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7 Strategies to Increase Average Order Value (AOV)

7 Strategies to Increase Average Order Value (AOV)

How eCommerce brands can make key changes to increase their Average Order Value (AOV).

Average Order Value (AOV) is one of the most important metrics for subscription eCommerce brands. With returning customers spending on average 61% more than new customers, focusing on current subscribers to encourage further spending is evidently a lucrative strategy. 

Of course, the million-dollar question becomes: how can Shopify brands make the most of their subscriber base and effectively boost their AOV? 

As a Shopify subscription app, we’ve seen a variety of brands use creative tactics to encourage more sales — and we’ll walk you through these 7 proven strategies to increase Average Order Value to help your business drive revenue.

Average Order Value: Definition & How to Calculate 

Feel free to skip this section if you’re already deeply acquainted with AOV, but for anyone who needs a refresher: AOV tracks the average amount of money spent on each order. Basically, the goal is to increase the average sales per customer.

The Average Order Value formula is fairly self-explanatory: a brand’s total revenue divided by the total number of orders. That’s it. 

Now let’s dive into the tactics to help boost AOV.

How to Increase Average Order Value: eCommerce Strategies

(Product) Bundle Up

There’s a misconception that product bundling can only be used by build-a-box subscription businesses. We’re here to confirm that this is most definitely not the case. So long as you are a brand with at least two products, you can offer product bundling — and it’s actually one of the most effective strategies for increasing AOV. 

Product bundling works by grouping two or more products and selling them as a single unit for a discounted price. So rather than selling peanut butter and jelly separately for $5 each, you might sell them as a PB&J bundle for $7, thereby encouraging consumers who may have just considered buying one or the other to purchase both. 

The magic of bundling is that consumers get an authentic sense of having gotten more for less, while businesses organically increase their AOV (and help get rid of inventory). 

We recommend that brands monitor their data to determine products that traditionally get purchased together in order to identify strong candidates for a bundle. And another important tip is to clearly display what consumers would be saving by opting to buy the bundle. 

Here’s an example — take a look at Bubble’s Day & Night Routine bundle:

Bubble skincare day & night routine bundle

Bubble logically grouped different forms of skin care that span across a complete day and night routine — including a cleanser, moisturizer, and acne cream. It makes a lot of sense as to why this would come as a bundle, as the products naturally go together. Plus, you’ll notice how the savings are prominently displayed at the top of the page. 

We actually have a whole blog on the ins and outs of product bundling in case you’re interested in learning additional bundling strategies.

Don’t Be Afraid To Get Personal

People like personalization in their shopping experience. In fact, 83% of consumers reported that they were willing to share information in exchange for a more personalized experience

What’s more, personalization typically results in a 10 to 15% revenue boost — and DTC brands in particular drive even more revenue from personalization (about 25%) when compared with other companies. 

In other words, playing up personalization can directly help raise your AOV. 

Here are four easy ways to do this:

Custom Bundle Builder

While we’re talking about product bundling — it also offers another prime opportunity to lean into personalization. Instead of setting a bundle as one fixed SKU, you can offer your customers a more personalized experience by allowing them to choose which items they would like to include in their bundle. That way, they get exactly what they want, combined with a feeling that they’re in complete control of their experience.

Herbaland’s bundle builder is a great example of this. 

Implement Tailored Recommendations 

Leverage your data to determine typical shopping trends. Learning your subscribers’ habits enables you to then curate a highly-personalized list of “you may like” product recommendations. 

Strategically Cross-sell

Leaning into personalization means you can also cross-sell based on items your subscribers are already getting. You can suggest complementary products that come in colors, scents, or flavors (if applicable) that your subscribers have previously reported liking. 

Gameify Data Collection With A Quiz

Instituting a fun quiz is another effective way to get important subscriber information that you can later use to recommend future products. For example, if a subscriber reports always having dry skin, that can inform all future recommendations and cross-selling. L’AMARUE utilizes emojis to make the quiz even more vibrant and engaging.

L'AMARUE skincare quiz

Try New Default Settings For Your PDP

It may not seem like it, but small tweaks to your Product Detail Page (PDP) can have a big impact on your AOV. One of the most impactful edits that we’ve seen brands make is strategically switching their default purchase setting.

The best way to grasp this is to see it in action. And Unbloat is a great example of how a little change can make a big difference.

unbloat subscription pdp

Unbloat’s consumers have three options. They can: buy one bottle once for $74.99, subscribe and pay $54.99 for one bottle monthly, or subscribe and pay $44.99 per bottle for three bottles quarterly (so $134.97 every three months). 

To increase their AOV, the Unbloat team decided they wanted to push the 90-day supply option and made that the default setting. Additionally, rather than putting the price of three bottles, they put the discounted price of just one bottle to further emphasize the significance of the savings. Impressively, these small tweaks caused their AOV to increase by 23% over the span of 180 days.

