Get Sticky: What is Customer Stickiness and How to Achieve it with Your DTC Brand

Acquiring new customers is only half the battle. You have yet to convert the newly acquired lot into second-time buyers and reduce customer churn. 

Once you bag that second purchase, your focus should shift to expanding and increasing these customers’ lifetime value (CLV) even more. And to achieve that, you need to ensure you provide a customer experience so good that they want to stick around – a “sticky” experience. 

Jes Kirkwood, a content strategist and storyteller, writes that customer experience is one of the two core pillars of customer retention; the thing is, you can’t grow if your customers don’t stick around. 

But what exactly is customer stickiness and how is it related to customer retention and customer loyalty? 

What is Customer Stickiness?

To define it simply, customer stickiness is when a customer continues to shop at your e-commerce store because something about your online store compels them to keep coming. It could be free and fast shipping, your product quality, your pricing, pre and post-purchase customer experience, emotional appeal, discounts and promotions, etc. 

No one sells cold drinks in cold weather better than Coca Cola. Coke  remains one of the best known beverage brands, winning hearts and taste buds since well before the classic Coca-Cola days. The beverage brand has successfully created a sticky brand experience centered around ‘émotional appeal,’ via adverts – and it works well.

How is customer stickiness related to customer loyalty and customer retention? 

Customer stickiness is the launching pad for customer loyalty and retention both, because sticky customers are easier to turn into lifetime customers who are loyal to the brand. How do you think Coke managed to create a cult-like customer base? 

It’s important to remember however, that customer stickiness is a result of a key benefit or value customers derive from a business – something they can’t get elsewhere. 

It focuses on fostering new relationships with customers, while customer loyalty strengthens pre-existing relationships and develops after stickiness.

As for retention, that’s when these customers continue to choose your brand because trying out new products or brands is far too inconvenient. 

So, how can you make your DTC brand create a sticky brand experience? 

Once you get a customer to go from one purchase to two purchases, you increase their chance of making yet another purchase by 95%. Give these customers a reason to come back and  stick to your business with these tried and true ways:

Be proactive about your post-purchase customer experience

A report by Salesforce shows that 80% of customers say the experience provided by a company is as important as the products and services they sell. And 42% said they would break up with a brand because they didn’t get customer support. 

This shows just how important a winning post-purchase experience is, especially if you want to increase customer stickiness. Here are a few ways your brand can create a sticky brand experience for shoppers:

a) Customer onboarding 

The post-purchase period is a crucial time for you and your customers. It’s the most important step in the customer life-cycle – an opportunity to build relationships with shoppers. 

In fact, 88% of buyers in a survey said they’re more likely to remain loyal to a business that provides welcoming, educational onboarding content. 

Customers who you’ve rolled out the red carpet for are more likely to continue buying your products in the long haul. 

b) Spice it up with fast & free delivery

Fast and free delivery has become an essential component of a winning post-purchase experience. Almost all the major retailers, online and offline, are beginning to add the element of speed to their service. Amazon, Walmart, Instacart, Target, etc. leverage fast and free delivery to make their customers stick around.   

Ohi helps its partner brands create a sticky brand experience by enabling them to offer customer-pleasing post-purchase experiences such as sustainable and instant delivery. 

c) Keep customers in the know with real-time order tracking & on-brand updates 

For many brands, the customer experience journey comes to an end when they make a purchase. That sort of attitude is a no-go in today’s fast-paced e-commerce world. The customer journey doesn’t end following the purchase; it continues with shipping, tracking, product updates, returns, reviews, and other post-purchase services.

d) Simplify the returns & refunds process

IKEA is a great example of a company that offers sticky returns and refunds policies. Shoppers have 365 days to exchange or return their products. This makes for a stellar value proposition, because it’s considerably longer than the usual 60 days.

It, however, may not be possible for every brand to follow in IKEA’s footsteps which is why many, if not most, progressive and forward-looking e-commerce brands these days are offering VIP customers membership-styled return options. They reward high-value, loyal customers with a more personalized and flexible shopping experience to keep them coming back for more.

e) Hear your customers out – ask for post-purchase feedback

Nothing shows your customers they are valuable better than asking for feedback about the product or post-purchase experience and actually taking it to heart.

Customer feedback will help offer you insight into what aspects of your product or service are working well and what aspects require improvements.

Think of unhappy customers as an opportunity. They could just leave you bad reviews on your social media channels, or even worse, anonymously put you on blast all over the place. Instead, invite them to contact you privately to share their experiences, trusting that you are sincere about addressing any concerns.

f) Sustainable e-commerce fulfillment

Did you know that 80% of consumers in a survey said that sustainability is important to them? Meanwhile, about 60% said they want to make a change in their shopping habits to be more sustainable. 

While value and ease of purchase are still the main drivers of purchase decisions, sustainability is climbing higher on the list. Consider supporting sustainable e-commerce however you can – from carbon-neutral delivery to even more modest approaches like supporting micro-fulfillment services, as they reduce the amount of fuel that is needed per delivery and minimize the need for wasteful exterior packaging.

Differentiate your unique value proposition (UVP) & be consistent with it

We know that customer stickiness is essentially derived from the transactional value that your customers get from your business or product only — your unique value proposition (UVP).

It highlights a unique benefit or feature that differentiates your online brand from every other business in the industry, showcasing the most compelling reasons why a potential buyer should become a lifetime customer.

Whatever that value is, it’s imperative that everyone on your team knows about it. Your unique value proposition should power your sales and marketing messaging, and unlocking it should be a key point of focus for customer support and success teams.

Take Patagonia for instance. Their UVP isn’t a product or a feature, it’s their reason for existing. And their UVP adds value to their die-hard customers by helping them make a difference. 

“We’re in business to save our home planet.”

