11 Ways to Boost Your Average Order Value

Running your small business requires you to have your hands in many different pies. As you juggle the many day-to-day activities, it’s easy to overlook some of the nitty-gritty details that will allow you to become more profitable.

And in the same breathe when you actually get down to it, you find yourself totally overwhelmed by all those little aspects that need attention. The key then is to focus on those things that are really going to turn the needle. The things that are really going to rocket your growth!

One of those important “things” is the average order value (AOV). AOV is an essential metric that’s easy to measure.  The AOV is calculated by taking your total revenue divided by your total orders. And by increasing your average order value (AOV), you drastically increase the chance of becoming more profitable. But how can you increase your AOV? Here are 11 ways to start doing this.

1. Set Your Free Shipping Threshold


Over 82% of consumers want the option of free shipping at check-out. This is some serious demand. And if you’re questioning whether it works or not consider the following statistics:

  1. In the United States over 40% of shoppers are willing to increase the value of their order to attain free shipping.
  2. There’s also plenty of research suggesting that shoppers abandon carts due to lack of free shipping.

Offering free shipping threshold then as a strategy to increase AOV works. But when doing so, do so with careful consideration. If you offer a free-shipping threshold, it has the potential to increase AOV, whilst decreasing total transactions. This is why you need to calculate free shipping within the overall purchase. Take the average order value and set your threshold 15-20% above this.

What you can also do to test this is to use A/B testing. Offer completely free shipping (no minimum order value or threshold) and free shipping after a minimum order value. Then compare metrics such as AOV, sales, revenue, and cart abandonment.

2. Provide Discounts on Minimum Orders

Another strategy that also works is to offer discounts on a minimum order value e.g. 20% off when you purchase $100 or more. This can be a great strategy to clear any slow moving stock.

3. Offer Available For a Limited Time

Psychology plays a crucial part in online shopping. By offering shoppers deals or discounts for a limited period of time (e.g. 24 hours) you create a sense of urgency and make them feel like they will miss out if they don’t make a purchase now. It could also potentially encourage them to purchase more in one go as the feel they need to make the most of this limited offer.

4. Discounts on Mass Purchases

Crafting a mass-discount or mass volume offer needs to be well thought out. You need to balance your profit margins and an offer that will attract many shoppers. Regardless, if done correctly this has the potential to drastically increase your AOV and profits. Paperstone, a London-based office supplies company successfully employed this strategy to increase AOV by 18.94%.

5. Engage in Up-selling

Through up-selling, you offer a similar, more expensive product or service in the hope that a shopper will purchase it. For example, if a customer is looking at a 16 GB iPad, include a photo of the 32 GB iPad. It needs to be done in a way that’s not intrusive otherwise this could discourage the shopper.

Whilst this is a strategy that works, you should not blindly follow it at every turn, for every customer. Some customers are new. Some haven’t even made a purchase. In these instances, up-selling might not be the best strategy.

6. Engage in Cross Selling


Cross-selling is another technique that works in boosting your AOV. If someone is purchasing a Laptop, subtly recommend a mouse or a laptop bag as part of the purchase. The key is to recommend items which are relevant and complement one another. It doesn’t help recommending a surfboard when someone is purchasing a laptop. Whilst this is an extreme example, I think you get the point.

7. Offer Discounts on Packages

Whilst similar to cross-selling as similar related items are packaged together, the deal is only available for the package as a whole. For example 15% off when you purchase shoes, jeans, and a T-shirt all as a package.

8. Always Offer Some Form of Incentive

Offering any form of incentive greatly improves the odds of a purchase and the opportunity to increase your AOV. So offer one at every opportunity, whether it take the form of a cash-back, 10% off the next purchase or recurring points – that form part of a loyalty program – that shoppers can use for their next purchase

9. Make Use of Loyalty Programs


According to research cited in a Weebly article, 70% of customers would prefer to shop at a retailer that offers a loyalty program. Loyalty programs make shoppers feel like they belong. They allow you to gather information about buying habits. This allows you to tailor offers even further to meet their specific needs. Don’t only include rewards for purchases, but also for registration, recommendations, and referrals. A loyalty program has immense potential to increase AOV.

10. Encourage Social Sharing and Customer Reviews

Positive reviews and recommendations from others create positive re-enforcement that the consumer has made the correct purchase.  So, encourage shoppers to share products and purchases, and to leave reviews which other potential shoppers can see. This will assist other shoppers with their purchase decisions.

11. Monitor Spending Patterns

Any decisions you make needs to be based on sound metrics. So monitor those metrics. Keep your eye on your AOV. Monitor spending patterns of shoppers.  See where there are dips. See where there are peaks. And based on this information don’t be scared to play around with the above 11 techniques to see what’s working and what isn’t. Ultimately through refinement, you’ll be well on your way to seeing a marked increase in your AOV.

Have you used any of the techniques outlined above to increase your AOV? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

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