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Unprepared Ep 61 - Raising Average Order Value Without Being Spammy to Customers Daniel Demsky


  • [00:00] - Sponsor: Rewind
  • [00:40] - Intro
  • [01:55] - How well the upsell motivator works
  • [02:40] - Finding balance for upselling
  • [04:17] - Building a tasteful upsell strategy
  • [07:00] - Custom integrations to make buying easy 
  • [09:17] - Other website features 
  • [10:57] - Solutions for customer journey
  • [12:37] - Parting words


Key Points

  • Unbound Merino is a clothing company that showcases high-quality merino wool clothing. The company has some amazing upsell motivators on the website. 
  • They don’t focus on too many things because it seems more actionable that way. They also have a balanced strategy to add things to their customer’s cart through upselling and bundles to increase average order value. 
  • Average order value (AOV) and data metrics are the main things to look at to see whether the upsell motivator works. 
  • Unbound Merino tries to balance increasing based on business reasons and for their customers. They make sure that they have motivators on their website as much as possible without making it obtrusive to the customers.  
  • Making the buying or adding to the cart process easy for the customers helps increase the orders.
  • Upsells should not be intrusive to have a balance between upselling a product and using a motivator to increase a customer's cart size. 
  • The only real metric they look at is the AOV as a whole, and tastefully incorporate the motivator or tweak them as little as possible. 
  • You have to think of your customer, goal, and product to find the right balance for your strategy and not cheapen the experience for the customer. 
  • Without any of the apps, merchandising your stuff to have bundles is by far the most important thing you can do because people can see that they save a bit of money. 


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Chase Clymer  

Hey, everybody, welcome to another episode of Unprepared. Today, welcome to the show, Dan from Unbound Merino. How are you doing today?

Daniel Demsky  

I'm doing great. How are you? 

Chase Clymer  

Doing well, we're both battling the snow. But so back in the holidays, I bought some shirts from Dan's website. And I reached out to him afterward to set this up because they have some amazing upsell motivators on the website. 

And I think that people don't understand how important raising your average order value is. So I wanted to bring Dan to the show. And we're gonna talk a little bit about the strategy behind what they're trying to do to help increase their average cart size, and how that plays out in the grand scheme of things. So Dan, where do we want to start this?

Daniel Demsky  

You can just, I mean, you could ask me questions, I could dive right in where I think is a good place to start. I don't know, you lead?

Chase Clymer  

Well, I think what really got me was on the single product homepage for your guys’ flagship product, just the tee. I guess not a flagship, but one of them. 

There was a great little motivator there to instead of buying a single one go to the bundle. Do you guys have any math behind how well that works? I guess that's probably more of a technical question. But it worked on me.

Daniel Demsky  

You know, there are a million ways to slice up the analytics and the data that you get back from, you know, the back end of...we're on Shopify, so for our Shopify. And we made a vow to not focus on too many things, we try to narrow it down to the few things that we feel would be more actionable if we don't have an insanely robust data set we're looking at. 

Average order value is one of the top things that we look for. So, you know, we try to think of it in terms of what's the effect in our business in terms of the net results that we're getting. So the data metrics and average order value. 

But then try to look at the other end, which is from the customer’s perspective, which they don't care about our average order value. But from their lens, it's like, we want to add things to their cart because we want to get them to have more of our products because we do think our products are really, really good. 

So there's trying to upsell because we want to have happier, healthier business. And there's trying to upsell because if they buy a t-shirt, we also think if they tried our underwear, they might realize our underwear is the best for them. 

We think it's the best, but they might too, you know. So really we try to have this balance of increasing what goes into the cart for our own business reasons. But we also want to do it for them, but also do it tastefully. 

So there's always this balance. So you say like, you guys have a lot of motivators for adding this to the cart and in that cart and increasing the order value. 