This UVP distinguishes Patagonia from its competitors by defining it as more than a fashion label. It’s a way of life and a movement committed to making a difference. Patagonia epitomizes a number of its distinguishing features in a single sentence:

  • Fair Trade Certified Clothing – produced from organic cotton ( free of pesticides, herbicides, and GMO seeds)
  • An exchange program wherein shoppers can trade-in used equipment for store credit
  • 1% of sales is donated to the restoration and preservation of the planet

What we really love about Patagonia’s UVP is that it doesn’t make the customers feel like they are being shoehorned into purchasing. They understand that together with the business they are making a difference.  

Having the ingredients alone isn’t enough; mixing them together thoughtfully is what matters most. Whether you have the best price on the market or a key feature your competitors lack, or something else entirely, reminding customers how you’re different and better will help boost customer stickiness. 

If practiced the right way, even a unique flavored syrup created by some pharmacist – yes, Coca Cola – can be turned into a world-beating brand that transcends its category.

Bottom line? 

Yes, that will eventually grow, too, (pun intended) because the stickier your customer is, the easier they are to retain. By making existing customers stickier you take an important first step toward fostering long-term customer loyalty.

6 Ways E-commerce Businesses Can Increase Shopping Cart Conversion Rates

6 Ways E-commerce Businesses can Increase Shopping Cart Conversion Rate

Isn’t it a bummer when shoppers visit your e-commerce website, add products to their cart but then drop out without completing their purchase? 

Cart abandonment remains the biggest problem faced by e-commerce businesses. In fact, the average online store loses 75% of its sales to cart abandonment. And a higher cart abandonment rate indicates friction in checkout process or experience – hence a low shopping cart conversion rate.

As both of these metrics are closely tied to your store’s bottom line, in order to drive cart conversion rates and revenues, companies need to elevate their strategy. Before we discuss how to tackle this adversary here’s an introduction to the said KPIs. 

Shopping cart conversion rate & cart abandonment rate

Cart conversion determines the percentage of customers who complete an order after adding something to the shopping cart.

It’s crucial to know your e-commerce shopping cart conversion rate because it measures how effective your checkout process is at converting customers into buyers.

Cart abandonment, on the other hand, is the percentage of shoppers who added products to the cart but then left without initiating the checkout process. 

Shopping cart conversion rate vs. checkout conversion rate

These KPIs are ofttimes confused and interchangeably used. The shopping cart conversion rate metric helps determine the number of complete orders in comparison to the total number of shopping carts started by potential customers.

Whereas checkout conversion rate is a KPI that helps measure the percentage of total visitors who started the checkout process, and then go on to complete their orders.

Once you figure out the percentage of shoppers abandoning your cart and the number that completed the order, you can come up with a strategy to remove the blockers and optimize your cart conversion rate.

6 Ways e-commerce businesses can increase shopping cart conversion rate

The truth is you’ll never be able to put an end to cart abandonment entirely. But understanding what’s causing shoppers to leave mid-sale and being proactive about optimizing trouble spots will help increase your cart conversion rate. Here are a few foolproof ways to help you game up your cart conversion rates.

1. Give customers extra motivation with enticing offers

A stagnant or, worse, a lower conversion rate signals a serious issue and one of the foolproof ways to fix this problem is to pre-empt potential dropouts with an enticing offer. 

A good discount or coupon always hits the sweet spot. Which is why, many online stores try to win over potential customers with first-time offers even before products are added to cart. Here’s an example from Candle Delirium.  

Ordering something for the first time at full price without any past experience with the product or peer reviews to cling to can be daunting for most shoppers. Discounts, reward points, first-time offers all have a subconscious effect on your customers. With a discount in their proverbial pockets, they feel ready to complete a purchase at your e-commerce store.

In fact, a recent survey from RetailMeNot found that 80% of shoppers are more inclined to make a first-time purchase with a brand that offered a discount.

2. Simplify & streamline the checkout process 

A complicated checkout process is one of the topmost reasons why online shoppers abandon carts. Oftentimes, customers drop out after initiating the checkout process, which piles up on abandonment stack.

Remember that 70% of shoppers will not complete an online form with too many fields. Similarly, with each extra step your prospective customers will drop off in the conversion funnel. 

Here are a few good pointers:

  • Add fewer but relevant form fields 
  • Offer guest checkout (people will often get annoyed if they are forced to create an account)
  • Keep your CTAs simple (fancy doesn’t always work)

Moreover, if you do upsell and cross-sell, make absolutely sure they don’t interfere with or hinder the customer’s ability to check out fast.

PS: Remember to account for both desktop and smartphone users to ensure that your checkout process is as simple and seamless as possible irrespective of the devices your customers use.

Health-Ade’s checkout process is pretty neat – simple and streamlined.

3. Offer fast & free shipping

Free and fast shipping is every shopper’s wildest dream. In fact, 80% of shoppers surveyed want same-day shipping, while 61% want their packages delivered even faster — within 1-3 hours of placing an order.

Meanwhile, 63% of shoppers surveyed said they had abandoned shopping carts due to high shipping costs.

It’s abundantly clear why e-commerce stores need to hop on this ‘fast and free’ trend if they don’t want to lose any potential customers. Offering free shipping, despite the small cost to your online store, can provide a massive boost to your cart conversion rates. By leveraging free shipping, Amazon experienced a significant increase in customer orders throughout several marketplaces.

There are degrees of “fast” delivery, too. ROI data from Ohi shows repeat purchase rates associated with Ohi’s 2-hour delivery were even higher: up to 24% higher than same-day delivery and 61% higher than standard UPS/FedEx.

Order minimums are fine, too…

…because what works for one e-commerce business may not always work for another. In fact, many brands are unable to provide free shipping without eroding their e-commerce margins, especially when average order quantity is only one product.

Offering free shipping for a minimum order threshold can be an effective way for these brands to minimize cart abandonment while shoring up their margins. This also has the added benefit of assisting in increasing the average order value (AOV).

