AOV Marketing Hacks to Increase Your Average Order Value

Average order value can be a tricky stat to improve.

There are only a few basic ways to increase revenue from your ecommerce site.

You either need to find more customers for your products…

or sell more things to your existing customers.

Selling additional items to customers who already buy from you one of the most effective ways to drive up your revenues each month.

ecommerce drip campaigns example using testimonials

Understanding how much your average customer buys and what motivates people to add more items to their shopping carts can help you drive up your average order value (AOV) and increase your revenue.

If your online sales have hit a plateau you’re your revenue seems to be the same each month, using one or more of these sneaky AOV techniques can help drive your sales up without increasing your advertising costs.

We’re sharing some of our best AOV secrets and revealing how you can use the power of email marketing to drive up your average order value without spending more money on ads or incentives.

What is Average Order Value?

Your average order value is determined using a simple formula and will be different for every ecommerce business.

AOV is the average amount a customer spends every time they place an order.

Dividing your revenue in a set time by the number of orders placed will reveal your AOV for that month:

AOV = Revenue / # of Orders

Use this formula to calculate your AOV for the last three months to get an idea of where you are right now and what incorporating some new, focused methods could do to raise your AOV.

Why Focus on Increasing AOV?

What makes the AOV such an important metric?

It’s all about the differences between acquiring new customers and selling additional items to your existing customers.

When you need to acquire a new customer, you’ll generally spend money on marketing and advertising, then wait for that prospect to travel through your sales funnel and finally make a sale.

Since you have to spend money to attract attention and take time to cultivate each lead you get, acquisition is a costly and time-consuming process.

In contrast, selling “more” to a customer who already knows, likes and buys from you is very straightforward.

They already know your brand, trust you to deliver and don’t need to go through your sales funnel again.

costal retail email example

You have a head start when it comes to selling to this group, making AOV an inexpensive way to gain additional revenues.

You can also use your AOV figures to evaluate how effective your strategies are and which price points or approaches most motivate your prospects to buy.

12 Tactics to Improve Your Average Order Value

Increasing your average order value is an affordable way to boost your revenues without having to target new markets or come up with new products, but some strategies work better than others.

You can suggest additional, complimentary items to buyers at the point of purchase, promote some special deals or set a “free shipping” threshold to encourage customers to buy “more” during each shopping session.

Any of these techniques can help you boost your AOV and get the revenues you want from your ecommerce efforts.

Examine your User Experience

Your UX, or user experience can be optimized to maximize your average order value.

Customers that are easily able to spot the refills, add-ons and complementary products that work well with the items in their carts are more likely to purchase these additional pieces.

The easier your site is to navigate, the more likely the customer is to stick around, browse and extend their shopping session.

With more customers than ever before shopping via mobile device, a site that is optimized for the mobile experience can also help boost AOV.

A buyer can easily add items to the cart and won’t become frustrated during the checkout process.

Cross-sell to Boost Revenues

Clever associations and common-sense suggestions can help you drive your AOV up.

If you’ve ever been to a fast food restaurant and asked if you want an apple pie or cookies with your order, then you know how well cross selling works.

Suggest socks to go with those new running shoes.

A spicy barbecue sauce to go with that spice blend.

Some new paint brushes to use alongside those watercolors.

Simply suggesting any item won’t work, but if you offer an item that relates to a piece in the cart, chances are good your customer will be tempted to buy that additional piece, too.

Upsell a Better Product

You’ve added “this” pair of sunglasses to your cart – but for just $10 more, you can add this pair that has more UV protection and a designer case!

upsell ecommerce drip campaigns email example

Let customers know that a better value is available for just a slightly higher price.

Whether the next step up has more features, better accessories or higher perceived value, making the customer aware of what they could get for just a small amount more can encourage them to make a larger purchase.

Offer Volume Discounts

One of the most effective strategies to drive AOV in person or via ecommerce is to offer a volume discount.

Think about your own shopping experiences, when you are there purely as a customer.

If you’re offered an item at $2, or 3 for $5, how likely are you to toss three of that piece into your cart?

The math is easy, and you’ve already decided you want one, so why not get all three and save?

Use the same approach to encourage customers to add more of the same item to their cart:

  •    Selling dog treats? One bag is $8, but add three to your cart and you’ll save 25%.
  •    Pushing bath bombs? One at $4 is a luxury – but 3 for $10 is a major savings on some serious pampering.