Here, we're always trying to make sure we have as much of that as possible without beating people over the head of being one of those annoying, sort of spammy experiences. And that's sort of like our practice. But really, the thing, the only real metric that we're looking at is average order value, just as a whole. And then we tastefully try to incorporate any of these motivators as you call them throughout the experience to sort of get that out. 

And every quarter, we set a goal for what our average order value will be. And we just work towards that and try to tweak all the little motivators that we have to make them as effective as possible.

Chase Clymer  

Yeah, I like how you highlighted you try to do it tastefully. That was something I wanted to bring up. You do it very tastefully. That's a great way of putting it. It is built into the theme. It feels natural, it feels like it should be there and it's not jutting and jarring or anything like that, as you kind of see what some of the off-the-shelf solutions. 

I know that you guys have probably worked with a great team to get this thing done. You can tell. And what it does is it seems natural to you know, go from one t-shirt to three. Seems like a natural easy process in my customer journey versus some of the other solutions out there that you know to take me out of it. 

And I'm like oh wait, what's going on here? I'm getting sold and you never want to be sold, really. You want to buy. That's two different things.

Daniel Demsky  

Especially for you know, we, I guess would be a luxury item because you know, it's merino wool. It's not cheap. So the price points for the clothing that we sell, it's considered a luxury. 

And there's a really fine line between, you said it, being sold, which could make it seem like the experiences cheapened. People they don't want to feel... I've heard this before. And I do believe it's true, people do love to buy, but they don't love to be sold.

And that is the sort of tasteful line you have to find. You have to navigate in. And so a lot of websites, you're right off the, you know, out of the box solutions, you know. 

It could be not just for upsells and things like that, but there's one very popular when I see where you go, and they want to, it's like an email capture. 

You see it on many websites where you get a spinning wheel and you get 5% percent or 10% or a $100 gift card. And it's just like, I see it, and I immediately think, do these people not care about their own brand? 

You know, I can see that being a really fitting thing if you're selling like casino items. Like, if you're selling kitschy, like cheesy, like if it was like a store that felt like a place where he went to go crank a wheel, go crank that wheel. 

But it's not something you'd want to put on a store like mine. So again, it's really about finding that tasteful balance.

Chase Clymer  

Yeah, I mean, it's another thing when you're talking about tactics versus strategy. A strategy is to get more email subscribers, a tactic is using those wheels because they used to work.

And you know, they both are trying to do the same thing, but one is going to have a better result than another. Because you're gonna think about like, who your customer is, what your brand is. And you know, the goal in general. 

Back to your guys’ website and your brand. And I'm not kidding, you guys do a very, very great job with upsells. Like I called it a masterclass on Twitter the other day. But so on the I know on the product page for the t-shirts, just right below the add to cart button, you've got this like or save 20 bucks and to add to the three-pack to the cart.

And then you mentioned also, which I did notice was when you do add something to the cart within the cart, you're always trying to sell underwear?

Daniel Demsky  

Yeah, so there's a mini cart that pops up and that's a custom integration we did to try to get them to try because that's a big thing for us.  We look at how many people. The t-shirt is our core product. But anyone, I think we make the best t-shirt I really do. But some people and a lot of people agree but some people don't. Because they like a different fit of a t-shirt. 

If you like our t-shirt, you love our t-shirt. But there's no product we have that gets some more ridiculously loud praise than our underwear. 

So we have this like, we just got to get them to try it. Because if they do, they're going to hate every other pair of underwear they have in their drawer. So it's like in that mini car, we tried to make a really, really easy. You just got to click the size and add and it goes right into your cart. 

And if they already like our shirts, it could be their second or third, or fourth purchase. And they don't have our underwear. They might say, "you know what, I'm back, I might as well". 

We just kind of make it very easy. I might as well. It's just one pair. Try that one pair. So we try to slip it in there. And we end up building a lot of fans for life. If people are like, yeah, I'm so glad I tried this because it's literally the best underwear ever. 

Chase Clymer  

You hit the nail on the head there though if you make it easy. It's like I'm already in the cart. But to check out to one click to add this, might as well. You made it easy. 