4. Reel the dropouts back in with retargeting

Abandoned cart retargeting is another strategy that can help you persuade abandoners to return and complete their purchase. Email remains an effective way to entice cart abandoners. Here are a few instances from Olipop.

You can also use ads to better target people who have visited your site and added products to the cart but did not complete their order. It keeps you top of mind for those prospective consumers as they browse the web.

5. Offer multiple payment options

How you manage and process payments impacts not only your customers’ buying journey but also the overall success of your business.

After all, customers are more likely to abandon carts if their preferred form of payment option isn’t available. By providing your site with a payment gateway that accepts a variety of payment options, you are helping boost sales opportunities. You can offer key payment methods such as credit cards, pay later solutions, and mobile wallets including Google Pay, Apple Pay, and Paypal, etc.

In addition to different payment methods, Ovira also guarantees a safe checkout.

Once you have added the right payment mix, you need to ensure that the payment completion is quick and easy and doesn’t get in the way of a shopper completing the order.  

6. Optimize page load speeds 

No one likes a slow-loading site. And an annoyed and angry shopper wondering if their order was even successful is the last thing you want. To be honest these shoppers may not even make it to the checkout if your e-commerce website loads slowly. 

To top up sales and reduce cart abandonment rate, every page – starting from transaction to landing page to order confirmation page – needs to be fast. 

First thing’s first, make sure you’re using a fast and reliable hosting service. Here are a few more ways you can speed up load-times for higher cart conversions:

  • Compress images 
  • Reduce the number of page redirects & broken links
  • Use a content delivery network (CDN)
  • Get rid of plug-ins with high resource usage (they hog most of your server’s CPU and RAM
  • Use lite embeds instead of standard embed code for videos from YouTube (they bloat your site) 
  • Opt for code minification – a process that removes badly coded HTML, JavaScript, or CSS that slows your site down
  • Create a seamless and fast shopping experience with a progressive web app

A little optimization & consideration goes a long way

Jeff Eisenberg, an American businessman, once said, “it’s easier to double your business by doubling your conversion rate rather than by doubling your traffic.”

As important as it is to double down on the traffic, converting the visitors into customers and retaining them is just as imperative. Optimizing your strategy, with the aforementioned, to increase your shopping cart conversion rate will pay off in the long haul. And once your cart conversion rate goes up, you’ll realize it’s worth the effort, time, and money.  

At Ohi, we’ve flipped the script for e-commerce fulfillment, transforming it from what is traditionally seen as a cost center into a growth engine. Brands join the Ohi platform to deliver powerfully fast, brand-focused, and memorable post-purchase experiences that enable them to grow. Want to learn more about how Ohi enables instant commerce? Get in touch today.

The Rise of Green E-commerce: How Online Businesses Can be More Eco-friendly

The rise of green e-commerce: how online businesses can be more eco-friendly

80% of consumers in a survey by NRF and IBM said that sustainability is important to them. Meanwhile, about 60% are willing to change their shopping habits to be more sustainable. 

Whether it was Greta Thunberg’s protests on preserving the planet, the recent wave of abnormal floods, or simply the ongoing rise of awareness, sustainability, and environmental concerns are top of mind for today’s consumers. This wave of green consumerism is pushing many online retail brands – big and small – to take action by adopting sustainable or eco-friendly ways to mitigate their carbon footprint. 

Many more customers are beginning to realize and question just how traditional supply chain and shipping models wreak havoc on the environment.   

The dark side of ‘click-from-couch’ 

Although e-commerce produces 36% fewer emissions in comparison to in-store shopping as per a report by MIT, this increasing click-from-couch behavior within the last couple of years even for the smallest of things is stacking up on the carbon emissions. 

Walmart carried out a self-audit and found that “e-commerce, on average, tends to produce more emissions per item for three reasons: e-commerce requires additional packaging, customers purchase fewer items per online transaction, and multi-item orders often result in multiple deliveries.”

In short, more polluting vehicles and packaging waste is killing the planet

Quite often, for products ordered by online shoppers, trucks are underutilized, delivering only a small number of packages. A lot of these packages contain individual products that are shipped via different carriers. This puts more vehicles on the roads contributing to carbon emissions. 

And let’s not forget about the packaging – the total amount of cardboard used for packaging each year equates to a shocking 1 billion trees. Meanwhile, other packaging materials like plastic, tape, or bubble wrap have their own individual fair share of landfill waste, which, by the way, often isn’t or can’t be recycled.

And this waste continues to pile up. If Captain Planet and the Planeteers weren’t fictional characters of a 90’s TV show, most of these businesses would be shut down by now. But it’s all the more reason why it’s critical that online businesses adopt a sustainable approach. 

Sustainability benefits everyone: people, planet, & businesses 

In the mid-’90s John Elkington, a serial entrepreneur, coined the idea of the triple bottom line. The idea is based on business profitability centered around “people, planet, and profit.” Elkington’s idea defines how a business while being more responsible towards the environment and people can still generate profits.  

The idea is simple – by implementing social good and practicing ethical and sustainable practices businesses can stand out as leaders – eventually leading to increased profitability.

Many brands, big and small, are already striving towards achieving net-zero carbon emissions

Brands such as Nike and Adidas – employing the triple bottom line concept –  have taken the lead on sustainability, establishing themselves as more forward-thinking and competitive. 

Nike intends to power its facilities entirely with renewable energy by 2025 and is aiming to function with net-zero carbon emissions. They claim to repurpose more than 90% of the waste from Air sole materials to create new, inventive cushioning systems.

Patagonia is another prominent brand making a difference. Well-known for its sustainability and environmental activism, Patagonia switched to organic cotton, and a high proportion of its materials are made from recycled fabrics, including polyester, nylon, and wool. Rejecting fast-fashion, it produces high-quality, long-lasting goods and provides a repair and reuse program as well. The brand had 40% growth over the last year and has pledged to become a carbon-neutral company by 2025.

