Boosting Average Order Value

By Paul Terry

June 1, 2020


Ecommerce optimization often comes down to two common goals:

  1. Get more people to buy: Conversion.
  2. Get people to buy more: Average order value.

Optimizing for conversion is all about making the checkout process as easy as possible and eliminating barriers to that final “purchase” click. We usually put our attention here first because it tends to be lower hanging fruit and offer quick wins. But, it’s not the whole picture. If you really want to move the needle on optimizing overall revenue, you also need to encourage shoppers to buy more. I held a recent webinar, “Boosting Average Order Value,” that walked through some techniques and theory. You can find that webinar below, but if you prefer a read, I summarize the highlights in this blog.

Balancing Distinct Goals

Occasionally, conversion and average order value can conflict. Conversion optimization tends to be all about minimizing steps to checkout and making the process as friction-free as possible, and often, improving conversion rate does increase average order value. But occasionally we see the opposite. For example, if you optimize really well for conversion, you might help customers zoom through checkout without buying as many items as they would otherwise. In practice, these two goals don’t need to be at odds, but it is important to have optimization efforts dedicated specifically to boosting order value.

The three fundamental rules for boosting average order value are:

  1. Make it easier for users to find what they’re looking for.
  2. Make it easier to understand why a product should be purchased.
  3. Make it easier to checkout.

And, these goals don’t only apply in A/B tests where your primary goal is boosting average order value. In ecommerce, no matter what you’re A/B testing, always measure Order Value and Items per Order.

Strategies for Boosting Order Value

While every site will require its own experimentation process, these are some tried and true strategies for boosting average order value.

  1. Optimize your search algorithm to promote more expensive items in search or in browse. This makes these items more visible and reduces friction to add to cart.
  2. Promote bundles or larger quantities of certain items. This can push a sale from one item to a set, encouraging customers to spend more at once.
  3. Focus messaging on the product value proposition. While the brand value proposition is important for overall conversions, the product value proposition plays a bigger role in order value. Focus on the value the customer gets for a higher-priced item.
  4. Optimize product recommendations to feature complimentary items, bundles, or more expensive items.
  5. Introduce A/B tests for audiences who have already added one item to their cart. This turns the focus toward adding more items to the cart, rather than getting them to convert at all.

Remember, you can dive deeper with me in my webinar, “Boosting Average Order Value,” below, and you can ask questions in the comments below or email

To learn more about SiteSpect, visit our website.


Paul Terry

Paul Terry

Paul Terry is a SiteSpect Consultant in Customer Support, guiding SiteSpect users on the road to optimization. He has over 15 years experience in optimization, testing, and personalization. He is based in Duluth, Georgia.

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