You can effectively increase your average order value (AoV) by making use of common eCommerce practices like bundling, cross-selling and upselling.
Owning an eCommerce business is all about enticing your visitors to commit to making a purchase on your website and ideally, you want them to keep them coming back time and time again. As we discussed in the article on how to work out your online store's profit margin, running an eCommerce business is all about your profit or ‘bottom-line’ as it’s often called, because delighting customers and making money in the process is what running a business is all about.
You may have a stunning, user-friendly website and be inbound marketing like an absolute boss, but ultimately, once your customer has made the decision to purchase, there is no better time to make an additional sale. This additional sale has a significantly lower cost per acquisition and doing the tactics outlined in this article well on your eCommerce website can add some serious net margin on to your pre-existing sales velocity and help you reach your pre-defined eCommerce sales targets.
It’s important to note that while you can’t force your customers to spend more money with you, after all, it is their hard-earned cash. You can, however, use eCommerce marketing to wield powerful techniques known as Impulse Factors to give your visitors a nudge towards increasing their AoV.
With this in mind, it’s important to note that with great power comes great responsibility, tried and tested hints and tips aside if you were to take only one point away from this article it should be this…
The very best way to get more money from your e-commerce customers and increase your average order value is to actually GIVE more value.
This will mean both parties win, you receive more money, and you delight your customer without making them feel as though you are taking advantage of them.
One simple way to get customers to spend more money from you is to bundle items together. Often, these items should be linked in some way in your customer's mind, so for example, if someone was purchasing a jet washer then perhaps they might also want to purchase some additional hose attachments or accessories such as chamois cloths and sponges as well as detergent.
In this example, if your customer was to purchase all these items separately, then they would likely cost more than they would if they spend a little more money with you at this stage, not to mention the delays they would experience in getting to use their shiny new bit of kit, and even if they already had certain items you are bundling, well hey, who doesn’t like new things? This forces your customer to actually think about their purchasing behaviours and making them ask the legitimate question of “What would happen I purchased these additional items separately in the future?”.
We know what the answer is to that because you’ve done your research and you’ve made sure that you are presenting a compelling offer to your new customer, so it makes sense to spend a little more money now to buy the bundle and save money and/or time in the long-run.
You can do this with many different products in almost any niche, but importantly it’s all about helping the customer to save time and/or money while also helping to increase your average order value.
Cross Selling Additional Items
Cross-selling is a tactic seen in many high street stores, where smaller and generally lower value items line the queue for the tills to tempt us with impulse buys.
It works here and it can work online too, so when the time comes for your customers to checkout, you could offer them additional items based on data that you have from previous purchases. Do people who buy that shimmering dress also want the lipstick to match the colour? How about customers who are buying your mobile accessories, surely everyone could do with at least one extra charging cable?
Using data for smart cross-selling suggestions means you could offer items that “other customers are buying” and that additional eCommerce impulse factors - Keeping up with the Jones’s could result in them making that particular impulse purchase.
The moment a customer decides to purchase from you is always a positive feeling, from your first eCommerce sale to your last. Enhance this awesome feeling by assisting your customer in having one last think about the value for money they are getting, and favourably using the alternative close technique.
While your customer might feel happy with their initial decision of buying the middle-of-the-range item your job is to showcase the benefits they can get from a more expensive premium item.
Make sure to sell the benefits rather than the features,
- How will spending more now help them save them money in the long run
- How it will perform better.
- It might even have more options when it comes to accessories or upgrades.
If you can upsell a more expensive item by making your customer feel as though it is a more worthwhile purchase, then you will increase your order value at a much lower cost per acquisition than attracting, engaging and converting a customer to buy the premium model straight off the bat.
Once you've got everything in place, consider using marketing automation with your Up-sell and Cross-sell to achieve ever increasing average order values at scale.
Buy One, Get One
Also known by the acronym BOGOF customers simply love to get something for nothing and that is where a buy one, get one offer can really make a difference. There are many variations on this theme and it doesn’t always have to be a one for one exchange.
The trick here is to make sure that you get your margins right
- Perhaps customers receive a free t-shirt when they buy one of your high margin pair of jeans
- How about customers who upsell to purchase the premium model clothes iron getting an extended 2-year warranty thrown in for free?
- What about buying 3 car tyres and getting the fourth one for free?
I love that last example, especially considering that most customers will either buy a pair of front or rear tyres for their car and that extra free tyre if they buy three can sometimes be the push they need to change the full set!
As always, make sure you are doing your net profit calculations to ensure you remain profitable, however, this offer type is a powerful motivator that can often lead to your customer spending more.
Offer Free Delivery
If you notice that your online store's average order value has stabilised around a certain level, you could try offering free delivery over a certain spend threshold, it goes without saying that this threshold should be set just above your current average order value. e.g If you know that the average spend of a customer on your website is £40 then offer free delivery on orders of £50
Generally, people don’t mind paying for delivery, however, if it’s free so long as they add just one more item into their cart then they are much more likely to spend more with you take advantage of the offer. Variations on this theme include upgrading standard delivery to a much faster delivery service once certain spend thresholds are met.
I believe in creating time. Time for myself in the form of a business I can run from anywhere. Time for our clients and potential customers who seek to avoid decision fatigue and know that they have a team of enthusiastic marketers who are in their corner, fighting just as hard to make their business as successful as they are. Simply, I take complex marketing techniques, simplify and then automate them.