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Blog/Are You Leaving Money on the Table? 4 Strategies to Increase Subscriber AOV

Are You Leaving Money on the Table? 4 Strategies to Increase Subscriber AOV

Aura Bora has a diehard fan base that loves the brand’s “weird water” with unique flavor combinations. They’ve got a super successful subscription program, but they don’t want subscribers to just set-it-and-forget-it — part of the magic is trying new flavors. 

That’s why they make sure subscribers are the first to know when a new limited edition flavor drops.


Subscribers can add the limited-time flavor to their next subscription order right from the email announcement, or from the product carousel or in-banner ad in the customer portal. (And this strategy helped Aura Bora ramp subscriber AOV by about 10% after switching to Stay Ai! Check out the full case study here.)

Now, let’s dig into similar strategies for increasing AOV.

4 Strategies to Increase Subscriber AOV

Your subscribers are some of your most loyal customers. If you’re not working proactively to drive up AOV with this customer segment, you could be leaving money on the table.

1. Cross-selling and Upselling Opportunities

Subscribers often set-and-forget their subscription orders, so they might not revisit your product catalog as frequently as other repeat customers. That’s where offering cross-sells and upsells at strategic points across the subscriber lifecycle comes in.

It’s pretty simple math: if your consumers add new or higher-priced items to their orders, AOV will naturally go up. These cross-sell and upsell offers help you to showcase complementary or upgraded products and encourage customers to add on additional items — either as a one-time purchase or as part of the subscription.

You can feature cross-sell and upsell offers in a number of places, like:
– The buy box on your website
– Your customer portal
– Subscription notification emails
– One-off campaign emails tailored for subscribers.

Lifeboost uses a couple of different channels to put add-on products in front of subscribers, including a carousel of add-on products in the customer portal and special add-on offers within transactional emails (example below). In both cases, subscribers are able to add these products to an upcoming order in just a couple of clicks.


2. Flexible Bundling

Product bundles help brands increase their AOV, but customers love them too. They’re a great value add for customers who may want to try a few different things and will appreciate a small discount for buying multiple products.

But first, one note: make sure your bundling strategy fits your audience. Large bundles with a high price tag may not be the right call for every brand. While they can increase AOV in the short term, they can also lead to churn if subscribers start feeling like they can’t justify the recurring cost.

Fixed Bundles

Fixed bundles can serve as a way to educate customers on the products that work best together, enticing them to place a more expensive order than they would with just one product. Then, customers can choose to purchase once or subscribe and save.

One example of a fixed bundle are the skincare “routines” from Covey. They group their products by routines catered to specific needs or concerns that are meant to be used together, which helps customers to better understand which products they should use.


Two more important call-outs here:

– With the price strikeouts, they clearly show how much customers will save by purchasing a bundle vs. separate products.
– The Subscribe & Save button the added incentive of a 10% discount for subscribing

Build-Your-Own Bundle

When customers have different size, flavor, and frequency options, they need a more customizable bundle for exactly the shipment they want — and to easily adjust when their needs change.

Grinds makes it easy for subscribers to choose specific flavors and quantities of their caffeine pouches, so they can create exactly the variety of flavors they want each month. This flexibility contributed to Grinds’ 22% increase in three-month retention rate and 48% surge in subscription revenue.


3. Gamification Techniques

We’ve seen a number of gamification techniques work well across brands, to incentivize subscribers to engage and spend. Here are a few of them:

  • Rewards Programs: A well-designed rewards system can act as a gamification technique to incentivize your subscribers to spend more.
  • Loyalty Programs: Customers are rewarded for their continued engagement with a sense of exclusivity. Consider offering tiered benefits like exclusive discounts, early access to new products, or free shipping.
  • Points Systems: Assign points to actions like purchases, referrals, brand advocacy, etc., which accumulate to later be redeemed for discounts or exclusive add-ons.

4. Subscriber Discounts

Granting subscribers some kind of discount can incentive them to both add more products to their orders and, if the incentive is strong enough, remain a subscriber longer. There are a few different types of discounts you could consider offering:

  • Percentage-Based Discounts, like a 15% discount on new or featured products (as we’ll see in the Olipop example below).
  • Tiered Discounts, structured based on number or value of items added to an order. For example, you might offer an incrementally larger discount as a subscriber adds on more products.
  • Bundle Discounts, offering a reduced price or exclusive deal on pre-selected product combos or add-ons. We saw an example of this above with Covey’s skincare product bundles.

Olipop, like Aura Bora, offers their limited edition flavor drops to subscribers to boost average order value. So in upcoming order emails and SMS, they make it easy for subscribers to add the new flavor with a single click. Olipop also surfaces those offers in the customer portal, via the product carousel or the in-portal banners. As a reward for being a subscriber, they can add these new flavors to their order at the same discount as their subscribe-and-save products.


Receiving the subscriber discount on these new flavors is a huge incentive to purchase — and to remain a subscriber. Ultimately, these offers helped contribute to the brand’s 10% increase in add-on revenue.

Increase Subscriber AOV to Support Your Brand’s Profitability and Long-Term Growth

Increasing subscriber average order value is an area that often gets overlooked, but it has immense potential for revenue growth — as we’ve seen from brands like Olipop, Aura Bora, Lifeboost, and more. The TLDR?

  • Implementing cross-selling and upselling opportunities can entice subscribers with complementary or upgraded products.
  • Flexible bundling gives customers personalized choices, fostering satisfaction and encouraging larger purchases.
  • And a well-designed rewards or loyalty program with exclusive perks and incentives can motivate subscribers to spend more.

Remember, even small improvements can have a significant impact on your brand’s revenue, customer lifetime value, and overall profitability.


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