Hey there! If you're an ecommerce business owner like me, you know the importance of order value. The higher each customer's average order value, the more revenue your business can generate. But what happens when you notice your average order values are on the low side? Don't panic. With some strategic tweaks, you can maximize those minimums and incrementally increase revenue.
In this post, we'll explore some of the smartest ways to gently raise those lower-than-ideal order values. I'll share techniques we've used successfully at our own ecommerce business to increase our customers' basket sizes. You can try out these tactics for your own store to pump up those purchases little by little.
Let's dive in!
Set an AOV Goal and Track Your Progress
Before trying to increase order values, you need to know your starting point. Calculate your average order value (AOV) for last month by taking your total revenue divided by the number of orders. For example, if you had $10,000 in revenue from 200 orders, your AOV is $50.
Once you know your AOV, set a reasonable goal for lifting it. If your AOV is $50, don't try to double it to $100 overnight - you risk alienating customers. Aim for smaller, incremental gains like raising AOV to $55 or $60.
As you test different techniques, track your AOV daily or weekly to see which are moving the needle. Over time, those little gains can add up to a significant revenue increase. Knowing your numbers focuses your efforts.
Offer Free Shipping at a Higher Order Value
Free shipping is a huge incentive for customers to spend more. According to a Walker Sands survey, free shipping is the #1 tactic shoppers say persuades them to buy more online.
But offering free shipping on all orders can hurt profit margins. A better approach is setting a minimum order value to qualify, like $50 or $75. You can make that threshold slightly higher than your current AOV.
On product and cart pages, display a message like "Spend $75 more to unlock free shipping!" This encourages customers to add a few more items to hit that threshold and enjoy the perk.
Just be sure your messaging properly explains the offer to avoid confusion. Don't make customers guess why their cart doesn't have free shipping.
Bundle Products for Bigger Baskets
Product bundles allow you to boost order values by combining items customers are likely to purchase together. Create pre-selected packs around themes like:
- A starter kit for a hobby like baking or gardening
- Outfits or looks that go together like tops and bottoms
- Frequently bought together items like pens and notebooks
Bundles feel like a value-add to customers. But they benefit your store by raising AOV and reducing cart abandonment from users who don't want to pay multiple shipping fees.
When displaying bundles, highlight the total discount or "free" item to show the deal value. You can even bundle best-selling items with slower movers to increase sales all around. Get creative with themes that make sense for your products and customers.
Upsell Strategically at Checkout
Cart and checkout pages are prime real estate for upsells that persuade customers to spend more. But avoid spamming users with too many low-value, unrelated upsell offers. A tidal wave of cross-sells and one-click upsells can be annoying.
Instead, use upsells selectively by:
- Choosing one complementary product to upsell per cart, like batteries with electronics or a carrying case with a laptop.
- Only displaying your upsell offer after the customer has entered payment info and is committed to buying.
- Using smart predictive algorithms to show upsells based on the user's purchase history and on-site browsing.
- Letting customers opt out of upsells with a simple "No thanks" button.
With this lighter touch, upsells feel helpful rather than pushy. And a single add-on item can still boost the order value without being disruptive.
Prioritize High-Value Products in Marketing
Your marketing mix likely includes a combination of high and low priced products. But consider giving more visual prominence to premium items that lift AOV.
For example, if you sell both $20 t-shirts and $80 hoodies, feature the $80 hoodies front-and-center in:
- Email campaigns
- Social media ads
- Website banners and popups
- Category and search pages
Visually leading with premium products primes customers to spend more. Just don't completely neglect budget-friendly items since shoppers have different price preferences. Find a balance that pushes AOV higher through prioritization.
Run Contests and Sweepstakes
Contests, giveaways and sweepstakes boost engagement and provide incentives for bigger purchases. Shoppers will spend more to qualify for contest entries or gifts.
Some contest ideas to try:
- Spend $X, get a bonus entry
- Double entries for purchases over $X
- Free gift with purchases over $X
- Spin a virtual prize wheel with minimum $X purchase
To avoid giveaway abuse, limit the number of entries per customer. Have clear rules so customers understand how to participate and win. Use contest apps like Vyper or Gleam for easier management.
Time contests around events, seasons or new product launches when customers are already eager to buy. The sweepstakes urgency nudges them to higher price points and larger hauls.
Recommend Complementary Add-Ons
Your customers likely plan to buy a certain main product from your store. Help them round out their purchase by recommending useful add-ons:
- At a clothing store, suggest tops, bottoms or shoes to complete an outfit.
- At an electronics retailer, prompt customers to add key accessories like cords, cases and extended warranties.
