Strategies To Increase Your Average Order Value And The Consumer Psychology Behind It

With so many online stores to choose from, the typical consumer today tend to break their purchases amongst a few stores. They choose to buy a few products from one brand and the others from another based on the discounts they can avail and how they ‘feel’ about the product. One of the biggest challenges apart from cart abandonment that stores face today is to increase average order value. That is, to nudge shoppers to buy products with a higher total cart value during their visit. 

That’s why we decided to look into the strategies that leading Shopify stores use to increase cart size and the consumer psychology behind it. After all, you need to know why a certain strategy works as well! 

But first things first, what is the average order value? 

What is the average order value? 

Average order value (AOV) or cart size refers to the average amount of money (in the currency that your store sells in) a customer spends when placing an order on your store.  

You can the AOV metric by simply dividing your store’s total revenue over a period of time by the number of orders that were placed in that period. 

Note: The average order value does not take into account the marketing costs or the cost of customer acquisition. 

8 Tactics to Increase Average Order Value 

1. Make personalized product recommendations 

The number one strategy that leading Shopify stores use is recommending products to their shoppers. Right from Kappa USA to Gym+Plus Coffee, you’ll always see personalized product recommendations under the products you’re browsing through. And you don’t really mind seeing those products. 

The reason being that the recommendations help you discover more products of the kinds you like. It also helps you think about what you may like with the purchase you’re making – for instance, a pair of gym tights would go really well with the sweatshirt you just bought. It’s just that it never occurred to you. 

With smart Shopify apps like Wiser, displaying personalized product recommendations is a cakewalk. With the app, you can display product recommendations of different types – like related products, trending products, inspired by the shopper’s browsing and more. And the best part is that you can display these product recommendations across all the pages of your store! 

It’s almost like walking alongside a customer in a store, recommending products based on what they have in hand. Think about the last time you stepped into a store to purchase a product and walked out with two in hand. 

inspired by browsing product recommendations

2. Display upsell offers based on shopper interest 

Upselling is a proven sales technique where you nudge the customer to purchase a higher-value product or an upgrade of what they’re browsing through. The idea is to introduce them to something better. 

This sales strategy to increase the average order value is similar to what happens at Starbucks. You walk in and order a regular/ small coffee cup. While placing the order the attendant asks you if you would like a supersize cup instead because it will have more coffee and a bit of chocolate syrup too. And it’s costs only marginally more than the coffee cup you were thinking of purchasing. 

What are you more likely to buy here? Obviously, the supersize cup coffee because it sounds like a better deal. You’re getting so much more for just a little more cost. 

With Shopify apps like Upsellio, you can create multiple upsell offers and display them dynamically on your store. Since they remain contextual to what the shopper is showing interest in, the conversions on your upsell offers are higher. 

The best part about the app is how you can display these upsell offers on your product pages and also on your cart page using your popup.  

increase average order value upsell

3. Offer a free shipping threshold 

Another smart way to increase your Shopify store’s average order value is to offer a free shipping threshold. You know we’re all looking for ways to save on the shipping costs of the products we buy online. It’s not that we can’t spend that much money on the order – just we’d rather spend it on another product. 

Use this consumer psychology to nudge online shoppers to buy more from your store to avail free shipping. But set a realistic threshold for it to start with. If you have noticed an average order value of $50 on your store, start by setting a threshold of $75 to avail free shipping. Then gradually increase the threshold based on how shoppers engage with this new offer. 

To make it a success, ensure that this free shipping offer is clearly visible on your store. A good idea here is to implement an announcement bar that displays the offer across all the pages of your store using the Shopify app, Free Shipping Bar

Another strategic placement for this offer is your cart page. This is where the shopper can see all the items added to the cart. Simply add a note at the bottom of the page or list this under your ‘offers’.

4. Set up volume discounts 

Of course, only if it is applicable to the kind of products you sell. 

These are offers where you give the shopper a discount for purchasing in bulk from your store. You basically tell the shopper the quantity they need to purchase in order to avail a said discount. For example, get 15% off when you buy 5 t-shirts from our store! 

You can set up volume and display these discounts on your store easily with apps like Volume Discounts. It enables you to create tiered pricing or volume discounts within the app and helps you display them clearly on your store’s product pages. 

