Seven sure-fire ways to boost e-commerce order value

First in a two-part series:

By Heather Blessington

If only turning your website into an online profit center was as simple as enabling a shopping cart and watching the orders come streaming in. Reality check: If you want to see true online sales success, you’ve got to take steps to not only drive customers to your online store, but you’ve got to help them spend as much money as possible once they get there!

Ready to help your customers open their wallets? Consider the following seven steps to help boost the average order value for your online store.

Tip #1: Offer free shipping with a catch. I will admit that I once added a novelty mullet wig to an online shopping cart to reach the minimum order value required to score free shipping. Not only is it a great party favor, but it’s also a fantastic example of how easy it is to give people the opportunity to buy more from you online! People love free shipping — and making consumers earn it will compel many shoppers to add just one more item to their cart.

Tip #2: Display bulk-buy savings. Big-box mega retailers have ingrained a “more-for-less” mentality into consumers — take advantage of that bulk-buying mindset, and incentivize your customers to stock up on consumables like oil or spark plugs. Clearly showing the available cost savings on those product pages will entice bulk buyers and boost your average order value.

Buy More!

Save More!

Buy 1


Buy 2


Buy 3+


Tip #3: Create product bundles. A great way to increase your average order value is to develop combinations of products that when bought separately would cost more — oil and filters are a great example. These items are likely to be purchased together, so create a SKU that pairs them up for a price break when compared to buying each item separately, and your customers will see it as a deal that can’t be passed up.

Tip #4: Cross-sell similar products. Very similar to a bundle, a cross-sell shows your customers a related product to the item they have just added to their cart. The primary goal of a cross-sell should be to increase customers’ average order value by offering them a related item, which they can add to their cart in addition to the item they’ve already selected.

Tip #5: Offer cashback incentives. Entice shoppers to add another item to their cart by offering cash back in the form of gift cards or vouchers that are valid for a limited time in the near future. Not only does offering a $10 voucher on a $50 purchase increase your average order value, but it creates urgency, giving that customer a reason to buy again soon!

Tip #6: Share reviews from satisfied customers. One of the great benefits of an online store is that you have the opportunity to reach customers far outside your dealership’s traditional geographic footprint. Those new prospects can be hesitant to spend a lot of money in an online store they barely know anything about. Displaying positive user reviews can help build trust with those online shoppers who aren’t familiar with your dealership’s local reputation. In fact, according to the BrightLocal Local Consumer Review Study1, a whopping 79 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation from a friend. By simply displaying user reviews, you’ve got the opportunity to boost shopper confidence, which translates into higher cart conversions and a higher average order value.

Tip #7: Offer alternative payment options. Concerns around credit card security and identity theft are rampant. As a result, some customers are afraid to use their credit cards online. Giving customers the option to pay via PayPal or via wire transfer can alleviate these fears and increase their online spend.

While this list may seem a bit overwhelming, don’t fret. You shouldn’t try all of these tactics at the same time! Implement them one by one to see what works best for your dealership’s online store.

Need more help closing online sales? Watch for next month’s column, where I’ll help you optimize your site to increase online cart conversions.


 Heather Blessington joined ARI as Chief Marketing Officer in November 2013, in conjunction with the acquisition of Duo Web Solutions, a digital marketing start-up she owned which grew to be the leading provider of social media marketing services. Blessington has a 20-year track record of success in website design/development, search engine marketing and social media strategy. Blessington’s portfolio features work for Fortune 500 clients, including Microsoft, Samsung, Bank of America, Lowe’s and Whirlpool Corporation. An award-winning blogger and nationally renowned speaker, she earned a BS, Mass Communications, from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a PMP, Project Management Certification, from the Project Management Institute. ARI creates award-winning software solutions that help equipment manufacturers, distributors and dealers “Sell More Stuff!” online and in-store. ARI removes the complexity of selling and servicing new and used inventory, parts, garments and accessories for customers in the outdoor power equipment, powersports, marine, RV, automotive tire and wheel, and white goods industries. More than 22,000 equipment dealers, 195 distributors and 140 manufacturers worldwide leverage ARI’s website ( and eCatalog platforms to “Sell More Stuff!”


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