If you run an ecommerce store, increasing average order value (AOV) is one of the best ways to boost revenue. Even a small bump in AOV can lead to exponential sales growth.
But how do you actually move the needle on AOV? It takes strategic effort across your entire customer journey to encourage customers to spend more per order.
In this post, we’ll explore 7 proven tactics to skyrocket AOV at your ecommerce store. Many of these build on principles of consumer psychology to get customers adding more items to their carts.
Let’s dive in!
1. Offer Free Shipping Above a Minimum Order Value
You know what’s music to every online shopper’s ears? Free shipping. This common tactic works because people are hardwired to want to avoid losses. So if you offer free shipping above a certain order value, customers will naturally want to meet that threshold to “save” on shipping costs.
Free shipping minimums boost AOV in a couple key ways:
- They incentivize customers to add more items to qualify for free shipping. This directly increases cart size.
- They reduce abandoned carts. Research shows over 60% of shoppers abandon their carts due to high shipping costs. Free shipping minimums alleviate this major friction point.
Now the key is finding the right minimum order value for free shipping that maximizes AOV. Set it too low, and you leave revenue on the table. Set it too high, and customers won’t bother trying to reach it.
We recommend A/B testing order minimums between $49-$99 to find the sweet spot for your business. The minimum should be realistic for customers to reach when buying multiple products.
For example, if your products average around $25, a $75 minimum for free shipping will get people to purchase 3-4 items on average to hit the minimum. That’s a solid uptick in AOV!
2. Display Related Products and Recommendations
Product recommendations do wonders for helping customers discover more items tailored to their interests. The right suggestions at the right time can increase order values by 15-30%.
Recommendations add value in three key purchase moments when shoppers are most receptive:
- Product page - Display “Frequently bought with” and “You may also like” sections to suggest complementary products. Be sure to customize these based on the specific product.
- Cart page - Show recommendations for products that pair well with what’s already in the cart, like batteries for electronics or care kits for shoes.
- Post-purchase page - After a customer finishes checkout, recommend accessories or supplies to use with their recent purchase. Capitalize on the extra momentum of the completed sale.
To surface the most relevant recommendations, use a smart product recommendation engine that factors purchase history, product attributes, and popularity.
Pro tip: Prioritize showing recommendations on mobile since smaller screen sizes limit visibility. 60% of orders come from mobile so smart recommendations here can have an outsized impact.
3. Run Targeted Cross-Sell Promotions
Cross-sell promotions tempt customers to add more products to their initial purchase. These are targeted discount or bundled product offers designed specifically to increase AOV.
Some of the most effective cross-sell promo tactics include:
- Product bundles - Offer a discount when a customer buys X number of specific products together. “Buy 3 coconut candles, get the matching diffuser 50% off!”
- Higher-priced product discounts - Provide a coupon code good for a discount off a higher-priced product when a lower-priced product is in the cart.
- Spend more, save more discounts - Give tiered discounts based on cart total thresholds, like $20 off $100, $40 off $175, $75 off $250+.
- Free gift with purchase - A classic. Offer a free gift like a tote bag when a customer hits a minimum order value.
The key is applying cross-sells selectively to pairings that make sense based on products already in the cart. Customers will be turned off by irrelevant suggestions purely for the sake of more sales.
Focus on combos that demonstrate genuine value. The added perk should incentivize the customer to spend more willingly.
4. Optimize Your Product Pages
Your product page design, content, and presentation greatly influence customers’ purchasing decisions. Well-optimized product pages remove friction from the customer journey and help customers visualize the value of adding more items to their carts.
Some product page best practices to boost AOV include:
- Have a clear, consistent page structure - Cleanly section out images, product info, pricing, variants, and the add to cart CTA so customers can easily find what they need.
- Share detailed product descriptions - Don’t just state facts, paint a picture of what it’s like to use and enjoy your products. The more compelling your copy, the higher perceived value.
- Show product images from multiple angles - Let customers view the product from different sides, in use, or styled in different settings. This builds credibility and desire.
- Include size comparison charts - For products with multiple size options like clothing, these visual guides help customers select the right size or purchase multiple sizes at once.
- Incorporate video - Let customers see your products in action through demos and tutorials. Video builds trust and understanding of what you’re selling.
- Feature user-generated content - Sprinkle in visual UGC like customer photos of your products. This provides “social proof” and sparks inspiration to buy more.
- Share details upfront - List size dimensions, materials, care instructions, shipping/return policies etc. early to answer common questions.
- Limit optional selections - Don’t overwhelm customers with too many customization options. Keep variants simple so they add more to their carts faster.
With compelling, multi-dimensional product experiences, you can induce customers to purchase higher quantities and more premium versions.
5. Offer Product Bundles
While cross-sells promote product pairs temporarily, product bundles let you permanently offer discounted sets of complementary products.
Bundles make the path toward a higher AOV more obvious to customers. And they tap into our bias for bonus savings - the almighty buy-one-get-one mentality.
