Are you making the most of your sales opportunities

When you've done the hard work of getting people to your checkout page - give them the best experience.

Are you offering your customers more value during checkout?

I'm seeing and hearing quite a lot of negativity around how hard it is to get sales at the moment and yes, it is very hard. People are thinking about their purchases much more than they were a few years ago however, people are still spending.

In the UK the ONS (Office for National Statistics) shows that the average family is spending £45.50 on miscellaneous purchases, £13 per week on personal care and £5.30 per week on newspapers (and most news is available for free so there are other reasons for purchase).

Once you've done the hard work in terms of your products, your marketing, social media presence, local business awareness and promotions, networking, SEO, copy and content writing, basically actually getting people to your online shop, make sure your sales process and pricing strategy offers the best value to your customers (and you).

What is your AOV?

Average Order Value

When was the last time you looked at the average value of your orders? If it's over 3 months ago, do it now - your web development platform should make this easy for you or you can create a spreadsheet!

You want your AOV to be increasing and I'm guessing for many of you, it's not. One really great way of increasing your sales quickly is to encourage your existing customers to buy more from you.

When your customers are on your checkout page, they have their credit card ready or they're trying to remember their Paypal login details, they're posed ready to click that 'checkout' button - offer them something more.

Are the products ordered going to be a gift? 

Could you offer gift wrapping for a small additional cost? 

Could you offer to pop a card in with the order, again for a small additional cost?

Could you offer a free sample of your new and exciting product that you're about to launch or even an existing product that your customer might want to try next time they order?

Pricing strategy

Do you have an option for free shipping over a set sales value - if so, is your pricing strategy aligned to make the most of this?

To many, pricing might not appear to be strictly a part of marketing these days but traditionally it forms part of the marketing mix

Product - Price - Place - Promotion

Your pricing needs to be aligned with many things including your products, your audience, your costs however one area where you can offer real value with your pricing is with multi-buy offers and threshold pricing.

Let's say you have products priced at £4.50. You might offer a multi-buy price of 3 products for £12. This pricing creates value in the mind of your customers without taking too much of your profit margin. Now let's say you offer free postage & packaging on orders over £20. During the checkout process you can remind your customer that if they bought another 3 of your products, they'd benefit from the multi-buy offer AND receive free shipping.

You do of course need to work out your costs and your margins to see where you can add these offers so that you don't lose more than you gain but have a play with the numbers, see what can be achieved.

Customers also bought...

You'll have seen this strategy on most big company checkout pages, even the supermarkets do this before you finally click 'checkout', showing you what other customers have bought based on what you have in your cart.

This can work really well or it can irritate people depending on how you do it.

If the products you suggest might like to be added to the order are actually in tune with what has been ordered, great - you're on to a winner as you now look thoughtful and helpful to your customer. You truly are adding value to their purchase experience.

If you simply have random products pop up as items you suggest they might like to add to their order, you'll annoy people and could lose the sale!

The good news is that for many of you reading this your product ranges aren't as huge as the supermarkets, so if a customer has 3 of your products in their online cart, offering them a 4th or a 5th of a similar genre or even of a slightly different product type, is unlikely to be way out in terms of what they were wanting to buy.

These type of offers are often called 'order bumps' (many of the mainstream web building platforms will call the function something like that). Bumping up the value of the order, which helps you, actually does also add a benefit to your customer when done correctly.

All of these strategies need to be done in-line with your costs and pricing to ensure they work for you but they really can be seen as ways to increase the value of each order. As I said at the very start, once you have a customer in your checkout process, make it the best experience for them. Make sure they feel the benefit of buy from you.

To summerise quickly - to increase your AOV you can

  • offer additional services for a small fee - gift wrapping etc
  • create value with multi-buy offers
  • free shipping over a set value
  • remind customers of multi-buy to obtain free shipping
  • suggest additional products which align to those chosen

Now you've got some ideas of things you can try which will help increase your average order value, make a note of what the value is currently, implement some changes that feel right to you and keep monitoring it.

Here's to an increase in your AOV!