Looking for an immediate ROI boost? These 5 simple and effective tactics are proven to increase Average Order Value (AOV) on ecommerce websites.

One of the most powerful ways to squeeze maximum potential out of your online store, is to give customers a reason to increase the amount they spend on each purchase.

If you’re not taking advantage of the most commonly used methods of driving higher AOVs, you’re missing out on a big opportunity to take your ecommerce site to the next level.

Thankfully, the most popular open source ecommerce CMS platforms are full of great features that make it easy to offer purchasing incentives to your audience.

5 Ways to Increase Average Order Value

1. Volume discounts

Ecommerce volume discount example

This classic sales tactic can be used to entice customers to purchase more than one item, with the payoff being a total cost savings when compared to purchasing the same products individually.

In the above example, let’s say a customer purchases a $500 camera and a $300 lens. Their discount would be $150 off of the lens, making the total sale $650 (as compared to $800 if purchased separately). For the retailer, they make a $650 sale, instead of $500 for the camera alone.

2. Free Shipping Threshold

Ecommerce free shipping example

Most successful online retailers tout attractive shipping discounts. Free shipping on orders that exceed a set amount is a great way to encourage sales, as shipping costs are a primary concern for price-conscious shoppers.

Your free shipping threshold should be commensurate with the prices of your products, as you don’t want to lost money on high shipping costs.

3. Upsells & Cross Sells

Ecommerce upsells example

By promoting similar or recommend items on your product pages, you can put a wide variety of items in front of shoppers, with hopes that something will grab their attention (Amazon has mastered this). Product pages lacking these features give visitors tunnel vision, as they don’t get to see many options and may leave the site to find another retailer with a better selection.

The upsell can be used to offer a complimentary item that is in the same family or category (see the shirt example), while cross selling promotes products from other categories (see the Nike watch paired with running shoes).

4. Free Products

Ecommerce free product giveaway

Freebies are a timeless way to entice sales, and don’t have to break the bank. Sephora.com, for example, allows shoppers to select several free sample items for each online purchase. You can also give away inexpensive products that you can afford to unload, as shown in the above example from Best Buy (free memory card and camera bag).

The clever strategy used by Sephora is offering a free small quantity of perfume, lotion, etc., with hopes of prompting customers to order a larger amount at a later date, while Best Buy offers complimentary products that customers will eventually need but often hesitate to buy all together.

5. Customer Loyalty Programs

Ecommerce loyalty program

Implementing a customer loyalty program is a fun way to get your audience excited about repeat purchases and adds ever-popular gamification to your marketing strategy. The same method used for years by Airline and Credit Card companies is a proven way to increase lifetime customer value and encourage repeat sales.

Bloomingdale’s “Loyallist Program” (shown above) is available for in-store or online purchases, and can be used to accrue points that contribute to discounts on products and shipping.

There are some great 3rd party services that work with ecommerce platforms to give users points for actions like social media sharing or reviews. Points can be used towards the purchase of products or to receive freebies, discounts or special offers.


by Fuze May 28, 2014