Some examples of product bundles that work well:
- Starter sets for new hobbies - Ex. A beginner baking set with basic tools and ingredients
- Routine-based bundles - Ex. A morning self-care bundle with face wash, moisturizer, and body scrub
- Paired accessories - Ex. Phone case and screen protector bundles
- Batch recipe bundles - Ex. A taco night bundle with tortillas, taco seasoning, and toppings
- Pairings with natural crossover appeal - Ex. Picnic blanket and wine tote bundles
Bundling decreases friction for the customer by doing the product pairing legwork for them. And it feels like a shortcut to a higher-value cart.
Just be sure your product pairings make logical sense. No one wants random dissonant bundles like ketchup and shoelaces. Keep it intuitive!
6. Optimize Your Website Navigation
Sometimes the easiest way to boost AOV is removing obstacles in the purchasing path. Make navigating your website seamless so customers easily find and buy more of your products.
Some tips to optimize on-site navigation for higher AOVs:
- Include visible cross-links between associated product categories. If someone’s browsing dinnerware, add links to relevant glassware and kitchen tools pages.
- Feature links to trending products and categories directly on your homepage. Give customers suggestions for where to shop.
- Add persistent cart and account icons in the header. Enable easy access to view cart contents and reorder history from anywhere.
- Use refining filters and sorts. Let customers narrow product listings by price, featured, top-sellers etc to surface desired items fast.
- Include auto-complete search suggestions. If someone searches “can”, pop-up suggestions for related keywords like “candles” and “canning supplies”.
- Add breadcrumbs above product pages. Breadcrumb navigation shows the product category hierarchy, facilitating further browsing.
- Position call-to-actions strategically. Place “Add to Cart” and checkout buttons above the fold where they are most visible.
Removing even minor points of friction goes a long way. If customers struggle to find products or complete purchases, you lose opportunities for higher AOVs.
7. Offer Product Subscriptions
One of the most powerful ways to increase long-term order values is through product subscriptions. With subscriptions, customers agree to receive regular product deliveries in exchange for discounted pricing and convenience.
Product subscriptions boost AOVs in two main ways:
1. Higher initial order values - Customers often buy multi-month supplies upfront to maximize subscription savings.
2. Ongoing revenue - Subscriptions convert customers into repeat buyers with recurring revenue. Their lifetime value far exceeds one-time purchases.
Some products that work particularly well for subscriptions include:
- Consumables - Food, beauty items, household supplies
- Replenishment purchases - Pet food, vitamins, contacts
- Hobby supplies - Crafting
The key to maximizing AOV with subscriptions is offering packaging and pricing options optimized for larger, regular deliveries.
Some best practices include:
- Offer multi-month subscriptions - Allow customers to subscribe for 3, 6 or even 12 months to incentive larger upfront purchases.
- Provide volume discounts - Give increasing percentage discounts for customers who subscribe for more months, ex. 5% off 3 months, 10% off 6 months, 15% off 12 months.
- Bundle subscription plans - Allow customers to bundle different product subscriptions together into a single recurring plan to consolidate spending.
- Ship more product more frequently - For consumables, ship larger volumes on shorter frequencies, like a case every week instead of a pack every month.
- Offer flexible delivery and billing - Give customers control options like monthly billing with quarterly shipping, or ability to delay shipments.
- Provide perks - Subscription perks like free shipping, subscriber-only sales, and VIP access help retain recurring customers.
- Make it easy to update and cancel - Allow subscribers to change quantities and delivery schedules. Provide clear cancellation policies.
- Highlight subscription savings - Prominently market the dollar value savings compared to one-time purchases.
Done right, subscriptions create consistent, low-friction revenue. And they essentially turn one-time small AOV shoppers into high lifetime value customers through recurring large basket sizes.
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The Power of Higher AOVs
Boosting AOV seems simple on the surface. You’re just getting customers to spend more per purchase, right?
But in reality, increasing AOV has a compounding effect on your ecommerce store’s bottom line. Consider the math:
- Raising AOV from $50 to $75 is a 50% increase
- But with 1,000 monthly orders, that's $25,000 more in revenue every month
- An extra $300,000 more in annual revenue from a small AOV lift
Higher order values also often signal greater customer satisfaction and loyalty. Customers who buy more demonstrate higher confidence in your brand and offerings.
And loyal customers with higher AOVs hold way more lifetime value. They’re more likely to promote you through referrals and repeat purchases.
That’s why taking the time to implement AOV-boosting tactics like free shipping minimums, cross-sells, bundles, and subscriptions pays off exponentially.
The incremental revenue gains compound rapidly into impressive growth and stability for your business.
So what are you waiting for? It's time to start testing out some of these AOV-enhancing strategies for your ecommerce store. Even tiny shifts can make a big revenue difference over time.
With smart optimization across the customer journey, you can better guide customers to bigger, better basket sizes that skyrocket your sales growth. Here's to higher AOVs and happier customers!
Skyrocket your AOV with AI Explore Prooftiles