Average Order Value

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Average Order Value

What is average order value (AOV)?  

Average Order Value (AOV) is a metric that calculates the average value or amount customers spend on each transaction or order. To calculate the company’s average order value, we simply need to divide total revenue by the number of orders placed in a specific period. 

For an instance, an online store has made sales of $5000 against 100 orders in a week. So the average order value for that week would be $50. 

Average order value is one of the most important metric to gauge the performance and success of your business/store and also helps calculate your customer lifetime value. Higher AOV is directly proportional to higher gains and profits. It indicates the overall effectiveness of the marketing or sales strategies and investments made towards these activities, whether they are influencing the AOV over a period or not. 

However, the Average Order Value can be misleading if there are high differentiation and non-uniformity in the order patterns, which generally happens if the product & price range is too varied. IKEA's online store could be the best example here as they have a plethora of products categories with different pricing, at the same time they cater to various sections of the market. 


Source: Avada


“An increase in the average order value for an online retailer has a strong correlation to an increase in profit. When an eCommerce retailer can sell more on each order, that retailer tends to make more profit overall. Thus, online retailers that are able to increase average order value — AOV — should also become more profitable.”

- Armando Roggio, Director of Marketing and eCommerce at D&B Supply

How to calculate the average order value (AOV)?

To compute the average order value, divide the total revenue of the period by the number of orders received.

Average order value (AOV) = Total Revenue/ Number of orders

Let's take an example, say in December 2021, the total revenue generated by the store was $2,45,000, and you've received a total of 1250 orders over that period. $2,45,000 divided by 1250= $196, so the average order value for December would be $196.  



Source: Privy

Why is average order value important?

As mentioned above, the average order value is the amount customers are spending per transaction and is an indicator of the health of a business/store. Knowing and evaluating the company's average order value helps you understand and correlate overall marketing efforts and pricing strategies. 

Companies put in a lot of effort and spend too much money on attracting and getting more traffic to their websites or online store that sometimes fails to bring the desired results. Rather than that, the efforts should be directed more towards increasing the average order value that will directly add up to the revenues and profits of the company. 

AOV is determined using average sales value per order and not per customer. Repetitive or multiple orders from the same customer would be factored in or counted as individual orders. It also doesn't talk about gross profits and margins but the average sales per transaction. 

AOV also reflects the behavioral aspect of customers as in what they generally order and in what quantity, what are the offers or bundle offers they are choosing, or anything that impacts the buying preference. And accordingly, focus on bringing strategies that can increase the AOV and customer value in the long run. 

For example, a shoe retailer sells a vast variety of shoes ranging between $15 to $25, with an AOV of $18.5. 

This indicates two trends about customer behavior:

  1. Customers are not buying multiple items.
  2. The low-end shoes represent the majority of sales as it's more toward the lower cap of pricing.

These facts can help decision-makers to help in adapting strategies that will influence the buying behavior of customers and increase the average value per order. 


What is the average cart value and customer lifetime value? 

Average basket value

The average basket value is a similar metric to AOV. Rather than measuring how much customers spend per transaction, this metric tells you how many items are generally sold per transaction.

Customer lifetime value 

This metric tells you how much each customer is worth throughout their entire relationship with your business. 


How to increase average customer value?

How to increase average customer value?

1. Cross-selling products

Often, customers are so focused on buying one of your products that they neglect the other offerings and products. Cross-selling is one of the efficient ways to bring those products to their notice and increase the value per order. For example: selling a pair of socks or shoe polish worth $5-10 with shoes worth $100, will add up to the cart value. 

2. Up-selling products

AI & chatbots are helping businesses to get deeper into customer behaviors & insights, which are now enabling businesses to put across recommendations and make up-selling easier. 

For instance, giving them a recommendation for a pair of jeans for only $15 more than the pair in their cart. 

3. Volume or bundle discounts

It's one of the common strategies adopted by offline and online retailers across industries to increase sales. Offering a small discount on the purchase of bundles or custom packages can really increase the AOV as it increases the perceived value of transactions. 

4. Free shipping

Keeping a slot or a minimum order cap against free shipping & deliveries increases the chance of customers spending more money and adding more products to the cart. It’s very common that we end up adding products to our carat while ordering from food apps or shopping brands just to save or dodge the shipping cost. 

5. Loyalty programs

Creating a customer loyalty program is a retention strategy that helps businesses to create relationships with their customers, which will eventually encourage customers to purchase again and shop more. 

6. Return policy

Often customers drop products from the cart with the fear of stringent or no return policies. Having a lucrative return policy can help customers to buy and try the products and increase trust in the brand. 

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