- At a cosmetics shop, propose complementary makeup items that go with a flagship product.
Recommendations could display on product pages, in the cart, or in post-purchase emails recapping their order. But avoid overwhelming customers with too many pushy suggestions - stick to one or two relevant, high-profit upsells per location.
When recommendations are genuine and helpful, customers won't resent the nudges to spend more. Position them as shopping advice rather than pure sales tactics.
Promote Higher Quantities with Bulk Pricing
You're likely familiar with the common tactic of reducing per-unit pricing when customers buy in bulk. This incentives larger orders by giving a discount for higher quantities.
But don't rely just on passive bulk pricing displays. Actively promote those larger quantities in product descriptions, cart messaging, and email campaigns.
For example, call out:
- Buy 2, Get 10% Off
- Buy 3, Get 15% Off
- Buy 5, Get 1 Free
You can even combine bulk discounts with free shipping thresholds. Messaging like "Buy 3 to Qualify for Free Shipping!" gives an incentive that stacks.
Time bulk promotions to coincide with peak sales periods or external events that raise demand. The urgency can persuade customers to stock up while they save.
Charge Dynamic Prices During Sales Rushes
Use data-driven dynamic pricing to automatically adjust product pricing based on fluctuating demand. When you run sales, popular products often sell out quickly. Dynamic pricing lets you increase prices modestly on hot items during sales rushes.
For example, if a $50 smartwatch normally sells for $100, you might bump it to $75 or $80 during a busy promo period. This balances maximizing sales volume with maintaining profit margins.
You can also lower pricing on slower movers to stimulate demand. Dynamic pricing helps you nudge AOV higher on in-demand items when order volumes spike. Just avoid drastic price hikes that look predatory. Adjustments should feel justified by the current sale frenzy.
Make Savings Hard to Resist
Scarcity and urgency are powerful sales motivators. If you're running a sale or promo, use messaging that makes the savings seem too good to pass up.
- Today only! Limited quantities!
- 48 hours left! Lowest prices of the season
- Only 3 left in stock at this price!
- Buy now to guarantee holiday delivery
Visual cues like progress bars and ticking countdown clocks signal time running out. Strategic urgency makes customers more likely to load up their carts and buy now rather than risk missing the deal later.
A little bit of pressure can effectively nudge consumers who are already inclined to shop but need that final convincing. Just don't overdo manipulative "hard sell" tactics. They can backfire.
Suggest One Higher Priced Alternative
Sometimes customers gravitate to lower priced items but would consider a small upgrade. You can present a modest step-up option as an aspirational choice worth the extra splurge.
For example, suggest:
- "For just $10 more, upgrade to our premium version with extra features and 4 years warranty"
- "Our best-selling $129 model has double the storage and comes in 6 stylish colors"
- "This top-of-the-line $299 model is our most powerful and future-proof option"
Position the upgrade as a minor stretch with clear value. Here's more of the article with additional tips:
Use Customer Segmentation
Build customer profiles based on traits like demographics, purchase history, and browsing behavior. Then craft targeted offers and messaging likely to resonate with each segment.
For example, loyal customers who buy often may respond better to VIP offers like:
- Free expedited shipping
- Extra loyalty rewards
- Early access to new arrivals
- Exclusive sales and perks
Or create bundles and bundles for customers who frequently purchase certain combinations, like protein powder and workout clothes.
Personalized cross-sells based on purchase patterns perform better than one-size-fits-all suggestions. Match offers to customer attributes for the best response.
Leverage FOMO With Limited Collections
FOMO (fear of missing out) is the anxious feeling of potentially losing out on something. FOMO-inducing marketing creates artificial product scarcity to stoke urgency.
Some examples are:
- Small seasonal collections that "sell out" quickly
- Special edition products available for a short time
- Waitlists and pre-orders for high-demand items
When customers worry a desired product might vanish or become unavailable, they're quicker to buy at higher prices and quantities.
FOMO prompts like "Only available this week!" or "Selling out fast!" can effectively - but ethically - play into buyer psychology. Just ensure your claims about scarcity are truthful.
Highlight Payment Frequency Options
Research shows customers spend more when given payment plans compared to single payment options.
Where possible, break up purchases into smaller installment plans:
- Pay in 4 interest-free installments
- Choose 6 months financing with 0% APR
- Try before you buy with 30 days to pay
This makes higher order values feel more affordable. Customers focus on smaller individual payments rather than the large total.
Of course, offering financing has costs like payment processing fees. Evaluate whether potential AOV gains outweigh the expenses to determine if it makes financial sense for your business.
