8 Strategies to Increase Average Order Value (AOV)

We're covering 8 strategies eCommerce brands can utilize to increase their Average Order Value (AOV) — from implementing product bundling to optimizing PDPs.

Table of Contents

    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 eCommerce brands increase AOV by making the most of their subscriber base?

    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.

    What is Average Order Value (AOV) in eCommerce? Definition, How to Calculate, And Influencing Factors

    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 dollar amount spent 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.

    As for what factors affect AOV, there are quite a few. Discounts and free shipping thresholds can boost AOV in the short term for sure, but more abstract concepts like customer retention and customer loyalty are what end up resulting in the biggest and most long-lasting impact on average order value.

    In other words, adding value to your customers with an engaging subscription offering is a sure way to maximize AOV and drive recurring revenue. And a store with professional design will give you an edge in delivering an exceptional customer experience. We recommend Meetanshi's Shopify Store Development Services to anyone looking to build a fully functional e-commerce store from scratch.

    Having said that, let’s dive into specific tactics to help increase AOV.

    How to Increase Average Order Value (AOV): eCommerce Strategies

    Now that we’ve reviewed the basics, let’s go over some proven optimization strategies to help you best leverage your loyal repeat customers and yield a higher average order value for your Shopify brand.

    Product Bundling

    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 is a pricing strategy that 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 eCommerce 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.

    Leverage Personalization

    If you’re wondering why your AOV is low, there could be something deeper and less tangible at play — like an impersonal customer experience leading to less satisfied customers.

    More and more consumers are reporting that they expect and prioritize a personalized 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 increase 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.

    HerbaLand Product Bundling

    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 related products 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.

    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. In fact, it’s one of our recommended PDP best practices.

    One of the most impactful edits that we’ve seen eCommerce stores make to their product pages 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 increase AOV.

    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 one of the best ways to get subscribers to spend a little extra on additional products, 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.


    ✅ 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, all in the name of providing engagement and value to your subscribers.

    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

    ✅ Trending upsells are also a great place to rotate through and highlight any flavors or scents of the month (if applicable).

    Deploy Post-Purchase Upselling

    One of the best ways to increase your AOV is to deploy post-purchase upsells. We’ve already discussed how you can upsell customers via the customer portal, but you can also use additional strategies like one-click upsells and thank you page offers to drive your revenue even higher.

    One-click Upsells

    One click upsells (OCUs) allow you to display an offer immediately after a customer completes their purchase. 

    The beauty of OCUs is that there’s zero friction — customers don’t need to re-enter their payment or shipping details. Plus, you can personalize your OCU offers based on what the shopper purchased.

    For example, suppose you run a coffee subscription store. Once a customer buys a subscription for two bags of coffee per month, you can use an OCU to serve them a one-time upgrade to 3 bags per month for 20% off the regular price.

    Thank You Page Offers

    Adding cross-sells to your thank you page is another effortless way to boost your AOV. Most merchants use their thank you page as a placeholder. But this is a mistake.

    Data from post-purchase upsell app ReConvert reports that shoppers view the thank you page an average of 2.2 times per order. This means that if your thank you page is simply a placeholder, you’re letting a lot of high intent impressions go to waste.

    For example, suppose you run a coffee subscription business. When a customer buys a subscription, you could suggest related products at a discount (such as coffee filters) on your thank you page.

    Ultimately, combining upsells in your customer’s subscription portal with one-click upsells and thank you page offers is a powerful three-pronged strategy that’ll drive your revenue and profits to new heights.

    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 increasing customer retention and encouraging subscribers to spend a bit more, instituting a loyalty program is a stellar way to go.

    While rewarding loyal customers 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. From a customer experience and customer loyalty perspective, we highly recommend this route, as it empowers subscribers to interact with the rewards that are most meaningful to them.

    Whatever you decide, promoting this loyalty program should be part of your marketing campaigns — 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 free gift or perk.

    Utilize Time-Sensitive Marketing Strategies

    We’ve all heard the famous “for a limited time only.” There’s a reason this line is so ubiquitous, especially in email marketing. Time and again, limited-time offers have been found to impact customer behavior by creating a sense of urgency in buyers and, as a result, making them more likely to act.

    You can test this tactic for your online store in a couple of different ways. One method is offering discounts that are only applicable if subscribers hit a minimum purchase amount. That way, if any subscribers are under the pay threshold, they’ll be more likely to toss in a one-time add-on just to receive the coupon.

    Another method is to drop an exclusive subscriber-only product to your existing customers. This strategy not only helps make your current subscribers feel like VIPs but also helps drum up reviews and feedback on a product before you push it out to a wider audience.  


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

    To learn more about how eCommerce brands are increasing their AOV with Smartrr, click here. And to find out how Smartrr equips your brand with the strongest suite of tools to increase customer lifetime value and boost AOV, request a demo below.

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