How to Maximize Revenue From Existing Customers
Posted July 7, 2016 by Lina Vashurina, Ecwid Team

How to Maximize Revenue From Existing Customers

Did you know that attracting a new customer is five times more expensive than keeping an existing one?

Today we are focusing on the ways you can grow your existing customer base and motivate them buy from you more. You’ll learn what average order value is, why it is important, how to calculate it, and most importantly, how to increase it.

What is average order value?

You surely know that these two tactics can increase your business’s profitability:

  • growing purchase frequency (aiming to get more purchases within a certain timeframe)
  • growing average order value (aiming to get more valuable orders)

Average order value (AOV) is one of the most important metrics for online stores to pay attention to, as it can drive key business decisions like advertising spend, store layout, and product pricing.

Acquiring a new customer shouldn’t cost you more than your AOV.

Before getting into methods for increasing your AOV, let’s first make sure you know how it is calculated. All you need is a simple formula:
Points spent/points issued = AOV

As a shop owner, you ought to want your AOV to be as high as possible; it means your customers are spending good money on your inventory. It is hard to get a high AOV if you deal in many small orders, so a few high value orders can help offset this.

You have plenty of opportunities to increase your AOV, and they won’t take you long to implement. Let’s take a look at them and find the best methods for your store.

How to increase average order value

There are at least five ways to increase average order value.

Free shipping thresholds

Free shipping is a powerful weapon. Customers love it, and more than a half of them are ready to abandon their shopping carts if they don’t get it. But here’s what can bring them right back: seeing an price threshold that will earn them free shipping. But don’t get too carried away with it; the threshold should be realistic, otherwise customers will look for better options elsewhere.

Your free shipping can be also offered within certain windows of time. If you know business is slow at certain times, you might motivate customers to spend money with you during these downtimes in order to take advantage of free shipping.

Cross-selling

“Cross-selling” is the term for offering other products that are likely to interest a customer. This way you can sell the shopper something he or she didn’t even know they wanted, making their experience with your store easier and more enjoyable.

It reminds customers of products they didn’t realize they needed, and it also increases your  AOV. This works great if you sell complementary goods, like tennis balls and rackets, or shoes and shoelaces.

Product bundles

This is closely related to cross-selling, but small businesses can leverage it to greater advantage. You might not have very many products in your store to display under a “You may also like” section, but you can combine products into bundles that you can then sell as a single item on your website. For example, you might sell a sushi-making starter kit; preparing sushi requires a lot of different tools and products that can be packaged together as one item. Sports gear is also easily bunched together, as well as many hobby-related items. Starter bundles help save you (and the customer) time, money, and effort for those investing in a new field of interest.

You might also bundle samples — for example, beauty products, household goods, or even kitchen items — for your customers to try multiple products at once. This tactic not only increases your AOV, but improves the chances that customers will find something they like and come back to you for more.

Coupons

Coupons are another awesome way to increase your AOV. We recommend that you consider a threshold for them as well, so as not to overdo it and find yourself losing money. For example, offer a 5% discount to customers whose orders reach more than a certain total. It’s important to keep in mind that such discounts are not good for every type of business: if you sell luxury products, coupons may send a weird signal to your customer. Free shipping is a better option in these cases. And don’t get too enthusiastic about coupons. Customers shouldn’t get used to expecting discounts in your store all the time, otherwise they won’t pay full price for anything.

Loyalty programs

Not only do loyalty programs increase AOV, they keep customers coming back to you again and again. If you’re not already using one, you’re not maximizing your store’s money-making potential!

Let’s look at the different ways a loyalty program can be implemented:

  • A points system is one of the most popular types of loyalty programs. Customers get points for their purchases, and those points can exchanged for discounts. Points work best for businesses with short and fast sales. Don’t make the system too complicated; the points should lead to a discount or a free item, or work as your store’s own special, internal currency. It’s not a good idea to mix these two strategies together.
  • A tier system presents small rewards as a base offering for being a part of the program, and then encourages customers to repeat their business by increasing the value of the rewards as the customer moves up the loyalty ladder.
  • one-time VIP fee. Charge your customers extra, just for the privilege of shopping with you? Yes, we’re serious! Let customers join your VIP community for some amount of money to be paid annually, then grant them access to extra products, discounts, and special offers. With the customer investing so directly in your storefront, you can be sure they’ll stay with you for at least a year. This increases your AOV by motivating them to buy more stuff from you more often.
  • Exclusive partnership offers. Partner up with another company and use that relationship to offer something special to your loyal customers.

You may find more ways to motivate your customers to buy more, but don’t forget to measure the efficiency of these strategies. Otherwise your plan may not be worth the effort at all.

In the meantime, check out some apps from Ecwid App Market that are perfect for helping you develop the ideas mentioned above:

  • Smart Recommendations provides personalized product recommendations to customers.
  • Loyal2 Marketing and Loyalty automatically rewards customers with various vouchers, motivating them to return often.
  • Orange Twig creates coupon codes and promotes them on social media.
  • UMarket creates loyalty programs, manages them automatically, and gathers analytical data on how well the programs work
  • Check out “Get more repeat customers” app collection in the Ecwid App Market

In conclusion

The name of the game is to motivate your customers to spend more per order when they shop at your store. When your store exhibits a high AOV, it demonstrates that your products are valuable to people and that they have no qualms spending their money with you. We’ve outlined all the strategies you need to get started on improving your AOV, so what are you waiting for?

Happy selling!