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Average Order Value: How to use this metric effectively in your business?

How to calculate Average Order Value?

Average Order Value (AOV) represents the mean expenditure made by customers in a single transaction with your business. It can be computed by dividing the total revenue generated by the number of orders placed, giving you the average order value. For instance, suppose you own an online boutique that recently made $3,400 in total revenue from 200 customer orders. In this scenario, your AOV would be $17. This implies that, on average, each customer spends $17 during their purchase at your boutique.

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What is the difference between Average Order Value and Customer Lifetime Value?

The Average Order Value (AOV) is a simple calculation: dividing the total revenue by the number of orders placed. AOV proves to be a valuable metric when you are exploring new avenues for customer acquisition and upselling. This is because higher order values allow you to rely on fewer customers for your business growth.

Additionally, in the short term, a higher AOV provides you with more resources to work with, enabling you to allocate more funds towards advertising and marketing efforts. However, solely focusing on AOV can be constraining. It disregards factors such as the cost of goods and other expenses, which are crucial in assessing overall profitability. Furthermore, AOV tends to concentrate on month-to-month improvements, potentially hindering long-term sustainable growth strategies.

Customer lifetime value is the measure that encompasses the total amount a customer spends on your business or products throughout their entire relationship with you. It aids in determining the appropriate investment in customer acquisition and retention strategies. The primary distinction between elevating LTV compared to AOV lies in the fact that LTV efforts are concentrated on fostering organic and sustainable changes in your interactions with customers.

Why does A/B testing become necessary when talking about Average Order Value?

A/B testing can be a valuable tool in enhancing your average order value (AOV). Each website and app caters to a unique customer base with various products, presenting numerous avenues for increasing AOV. Within each strategy, there exist multiple variations that you can experiment with, such as trying out different headlines, images, and calls to action.

For instance, let's consider the cross-selling approach. You could initiate an A/B test by comparing your original shopping cart with a variation that incorporates a message and graphic saying "People who bought this also frequently bought this" to see if it positively impacts AOV. Then, you could further test an alternate message like "Recommended products for you" to determine which option yields the highest AOV.

Given the diverse possibilities for enhancing AOV, it becomes crucial to construct a systematic series of A/B tests. These tests will enable you to gather sufficient data for each variation and optimise for conversion.

How does AOV affect your business strategy?

Average Order Value (AOV) is determined based on the sales per order, not sales per customer. Even if a single customer makes multiple purchases, each order contributes separately to the AOV calculation.

While AOV doesn't directly describe gross profit or profit margins, it provides valuable insights into how these figures are generated. Let's consider an example of an online electronics store selling various gadgets: laptops priced at $800, smartphones at $400, and accessories at $50, resulting in an AOV of $417. This data reveals two significant trends about customer behaviour:

- Customers tend to make individual purchases rather than buying multiple items together.

- The lower-priced accessories drive the majority of sales.

If the store assumes that the laptops and smartphones have higher profit margins, it highlights a critical opportunity to improve the positioning and marketing efforts for those products. Increasing AOV allows online businesses to improve their return on investment (ROI) and return on advertising spend (ROAS) for all marketing endeavours. The higher the AOV, the more value is derived from each customer, resulting in increased returns from every dollar spent on customer acquisition.

Monitoring AOV is as essential as tracking any other business metric, preferably on a daily or weekly basis. Whenever there are fluctuations or notable changes in AOV, a thorough examination of all aspects of the business is necessary to identify the driving factors. New marketing campaigns, seasonal buying patterns, or even minor website changes could be potential factors influencing AOV variations.

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How do you increase the average order value?

Tricks for Average Order Value

Tricks for Average Order Value

Cross selling is an effective approach 

The focus is on curating product suggestions based on the individual customer's browsing and purchase history. For example, if a customer has recently bought a smartphone, the system can suggest compatible phone cases, screen protectors, or power banks.

This approach effectively utilises both cross-selling and upselling strategies. Cross-selling comes into play by suggesting complementary products that enhance the customer's initial purchase, while upselling is achieved by recommending higher-tier or premium versions of the product they are interested in. By employing these personalised product recommendations, you can enhance customer satisfaction, increase their engagement with your website, and potentially boost your average order value.

Offer certain discounts when customers pay above a fix amount

You can make customers buy more stuff by offering discounts when they spend a certain amount. For example, you can give free shipping if they buy above a certain minimum value. This way, customers feel motivated to buy more to get the benefit of the discount. It helps you earn more money and keeps customers happy because they get something extra for spending a bit more. It's a good way to grow your business and keep people coming back for more.

