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How to increase your average order value through cross-selling

Bundling products that go well together on your website gives customers the convenient option to purchase everything they need all at once.

Effective digital marketing takes many forms and is perpetually evolving, but one of the most crucial tasks is determining how to drive more revenue and sales. That is why lead generation and customer acquisition efforts often take a higher priority in the marketing mix than brand awareness and top-of-funnel initiatives. While we believe that brand awareness always needs to be a focus, we certainly understand the pressure to capture more sales. Fortunately, there are several ways to increase your revenue.

One of the easiest ways to improve sales is to get your customers to purchase more from your brand or increase your average order value (AOV). The good news is that it’s simpler than you may think. It doesn’t require massive marketing budgets or even ongoing promotions, it merely requires curating products that foster upsell and cross-sell opportunities from your current customers.

Before we dig into the specifics, let’s make sure that we’re clear on the differences between the two. Upselling is when a customer opts for a higher-end product purchase than what they originally intended to purchase. Think of the premium version of the product versus the standard. Cross-selling, on the other hand, is when the customer purchases a complementary product along with their original purchase or item. Both increase the average order value and tend to result in a happier customer. Why? Because the upsell tends to offer a better product (assuming that there are valuable differences between your premium and standard product offering). Cross-selling assists the customer in bundling or combining products that work well together and anticipates the customer’s needs by making it convenient to buy all at once. Both offer a true win-win—a win for your customer and a win for your brand.  

Brands such as Birchbox are astute at maximizing the cross-sell by curating, selecting and/or kitting complementary products that increase the AOV. Kitting products goes one step beyond listing products that “people also bought” and encourages your customer to purchase more. It makes purchasing easier as well as more efficient (and everyone wants an easy purchase decision) by showcasing products that your customer could use together.

What’s even better is that your brand can do the same thing. To start, look for products that have additional benefits and can be positioned as “premium” or “exclusive products” to assist your upsell efforts. Then begin organizing and combining products that work well together, or that customers may buy as one-offs, and offer a lower price for the product bundle to drive cross-sells. In other words, make it compelling for your customer to purchase more by creating a curated or special package that affords a better overall value.

With the holidays approaching, now is the perfect time to begin cross-selling efforts by offering curated gifts that can serve the dual purpose of giving your customer something unique for the holidays while also increasing your order value.  You can use these initiatives on your ecommerce site to give your customers a better shopping experience and provide your business with a better return. How’s that for a mutually beneficial relationship?

Shahla Hebets is the founder of Think Media Consulting, a digital marketing consultancy firm. Think Media creates smart, relevant, and authentic digital marketing, social media and ecommerce strategies that drive revenue for health and wellness brands.

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