Basket building

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Basket building

What is basket building in marketing and eCommerce?

Basket building is the eCommerce marketing strategy that focuses on encouraging shoppers and customers to build up their online shopping cart and pack it full with more items. 

In eCommerce, a basket, market basket or shopping cart is essentially a safe space in which your shoppers can review the items that they have selected before they proceed to checkout and buy the items. It’s very important, especially when your shoppers have not made up their mind and zeroed in on exactly what they want to buy. The basket or shopping cart could also be called the ‘bag’.

The shopping cart or basket emulates the physical in-store experience of entering the store, filling up their shopping cart with the items they are considering buying, taking a moment to check whether they have everything that they need, and then going to the POS and paying.

The whole aim of basket-building is to get your shoppers to add more items to their market basket and place bigger orders with you, all at the same time.

Why is basket building done in eCommerce?

Basket building is done to get shoppers to buy more products from your eCommerce store at one time, thus increasing your average order value, your sales revenue, and your profits. eCommerce merchants also engage in basket building so that more items are bought at once in a single order, thus allowing them to save money on shipping and distribution costs.

How do you measure a basket for retail or eCommerce?

To calculate your average basket or your average order value, you need to divide your total revenue for a certain period of time by the total number of orders that you received during that specific period of time. 

Here is the formula that you can use to calculate your average basket or your average order value for your retail or eCommerce store:

Average basket or Average order value = Total revenue / Total number of orders received

How do you build a basket? 

How do you build a basket?

There are several techniques that retailers and eCommerce stores can use to build baskets and increase their average order value. Some of these strategies are:

Offering discount sales

Discounting is one of the most popular and powerful basket-building techniques used by retailers and eCommerce stores around the world. A study conducted by Software Advice has shown discounting to be the most widely used pricing strategy for retailers across all sectors and that it is used by 97% of the study’s participants.

But discounting too heavily might impact the customer experience by shifting the customers’ perception of the brand, making them feel like the brand and its offerings are substandard and cheap. Studies have even shown that a lot of shoppers who purchased products at discounted prices are less satisfied with their purchases than those who bought the products at the full price.

Creating a loyalty program

Loyalty programs have the potential to impact basket sizes in a great way. But we are not talking about your traditional loyalty programs here. The loyalty programs that will have the most powerful impact on shopping basket sizes are the programs that take the effort to personalize their offers on the basis of customer data instead of just churning out generic offers that might not appeal to your customers. 

McKinsey’s studies have shown that 83% of consumers expect their favorite brands to deliver personalized content and experiences for them. The same study also showed that paid loyalty programs had a much greater impact on basket sizes than free loyalty programs. It showed that members of paid loyalty programs are 60% more likely to spend more money on the brand after enrolling in the loyalty program than non-members, while free loyalty program members are only 30% more likely to spend more on the brand than non-members. This basically means that paid loyalty programs are twice as effective at basket building than free loyalty programs.

Displaying related products

When your customers are looking to buy one product, you should also showcase the other related and complementary products that your store carries and sells. You should also very overtly recommend these products to them, showing them that they would need to purchase those products in the near future so that they can gain more value from the main product that they intended on purchasing.

Cross-selling is one of the most powerful techniques to use in your basket building efforts. Your eCommerce store should display related products and even the products which were bought by customers who bought the product which a particular shopper is currently looking at.

Product bundling

Product bundling involves grouping together a bunch of related or complementary products and selling them as a single unit. Retailers and eCommerce portals often offer discounts on the entire bundle so that even if a shopper came in to purchase a single product, they would get tempted by the deal on the bundled unit and make the purchase, thus causing them to effectively spend more money and increasing your market basket size (your average order value) and reducing your marketing and distribution costs.

Time-sensitive deals

Adding a time limit to your deals creates urgency in the minds of your buyers. It plays on the Mere Urgency Effect and psychologically motivates shoppers to buy the product even if it slightly interests them and they did not come in with the intention of buying that particular product in the first place.

Adding a countdown timer increases the effectiveness of this basket building tactic. It amplifies the urgency felt by the shopper and motivates them even further to buy the products and increase the size of their basket or shopping cart.

The deal involved could be a discount, a free add-on product, or even something as small as free shipping.

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