is working and what isn’t, test out different pages or elements or even entire websites to see what users respond best to and ultimately how they convert off the back of this.

 

Getting the most out of your AOV data 

 

Once you have the data together on your average order value, keep track and record fluctuations so you can gain insight into any potential issues with your website that might be affecting it. Benchmark against yourself and any available market data, or industry benchmarks you can find. This will give you an idea of what you should be aiming for.

With the above tips, you should be able to improve your AOV in no time!

 

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Charlotte McKee
5th September 2019
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