Here is a complete guide on how you could use the digital marketing funnels to expand your customer base and how sell directly on Amazon with a detailed plan on Amazon listing optimization.

Product bundling could foster a wholesome experience

To encourage customers to buy more items, consider creating product bundles or packages. This means combining multiple products together and selling them at a lower cost than if customers bought each item separately.

By doing this, customers will feel like they're getting more value from their purchase. A smart way to do product bundling is by offering a package that includes all the necessary items to have a complete experience. For example, if you sell a gaming console, you could create a bundle that includes the console, controllers, and a popular game, all for a discounted price. This makes it more appealing for customers to buy the whole package rather than individual items, as they see it as a better deal.

Increase Your Average Order Value Using Returns

Returns can actually be a good chance to make more money and make customers happy. When handling returns, if you focus on what the customer wants and try things like giving them store credit or suggesting exchanges, you can use returns to make more money for your store.

In other words, by offering alternatives to refunds and showing that others like your products, you can turn returns into a way to increase how much money each customer spends in your store. Check these Amazon FBA tips to grow your business and see how optimising your Amazon listing could help you grow. 

What other metrics do you need to consider?

- Cost Per Conversion is a metric that calculates the expense incurred in converting each customer. To ascertain the actual profit per order, this cost should be deducted from the Average Order Value. By doing so, businesses can gauge their profitability more accurately after factoring in the cost of acquiring each customer.

- Conversion Rate is determined by dividing the total number of conversions by the overall number of visitors. It is essential to keep an eye on this metric because simply focusing on increasing Average Order Value (AOV) could lead to a situation where the conversion rates decline, negatively impacting the overall performance of your business. Read this guide on E-commerce supply chain and voice search optimization.

- Revenue per Visitor (RPV) is a valuable metric that gauges the amount of money generated with each customer visit to your website. It provides insights into the effectiveness of your revenue generation efforts and helps in understanding the monetary value associated with each visitor.

FAQS - Frequently Asked Questions

What is Average Order Value (AOV) and how is it calculated?

Average Order Value (AOV) is a key performance indicator in e-commerce and retail that measures the average amount of money each customer spends per transaction with your business. AOV is calculated by dividing the total revenue by the number of orders over a specific period. For example, if your store's revenue is $10,000 from 200 orders in a month, the AOV would be $50. This metric helps businesses understand customer spending behavior, informing strategies for pricing, marketing, and product placement to maximize profitability.

Why is AOV an important metric for businesses?

AOV is an important metric for businesses because it provides insights into customer purchasing behavior, helping companies to gauge the health of their sales strategies. A higher AOV indicates that customers are spending more per transaction, which can lead to increased revenue and profitability without necessarily increasing the number of customers. Understanding AOV enables businesses to tailor their marketing and pricing strategies to encourage higher spending, optimize product recommendations, and improve customer experiences. It's a crucial metric for evaluating the effectiveness of promotional efforts and for making informed decisions about inventory, product development, and customer service enhancements.

How does AOV differ from Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)?

AOV and Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) are related but distinct metrics that measure different aspects of customer behavior and business performance. AOV focuses on the average amount spent in a single transaction, providing a snapshot of purchasing behavior at a point in time. In contrast, CLV estimates the total value a customer will bring to your business over the entirety of their relationship. While AOV looks at the short-term value of transactions, CLV gives a long-term perspective, accounting for factors like repeat purchases, customer loyalty, and retention. Both metrics are vital for crafting strategies that maximize profitability, but they focus on different stages of the customer journey.

How can A/B testing be used to improve AOV?

A/B testing, also known as split testing, can be used to improve AOV by comparing two versions of a webpage, email, or other marketing assets to see which one performs better in terms of encouraging higher order values. For example, you could test different product bundles, promotions, or product recommendations to see which variation leads to a higher AOV. By analyzing the results, businesses can identify the most effective strategies for increasing the average spend per transaction. This method allows for data-driven decision-making, minimizing guesswork in optimizing sales and marketing tactics to boost AOV effectively.

What strategies can be implemented to increase AOV?

To increase AOV, businesses can implement various strategies, including upselling and cross-selling, offering free shipping thresholds, creating product bundles, providing time-limited offers, and personalizing the shopping experience. Upselling encourages customers to purchase a higher-end product than the one they are considering, while cross-selling suggests complementary products, adding value to their purchase. Setting a minimum purchase amount for free shipping can motivate customers to add more items to their carts. Product bundles combine related items at a slightly reduced total cost, making the deal more attractive. Personalization, using customer data to tailor recommendations and offers, can significantly enhance the perceived value of purchases, encouraging higher spending.