Add Surprise Free Samples
Who doesn't love an unexpected freebie? Occasionally including surprise samples, gifts or bonuses with purchases makes the shopping experience more fun and exciting.
Some ideas for surprise freebies:
- Free shipping upgrades
- Free returns extended for 30 days
- Free product samples
- Free gift like a coupon or loyalty points
Sprinkling in surprise upgrades and freebies boosts customer satisfaction. Happy customers are more likely to post reviews and make repeat purchases - increasing lifetime value.
Just don't give too many freebies where it eats into margins. Find a balance where surprises delight customers without damaging the bottom line. A little goes a long way.
Reward Loyalty Program Members
Loyalty programs reward repeat customers in exchange for continued patronage. Consider offering loyalty members periodic "boosts" that increase their value like:
- Bonus point days
- Free expedited shipping
- First access to new items
- Special members-only sales and promos
When loyal customers receive surprise upgrades and perks, it builds advocacy and emotional connection with your brand. Give your VIPs reasons to spend more and stay loyal.
You can even develop tiers like Gold and Platinum members who unlock additional benefits for higher annual spend. VIP treatment makes big spenders feel engaged as valued customers.
Review International Pricing Strategies
If your ecommerce store sells globally, ensure your pricing structure maximizes revenue potential across different countries and currencies.
Research the competitive landscape, purchasing power, demand, shipping costs and import duties for your key foreign markets. Avoid simple currency conversions. Instead, adjust pricing appropriately for each locality based on what customers there can bear.
Geo-targeted dynamic pricing helps you tailor order values by market for the ideal balance of sales and profit. Customer buying power varies globally - make sure your pricing responds.
Optimizing international pricing takes work but unlocks revenue growth. The more strategic your global pricing, the higher you can push foreign order values.
Make the Most of Big Shopping Days
Holidays, seasonal events, and other popular retail moments are prime opportunities for lifting AOV. Limited-time offers, bundles, and incentives persuade customers to overspend during big shopping days.
- Free holiday gift wrap + faster shipping with $X purchase
- $20 off $100+ purchases for Labor Day sale
- 15% off fall fashion bundles over $X
With the right promotion, customers willingly splurge extra during peak spending days. Track which offers perform best so you can replicate their success.
Time exclusive product releases and limited collections around seasonal shopping moments shoppers care about. Give them compelling reasons to open their wallets wider.
Remind Customers of Left-Behind Items
Don't let customers overlook items left in their shopping carts and wish lists. Reminder emails recapping abandoned cart contents or saved wishlist products encourage re-engagement.
Saying something like "You left these items behind!" reminds distracted shoppers they meant to buy those things. The friendly nudge brings sales back from the brink.
You can even offer small incentives in cart or wishlist reminder emails to give them a reason to return and check out. Just avoid sounding overly pushy or aggressive with reminders. Keep the tone helpful.
Review Everything From Copy to Images
Every text description, photo, offer badge, and checkout button either encourages higher order values or leaves money on the table. Comb through your entire website looking for AOV-optimization opportunities.
With fresh eyes, you might spot areas like:
- Adding bonuses to product copy like free shipping or returns
- Using lifestyle imagery that depicts higher quantities
- Including suggestive phrases like "great for stocking up!"
- Making buttons more action-oriented like "Shop Now!" vs "See More"
Small tweaks that shift website copy and visuals towards bigger orders collectively add up when done across all pages and touchpoints.
Keep Testing and Optimizing
Don't get discouraged if your first attempts to raise order values don't succeed. Improving AOV takes ongoing testing and refinement. Measure results, learn what works, then replicate those wins.
Some areas to continually test and optimize for better AOV performance include:
- Free shipping thresholds
- Different upsell and cross-sell offers
- Bulk discount amounts
- Contests prize amounts and entry requirements
- Loyalty program reward structures
- Email copy and promotions
- Dynamic pricing amounts
Keep a spreadsheet to track the ROI on your AOV experiments. Double down on what proves profitable and weed out what doesn't. With smart ongoing optimization, those small gains compound.
Maximize your minimun with AI Explore Prooftiles
Maximizing Your Minimum
Boosting low order values requires creativity and strategic thinking. But gently nudging customers to spend a little more each order reaps revenue rewards over time.
Hopefully these tips give you plenty of ideas to experiment with at your own store. The key is testing different approaches to see which resonate best with your customers and products. Through continual refinement, you'll unlock what works to maximize your minimums.
Here's to higher AOVs and greater success for your business! Let me know if you have any other favorite ways to increase order values. I'm always open to new strategies for gently getting customers to spend more. Feel free to hit reply and share your top tactics!