Nowadays there are plenty of sources which can give you various pieces of advice about how to make your business sky-rocket. And there is no doubt that one of them will be devoted to the question of increasing Average Order Value (AOV). In fact, this issue itself hides a number of secrets and levers, the use of which can affect your revenue greatly, and I’m happy to share their key principles with you.
#1. Fill your customers’ shoes – use personalization
Isn’t it great to get something made namely for you? Imagine that all around you corresponds to your taste. Impossible? But not in our case! Online-marketing is one of those spheres which allow taking into consideration plenty of factors which are closely connected with the customers’ interests. Consequently, it results in a positive and friendly attitude of your clients towards your business. Though it may seem not so important, but in fact, it does influence the AOV greatly.
Personalization makes it possible to individually approach every customer taking into consideration gender, location and order history and makes the shopping process more pleasant. There is no doubt that putting together all behavioral data makes it much easier to find out what this or that person may be looking for. Personalization is especially effective on the category pages when a considerable need to divide your online-shop visitors into the interest groups appears. Furthermore, it can also be useful while sending emails.
Needless to say that a word “free” is a magic one. It has got a fantastic impact on anyone and even such metrics as gender or age do not play any role here. There are several ways to make this word increase your AOV. Firstly, use a price threshold for free shipping. Customers are more likely to spend their money on the stuff you offer than on the shipping. However, to make this trick work don’t forget to remember it starting with your homepage and finishing with checkout. Secondly, you can always use BOGO tactic, i.e. “Buy one and get one free” or offer free accessories as an addition to the main product.
For instance, Marks & Spencer offers customers free nominated day delivery on the occasion of mother’s day and some other free additional items in case of flowers’ purchases.
What is more, in case you offer services – make use of a free trial. All these options make your product look very tempting to customers.
#3. Reward your customers for being loyal
Don’t forget to show how strongly you value your clients. If your goods presuppose frequent purchases, use a Loyalty Rewards program which may include coupons, bonus points and even free merchandise. Another way to motivate customers to become, and stay, your regular visitors is to offer discounts after a minimum purchase.
#4. Put everything together
Product bundling is another popular hook to amp your AOV up. This technique includes three main strategies:
- Bundling main product with accessories (e.g. clothes + accessories)
- Bundling main product with similar products (e.g. books, music, movies etc)
- Bundling main product with different products (e.g. laptop + iPhone)
For further effect, you can create a dedicated product bundle category page which will make it possible for customers to choose additional goods.
At the same time, you can include mix and match options, like SnapDeal.com does, which allows clients to get a feeling of complete freedom in choosing extra items according to their individual tastes.
#5. Play with time
Time is something that you can benefit from, too. Let your customers know that it’s the last chance they can buy your stuff and you will see them hurry up to get what they want. Of course, to make this strategy work you need to provide customers with a discount or free shipping, for instance. Such limited-time offers encourage people to buy now and get rid of procrastination which is a deep-rooted habit of every second customer.
#6. Use price anchoring
It is not rocket science that everything is relative in this world. Very often comparison turns out to be a driving force in making your decisions, especially when it comes to a purchasing process. That is why it’s important to include price anchoring into the list of your marketing moves. It’s up to you to decide whether a product is “cheap” or “expensive” and to nudge your customers to buy the most “lucrative” one. All you need is to put cheaper products among more expensive ones though all of them can be regarded as of the same class. The rest will be done due to the “anchor” mechanism – when people are likely to bank on the information which is accepted first.
#7. Up-sells and cross-sells as part and parcel of your success
Indisputably it’s important to point out the importance of up-selling as one of the key ways to increase your AOV. When a customer is viewing a certain item, draw him/her in with the goods which are of the same category but have better qualities. This will make your customer think of a better choice even if a price is much higher. Everyone deserves the best, don’t they? Usually, these goods are hidden behind such categories as “You may also like”, “Why not try” and “Others also bought”. You can also include “Bestsellers” but keep in mind that products must relate to the same category. You can use something like “Best-Selling related products” as BestBuy.com does.
Cross-selling is another efficient technique to consider. Contrary to up-selling, this approach involves offering accessories and other additional goods. You can also combine it with bundling and discounts. BestBuy.com, for example, has also mentioned accessories category as “Frequently Bought Together”.
#8. Remind your customers of their wishes
Success requires perseverance, so don’t be afraid to display it. Remind your clients of the products they have recently viewed. Make the customers come back and have a look at those items one more time – boost their decisiveness. Browsing history is a useful tool which can get your clients back on course and finally make a purchase.
#9. Display cost savings
Let your customers realize their purchase is a completely correct decision. Show the sums or their percentages which can be saved with your help. A field of action is wide, indeed. Put this small cost savings note when offering product bundling, discounts, free shipping or BOGO.
Alibris online store shows the percentage of savings customers can get by buying certain goods. It is also worth of mentioning that this “save” note is put not just near an item with a discount but as a separate category on the homepage.
#10. Hobbies and presents – another step in increasing your AOV
One of the tactics which can be used to increase your AOV is gamification. This technique is based on the psychological principles – it allows users to reach the set aims, win and logically get satisfaction. Consequently, this positive feeling influences customers’ attitude towards your store. Gamification attracts people, but only if it is well-thought.
First of all, it’s vitally important to show the reason – why should a user participate. There are several ways to do it – offer different kinds of rewards: points, coupons, free shipping, gift cards or discounts. Another issue to take into consideration is the simplicity of the instructions. A long list of rules and explanations is a real time-consumer which brings negative impressions.
The last and the most important is a result of this technique – rewarding, and no deceit! Gamification has different forms and can include points gathering, users’ competitions, progress bars and games themselves. The main aim of this tactic is to engage a customer who in the course of time can turn into the real fan of your store.
Besides, you can always offer your customers to buy vouchers or gift cards for their relatives, friends or colleagues. This technique works pretty well, especially if your goods suit such occasions as anniversaries or birthdays. For example, Sephora.com having a wide range of cosmetics couldn’t but use this tactic and offer its customers to purchase gift cards.
On the whole, each technique has its unique advantages and we cannot distinguish the most effective one. The best you can do is to avail yourself of every tactic combining them into one solid strategy.
Images: ”Author’s Own“
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