Saturday, March 10, 2012

Some ideas to increase the online average order value

Increasing the Average Order Value? There are many (online) possibilities to do so.
Always keep the first two options (cross sell and up sell) as the "mothers of increasing average order value" in mind.
Increase your average order value by being there at the right time with the right offer
Increasing AOV: be there at the right time with the right offer


Cross sell

Cross selling is when you offer your customers related products that they buy at the same time, for example an HDMI cable with an HDTV, or the matching earrings to a necklace. There are automated tools to do so and there are manual options in most webshops.

Up sell

Up selling means persuading your customers to buy a similar, but higher priced item. The easiest way to up sell is to offer alternative products on your product pages, showing the next few similar, but more expensive products. But you can also be more creative, by using some tools that are described below. Imagine when people see a product page of a product but as an alternative you will see a higher priced item, but higher rated item. Big chance people will choose this better rated item.


  • Reward/Loyalty programme
A loyalty programme that encourages users to spend more for extra incentives. Loyalty programmes are often already present in webshop software packages. Make sure your CRM can work loyalty programmes as well.
  • Gift Cards
Start selling gift cards, that are only available at certain fixed prices. Gift wrapping will also help to increase the AOV a little. Of course you can also give a 5 dollar gift card if people spend over 50 dollar for example.

Increase the average order value by the use of giftcards
Gift Cards also a way of increasing your AOV



  • Hero/Sales products near shopping cart
Add "last chance" products in the checkout close to checking out. Special cheap offers you easily put in your shopping basket.
  • Improve landingpages
Improve and test your landingpages from (external) campaigns. Often they can be improved to get a higher AOV.
  • Product Bundles
Combine popular products or related products and give a small discount. By making a bundled product which includes both items for just $100, you increase your order value from what could have been just $75 to a better $100 Make sure your visitors see this product bundle as something they have to buy.
  • On site Search
Improve and tweak your on site search for example to show some products at more prominent places in search results.
But don't stay limited to the search. Show these higher priced products at your site. Don't hide them.
  • Limited Edition products
Start offering special products. "Limited edition products" for example. They can always have a higher price.
  • Recommendations/Reviews
Reviews and ratings will also help to increase the AOV when used in a proper way. Tools like Shopzilla and Bazaarvoice are excellent for doing so. Make sure your higher priced products are excellently rated commented on and displayed at multiple pages at your site.
  • Deals of the day
Start with Daily deals. Of course deals that are above your current AOV or when cheaper with a perfect upselling product next to it.
  • Incentives
Give a free product when the total order value is above a certain amount and give 2 free products when it is even above the next certain amount. But stay testing. If you already show the 2 products people can get at your homepage, people might bounce. Show them in the basket a message like : "you have now ordered for 75 euro's, if you order for 85 euro's you will get this extra free gift". Be aware that by offering a gift for every product, people might (depending on your branche and assortment) only buy for the incentive and this will NOT increase your AOV.
  • Segmentation
Try to get the AOV higher with segmentation / recommendation and profiling tools. These are tools like prudsys, unica , endeca or others.
  • Free Shipping
Free shipping with orders over an ammount that is higher then your current AOV
  • Video at product page
Another way of trying to get a higher avarage order value is to use video at your product page, where you show how convenient certain related products can be for the use with the main product.
  • Social
Make sure people share your products at social networks, but be even more sure, people share your products with a higher order value. Make a strategy for that. Find brand ambassadors and give for example with their order them some higher order valued products for free and let them share it.
In general social engagement can help to increase the average order value.
  • Order history
Make use of people's order history.
After buying a cell phone, I might want the newer version one year later. Make this easy for people and remember them about it. It is important to be relevant and to be there at the right time.
But also, if a person normally orders for example on average for 55 euro's, make an incentive or promotion to let him order for 60 euro's and the person who normally orders for 75 euro's try to convince him to buy for 80 euro's. Make it an interactive campaign based on profile or oder information.

Chuck Norris would have increased this companies average order value if he had the change...
Be relevant, be in time! This can increase your AOV. Chuck would have bought these ninja spikes, if he had the opportunity and he could have increased the AOV of this company!


  • Logistics
Make sure your webshop can handle a situation where people can add products to their order even if they have finished their order already. So for example, I am finishing my order now. But it is shipped 2 days later. In these 2 days, I can try to sell more products in this shopping cart, by using e-mail or social for example. E-mail is an important tool in this.
  • Multichannel
If you are also sending printed mail, think about sending people to your website for more and higher priced products. At the web you have much more possibilities to increase the AOV.
  • Country
Try to expand your business to countries where you can get higher prices for your products because the standard of living is higher and they have a higher purchase power parity (Norway, Switzerland, Singapore) etc. A list can be found here.

Increase your AOV by expanding to other countries

  • Location based pricing
Keep in mind, it will in the future be probably forbidden (in Europe) to show different prices based on profiling or location (IP adress for example). So a ticket for a flight from Paris to Prague must be the same price if it is bought from the Czech Republic as bought from Paris. But in other parts of the world it probably can still be used to show different prices for diferent area's.
  • Charity
Give a certain percentage of every order above a specific amount to charity. Some people are likely to order more because of your donation to charity.
  • Warranty
Extend warranty for a price.
  • Coupons
Coupons are a great way to increase AOV. Especially when you make them only valid at higher priced products. You can have both coupons work online or in retail store to drive traffic to your store and increase AOV there.
  • Location based marketing
Upcoming, but trends already indicate that location based marketing (mobile) can have a positive effect at the average order value.
  • People with influence
Think about famous people promoting your higher priced products.
  • Volume pricing
Depending on your product range, give people an extra discount when they buy more from the product they have already selected.
  • Service
Higher prices can sometimes be asked then your competitors, but then for example you should have an excellent service for your customers. They want a reason to buy with you, with your higher prices. Service is an example why to do so.
  • New Products
Don't stay boring. Constantly add new products to your website.
  • Live Chat service
Train your customer service, when they have customers at the phone to sell more or related products, but  at the web it is possible to make it easy for visitors to contact a customer service representative by pressing a button at the site. The customer service representative can then give a live chat advice and try to sell more to the visitor. This will increase your conversion rate and if done properly also your AOV. Let the visitor be in charge. Don't actively pop up with a chat window if a customer is not active at a certain page.
  • Usability
Stay focused and test how users use your website. With improving the usability and recognize where people "bounce" at your site, you can also increase the avarage order value.
  • Engagement
Already mentioned above, but stay focused and engaged at your returning customers. They are more likely to buy higher priced products with you then new customers. Don't forget your current customers! Stay engaged with them.

  • Gamification
Increase your AOV with a game. Let users fill in their order number and they can only play the game (and win) if they order over a certain ammount.

Increase the AOV with a game


  • Discounts

Sometimes giving discounts can increase an AOV. It is strange, but you can test with it. In some branches people spent more then the AOV when they receive a discount. Worth testing.

There are many more creative ways to increase the average order value. Be creative and you will succeed.

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