Sustainability doesn’t just save the planet, but it also helps businesses stand out in the market of beacons of societal responsibility.   

How can e-commerce businesses be more eco-friendly?

Being environmentally conscious is important for more than just customer-facing products and brands. E-commerce businesses very often overlook the supply chain and how it contributes to carbon emissions. 

That’s one area where Untuckit wins big. In addition to using ethically sourced materials for production, that’s another area where it reduced its carbon footprint. It uses recyclable and biodegradable materials for shipping products, reducing its carbon footprint further. 

Here are a few ways your e-commerce business can stave off its supply chain emissions and be more sustainable.   

1. Switch to sustainable delivery and packaging

Packaging waste is obviously one of the biggest drawbacks of online shopping, and anyone who has ever purchased a small item from Amazon and had a canoe-sized box delivered to their house knows this full well. All that plastic, tape, and bubble wrap only add to the carbon emissions. 

Fortunately, many of the large mail service providers are now taking part in eco-friendly initiatives that use recycled shipping materials as well as paperless invoicing and tracking options. Many of these couriers also provide their customers with additional green and sustainable programs that allow shoppers to offset carbon emissions from their deliveries.

While these options aren’t as great as outright eliminating the need for exterior boxing and packaging materials (as micro-fulfillment with Ohi does), they are a step in the right direction for traditional delivery companies like UPS, FedEx, USPS, and DHL.

As for eco-friendly packaging – there are many options available to choose from as compared to a few years back when there were limited options available. You can opt for recyclable packaging i.e cardboard boxes, molded pulp packaging, etc. 

Or you can choose reusable packaging like glass milk bottles, pallets, or shipping containers, etc. 

There’s a third option- compostable packaging. It degrades faster than other materials. When deciding which type of packaging to go for, it’s important to keep in mind how it complements your specific product.

2. Team up with an eco-friendly fulfillment partner

For many businesses, the supply chain is the largest source of emissions. By teaming up with instant commerce or micro-fulfillment partners like Ohi, brands can offer fast and sustainable fast shipping to meet customer expectations. 

As a matter of fact, sustainable DTC organic beverage brand Health-Ade and eco-friendly apparel brand Untuckit both rely on Ohi to deliver their products sustainably in their largest metro areas. Health-Ade has enjoyed a 49% increase in its customer lifetime value (CLV) as a result of its sustainable micro-fulfillment strategy. 

How does Ohi add value to e-commerce brands with sustainability and fast shipping?

Having crossed out the air or long ground routes from the equation, our fast delivery generates the least carbon emissions because products are shipped from fulfillment centers that are located very close to customers. It’s sustainable and green because we use bike/e-bike/scooter couriers and foot couriers in densely populated urban areas, instead of vans or bikes, reducing our carbon footprint.   

In fact, Ohi deliveries were shown to be 22x more eco-friendly than next-day air and 5x more eco-friendly than 3-5 day ground.

As far as packaging is concerned, as opposed to traditional packaging that involves plastic or cardboard waste, Ohi encourages the use of eco-friendly reusable totes for 2-hour and same-day deliveries whenever possible. 

But we realized that despite our efforts to offer sustainable delivery, there was some residual carbon footprint left. So we teamed up with EcoCart, a sustainability technology that helps businesses calculate and offset their carbon emissions.

Our partnership with EcoCart allows Ohi to calculate and address the rest of the residual carbon footprint through carbon offsets and provide a carbon-neutral delivery.

3. Offset your carbon footprint (i.e. with EcoCart)

Everything produces emissions, but by using carbon offsets, you can neutralize the carbon you produce by donating to a forest protection project that prevents deforestation.

One of the easiest ways to do that is via EcoCart. EcoCart’s plugin for e-commerce businesses determines the emissions produced by your online business and allows your business (or your customers) to offset exactly the amount of emissions an order has produced.

Adopting the above-mentioned sustainable practices will help your e-commerce business stand out from your competitors while making a lasting difference for the environment. After all, there is only one planet Earth, and it’s our collective responsibility to take care of it. 

Why Creating an Impactful Post-purchase Experience is Important for Your E-commerce Business

Why Creating an Impactful Post-purchase Experience is Important for Your E-commerce Business

A customer just ordered from your e-commerce store. You’re on cloud nine, and why wouldn’t you be – you just converted a prospect into a customer. But as exciting as getting orders is, you can’t rest on your laurels just yet.  

This is only the third stage of a buyer’s journey (shown below). You are now no longer accommodating a prospect looking for a solution, you are now dealing with a consumer who is looking to get value from your brand and products.

What happens after a purchase is just as important to the bottom line as the initial purchase. Data from Salesforce shows that 80% of customers say the experience provided by a company is as important as the products and services they sell. Meanwhile, 57% of customers said they stopped buying from a company because of a competitor who delivered a better experience.

And yet, most e-commerce businesses are reluctant to invest in or even properly understand the post-purchase experience. 

So, what exactly is the post-purchase experience (PPX)?

To define it simply, it’s how you treat a customer after they have made a purchase from your e-commerce store – the journey that commences right after checkout. 

A lot goes into designing a post-purchase experience that will convert skeptical buyers into raving fans. How do you think Amazon took over the marketplace landscape? From super-slick fulfillment to timely feedback requests, simple returns, and refunds, they’ve nailed many aspects of the buying journey – at least when it comes to a marketplace-based shopping experience.

Components of a winning post-purchase experience

Now that you know what the term “post-purchase experience” entails, here’s a look at some typical touchpoints of a post-purchase experience:

  • Fast, on-time delivery (such as through Ohi’s 2-hour, same-day, and next-day delivery options)
  • Real-time order tracking & updates that are on-brand
  • Product care tips and optimal usage suggestions
  • Simple returns & refunds process
  • Post-purchase feedback
  • Value-adding upsells and cross-sells
  • Sustainable e-commerce fulfillment

A great after-sale experience will encourage retention, increase sales, and improve your brand’s reputation.

