If you are running an Profile or Catalogue website then your average sale will be affected by what you or your sales people do once they receive an enquiry from your website.
To increase your average sale you need to encourage your customers to spend more money each time they visit. This is called merchandising. There are a huge number of merchandising techniques. Let’s look at some of the more common online ones:
Cross-selling is a powerful technique for increasing the size of your customer’s order. Cross-selling involves “suggesting” related products or services to a visitor when they are viewing or buying a product or service from your website.
For example, if your visitor is buying a hammer then you might want to display a number of different types of nails.
The most common way of doing this on a website is by displaying cross-sell items in the right column or below the item when a visitor is viewing an item, their shopping cart or checking out.
Up-selling is when you “suggest” a more ‘advanced’ or ‘expensive product’ to the one that is currently being viewed or considered. For example, if your visitor is buying a chrome tap then you might try and up-sell your visitor by displaying a gold-plated version of the tap as another option.
This is usually done in a similar way to the cross-sell– you display the up-sell item in the right column or below the current item as the visitor views it, or at their shopping cart or check-out screens.
Placing a number of items on ‘special’ and featuring them on your home page, or on a separate ‘specials’ page can be an extremely effective way of increasing your average sale. A ‘sharp’ special can be just what is needed to get your visitor to hit that add to cart button. Remember, The first item in the shopping cart is always the hardest.
A “wish-list” feature allows your visitor to build up a list of items that they would ‘like’ to purchase at a later date. When your visitor returns to your site they are able to look back over their wish list and make a decision to purchase. If a customer has decided to make an order, many times they will add some extra items from their wish list in addition to the items that they are ordering.
For even better results you could provide a feature where your visitors can email their wish list to a friend or family member (as a gift-guide), which has the added bonus of bringing a new visitor to your website.
- Quantity pricing
‘Quantity’ or ‘volume pricing’ is where you offer a cheaper price or a bigger discount as an incentive for a bigger order. For example, if you buy one pack of nails it will cost $12.45, but if you buy five packs of nails then they’ll only cost $8.50 per pack. You are actively providing an incentive for your visitors to buy in bulk and thus spend more money ‘up front’.
- Gift vouchers
Gift vouchers can be a great way to attract extra visitors to your site and encourage your visitors to purchase more. Offer your visitors the opportunity to purchase gift certificates and have them emailed to a friend.
- Buy one, get one free
Run a special ‘buy one, get one free’ promotion or a ‘buy two, get one free’ - use whatever will convince your visitors to buy.
This strategy works especially well with ‘end-of-season’ or ‘clearance items’ that you need to shift.
- Free shipping on orders over $xyz
We have seen this strategy work very well with a number of our customers. Free shipping on all orders over $50! This encourages your visitors to top up their orders to ensure that they get the ‘free shipping’.
- Free gift
Buy X and receive a free gift. This can be a great technique if you have a product that fulfills a customer need, but is just not converting. Ideally, you want to use a gift that has a high-perceived value but costs you very little. A small ‘free gift’ can sometimes be just enough to overcome the last little bit of buyer reluctance.
- Best sellers
If something is a ‘hot seller’ or ‘popular item’ and you are barely promoting it, then chances are, a little bit more promotion could mean a large increase in results. Great merchandisers will often focus on their best selling items, not their worst.
- New items
Consider having a section that introduces new items that have ‘just arrived’. This can be great for those early adopters who love to try out anything that’s new and always be on the leading edge.
- Package deals
Try combining a number of items into a package deal. Offer a special discount if the customer buys certain items as a ‘package’. Think of fast food meal deals where they package up a burger, fries and a coke. Do you have a number of your products or services that you could package up? What will be attractive to your customers?