Another thing to mention here is the bundle builder for the t-shirts is very intuitive, definitely custom. And it's easy to follow through and build your bundle there. So that's another place that you guys are showing, like just thinking about the strategy raising up and building something kind of custom to solve for that. 

Is there anywhere else on the website that I'm not bringing up that you guys put some effort in to try to either help people buy another product that they might like or, you know opt them towards a bundle or anything like that?

Daniel Demsky  

I'm glad that you preface this by saying you think that we do it very tastefully because as I was thinking about this before I got on the call with you. I was thinking, "Man, we should upselling a lot of places" and I was thinking like, "Do we upsell too much?" 

Because yes, we just talked about how when you add a t-shirt, we try to upsell to a three a bundle of three t-shirts. And then in the mini-cart on the side when you add it we have the underwear. Then when you're checking out we also have one there where we try to upsell socks. And then when you checkout, we have a post-purchase. 

So we really do it every part of the way. And I was scratching my head thinking, hmm, are we doing it tastefully? So I was sitting there going through our experience, I'm like, it's fine. 

It's because it's not intrusive. We're not blowing up in your face. But yes. So to answer your question, after the underwear upsell which is in that mini cart, in the checkout itself, there's another one. 

And then there's another one after you check out, after the transaction is complete, there's a post-purchase app that we have called Reconvert, which adds something to the cart. It adds a second order and then merges the order. So you get a deal on adding another item.

Chase Clymer  

Absolutely. And the thing I need to clarify here is you guys are a larger brand, and you're on Shopify Plus. Some of this stuff may not be possible on other tiers of Shopify. And obviously, I wouldn't know the solutions to even attempt to do it on other platforms. 

But you know, where you Reconvert is a great product. Are you using any other products that are kind of more off the shelf within the solution that you guys have tailored for your customer journey?

Daniel Demsky  

Yeah, there's one. The checkout one's called Order Bump. It's a very, very simple out of the box, that's the one and just like clicking the socks, the underwear, one is a custom thing that we did, but it works very similar to order bump, but it's just in the mini cart. 

The rest of it is like bundling. We just tried to think about some of it's not even upsell stuff but creating product bundles. This doesn't need to be an app. We have some custom stuff to make it work. But it doesn't have to be custom. 

We have different kinds of packs. If we have one that's like shorts and a t-shirt, we have warm weather when we have a two-pack bundle, which has been our most popular as two pairs of underwear, two pairs of socks, two t-shirts. 

Just merchandising your stuff to have bundles is I think, by far, the most important thing you can do. If you can bundle the stuff that you have. Because people will see that they save a bit of money. And if they're already there to buy some stuff, they might want to try a few things. 

So without any of the apps just merchandising stuff into bundles is I think the most important thing we've ever done and has helped us grow our average order value the most significantly.

Chase Clymer  

Awesome. That's so amazing. Thanks for coming on and sharing this with us. And I hope that some people out there take something away from this. 

Just the one thing I would end on here is this is essentially trying to recreate exactly what would happen in an in-person experience if you were trying to show your products in a store and explain to them all of what you have and how they could buy more and save money. 

It's essentially the same thing, but just trying to recreate it on a website.

Daniel Demsky  

Makes sense. And I apologize if you've been hearing snoring. I got a pug here. And he's been snoring the whole time. So if you've been hearing that, now you know why. 

Chase Clymer  

Is he the one that gives you all the awesome insights on how to grow your POV?

Daniel Demsky  

No more just a distraction and a little noise box near me but keeps me company in the pandemic.

Chase Clymer  

Oh yeah.Thanks a lot for coming on. I'm sure I'll reach out. Maybe we'll tackle different KPI in a couple of months and talk about how you guys are doing that.

Daniel Demsky  

Yeah, I'd love to. It's great to be on. Thanks so much, man. 

Chase Clymer  

All right. 

Daniel Demsky  

Take care.