A few good reasons why your e-commerce business needs to optimize post-purchase customer experience

In the words of Kristen LaFrance, the head of Shopify’s Resilient Retail series:

“In e-commerce, you don’t have the same face-to-face sales interaction that you would in a retail setting, so you have to take care of some of those steps post-purchase when you finally have a direct line of communication with the customer.”

Optimizing the post-purchase experience can therefore be an excellent customer retention strategy, and it doesn’t require brands to spend a king’s ransom to do so either. And with better first-party customer data, direct-to-consumer (DTC/D2C) brands should have a competitive edge here, because understanding customers better is the key to optimizing the post-purchase experience. 

Optimizing the post-purchase experience will increase customer retention, improve AOV and repeat purchase rate. 

Once your e-commerce business is relatively well-optimized, your top priority shifts to retaining customers.

Repeat customers are, after all, the holy grail of your e-commerce business, and a well-optimized post-purchase experience will help increase the average order value (AOV), reduce customer churn, and increase customer lifetime value (CLV), which all ultimately dictate your bottom line.

This is why Ohi focuses on amplifying the e-commerce post-purchase experiences for its partner brands. By enabling ultra fast delivery (including sub 2hr) and on-brand, customizable post-purchase communications, Ohi helps brands deliver a positive and powerful post-purchase experience that keeps customers coming back for more.

The impact? Ohi brand partners see significant ROI, including an average 28% increase in conversion and up to 120% higher repeat purchase rates.

It’s how you foster brand loyalty!

To build long-term brand loyalty, emphasize how your customers will benefit from sticking with your brand. Setting up a memorable post-purchase experience will help you influence how your customer thinks, and most importantly, how they feel about their purchase and their relationship with your brand.
When you deliver exceptional post-purchase experiences, existing customers develop loyalty toward your brand.

Part of the reason for enhanced loyalty is that these positive customer experiences can help foster an emotional connection, which studies have found capable of driving as much as a 306% higher LTV for your online business.

An optimized post-purchase customer experience also leads to higher customer advocacy. 

According to Nielson, 92% of customers said they trust the product recommendations provided by their family and friends.

When you offer care and support even after they have purchased from you, you give them a reason to stick with your company.

A positive post-experience results in happier customers, higher retention, better reviews, and more positive word of mouth for your company. Make absolutely sure your brand is doing everything in its power to provide the best PPX on the market and drive as many potential consumers through the entire customer lifecycle, from the minute they encounter your brand to the point where they are self-propelled advocates for your brand and your products.

What helps people, helps business – Leo Burnett (American advertising executive) 

Post-purchase experience is not limited to a post-purchase “thank you” email. And going beyond just an email is the difference between standing out and fading out in the customer’s memory. You have to push the envelope – expand your idea of what a memorable post-purchase customer experience truly entails: from checkout and order updates to fast delivery and delightful unboxing experience, to post-purchase offers and beyond.

About Ohi

At Ohi, we’ve flipped the script for e-commerce fulfillment, transforming it from what is traditionally seen as a cost center into a growth engine. Brands join the Ohi platform to deliver powerfully fast, brand-focused, and memorable post-purchase experiences that enable them to grow. Want to learn more about how Ohi enables instant commerce? Get in touch today.

7 Ways E-commerce Businesses can Increase their Average Order Value (AOV)


While it’s important for e-commerce businesses to turn visitors into paying customers, how much a customer purchases per order is similarly important. And that’s why average order value (AOV) is a critical metric to improve in e-commerce.

So, what exactly is Average Order Value (AOV)? 

AOV is an important metric that helps e-commerce businesses understand the average dollar amount spent each time a customer places an order on a website or mobile app. It’s determined by dividing the total revenue by the number of orders.

Why is it an important metric to monitor for e-commerce businesses? 

AOV is an important metric for e-commerce businesses as it represents an integral component of an online store’s top-line revenue and provides actionable insights into customer behavior.

By measuring AOV, e-commerce businesses can then use a variety of best practices to increase the number and/or value of items per order, driving meaningful improvements to overall e-commerce performance.

Now that we’ve established what AOV is and why optimizing (i.e. increasing) it should be a priority, here are several proven ways to boost your website’s average order value:

1. Deliver “Fast and Free” for orders that meet a minimum spend amount

Free shipping is a tried and true way to entice customers into purchasing. Why not spice it up and offer ‘fast and free’ delivery to boost both conversion rates and AOV?

Many businesses are hesitant to offer free shipping because they think of delivery/fulfillment as a cost, and it doesn’t always seem intuitive to “eat the cost” of shipping. But, that’s exactly why it can make a whole lot of sense to offer “fast and free” delivery, as studies have shown that shoppers don’t want to pay extra for shipping and that fast/reliable shipping is shoppers’ #1 overall consideration when shopping online. By offering “fast and free” delivery, your shoppers can be incentivized to buy at a higher rate and add more to their carts than they normally would, increasing both conversion rates and AOV.

Ujji, a substitute for coffee, offers free 2-hour and same-day delivery with Ohi in Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, and Chicago. 

Other brands such as Bathing Culture also offer free 2-hour shipping with Ohi on orders of $50 or more and have seen AOV increase as a result of this tactic.

How to determine the threshold for “fast and free” delivery

You can calculate your cart order minimum using a modal order value or the most common order values. For example, if the majority of your orders are under $35, you could offer free two-hour delivery on orders over $50. 

2. Pre & post-purchase upsells & cross-sells

Upselling and cross-selling are tried-and-tested behavioral marketing techniques for increasing average order value (AOV). 

Upselling is a technique e-commerce businesses use to persuade their customers into buying an upgrade of the product the customer has added to their cart. Typically, an e-commerce business can do it two ways: (1) offer an upsell pre-purchase, that is, recommend the upsell before customers add the product to their cart. Or, (2) make an offer post-purchase. Many businesses do this via post-purchase emails, which typically have low conversion rates. However, there’s a better way to approach this. Making an offer after checkout — by sandwiching it between checkout and your thank you page — increases the likelihood of your customers accepting it. By utilizing this approach, you mitigate the risk of cart abandonment while still enjoying much of the upside upsells offer. 

