Jamie Walsh, Copywriter & Content Support
It’s one of the most basic figures that can reveal a lot about your business – your Average Order Value (AOV) indicates how much your customers are prepared to spend when visiting your Ecommerce store.
The total amount people are willing to hand over in one go is a strong signifier of your customers’ buying habits. You can see whether they tend to purchase one product at a time or put multiple items together in one big order. This can help to identify the cost effectiveness of your marketing and make adjustments to maximise your overall profits.
Optimising your efforts for higher AOV can also strengthen your business for the future, in case of any unforeseen dips in traffic or demand. You may have products that won’t be in high demand all year round, or see occasional lulls in between the obvious seasonal shopping periods. A decent average value on your sales throughout the year will help to give you kind of a buffer so you’re not left scraping the barrel.
How can you get your customers to buy more items and spend more money per purchase? Here are a few strategies you can try with little to no investment risk.
Whether operating online or in the real world, putting products together is a common tactic among retailers. Grouping similar products together – often at a slightly discounted price – provides an incentive to people who were only thinking of buying one product to expand on their purchase. Pre-set item bundles can offer more convenience to customers too.
There are a couple of different ways of making those bundles: you can either create discounts for products when purchased alongside others, or create a single SKU under which the relevant items appear as one “product”. Psychologically, products presented as bundles seem to have more impact on customers, making them more likely to act.
Up-selling & Cross-selling
Customers browsing on your site will typically already have something in mind and be fully prepared to buy it. This presents an opportunity for you to offer similar or related products that may interest them, thereby increasing your AOV. Up-sells and cross-sells are commonplace in Ecommerce and regularly prove to be effective at expanding those orders.
Up-selling allows you to suggest better and more expensive versions of the same product a customer is interested in before they check out. Meanwhile, cross-selling suggests additional items that compliment chosen items. Common examples of this include matching accessories for items of clothing, or cables and batteries for electronic products.
Personalisation and recommendations
When presented with products and offers that match a customer’s needs, interests or browsing history, it can provoke a better response than generic “catch-all” marketing. Advertising is most effective when it’s one to one, making the customer feel as though they’re being treated personally rather than as just another face in the crowd.
Sometimes, you may have products that would be perfect for some of your customers that they’d never considered or even seen before. By basing recommendations off their previous search and purchase histories, as well as geographic and demographic data, you can offer more relevant product to individual buyers, enticing them to buy more.
Offer rewards to customers
Whilst it may seem counter-intuitive to raising spending amounts, offering discounts is a good way to boost figures. It’s not always about how much money you can get out of people, but how much you can influence your customers to buy from you. One-time promotional vouchers are valuable for improving the customer experience as they can result in customers electing to buy more items at discounted prices.
You could also adopt a system that rewards regular customers, where spending certain amounts can earn loyalty points that can be redeemed later. This encourages people to spend more on individual visits while also encouraging them to come back for further purchases. Ultimately, this will build up you AOV without the cost of occasional freebies or discounts hurting you too much.
Easy Returns policy/process
A key drawback of buying online comes from not having a physical, tangible product in front of you. As customers aren’t able to try out or closely examine items until they physically arrives at the door, there’s always an element of doubt that something might not be quite right. This increases the likelihood that they may need to return it if the size, colour or any other aspect makes it unsuitable for purpose.
In this case, it’s common for people shopping online to buy fewer items at a time, minimising the risk of wasting money. By clearly displaying terms of your returns and exchanging policy, however, you can demonstrate to customers that they can return or swap items easily with no additional cost. This will help to give them the confidence that they can buy more without fear of losing out if they need to swap anything later.
It’s important to create a shopping experience that is simple and personal where possible. Customers will only feel comfortable with buying more when they feel compelled to spend more. By making their experience easy, trustworthy and personally relevant, you’re far more likely to see your Average Order Values going up.
It’s not an exact science, but using any or all of the above strategies will help you to have a stronger positive influence on your customer base and expand on your average figures. There may also be more avenues available to optimise your AOV even more, which can be explored further using these tips as a starting point.
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