Average Order Value [2022 Guide] | 14 Tactics to Increase AOV

Insight

Average Order Value

Average order value (AOV) is the average dollar amount that customers spend at your business, per order. It is one of the fundamental eCommerce metrics you should be tracking and working to increase over time.

Read on to learn:

1. How to calculate average order value correctly

2. 14 Marketing strategies to increase AOV, with examples of how some of the most successful eCommerce brands are putting them into action

How to Calculate Average Order Value

To calculate average order value, divide total revenue (specifically, total gross sales) by the number of valid orders (both data points must be from the same time period):

to calculate average order value (AOV), divide total gross sales by total valid orders over the same time period

How to Increase Average Order Value 

Improving your average order value comes down to experimenting with a variety of marketing strategies in your store. Some may work better than others, depending on your business and what you sell.

Cross-Selling

Cross-selling means offering a complementary product(s) that a customer can add to their order. To take this a step further, label the cross-sell in a way that is relevant to your brand, if possible, rather than just saying "You might like..."

Daasity customer Harper Wilde does a great job of this with its "Fill Your Drawer" cross-sell option on its product pages:

screenshot of harper wilde offering cross-sells in the bottom-right of their PDP ("fill your drawer")

Bundling

Bundles are like pre-packaged cross-sells. If you sell coffee/tea, for example, a bundle could be a variety pack. 

Here's an example of a Bones Coffee  bundle. Conveniently, customers can find bundles at the top of the site navigation bar:

screenshot of bone's coffee "world tour classic mug bundle bog" PDP and an arrow pointing at where to navigate to bundles on their website (at the top)


Sub-tip: How to improve your cross-selling and bundling

To make your cross-sells and bundles offerings more effective (in order to have a meaningful impact on your average order value), you really need to understand what people are buying together (i.e., in the same cart), or what they are buying in sequence (i.e., what their first purchase is, and what their second purchase is). While it may seem logical to cross-sell or bundle certain products together based on what makes sense or what you would purchase together, the only way to be sure is to dive into the data.

The best way to tackle this is through product affinity charts. For cross-sells, you'll want to look at what your customers are buying together:

Note: pictured are demo data/SKU names to populate this demo chart.

Using this chart, you can highlight what customers are most commonly purchasing together by highlighting the different flows from one side to another, and you can drill down further into the data in order to see the actual frequency of products being ordered at the same time: 

Note: this is the same sample data.

The same idea goes for bundling. A first-to-second purchase product affinity chart will show you what customers are purchasing in sequence. This is an effective way to decide what to bundle together (additionally, it can be used in post-purchase email flows to drive repeat purchases):

This is also sample data.

Upselling

Offer more of a product, or a premium/upgraded version of a product. For example, if you sell pottery, offer a customizable or premium finish to a plant pot. Or, "Would you like a 10-pack instead of a 5-pack?"

Here's how Daasity client Kopari Beauty successfully builds upselling into its PDPs:

screenshot of one of Kopari Beauty's PDPs and an example of an upsell offer via "buy more and save" - customers can choose a 2-pack instead of a 1-pack

Bulk buying options

If you have a smaller subset of customers who are buying a lot more of your product, consider offering larger versions. If you sell 1lb bags of protein powder, but you find that there's demand for much greater volumes, consider offering larger bags of protein powder.

Supplement brand MyProtein, for example, offers protein bags up to 11lbs (this is a volume discount: the offer is $10 cheaper than buying two 5.5lb bags):

screenshot of myprotein's Impact Whey Protein PDP showing a 11b bulk buying offer

Post-purchase discounted cross-selling or upselling

An effective technique is to offer customers a discounted purchase opportunity after they've already purchased. For example, if you sold a customer a 3 piece suit, you could offer a matching tie at a 20% discount if they purchase it right now.

You can show these offers immediately after purchase using tools like CartHook (to directly increase AOV on the same order), or offer customers discounts in post-purchase email/SMS flows, in order to increase AOV on their next order (and, as an added bonus, customer retention, repurchase rate, customer lifetime value).

