Getting people to purchase products from an e-commerce outlet takes a lot of convincing. And it is also a very mean feat to garner the attention of the appropriate target audience.
However, to increase an e-commerce business revenue and cash flow, you can focus on improving Average Order Value (AOV). As this is a great way to drive in healthy cash flow without having to dish out a lot of money and effort.
Once a consumer has decided to make a purchase from an online store, some tweaks can be made in the purchase process. Or in the post-purchase procedures to increase the average order value. In fact, even with modest to less traffic to the website, you can generate higher revenues due to increased AOV.
Following are some strategies that, as per their implementation, can effectively boost average order value and overall profit of your e-commerce store.
Online visitors exhibiting purchase intention are the appropriate group to take advantage of. By strategically putting in some opportunities of cross-selling and upselling.
Now, inevitably, comes the question of what are upselling and cross-selling?
Up-Sell refers to suggesting the more expensive version of a product to a customer. While he is searching and viewing a particular product.
For example, suppose a customer is looking for handbags. That customer might be searching and viewing handbags from a range of $100 to $150. Implementing upselling strategy, you can suggest similarly styled but exotic and more appealing handbags. At a higher price point.
On the other end, Cross-Sell refers to suggesting additional and peripheral items related to the viewed and purchased product by a customer.
For example, if a customer is looking for dress shoes, recommend him shoe polish cream, shoe care products or matching dress belts.
The scopes of cross-selling or post-selling can be optimized during both purchase and post-purchase period. And leaving out these strategies of upsell or cross-sell surely results in leaving revenue on the table.
Adding a Free Shipping Threshold.
Well if you are in e-commerce business, then there is no way that you are not familiar with the concept of Free Shipping. To say precisely, free shipping is a marketing technique that removes or rebates the shipping cost charges of qualifying purchases for a customer.
Free Shipping is everywhere!
As we can see below:
Well, how are so many e-commerce companies able to afford free shipping?
Just as a bricks and mortar store incorporates the cost of sales assistants and store lease into their item price. So to can an online business incorporate the shipping cost into their product prices.
While Free Shipping is often considered to be a competitive necessity for many a product categories. Most of the online stores offer free shipping only at a minimum size for purchase orders. And this minimum amount of purchase size to avail free shipping is called Free Shipping Threshold.
Here, a purchase order over $59 will be shipped free to the customers. The free shipping Threshold here is $59.
Adding a free shipping Threshold works a marketing magic. As it positively influences consumers to order a certain purchase size more frequently.
With this increase in the sales volume and revenue numbers even with a reduced profit margin (because of the free delivery cost, packaging expenditure and returns). You can still come up ahead in terms of increased average order value and numbers.
Raising Free Shipping Minimum.
While the free shipping offering is a proven marketing tactic for e-commerce businesses. It is also expensive and cost inefficient for e-commerce companies to absorb the shipping costs as a whole. Therefore, there is another tried and tested tactic that a lot of companies resort to and that is to raise the cap for free shipping.
Just recently, Amazon has raised their free shipping minimum from $35 to $49.
When e-commerce businesses raise the free shipping minimum, because of overall logistics and fixed costs remaining same. The companies have much-improved chances of making more money per transaction.
As shipping smaller value purchases for free can turn out to be too expensive and take dents on profits. Increase the minimum purchase price for free shipping will definitely increase AOV and profitability.
Add a Sense of Urgency to Free Shipping Threshold Offer.
You can also benefit from a sense of urgency among customers. And that sense of urgency, if associated with free shipping, is proven to be a helpful factor in increasing online shopping conversions.
“Free Shipping – Only Today”
This is an example how you can create a sense of urgency in free shipping. Customers seldom want to miss out on a privilege or a special deal. So the sense of urgency created by adding a time limit to the free shipping make customers act quickly and cash on the incentive, resulting in increased Average Order Value for the e-commerce store.
Well-designated Product Recommendations.
Here is an age-old trick applied by conventional superstores to make customers make impulsive purchases while checking out. If you notice you would see there are a bevy of products are showcased at checkout or cashier stand. This deliberate display of products persuades customers to make some impetuous purchases, adding up to the store’s revenue.
The same trick is provenly result-bearing for e-commerce businesses as well! But in the case of e-commerce website the products are showcased in the product description and checkout page.
SportsDirect recommending top selling products and best brands in its product description page
You can offer highly tailored product recommendations based on a particular shopper’s product searches. As mentioned earlier, this is also a revenue for implementing the strategy of cross-sells or up-sells.
In Hard to Find website, the product description page features “Popular This Week” – displaying an assortment of popular product.
In the sales funnel, the most optimum avenue for making related and relevant product recommendations with the highest conversions probability is the Checkout.
An innovative approach of Product Recommendation on Checkout page sees Hard to Find featuring products with a persuasive title of “Why Not Add”! A Powerful Call-to-Action!
So, if you want to increase AOV, a smart way for you is to Display Best Sellers, Trending Products and/or Related Products on the overall website.
Customer Rewards and Cashback Techniques.
Another great way to increase average order value is offering discounts for spending more money or buying additional items.
You can even offer valuable services such as free shipping, easy returns, rebates and cashbacks when customers spend a certain amount.
Product bundles and saving packs.
When products are offered in bundles and the effective selling point of savings is promoted, it makes the buying decision easier for customers and they opt to purchase multiple items at once.
Product Bundles refer to an assortment of a primary product and its peripherals or related accessories.
For example, a Mobile Phone can be put in a bundle with matching Mobile case, a power bank and a headphone. Or products used for a similar purpose can also be bundled together and offered at a discounted price.
I.e.: In winter a bundle of a jacket, scarf and gloves at a discounted price would make a perfect combo to attract customers and spend money on.
Rewarding customers with points for spending more money on your site is a great way to increase AOV while at the same time fostering customer loyalty. The more customers buy, the more points they earn. Points can later be redeemed for discounts, free gifts, and other incentives.
Section for sales.
Let users easily find the discounted products and show all of them in one (easy to find) place.
Positive opinions from those who’ve already bought the product make people more willing to buy. They help potential customers to make purchase decisions and are social proof for your site’s legitimacy.
Display Remarketing Campaign & Leveraging Customer Browsing History.
One of the biggest sources for convincing customers to purchase from your online store is to leverage their browsing history and remarketing.
After I have browsed some bags in CatchOfTheDay.com.au, I was displayed the same range of bags in other websites’ display advertising sections.
While a customer might browse a bevy of products in an e-commerce website and put items in shopping cart, they can always abort the checkout and quit the purchase of the items. In fact, average shopping cart abandonment rate is 67.91%.
What is recommended for you is to implement display remarketing strategy and leverage browsing history and cookies of customers’ web browser. Google AdWords display remarketing campaign is demonstrated to be a very effective mean to persuade customers to make purchases by displaying products frequently while he is browsing over the internet.
Over to you.
While all of these techniques are pretty effective to bring the desired result, these are all too easy to be implemented. However, it would require a strategic approach and a focused work to reap the benefits of consistent higher average order values. So, instead of expending money lavishly for conventional advertising and new customer acquisition, investing a few hours for applying these aforementioned tricks will surely help your business grow satisfactorily.
Liakat Hossain is a content marketing professional at WebAlive, a company that provides web design, development and online marketing services. He is helping businesses grow with search and content marketing since 2011.