The clear visibility of these bulk discounts makes the shopper want to buy more from your store, increasing your average order value. 


5. Offer time-sensitive deals

The one thing that online shoppers are the most afraid of is missing out on a good deal. They would hate to let even a 10% discount on their favorite product or even the brand slip by. But at the same time, they’re also never in a hurry to make a purchase. They all have a tendency to want to explore other discounts available – just in case they can bag an additional 5% off. 

The only to nudge these online shoppers to make a purchase during the visit and also buy more is creating urgency around your offer. 

For instance, put an embargo on till when a shopper can avail a volume discount. Or tell them that your upsell offer ends in 24 hours! Let them feel like leaving your store might make them miss a good deal. 

You can do this by adding a countdown timer on your Shopify store by using apps like Sales Pop. With the display continually showing how much time is left in availing an offer, you’ll see shoppers rush to buy more from you.   

6. Set up a loyalty program 

A loyalty program to increase your average order value? How is that even possible? 

Well, according to various surveys, 40% of a store’s revenue comes from repeat customers. That’s because these are consumers who already know what your brand has to offer, have previously purchased from your store, and more importantly, have had a positive shopping experience. 

So contrary to the new visitors for whom you’re taking so much effort to sell one product to, these are shoppers who are more than willing to buy more. But the survey also states that only about 8% of all the store visitors that an online business sees are repeat customers. That’s where you plug in a loyalty program. 

Give your customers a reason to come back. Create a win-win situation and you’ll see that they will end up buying more from you, leading to an increase in your average order value. 

You can do this easily with Shopify apps like Flits. The app enables you to create custom customer accounts and set up a loyalty program that offers store credits that a shopper can avail on their next purchase, keeping them motivated to come back for more.  

average order value

7. Use product labels to grab attention 

Another smart strategy that you will see popular brands on Shopify use is using product labels to grab visitor attention. 

Typically, an online visitor has an attention span of about 8 seconds. That’s too less for them to browse through all the products on your store. So they’re more likely to just purchase the product they came looking for or leave without buying anything. This is where product labels act like call-outs and hook their attention. 

By adding simple product labels, you can highlight your top-selling products, trending products or even an exclusive collection you just added. The label acts like a call-to-action that nudges the shopper or visitor to check the product out. This makes them more likely to explore other collections and at the same time, add what’s trending to their cart. Remember FOMO? 

The best thing is that you don’t need a designer to help you with this. With Shopify apps like ModeMagic, you can add product labels to your images in minutes. The app has a collection of labels and stickers that you can use as per your sales strategy. Additionally, you get to also update your store design to make it more engaging! 

increase average order value

8. Gamify the shopping experience

Most shoppers walk away buying that one product or none of them simply because they’re not engaged enough with the store. That’s a pretty common online shopping behaviour. 

But letting them go without trying to engage them again is like losing your chance to bag a sale. Target these shoppers with a gamified exit-intent popup that lets them win a discount that they can avail. 

Going back to human psychology, winning makes us want to celebrate. And when it’s on your store, it means a greater chance of making a purchase. 

You can do this easily using Shopify apps like Spin Wheel. The app lets you create discounts and set them up on a spin-to-win popup that your store visitors can engage with. Its exit-intent nature does not interrupt the shopper’s browsing experience and you still get to nudge them to buy more. 

increase average order value

Why do you need to focus on increasing your average order value?

A lot of Shopify stores focus on getting a said number of orders every month. You’re most likely digging into analytics to calculate metrics like your conversion rate, cart abandonment rate, and overall revenue in a month. But what’s the measure of your store’s actual success? 

The trust that consumers have in your brand to buy more from you. That’s where the average order value comes in. 

It’s simple. If a customer is buying more products from you, it shows they trust your brand enough to spend more. If a customer is being extra careful about making a purchase, you know you have to still build a relationship with them – they’re more likely to walk off to another brand the first chance they get. 

With the above tactics, you’re not pushing customers to make purchases. You’re only making using psychology to nudge them to explore more products. So while you’re helping them get the best deals, discounts, and products, you’re getting sales with higher average order value. 

We call it the perfect win-win situation. 

Ready to see your sales rise? It’s time to get started on implementing some of these strategies! 

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