Most conversion rate specialists focus on just increasing conversion rates thinking that it will have a trickle down effect on revenue overall but to really increase revenue you have to get much deeper then simply conversions rates.
Conversion optimization will and should always be a part of increasing your online sales but there are more ways to increase sales than just conversion.
Increasing sales holistically that has sustainable impact across your business in todays economy is tough. Simply relying on one mechanism, the humble little A/B or Multivariate test, to shoulder the burden of growth is a bit unrealistic. Sure you can have some serious gains in the short term and if you get lucky in the long term but far more often than not you’ll need to stretch beyond simple conversion testing.
Increasing average order size is one way you can have a big impact on revenue and it fits nicely with testing to find the right offer that will have the biggest impact on revenue.
Here are a few ideas that you can try to increase online sales and at the same time raise your average order size.
Retail stores do this all the time. By combining several like or related products together into one, they not only raise the value but they also create a new product for sale that didn’t previously exist.
A different spin on bundling, instead of repacking companion products together, keep them seperate and cross-link them to each other. Take care with this one though, as a general rule, don’t place more than three or four on a page—any more will run the risk of overwhelming the customer. And as always don’t just add – test, test, test.
If your budget allows, you may consider using a relational database to help you suggest dynamic cross-sells based on consumers’ shopping behaviors like Amazon.
This technique is often either under utilized or over utilized, there seems too not be any middle ground on the Internet here.
Adding up-sells is probably the biggest bang for your buck when it comes to increasing your average order size. Mostly because it’s offered at a point when your prospect has already taken a buy action and is already in the buying mode, you’ll have no better opportunity to increase revenue that at the point of sale.
Up-sells can be positioned on all product pages, as well as on the shopping cart and at various points throughout checkout. Also, make sure theup-sells make sense and complement the main product sale.
Here’s an example up sell flow to help spark your thinking.
Increasing sales and average order size through down-selling can be a tricky art. The difference between a down-sell and an up-sell is that in a down-sell the prospect has said no to a buy offer and it’s a last ditch effort to save the sale. In the case of an up-sell they have already purchased and you are simply offering an additional usually complementary item.
Down-sells are a great opportunity to offer a steep discount just to save the sale so that you can get them to buy from you again down the road. Which brings us to our next point.
Follow -Up Emails
The humble follow up email is vastly under utilized when it comes to increasing sales. It has become standard to send a confirmation email after an order, confirming the purchase was completed. But very few online retailers use this transaction email as an opportunity to sell. And if you’re cleaver about it you can simply add on an additional up-sell to this existing order and increase your average order size.
In most cases, the customer receives the order confirmation email just minutes after they’ve placed an order, so you’re likely to catch them when they’re still in buying mode. You’ve obviously earned enough of their trust since they’ve just bought from you, which increases the chances that they may click on an up-sell in the email and convert again.
The tried and true discount always works because people want to feel like they are getting a deal. Whether you’re offering free shipping, regular price – sale price, or a site-wide percentage coupon code, be sure to increase the sense of urgency by assigning offers an expiration date and labeling them as limited-time only.
Test, Test, Test…
Each one of these techniques should be coupled with a solid testing strategy because you never know what will work best. It will take some time to fine tune your offers, messaging and specific combination of tactics to increase your online sales, don’t expect to get it right at the first try. Although you may see an immediate increase in average order size, once you start optimizing for revenue vs. conversion you’ll really be adding rocket fuel to your optimization efforts.