To optimize even further, you can create a one-click purchase experience for your online store. CartHook enables an easy way for online stores to create post-purchase offers in checkout. 

This way, customers are more likely to accept the offer as doing so requires only one click and does not require them to re-enter their payment and shipping info. 

In contrast, cross-selling encourages customers to shop for related or complementary products. Similar to a pre and post-purchase upsell, you can offer your customers a pre and post-purchase cross-sell. For instance, if your customer adds a Vitamin C serum to their cart, you can always offer an eye cream to go with it. 

Amazon is one of the industry’s biggest users of upsell/cross-sell tactics. Amazon features an entire carousel of related products or products that go well together once you’ve added items to the cart. 

3. Provide bundle deals and bulk options

Group relevant products (or items commonly purchased together) as “bundles.” If you want customers to purchase more items, try creating product bundles that cost less than if the same items were purchased individually. Small discounts can entice customers into buying the set. Here’s an example from Dollar shave club

4. Start a customer loyalty program

A loyalty program is a winning strategy to help build your brand and your share of your wallet. Loyalty programs not only boost customer retention (or loyalty), but they also encourage people to add more items to their carts (increasing AOV) because every additional item added gets them closer to the next reward or tier.

Sephora’s Beauty Insider is one of the best examples of tiered, point-based loyalty programs. Members can win one point for every dollar spent in the store and work their way up the ranks from “insider” to “VIB” to “rouge.”

5. Create limited-time promotions

Limited-time offers work wonders on online shoppers because they create a compelling case for prospects to make a purchase by instilling a sense of urgency.

Understanding this, e-commerce marketers often leverage consumers’ fear of missing out (FOMO), or scarcity marketing, to capture the attention of consumers, get them to load up on products they perceive as rare, driving up AOV. Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales work so phenomenally because they stir up FOMO to dramatic effect (e.g. early-morning lines that span several city blocks).

Olipop launched its limited-edition holiday flavor just a while back!

6. Build trust with social proof 

89% of consumers worldwide check out reviews before buying a product. (Trustpilot, 2020)

Many customers have grown wary of marketing and instead only give credence to honest, real-life experiences from actual customers.

Social proof – reviews and feedback – has a significant impact on your potential customer’s buying decisions. If your products have received awesome reviews, make sure to showcase them on your store’s website. Doing a great job with customer reviews and social proof can give buyers the confidence they need to skip the obligatory test order (with one unit) — and instead load up their cart, increasing your AOV.

7. Establish a customer-first, flexible return policy

With the intense competition many brands are seeing in the e-commerce space, it’s more important than ever to be as accommodating to your customers as possible. Having a flexible refund policy can help mitigate any serious misgivings potential customers may have about purchasing from you while increasing AOV (by reducing the common fear shoppers have of getting stuck with unwanted merchandise).

Once you’ve set up your customer-friendly return policy, the next step is to ensure that you make it known to your customers. Your purchase confirmation emails, social media accounts, and website banners are some of the best touchpoints to highlight your (AOV-boosting) return policy.

 Untuckit displays its return policy very prominently (in its global header).  

AOV is important, but it’s not the only growth lever

While it’s true that increasing AOV is one of the best ways to boost revenue and profit, it is just one of many important KPI for your online store. It’s crucial that you track and optimize this metric alongside other equally important metrics such as conversion rate, repeat purchase rate, and customer lifetime value (CLV), if you want to maximize the ROI of your growth/marketing efforts. 

About Ohi

At Ohi, we’ve flipped the script for e-commerce fulfillment, transforming it from what is traditionally seen as a cost center into a growth engine. Brands join the Ohi platform to deliver powerfully fast, brand-focused, and memorable post-purchase experiences that enable them to grow. Want to learn more about how Ohi enables instant commerce? Get in touch today.

50+ E-commerce Stats & Facts You Need to Know for 2022 & Beyond

In the context of a continuing global pandemic, many consumers have increased their dependence on online shopping, forcing retailers and brands to invest in e-commerce at a breakneck speed.

With more and more businesses focused on digital sales, it’s more important than ever to understand the rapidly changing e-commerce landscape. 

Here are more than 50 insights into what’s transpired in the e-commerce world recently and forecasts for what’s ahead.

E-commerce General Stats

1. In the third quarter of 2021, e-commerce sales totaled $204.62 billion, up by 7% from $191.57 billion in the same period last year. (Digital Commerce 360)

While the figure in third-quarter 2021 is actually a drop from the second quarter same year, in comparison to the pre-pandemic Q3 2019, e-commerce sales increased by 46% in Q3 2021.

2. 48% of customers said in a January 2021 survey that the coronavirus pandemic has forever changed their shopping habits. (AlixPartners)

Meanwhile, many customers have said that brand loyalty just doesn’t matter as much anymore: the spending priorities too have undergone a tremendous change.   

3. E-commerce sales are projected to hit $6.5 trillion by 2023. (Statista)

Data from Statista also revealed that more than 2 billion unique people made at least one online purchase last year (2020).

4. By 2025, m-commerce is predicted to account for more than 10% of all retail purchases in the United States. (Statista)

When was the last time you opted to use your desktop or laptop to make a purchase online? The palm-held devices add to the convenience of shopping. 

5. Etsy, Walmart, and Chewy are the top three US retail businesses seeing e-commerce growth in 2021, with Amazon coming in fourth with 24.9% year-over-year growth. (eMarketer)

Amazon is predicted to outperform the top ten US retailers in e-commerce sales this year. Target has grown by 12.5 %, while Best Buy has declined by 3.1 %.

E-commerce has become an essential component of the global retail landscape in the past two-years.