Small add-ons

By offering customers low-cost additions to their cart or product enhancements/preparations, you can drive average order value up more than you might expect. This is a great profitability move, too, because if the product add-ons are low cost to you, you make easy profit.

John's Crazy Socks does a great job of this by offering customers a gift wrapping option. In the case of the order below, that would increase cart value by over 20%:

Free shipping threshold

If you have a free shipping threshold for customers to hit in order to get free shipping, customers may spend more in order to hit that threshold. 

Heatonist keeps a free shipping banner up on all screens, which keeps customers encouraged to hit the shipping minimum when they're shopping.

screenshot of one of heatonist's PDPs with a banner at the top showing "free shipping US orders $60+"

Gifts with Purchase at Price Threshold

In the same way that you can offer customers a price threshold for free shipping, you can offer customers a price threshold for free GWPs (if the economics work for your brand).

Beauty brand La Roche Posay, for example, offers a 4-piece free sample GWP on orders over $70. Customers love receiving extras and free samples, and increasing the size of their cart will make them feel that their dollar has gone a lot further with your brand.

screenshot of laroche posay's top menu, which includes the offer "mini set: 4 samples with orders $70+"

Product recommendations for a partner, friend, or family member

A great way to increase average order value is to recommend products for someone else in your customer's life. This is a simple tactic that can double cart value.

As an added bonus, by encouraging your customers to give their loved ones your products, you'll be introducing new people to your brand, thereby potentially increasing your customer base, and getting a cheap acquisition: the marketing cost to acquire the gift-giver may go twice (or more) as far!

MeUndies, for example, dedicates an entire section of their site to bringing folks together via the power of comfy (under)clothes:

Loyalty Program

These days, loyalty programs are table stakes for eCommerce brands (over 90% of companies now have some kind of loyalty program, and 75% of customers prefer companies that offer rewards.).

If you don't already have one, we recommend at the least starting out with a set-and-forget loyalty program. Your customers will thank you, and you'll be rewarded in kind: customers who use loyalty program points to purchase spend 39% more on average.

If you're thinking of implementing a loyalty program, ensure that the economics make sense for your brand: your loyalty points (and tiers) must be both compelling enough for customers to want to take advantage of them, but they also must not impact your profitability.

Additionally, it's key to style and design your program in line with the rest of your brand. Here's how Glow Recipe styled theirs: 

Coupons

Offer a customer a coupon code or discount to sign up for an email list or after hitting an order minimum. As an added bonus, try to get some zero-party data in exchange for a discount.

Here's an example of community-building coffee and tea brand Blk and Bold offering a discount in exchange for an email and birthday month (a great setup for a birthday promotion) via an exit-intent pop-up:

screenshot of blk&bold's coupon discount pop-up

Multiple payment options, including Buy Now, Pay Later

Giving customers payment options, such as BNPL, is a popular way to increase AOV—potentially 45% or more. Customers might find it easier to pay a smaller amount four times than a larger amount once.

Here's Alphalete offering a $64 item for 4 payments of $16 via Affirm:

screenshot of alphalete offering affirm to allow customers to pay in 4 parts

Other ways to increase AOV

Find your most valuable marketing channels: Does one of your marketing channels lead to higher AOV? We often see that sales sourced to organic have higher AOV and LTV -- what about your brand?

Analyze AOV by segment: You may find that your high value customers (HVCs) are also your biggest spenders per order. To figure out who your HVCs are, we recommend RFM Analysis (recency, frequency, monetary) and scoring your customers 1-10 (1 being the best) based on their purchasing behavior. Once you've identified your HVCs, start sending them your best offers, loyalty/membership opportunities, and experiences. They'll appreciate it, and your AOV will, too.

Using an AOV Dashboard for tracking and analytics

Looking to track and increase your AOV on Shopify and Amazon? Stuck in Google Analytics? We can help. On Daasity's Orders & Revenue Dashboard, you can track your important metrics and KPIs, including average order value (highlighted in red).

screenshot of one of daasity's ecommerce dashboards with AOV highlighted in red ($40.08)

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