Boost Average Order Value: Position Your Site As A One Stop Gift Shop

One of the tips I shared in my interview with Shawna Fennell of eComExperts last week was to position yourself as a one-stop-shop this Christmas to boost your AOV (Average Order Value). The idea is to sell the customer on the idea that he or she can shop for everyone on the Christmas list (or as many as possible) in your store. The problem is not everyone has figured out what gifts they should get – a lot need some help. Gift finders by gender, age, recipient type and interests are a great help to customers, and can certainly help convert browsers into satisfied (and relieved) buyers.

Gift finders can be interactive tools (think of a stepped-survey or wizard) or simply special categories like “Gifts for Him” or “Gifts for Her.”

Toys R Us stepped gift finder gift categories Gift Categories

Most sites that offer these do a great job showing them off on home pages and in navigation menus, but they fail to carry the message through to the cart summary. Instead of a vanilla “Continue Shopping” link, why not link back to gifting tools? Remind your customer about your one-stop value proposition!


Testing Hypothesis: Including a call-to-action for the gift finder or gift categories in the cart summary will remind customers to keep shopping for other gifts.

I’ve never seen this tactic in practice, so let’s mock up what a test could look like for

Control: Target’s actual cart summary page

Treatment A: Continue Shopping link below item details

Treatment B: Continue Shopping links above item details

Treatment C: Link to gift finder (button) with text “Gifts for everyone on your list!”

Images too small? Quick tip: hit CTRL+ to zoom to enlarge the images a bit…

What to measure?

To determine success, don’t just measure conversion rate improvement. Track clicks on the each call-to-action, items per sale, average order value and profit per sale.

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6 Responses to “Boost Average Order Value: Position Your Site As A One Stop Gift Shop”

  1. Kim Dudra says:

    My vote is for Treatment A, with two comments. “Continue Shopping” should be hyperlinked in case I don’t want to use the gift finder feature. Also, “Christmas at Target” looks like a button unto itself, which is a little confusing (if in fact it isn’t a hyperlinked button). I’m betting “Shop Our Gift Finder” in Treatment C will have the lowest conversion. It’s a very specific action that isn’t as broad as “Continue Shopping”, and solves one shopper objective, but doesn’t address alternatives.

    On the subject of Continue Shopping, I was on the other day and the one improvement I would make is to ensure “Continue Shopping” is available at any point of the transaction. I was at the credit card selection page and realized I wanted to add one more item to my cart. I’m always loathe to hit the Back button, but this is what I ended up doing since I could not see an alternative anywhere on the page (and if there is one, I didn’t see it; I do wear glasses!). Online retailers should provide exits at each stage of a transaction because checking out isn’t always linear.

  2. In order of clicks, items per sale and average order size, I reckon the three treatments would be ranked A (best), B, C (worst).

    Treatment C could be overlooked by people who are specifically looking for the ubiquitous words “continue shopping”, while those who prefer to browse freely rather than being guided may avoid the “Shop Our Gift Finder” link which suggests an overly structured process.

    I find Treatment B, with the Continue Shopping link above the item details counter intuitive. However, if you have a number of items in your cart, the need to scroll further down the page to reach the Continue Shopping link in Treatment A could also be rather tiring.

    Providing a prominent Contune Shopping link both above and below the items in the cart would be the best solution.

    Kim, I completely agree with your comment about Amazon. The same thing happened when I was using the UK site last week. On the credit card page I wanted to add another item but the back button didn’t work, so I had to close the site and login again. A continue shopping button on the Amazon checkout pages would be really appreciated.

  3. Linda – Great article as usual. I am also surprised that few etailers integrate these types of tools into the overall experience. I’d also like to see sites test this in conjunction with a “carrot” type promotion (e.g. add $X more and get free shipping) to drive AOV. Also, promoting one stop shop tools like this upstream in PPC or down stream in email trigger campaigns (abandonment or post-purchase confirmations/upsells) would be interesting as well.

  4. TraiaN says:

    @Linda: is there any email I can reach you? if not please follow back so I can send a direct message. thanks.

  5. Treatment A would be my guess.

    A “treatment D” could be to use the copy of A but make it less graphical, as I fear “banner blindness” might be a problem with A.

  6. [...] While I can only speculate why pet stores averaged so high on items per order (perhaps it’s a combination of low dollar value items and high free shipping thresholds), I was surprised department stores were not moving more items, especially with the opportunity to position themselves as one-stop-shopping destinations. [...]

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