It’s essential to note that making subscriptions your default works best when it makes sense with your product offering and when you already know your customers are more inclined to subscribe. Otherwise, you risk seeming deceptive if consumers don’t realize it’s a subscription until they are charged with their 2nd order.

In general, this strategy might take some trial and error to get right and will likely end up being a mixture of what you want to promote and what tends to be an attractive offer to consumers. Nonetheless, making changes to your default settings can be one of the easiest and smartest ways to maximize your Average Order Value.

Get Creative With One-Time Add-Ons

Yes, we’re very much in the subscription business — but that doesn’t mean we don’t pay attention to one-time purchases. Specifically, one-time add-ons are a crucial part of getting your subscribers to spend a little more each month, and ultimately, recommendations carry a lot of weight.

Putting new products in your subscribers' line of vision as they’re managing their subscriptions can be a great way to persuade your audience to try something new. 

Here are three examples of what that can look like:

Classic & Straightforward

Joggy Subscriptions One Time Add Ons

Joggy's one-time add-ons are a classic example. The brand keeps it sleek and to the point with a simple “Add to your next order” window.

Creative Advertising

Nooma one-time add-on merchandise

Nooma takes an especially unique approach by cleverly selling merch as a one-time add-on. That means anyone who opts to buy the Nooma t-shirt is not only increasing their AOV but also working to spread brand awareness and potentially bring in more subscribers.


✅ Some brands opt to lean into exclusivity by promoting subscriber-only products and discounts to further incentivize more purchases and make subscribers feel like VIPs. 

Ride The Viral Wave With Trending Upsells

We can’t talk about increasing AOV without mentioning upselling. One of the most effective ways to upsell is by leaning into social proof and promoting more expensive products through the lens of virality. 

In other words: by utilizing trending upsells. 

Our favorite part about the concept of “trending upsells” is that there are truly so many different ways brands can integrate them into their customer account portal — which means there are endless ways to get creative. 

Here are just some examples of what this could look like:

Influencer’s Picks

trending upsells customer account portal

✅ Leveraging an influencer is a highly effective way to make the most of trending upsells. Promoting a couple of products alongside a famous creator helps boost subscribers’ trust in the quality of these items. This is also a great opportunity to play up any seasonal or holiday components — like Black Friday picks or summer selections. 

Promote Exclusivity

pot gang exclusive subscriber box

✅ The Pot Gang team sells special edition boxes in their trending section to seamlessly blend the idea of popularity with exclusivity, a highly compelling combination when it comes to marketing.

Educational “Did You Know” Angle

trending upsells saw palmetto

Wholesome Story has previously used their trending upsells as a way to educate and inform subscribers about a supplement that is less well known. Taking an educational approach can help get people to try out a product even if they haven’t heard of it.

Flavor/Scent of the Month 

Nooma trending upsells mix of the month

✅ Trending upsells are also a great place to rotate through and highlight any flavors or scents of the month (if applicable). For example, Nooma features a Mix of the Month.

A Positive Feedback Loop: Leveraging Reviews

The data doesn’t lie: 88% of consumers trust user reviews as much as personal recommendations, and this trust carries significant weight for increasing your AOV. 

It probably doesn’t come as a surprise when we say that people generally don’t like to spend more money unless they feel they’re getting something that’s truly worth the extra cost. That’s where reviews come in. Reviews help boost social proof and assure your subscribers that they’re getting a stellar product. Research shows that conversion rates increase by a whopping 380% when higher-priced items are paired with positive customer reviews. 

freestyle subscription reviews

Encouraging satisfied customers to leave reviews — and then leveraging those reviews on your website, PDP, customer account portal, and social media — will all help build trust with your subscribers and encourage them to buy the more expensive products (thereby increasing your AOV).

Leaning Into a Loyalty Program

When it comes to incentivizing subscribers to stick around and spend a bit more, instituting a loyalty program is a stellar way to go. 

While rewarding subscribers for time-related milestones is great for retention, rewarding subscribers for the amount of money they spend is the best strategy for boosting your AOV. 

Maybe this takes the form of granting subscribers access to an exclusive product after they spend $500, or perhaps it makes more sense for you to give 15% off after every $1,000 spent. You can also implement a currency system where subscribers can accrue points with each purchase that they can then use to redeem a variety of items.

Whatever you decide, be sure to actively promote this loyalty program — and you can utilize an easy-to-follow visual (like a meter) to help subscribers see how close they are to their reward. If they’re just shy of the goal, they’ll be more likely to add an item or two to their order to get the perk.


Maximizing your Average Order Value is one of the best ways to improve your DTC brand’s growth and even increase your customer lifetime value — and these strategies will give you the tools to drive meaningful results. 

To learn more about how brands are increasing their AOV with Smartrr, click here.