6. 70% of shoppers purchased from a brand after watching a video on YouTube. (Think with Google)

Last year’s pandemic and worldwide lockdowns have not only changed the way customers buy, but also how. 

7. There are over 5,300 Shopify Plus stores in 2021. (Business 2 Community)

The number is constantly increasing. More and more retail businesses are going digital and consumers are finding comfort in online retail and e-commerce. 

8. According to data revealed by Similar Website on E-commerce and Shopping sites, the average visit duration was more than six minutes, and customers browsed more than six pages on each visit on the world’s biggest e-commerce and online shopping sites. (Similarweb)

As per the data, Amazon remains the top-visited site in 2021. 

9. Post-pandemic retail pharmacies are projected to account for over 1/4 market share in the sales of feminine hygiene products. However, online sales are expected to rise at the fastest CAGR among all distribution channels. (Persistence Market Research)

Most retail stores are expanding their feminine product offerings, both online and off the shelf.

10. There are an estimated 12-24 million online stores worldwide, with more launching every day. (SEMrush)

The pandemic and worldwide lockdowns contributed to this growth. 

11.  The first ever e-commerce online transaction was made by Dan Kohn in August 1994, who created a website called NetMarket.  (Smithsonian Magazine)

According to Peter H. Lewis of The New York Times, on August 11, Kohn sold a CD of Sting’s “Ten Summoner’s Tales” to a pal in Philadelphia.

12. In 2022, online CPG sales will account for approximately 10% of the total US CPG market. (Statista)

This applies to all types of online shopping, including click-and-collect.

Online Shopping Stats

1. More than six out of every ten shopping journeys begin online. (Think with Google)

Smartphone and social media disruption has revolutionized online shopping, changing the shopping behaviors.  

2. 80% of online shoppers and 63% of mobile shoppers said that the cutting-edge tech and innovations have helped improve their experience. (National Retail Federation)

It stands to reason that these customers are aficionados of new technologies and breakthroughs, given that online shopping is built on cutting-edge tech.

3. By 2025, online grocery will account for 21.5% of total grocery sales in the US, more than doubling its present market share. (Supermarket News)

It was during the pandemic that online grocery sales exploded. 

4. More than 40% of worldwide customers have purchased things they found on YouTube. (Think with Google)

YouTube is already a prominent shopping destination in many aspects. Many of the video platform’s 2 billion users follow unboxing videos and product reviews.

5. According to the research ‘The Shape of Retail: Consumers and the New Normal’, 38% of customers mentioned they bought something online that they would not have bought before the coronavirus pandemic. (Alvarez and Marsal)

The following areas, in particular, saw growth:

  • Health
  • Hygiene
  • Home essentials
  • Food & beverage

6. Shopping online, according to 35% of shoppers, is a speedier experience from product selection to checkout, with 28% preferring the convenience of checkout, 19% preferring product selection, and 50% favoring convenience in general. (Inmar Intelligence)

Apart from convenience, the checkout process is what keeps customers buying groceries online rather than in-store.

7. In 2021, 54% of US shoppers bought at Walmart in-store, while 39% shopped online at (JungleScout)

Affluent, urban, or younger households are most likely to purchase groceries online, according to online grocery demographics. These demographics are understandably time conscious and prioritize convenience.

8. Around 65% of Amazon buyers prefer to do desktop shopping. They are making their searches and purchases on Amazon’s desktop site, and only 16.6% and 13.6% are using the mobile site and mobile app, respectively. (Statista)

In the age of smartphone technology and m-commerce, ‘65%’ isn’t a small number. 

9. In 2020, eBay was the second leading marketplace in the US, only second to Amazon. (Web Retailer)

 However, they only had $90 billion in GMV, which was much lower than Amazon’s. 

10. 97% of respondents in a survey said that peak holiday traffic is greater than non-holiday traffic. (Digital Commerce 360)

More people shop during the holiday season than during the non-holidays. 

E-commerce Cart Abandonment Stats 

1. 57% of shoppers will abandon the cart if a page takes longer than three seconds to load. (Sleeknote

Let’s be honest here, we’re all consumers in some way and neither of us has the patience to navigate through a slow-loading site. 

2. Cart abandonment costs e-commerce companies $18 billion in revenue each year. (Shopify)

The primary reason for online shoppers to abandon their carts is high extra costs. It’s why it is vital to be transparent about any extra costs. 

3. Industry experts are of the view that if e-commerce brands adopt the right checkout optimization strategy, they can increase conversions by 36%. (Sleeknote)

It’s not easy to get to this figure, but it’s certainly doable.

At the end of the day, it’s all about figuring out what’s wrong and putting in a deliberate effort to enhance e-commerce site design, promotions, products, and checkout flow, among other things.

4. A survey conducted by Baymard institute revealed that 55% of respondents cited higher costs as being the reason why they abandon carts. (Sleeknote)

While there are various factors at play, extra costs such as shipping, taxes, and fees were by far the most significant.

5. The same survey revealed that 34% said being forced to create an account is the second biggest reason why people abandon carts. (Sleeknote)

Cart abandonment is highly influenced by “the site required me to register an account”.

6. The study by Baymard also revealed that 58.6% of shoppers abandoned a cart within the last three months because they were just window-shopping or not ready to buy. (Netsuite)

You can still always throw in a casual reminder! 

7. 55% of shoppers will abort the purchase if they have to type in their credit card or shipping information again. (Sleeknote

This may not sound like such a big deal but customers get frustrated when they have to retype or re-enter any details all over again. A healthy user experience is just as crucial to cart conversions. 

8. According to a poll of 1,100 US-based consumers conducted by Retail System Research, 90% will abandon a site if it does not load in an acceptable amount of time. (Digital Commerce 360)

No one likes a slow-loading site and most customers will find another retailer. Better it be your site than a competitor’s. 