How does increasing AOV impact business strategy and customer behavior?

Increasing AOV directly impacts business strategy by shifting focus towards maximizing the value of each transaction, which can lead to higher revenues without proportionately increasing marketing or acquisition costs. This approach encourages businesses to refine their product offerings, pricing strategies, and promotional tactics to encourage higher spending. From a customer behavior perspective, strategies aimed at increasing AOV, such as personalized recommendations or loyalty rewards for higher spending, can enhance the shopping experience, foster brand loyalty, and encourage repeat purchases. However, it's important to balance efforts to increase AOV with maintaining customer satisfaction and perceived value, ensuring that strategies do not negatively impact the customer's perception of the brand.

Can product bundling effectively increase AOV, and if so, how?

Yes, product bundling can effectively increase AOV by offering customers a combination of products at a perceived discount compared to purchasing each item individually. This strategy not only provides value to the customer but also encourages them to spend more in a single transaction. Bundles can be curated based on product compatibility, seasonal trends, or customer purchasing history, making them highly attractive. For instance, a beauty store might bundle a shampoo, conditioner, and hair serum at a special price. This not only simplifies the purchasing decision for the customer but also introduces them to products they might not have considered, effectively increasing the transaction's total value.

What role do discounts play in influencing AOV?

Discounts can play a strategic role in influencing AOV when used judiciously. For example, offering a discount on orders over a certain amount can motivate customers to add more items to their cart to qualify for the savings. This method can effectively increase the AOV as customers perceive they are getting more value for their money. However, it's important for businesses to carefully balance the use of discounts to avoid eroding profit margins or devaluing their brand. Targeted discounts, such as those offered to first-time buyers or loyal customers, can also encourage higher spending while fostering a sense of exclusivity and loyalty.

How can returns be managed to positively affect AOV?

Managing returns effectively can positively affect AOV by improving customer satisfaction and trust, which in turn can lead to repeat purchases and increased spending over time. Offering a hassle-free return policy can enhance the customer experience, making shoppers more comfortable with spending more upfront. Additionally, providing options for exchanges or store credit instead of a refund can keep the money within the business while still accommodating the customer's needs. Implementing a seamless return process that minimizes inconvenience to the customer can lead to positive reviews and recommendations, potentially attracting new customers who are willing to spend more per order.

Besides AOV, what other key metrics should businesses focus on to drive profitability?

Besides AOV, businesses should focus on key metrics such as Customer Lifetime Value (CLV), conversion rate, cart abandonment rate, customer acquisition cost (CAC), and retention rate to drive profitability. CLV helps understand the total value a customer brings over their relationship with the brand, highlighting the importance of retention and loyalty programs. Conversion rate measures the effectiveness of your website and marketing efforts in turning visitors into buyers. Cart abandonment rate provides insights into potential barriers in the checkout process. CAC quantifies the cost of acquiring a new customer, vital for evaluating marketing efficiency. Lastly, the retention rate indicates customer satisfaction and loyalty, crucial for long-term profitability. Together, these metrics provide a comprehensive view of a business's performance and areas for optimization.

About Bruno Gavino

Bruno Gavino is the CEO and partner of Codedesign, a digital marketing agency with a strong international presence. Based in Lisbon, Portugal, with offices in Boston, Singapore, and Manchester (UK) Codedesign has been recognized as one of the top interactive agencies and eCommerce agencies. Awarded Top B2B Company in Europe and Top B2C company in retail, Codedesign aims to foster personal relationships with clients and create a positive work environment for its team.  

He emphasizes the need for digital agencies to focus on data optimization and performance to meet the increasingly results-driven demands of clients. His experience in digital marketing, combined with a unique background that includes engineering and data, contributes to his effective and multifaceted leadership style.

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About Codedesign

Codedesign is a digital marketing agency with a strong multicultural and international presence, offering expert services in digital marketing. Our digital agency in Lisbon, Boston, and Manchester enables us to provide market-ready strategies that suit a wide range of clients across the globe (both B2B and B2C). We specialize in creating impactful online experiences, focusing on making your digital presence strong and efficient. Our approach is straightforward and effective, ensuring that every client receives a personalized service that truly meets their needs.

Our digital agency is committed to using the latest data and technology to help your business stand out. Whether you're looking to increase your online visibility, connect better with your audience, get more leads, or grow your online sales. For more information, read our Digital Strategy Blog or to start your journey with us, please feel free to contact us.

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