How To Make Email Marketing Work for Your Small Business or Non-Profit

Increasing the average order size is a way to increase profits without increasing marketing costs. Get existing customers to buy more by using these six tips to increase your average sale.

Increased revenue may come where you least expect it: from your current customer base. While attempting to attract new buyers is a tried-and-true method of boosting sales, you can also do well encouraging customers to buy more from you by increasing their average order size. Consider boosting your sales by using the following methods. 


Cross-selling is the process of offering suggestions that go along with the item someone is purchasing. Would you like batteries to go along with that electronic toy? How about a protective case for your new tablet? Websites often try to cross-sell by showing a list of items that people frequently purchase together with the item they just added to the shopping cart. When you incorporate this into your website, you’ll be able to increase sales. If you’re selling in a brick-and-mortar store, having a knowledgeable sales staff can be a big help. When the salespeople know your product inside and out, it becomes a lot easier for them to address a buyer’s needs and suggest other items the person might want to purchase. You can also create displays that group such items together.


Upselling is the act of convincing people to buy something bigger and better than what they were originally going to purchase. For example, if the person was purchasing a laptop, you would suggest that this individual buy a laptop with more memory or a faster processing speed. When a customer is primed to buy, the additional price doesn’t always seem so high. Service plans or warranties are other examples of upselling. The buyer spends a bit more for the added protection.

RELATED: Super-Size Your Sales Through Up-Selling and Cross-Selling

Limited Time Offers

With a limited time offer, the customer feels pressure to make a quick decision about a purchase. Sometimes, it’s a sale that catches her eye as she’s walking past a store in the mall. Online, it may be a limited time offer with a clock counting down the seconds until the offer expires. If it’s a product that the person was already thinking about buying, purchasing during the limited time offer is a no-brainer. Even if the offer is something she hadn’t considered, though, the pressure of missing out on a good deal could prompt her to make the purchase.

Free Shipping or Delivery Thresholds

Customers don’t like paying shipping and delivery charges. In fact, they may be ameanable to buying a little more than they had planned to if the extra purchase will get them free shipping.  You can take advantage of that by offering free shipping or free delivery as a perk for orders above a certain threshold.  Doing so may not only help increase the average order size, but also win sales you might have lost if you didn’t have that incentive.

Coupons with Date Restrictions

The more often you can get customers into your store, the more overall sales you’re likely to make. One way to have people come back again and again is to offer coupons that are only valid at certain times. For instance, you might send out coupons that are good for the first half of the month along with coupons that are only good during the second half of the month. This works particularly well if the coupon is only good for a single item rather than the entire purchase. The customer will want to come back both times to be able to use both coupons and will probably purchase a few extra things while he’s in the store.

RELATED: How to Use Coupons to Promote Your Business

The More You Pay, the More You Save

You can also increase sales by increasing the amount of money a coupon is worth when the person spends more. For instance, you might offer a $10 off coupon for those who spend $50 and a $25 off coupon for those who spend $100. Getting $25 off is a better deal, and many people will choose to buy more in order to reach the $100 threshold. This technique can work at a variety of price points.

Cash Back for Future Purchase

Another technique that stores are using is to offer a “cash back” option that’s good toward a future purchase. For example, you might offer a customer a $10 off coupon for every $50 she spends in your store. These coupons can then only be used during a designated time period. This works well for the store in two ways. First, she might pick up a few extra things if she’s close to hitting the threshold for a higher amount of cash back. Then, she comes back to the store another time to spend the “free” money and will likely spend a bit more while she’s there. Best of all, the customer feels like she’s getting a great deal. 

There are plenty of things you can to do to increase the average order size of your customers. However, different techniques work best with different companies, so it’s always smart to try out different methods to see which ones work best for you.

RELATED: 8 Ways to Get More from Your Existing Customers

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