9. According to Shopify various reports cited that being forced to create an account, complicated checkout processes, unexpected delivery costs, concerns over security are major reasons why their customers abandon shopping carts. (Shopify)

These problems can be fixed with a little bit of consideration with respect to the user experience.

10. Consumers in North America expect free delivery on their online shopping orders. (Plytix)

In fact, half of these customers will abandon their carts as soon as they find out there is a shipping charge.

E-commerce Delivery Stats 

1. E-commerce customers want free and fast shipping according to The Future of Commerce 2021 report by Shopify. (Shopify)

In 2021 speed is everything. Now that the customers have had a taste of faster delivery options, they won’t have their orders delivered within the typical 3-4 day delivery window. 

2. 68% of consumers said fast shipping would lead them to place an online order, according to a February 2021 Digital Commerce 360 survey. (Digital Commerce 360)

Speed, access to funding, faster ways to pay using digital wallets, and more flexible payment options like instalments are all things that e-commerce customers seek.

3. 7-Eleven was the first to successfully complete a Federal Aviation Administration approved drone delivery in July 2015. The retailer partnered with drone operator Flirty to make the delivery. (Capegemini)

Since then, several retailers have pivoted to drone deliveries. 

4. According to a February 2021 Digital Commerce 360/Bizrate Insights survey on multichannel buying, 36% of e-commerce consumers had requested same-day delivery from a web-only business, that’s a 12% increase from August 2020. (Digital Commerce 360)

Some of the stats shared previously point out that most customers are rather more comfortable shopping via desktop than a tablet or a mobile device. 

5. After a bad delivery experience, 72.7% of customers said they are reluctant to shop with an online store again. (RetailWire)

It only makes sense; failing to deliver to the customer’s expectations is a deal-breaker. 

6. The number of shoppers opting for same-day delivery from a traditional store has increased to 26% from 14%. (RetailWire)’s delivery practices likely have influenced a lot of the changes in consumer attitudes towards shipping.

7. If a competitor offers a faster delivery service 55% of customers will switch to them. (RetailWire)

In the era of same-day and two-hour delivery, 3-4 day delivery windows just may not suffice. 

8. According to a new Loqate Survey report, late deliveries are a concern to 87% of customers, and 41% are hesitant to purchase again from a retailer that delivered their package late. (Chain Store Age)

It is pretty evident that an enjoyable last-mile delivery customer experience is imperative to repeat business.

9. In an analysis of some of its big partner brands that offer both 2-hour delivery and same-day delivery, Ohi discovered that orders delivered with same-day delivery were associated with up to 30% higher repeat purchase rates than standard UPS/FedEx. (Ohi)

In a world where Amazon is offering prime same-day delivery, customers no longer want standard shipping. They want the fastest option available at the checkout.  

10. 57% of 500 respondents of a survey by Sift said they would pay at least 10% extra for eco-friendly packaging/shipping. (Sift)

Even consumers who don’t quite care as much about the environment wish to have their orders delivered via environment-friendly delivery options.

Social Commerce Stats

1. In 2020, social commerce sales in the US were estimated at nearly 27 billion US dollars. By 2025, social commerce is projected to reach 79.6 billion US dollars and account for 5.2 percent of US retail e-commerce sales. (Statista)

Social media is where brands are targeting their audiences because that’s where millennials and Gen Z are found. 

2. 64% of marketers in a global 2021 survey said they planned on increasing their use of Instagram in the near future; 21% said they planned to increase their use of TikTok advertising, meanwhile, 68% said they didn’t intend to use the mobile video sharing app for marketing purposes. (Statista)

Popular social media platforms are growing in terms of size and each platform has a unique audience.

3. 8 in 10 ten US businesses anticipate adopting social commerce within the next three years. (Statista)

57% of the small businesses in the study mentioned they sold via social media, and approximately 71 % are planning to sell on social media within the next 36 months.

4. As many as 36% of internet users i.e. 90.2 million people in the US are social buyers. (Insider Intelligence)

As brands continue to use social media checkout and shopping add-ons, tech-savvy Millennials and Gen Zers who are comfortable with and motivated by influencer content will likely engage with social commerce more frequently.

5. As per a June 2021 survey, 35% of participants said social media ads affected their buying decisions. For Gen Z respondents, the number rose to 75%. (Statista)

Going forward in the post-pandemic settings e-commerce businesses cannot afford to overlook the impact of social media on customer buying behavior.

6.54 % Z shoppers and 58 percent of Millennials believe that social media platforms are more effective than web searches for discovering new products. (Statista)

This survey by Statista was conducted in the United States in May 2021 and comprised more than 2,500 consumers from across the country.

7. In a live stream by Facebook, CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed that Facebook and Instagram Shops have over 300 million visitors annually. (TechRadar)

The number is remarkable provided that Facebook only introduced its Shops a year ago,

8. According to Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg there are more than 1.2 million monthly active Shops on its platforms. (TechRadar)

And the number is expected to increase. 

9. YouTube in Q3 of 2021 enabled video action campaigns on connected TVs to make its ads more shoppable. (Google)

CTV collection is now included in video action campaigns to support advertisers, obtain new customers and boost online sales.

10. In the United States, Facebook and Instagram are the most popular platforms for learning about, discovering, and buying fashion apparel. (Retail Dive)

Over half of users said the content they see in their feeds has compelled them to make a purchase.

11. According to eMarketer, only 18.7% of consumers used a social app’s checkout system to pay for their most recent purchase, while 57.8% concluded the transaction via the retailer’s website. (eMarketer)

Most Americans are using social media to explore and research products. Social commerce is another trend that was set off during the pandemic. 

At Ohi, we’ve flipped the script for e-commerce fulfillment, transforming it from what is traditionally seen as a cost center into a growth engine. Brands join the Ohi platform to deliver powerfully fast, brand-focused, and memorable post-purchase experiences that enable them to grow. Want to learn more about how Ohi enables instant commerce? Get in touch today.