How To Increase Your AOV During The Holiday Season

holiday AOV

Every holiday season, buyers flock to online and brick-and-mortar stores in a frenzy to shop until their bank accounts scream for help. No wonder eCommerce merchants make the most sales during the holiday season. In fact, according to Statista, eCommerce retail sales are expected to hit a high of $239 billion in the US in 2022. Now, that’s a lot of buyers’ money to go around. But you may find that while buyers are flocking to your online store for holiday shopping, your average order value (AOV) has remained the same.

The average order value is a metric to track the average amount a buyer spends each time they shop on your eCommerce store. The formula for calculating AOV is total revenue in a given timeframe divided by the total number of orders within the same given timeframe. For example, if your revenue per day is $2000 from 40 orders, your AOV is $50. Each customer spends about $50 per order, give or take.

Now, let’s discuss how you can increase your AOV during the holiday season.

7 Proven Ways You Can Increase Your Average Order Value During The Holidays

Learn More About Holiday Shoppers

There’s no better way to develop an effective strategy to target holiday shoppers in a way that makes them spend more on each order than by learning more about them. Be familiar with their shopping behavior, the items that interest them, their expectations, needs, and the incentives that will impress them. Collect data from your old and new customers and general holiday shopping audience, and use the data to segment and create personalized content targeting different demographics.

For example, the way you target holiday shoppers who are gift-givers should be different from the way you target holiday shoppers who don’t particularly shop to give gifts. Search for and use previous years’ holiday shopping data if you don’t have enough data to create a robust holiday shopping strategy.

Upsell & Cross-sell With Product Recommendations

Use historical data to create product recommendations to upsell and cross-sell to your customers. You can cross-sell by recommending products that complement the items in buyers’ carts before they check out. If your machine learning algorithm gets it right, you will find that holiday shoppers are more than happy to add more items to their cart, thereby increasing your AOV. A successful upsell strategy is a surefire way to increase your AOV since upselling means making buyers buy more expensive alternatives to the items in their carts. Support your upsell recommendations with content that makes buyers feel like they are getting a better value by choosing the product you recommend for them.

Limited-time Offers at the Checkout

Here’s the truth, during the holiday seasons, buyers get flooded with endless discounts, deals, and lots more, hence holiday shopping often gets overwhelming. While you should also offer buyers discounts, be creative with it. And one way to do that is with limited-time offers at the checkout. Again, this is why you should use machine learning technology to study buyers’ historical data. Just when buyers are about to click checkout and pay for their orders, a few products should pop up as limited-time offers to get them at a reduced price. Ensure buyers see that they are saving costs by buying the items right away — show them the regular price versus the discounted price. Additionally, make it easy for buyers to add items to their cart from any page on your eCommerce store.

Tiered Pricing — Set a Minimum Order Value With Incentives

We can assume that every online shopper at some point has extended their shopping budget for an order to enjoy tiered pricing benefits such as free shipping. You can use tiered pricing with incentives to get buyers to increase their order value. Think about your AOV goals, particularly how much you want buyers to spend on a single order. Using our example above, if your AOV is $50 and you want to increase it to $60, make your minimum order $60. Buyers will have to spend up to $60 before they can unlock any benefit. Your tiered pricing strategy should also target big-spender holiday shoppers and offer them proportional value. An order value of $60 can unlock free shipping, $120 unlocks a discount, $250 unlocks free expedited shipping, and $400 unlocks a discount, free expedited shipping, and a free product.

Be mindful of your profit margin because you don’t want the incentives you offer buyers to eat into your profit margin goals.

Offer Bundle Pricing for Multiple Items

Create a product bundling strategy to increase your AOV. You can offer bundle pricing for multiple pieces of the same product and complimentary products. Use eCommerce technology to facilitate virtual bundles rather than manually creating product bundles. As buyers shop for particular items, your virtual bundling technology will suggest buying them along with other relevant items as a bundle for a reduced price.

You can also create theme-based bundles. For example, holiday shoppers who are gift-givers might be more open to buying multiple pieces of the same items because they want to give them out. But theme-based shoppers will be more interested in Christmas-themed products during the holidays.

Lastly, you can let buyers build a custom bundle as they shop.

Keep Up With Market Trends and Consumer Behavior

Learn to keep up with market trends and consumer behavior for the year and during the holiday season. Your knowledge of market trends and consumer behavior will inform your AOV strategy. For example, in 2020, consumer behavior shifted towards self-care and home products because we were mostly indoors during the pandemic. Of course, the shift impacted the holiday shopping of the same year. Pay attention to consumer behavior and market trends every year before the holiday season to discover valuable insights about holiday shoppers.

Offer Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL)

The buy now, pay later (BNPL) model has changed the eCommerce industry for the better, and you will also find it rewarding during the holiday shopping season. If buyers know they can do their holiday shopping on your online store and pay later, they will be more inclined to increase their order value. Use the right messaging to make buyers see that they can also enjoy their holiday shopping whether they can pay immediately or later.


Test your fulfillment provider: discuss your holiday sales plans with your fulfillment provider(s) to be sure that your fulfillment provider can support your AOV strategy.

Beware of serial returners: the holiday shopping season is a good time for serial returners to go on a shopping spree, use the item once and return it. You should also be mindful of serial returners who shop for the same or similar items from different stores, choose the particular one they like, and return the rest.

Optimize your online store for traffic surge: finally, ensure to optimize your online store for the holidays because your traffic will increase, and you don’t want to frustrate potential buyers with poor page speed.

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