Items that come in a range of colors or styles are particularly well suited for this approach; you can buy that red t-shirt for $12, or get all three colors for $30.

Retailer Old Navy is particularly good with this approach, selling multiples of shirts, tanks and shorts to each customer, simply because of the multiples discount.

Product Bundling

This is Amazon’s key strategy for increasing average order value.

Their “items frequently bought together” bundles three useful pieces for the customer and allows them to add everything to the cart with a single click.

This approach is so effective that there is often no financial incentive at all.

Simply displaying the three pieces together is enough to incentivize the buyer to add everything to the shopping cart.

Offer Free Shipping

increase average order value with email marketing deals

Offering a free shipping threshold that is just above your AOV can drive purchasers to spend a little more, just to get access to that perk.

Whether you set your shipping at $30, $50, or $100, a free shipping threshold can incentivize buyers to add “just one more” item to reach that mark.

Increase Product Recommendations

Showcasing real customer reviews on your product pages does more than just provide information and transparency, it can help fill those shopping baskets too.

Make sure reviews are easy to find and easy to read and it could help drive up your average order value.

Offer Extra Services

Can items be assembled, monogrammed or personalized before shipping?

Offering these extra services or even a white glove style delivery and shipping process can drive up your per sale total and help you break out of a sales rut.

Use Coupons

A coupon that is earned “now” but can be redeemed “later” can encourage buyers to reach a particular threshold.

Offer the customer who spends $50 today a coupon to save money on their next purchase and they may spend a bit more, just to access the special deal.

Showcase Time Sensitive Deals

A deal that is only good for a limited amount of time is tempting for anyone and can help boost your average order value during slow seasons.

travel email marketing example las vegas

For those customers who already love your product or use consumable products, offering a once in a lifetime or even an annual deal can help boost your AOV in a slightly different way.

Your customers will buy more of an item to get the deal or increase the frequency of their purchasing.

Instead of waiting until they run out of a specific product, they may be incentivized to stock up, particularly if the offer is limited.

Make a Donation

When your customer makes a purchase that reaches a specific threshold, you’ll donate to a non-profit.

This approach is appealing to the customer, who has a chance to do something good while getting the products or supplies they need.

If you have local business, choose a local non-profit.

For an ecommerce site, choose a non-profit that relates to what you sell or that would inspire your customers to buy.

Have a Customer Friendly Return Policy

A generous return policy that is drafted with the customer in mind allows them to buy with confidence, even as they add extra, untried items to the shopping cart.

How Can Email Marketing Help Increase AOV?

How can you let your customers know about the incentives you’ve created to encourage them to buy more?

Popups, suggested items and cart messaging helps, but a targeted email can bring a customer directly to your site with the intention of buying.

Personalized, targeted emails that remind customers they are about to run out or let them know that additional colors or styles of that item they’ve bought are now available can prompt a return visit.

Integrating your ecommerce platform, like Shopify, Magento or WooCommerce, with your ecommerce email marketing strategy can produce highly targeted promotions that drive up your AOV and ensure prospects know and can easily access your offers.

Triggered Drip Campaigns

We’ve covered the power of the drip campaign before, and incorporating one or more of the AOV methods above can help not only generate sales, but increase your per-purchase figure, too.

abandoned cart email drip example

Use an assortment of specific ecommerce drip campaigns to keep up a steady flow of traffic and ensure that your prospects know the best ways to save on your site.

Incorporate Segmentation

Anyone who comes to your site can spot and take advantage of volume discounts and free shipping.

When you segment your list of shoppers to include those who purchased a particular amount, who bought from a specific category or who could use a refill on consumables, you can increase not only your conversions but your average order value as well.

segment email subscribers email marketing

Segment your list using your sales data and use one or more of the suggestions above to drive customers back to your site for one more round of buying.

Responsive Design

Your email can be read anywhere – and chances are it will be, thanks to widespread mobile device use.

Since your email can be opened, clicked and acted upon from a phone or tablet, your reader can act instantly, provided both the email and your site are optimized for mobile use.

Use Email Marketing to Increase Your AOV

Focusing on your AOV and trying a few techniques designed to drive this figure up can help you break out of a slump or get past a plateau.

Your loyal customers want to buy more and they will buy more.

As long as you make their shopping experience easier and more relevant to them.

Delivra works with online retailers to increase their AOV and get the most revenue they can out of their email marketing efforts.


Join the email marketing community at an upcoming event near you.