7 omnichannel strategies to increase your AOV

Growing your ecommerce business is always top-of-mind. You can scale your customer base, or you can encourage your existing customers to spend more. 

Use omnichannel selling strategies to meet your customers wherever they are—online, in stores, or on social media—and increase your average order value (AOV).

Companies with omnichannel customer engagement strategies retain on average 89% of their customers. That's huge when compared to a customer retention rate of 33% for companies with weak omnichannel customer engagement.

Omnichannel retailing, also known as multichannel retailing ensures your customers a smooth shopping experience. The goal of omnichannel commerce is to boost loyalty and revenue.

Whether shoppers buy in-store, online, via social media, or through an email campaign, omnichannel selling is used to create a seamless and convenient customer experience across all channels.

Here we'll take a detailed look at what omnichannel commerce is and how omnichannel selling strategies can increase your AOV. 

What is omnichannel commerce? 

Omnichannel commerce—also known as omnichannel retail or selling—is a multichannel sales approach that provides a single view of commerce and your customer. It's used to create a seamless customer experience across many touchpoints. You can engage with customers in person at your brick-and-mortar store, online via mobile or a laptop, or through your social media channels. 

According to Harvard Business Review, in addition to an increased AOV, omnichannel shoppers were also more loyal. During the six months after an omnichannel shopping experience, customers had logged 23% more repeat shopping trips to the retailer's stores. And they were more likely to recommend the brand to family and friends than those who used a single channel.

In the same study, 73% of customers used multiple channels during their buying journey. These omnichannel customers used various touchpoints to gather as much information as possible before making a decision to buy from the retailer. 

Omnichannel retailers focus on streamlining the customer experience across all channels to increase AOV.

Omnichannel selling strategies to increase your AOV 

An effective omnichannel selling strategy starts with a clear definition of who your customers are, the channels they use, and your purpose for each channel.

This study from Databox outlines the most used strategies marketers employ to boost AOV. Including upselling, cross-selling, product bundling, and free shipping thresholds. Here we'll look at each of these tactics, plus a few additional suggestions.

1. Upsell and cross-sell complementary products

Upselling in commerce is when you encourage customers to purchase a similar but higher ticket item than the one being considered. Cross-selling leads customers to buy complementary or related products. 

While these terms get used interchangeably, the benefits are different but can be effective when executed together. 

Listing complementary products on your product pages, like this example from Everlane is an example of cross-selling online.

You can also build post-purchase funnels using CartHook, which triggers offers based on what your customer buys in your Shopify checkout. 

Post-purchase upsell email flows are a way to send special offers while you're still top of mind. Avoid being too pushy, and wait to upsell once the initial purchase is complete. This way, you won't interfere with the checkout process and lose the sale. 

In-store, cross-merchandising provides a more convenient shopping experience for your customers. And when complementary products are placed next to each other, it can inspire ideas or remind shoppers of a need. This cross-selling strategy can lead to increased sales and AOV. 

When done well, the benefits of cross-selling and upselling are twofold—you can provide a great customer experience and increase your revenue. 

2. Product recommendations

On average, 70% of customers abandon their shopping cart. That's a lot of money left on the table. You can use this as an opportunity to create reminders and personalized product recommendations.

Use an abandoned cart email automation to point out what piqued your customer's interest in the past. And include product recommendations to spark ideas and increase AOV. 

Another way to recommend products is to add a "recently viewed" and "related products" feature to your website. This way, after customers search for a specific product, they will get personalized recommendations based on their interests.

In-store, you can make product recommendations based on what someone is trying on or what they're buying. Gently bring additional products to their attention by using phrases like, "Did you see this [product]? It goes great with those pants you're trying on." 

Lifestyle photography is a creative way to make product recommendations on social media. Use your captions to provide details about the outfit so your followers know they can get it all from you. Create a landing page that lists all the products to make the shopping experience more convenient for your customers. 

3. Discounts and offers at certain price thresholds

It's almost impossible for digital native and indie brands to compete with the Amazons and Walmarts of the world. Of course, there are consumers who prefer to shop from independent businesses. But, there are also a lot of small businesses. North America has about 1.3 million ecommerce companies.

Strategic product pricing is integral to stand out from the crowd. Activate discounts and offers at certain price thresholds.

For example, if you sell t-shirts, create discount tiers: "buy 5 get 25% off, buy 4 get 20% off," and so on. Offer deals for a limited time to create urgency and encourage your customers to increase their basket size. This approach can result in increased sales and AOV.

Advertise the discounts online, via social media, and in-store to provide a seamless customer experience across all touch points. 

4. Product bundles and kits 

A surefire way to increase your AOV is product bundling. It's crucial to create product bundles that will interest your customers and add value. When your customer feels like they're getting a better deal, they'll be willing to spend more. 

Instead of discounting one product from $20 to $15, bundle two $20 products and sell them for $30. You'll still give customers a 25% discount on the original price, but the AOV increases.

Bundling products together simplifies the buyer's journey, saves your customer's time, and introduces them to product add-ons they weren't intending to purchase. 

5. Minimum dollar threshold for free shipping 

Increase your average order value by changing your free shipping threshold. Increase the minimum dollar amount your customers need to reach to activate free shipping. They'll be more likely to increase their cart value to save money they would have spent on shipping.  

6. Loyalty and membership programs

Increase your bottom line by maximizing customer retention. Attracting more customers is key, but nurturing your existing shoppers is just as important, if not more. You can apply the 80/20 rule to increase your AOV. 

One way to retain customers is through loyalty and membership programs. Say thank you to your customers with exclusive benefits.

Nike's NikePlus membership is an example of a successful omnichannel loyalty program. Members get benefits like free music, meditation and fitness classes, personalized promotions, and VIP access to new product drops. 

Customer loyalty programs can result in increased customer lifetime value (CLV), stronger relationships with your customers, and turning buyers into brand advocates. 

Customer loyalty apps allow you to boost new and repeat sales using referrals, shopping points, and exclusive member offers. 

7. Time-sensitive deals

No one wants to miss out on a great sale. There are the obvious days that retailers run massive sales like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. But, you can also create FOMO (fear of missing out) by using flash sales to attract online shoppers and push them to buy. 

Creating a sense of urgency can turn a single item purchase into a shopping basket full of add-on products.

Promote flash sales via your ecommerce website, social media, email campaigns, and in-store signage to streamline the experience and increase your AOV.

Getting started with omnichannel selling

A successful omnichannel commerce strategy ensures your customers have a good experience no matter where they engage with you.  

Whether it's online, in-store, or via your social media platforms, integrate all sales channels to effectively meet your customer where they are in their shopping journey.

Use omnichannel retail to increase your AOV and customer retention rate.

Shopify POS is a best-in-class solution for helping retail store owners unify their in-store and online presence for a true omnichannel selling experience. Get the best stories, inspiration, and education for running a great retail business, and learn how Shopify POS can help you do it better, by heading over to the Shopify Retail blog.

Alexis Damen is a Shopify merchant turned freelance digital marketer. Her specialties include content marketing and writing for SaaS and D2C ecommerce companies.

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