What to Know About Low Average Order Value eCommerce

Improved Average Order Value (AOV) with 3PL Services

Understanding and Optimizing Low Average Order Value E-Commerce

Running an e-commerce business involves keeping track of various key performance indicators such as average order value (AOV). AOV refers to the revenue you generate per sale during a certain period. Low AOV means that your customers are spending less per order.

Having a low AOV presents various challenges including less profit per sale, dependency on volume, and slow business growth. However, there are instances where a low AOV e-commerce model makes sense, depending on your industry. Also, there are effective strategies to maximize your online business’s AOV.

Importance of AOV as an E-Commerce Metric

AOV influences how you approach marketing, pricing, and promotions. You can use AOV to gauge the health of your e-commerce business and optimize to realize better returns from every sale.

Overall, it can help your marketing team evaluate the efficacy of specific strategies. For instance, a low AOV gives you an opportunity to try out different marketing tactics. In this case, you can leverage upselling and product bundling and optimize accordingly based on results.

Ways to Increase Your Average Order Value

One of the best ways to encourage customers to spend more is through upselling and cross selling via timely promotions, offers, and product bundles. For instance, you can offer marginal or bulk discounts to move inventory faster.  You can also provide coupons and deals based on minimum spend thresholds.

Present additional purchase options like related, newly added, and popular products. Also, place high-value products in front of your visitors more. Loyalty programs that incentivize return customers also work wonders.

Offering a personalized customer experience is also important. Leverage user data to recommend products based on individual customers preferences and purchase history. You can also conduct personalized email campaigns to pique customer interest.

Optimizing your e-commerce site can also increase AOV. A responsive and intuitive website increases purchases from first-time and return visitors.

Ensure your website is easy to navigate with filtering options and optimized product pages. You should also streamline your checkout process. Checkout difficulties often lead to fewer purchases and cart abandonment.

Another effective way to maximize AOV is by streamlining your fulfillment process. It’s crucial to partner with a competent fulfillment company to support increased sales volume. After all, scaling is a major challenge for low AOV e-commerce setups. A fulfillment company can help you handle aspects like product storage, shipping, tracking, and prompt delivery.

Conclusion

It’s important to understand how AOV affects your e-commerce business. Implementing strategies to improve this metric can help ramp up overall revenue. Proper product promotion, pricing strategies, and optimized user experiences help you get more out of each order.

An important step toward e-commerce success is hiring a reputable fulfillment company to support your venture. Medallion Fulfillment and Logistics offers tailored solutions based on business goals and requirements.

Our services can help you improve AOV, save operational costs, and scale comfortably. Contact us today to unlock your e-commerce business’s full profitability potential.

                                                                                        

The Technology Behind Successful Ecommerce Fulfillment

Distribution center concept and international communication network. globalized business, transportation and professional connections.

Online sales in the United States have more than surpassed expectations. In 2012, online sales hit a record $226 billion, and accounted for 7% of all total retail sales. Experts projected $327 billion by 2016, but they were wrong… Total online sales in 2016 were $394 billion! If your fulfillment company isn’t participating in the ecommerce segment, no doubt you know that you’re missing out on an exceptional opportunity!

In this article, I’ll focus on the technological capabilities a warehouse needs in order to implement an ecommerce fulfillment service. The article isn’t going to be about listing the pros and cons of the Top 10 software programs on the market, because I don’t know your current capabilities or strategic goals. Instead, I believe that the most productive approach is to breakdown the process to help you identify where you can improve your systems.

Let’s talk about process integration. Ecommerce clients will typically approach a fulfillment company with an established business infrastructure. Integration means adapting your systems to plug into those of your customer. The processes that are frequently affected are:

• Order Capture & Management

• Picking/Packing & Shipping

• Synchronizing Order and Inventory Status

• Visibility

• Client & Customer Service

Order Capture & Management

There are more than 300 ecommerce shopping cart companies on the market. Your company needs to be technically capable of adapting to the wide variety of methodologies for communicating with those carts. Orders from carts need to be harvested on a regular basis, controlled to insure none are dropped or duplicated, and converted into a form that is compatible with your system.

I believe this area represents the greatest technical challenge for fulfillment companies in the ecommerce space. Your tool bag for interfacing with a client’s systems must include a wide array of technologies, including the ability to interact with flat files, Application Program Interfaces, Web Services, File Transfer Protocol, call center systems, and the occasional manual-order entry. IT resources to plan the implementation and support this process need to be broadly skilled and creative. Administrative resources that perform the daily-order harvesting routines need to be highly attentive to detail.

Picking/Packing & Shipping

This process is probably the most straightforward. Picking slips are generated, product is picked and boxed, and shipping labels are applied using traditional fulfillment methods. Although there may be special requirements for packing slip and box branding, those requirements don’t vary much from conventional fulfillment. It is essential to operate at a very fast past as ecommerce performance is measured in hours and the volume of orders is measured in thousands per day.

Synchronizing Order and Inventory Status

Ecommerce fulfillment requires that the client’s shopping cart has the most recent inventory and order status information. Your systems need to regularly communicate inventory availability to the cart to ensure that a client’s customer is made aware of out-of-stock situations before placing an order. Customers also need to be able to reference the shopping cart to find the status of their order. Process synchronization between your operation and that of your client is an absolute necessity.

Visibility

Ecommerce fulfillment is very fast moving! We used to joke that customers would press the “buy” button and run to the front door looking for the UPS truck! With Amazon’s latest experiments in same-day delivery, this joke is almost a reality. Given the speed of ecommerce, it’s important for your clients to be able to have a real-time window into your process and inventory. At a minimum, clients should be able to see orders and inventory in near real time. The leading-edge, ecommerce fulfillment companies have taken a more pro-active stance by publishing “alerts” when important events are happening in the fulfillment process. Alert examples might include: Product X is running low on inventory; a new shipment of stock has arrived; or a customer has returned an order.

Client & Customer Service

The fulfillment process is heavily impacted by fast-paced marketing and promotional decisions. Ecommerce client support typically requires a designated coordinator to represent the client’s requirements to the fulfillment organization and to coordinate program changes. The volume and minutiae of detail often warrant the implementation of “issue logging” and “project workflow” processes within the organization. Given the pace of the business, these processes are best automated.

Some clients, particularly the Entrepreneur and Offshore segments, may ask the fulfillment organization to manage customer support. This might involve call-center work, authorizing returns, handling the occasional complaint, and so on. These client groups often have too small a volume to outsource their work to large call center. Having an arsenal of exceptional customer-support tools, therefore, positions you to capitalize on a good revenue opportunity.

In summary, successful ecommerce fulfillment relies on solid technical foundations. Warehouses and 3PLs must understand that ecommerce clients have very different needs (and expectations) for the technical aptitude, agility and pace of their fulfillment partners. To fully capitalize on the ecommerce segment, your fulfillment service must meet–and exceed–these requirements.