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Understanding AOV marketing and driving loyalty for QSRs

By Team Fetch

July 21, 2023

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AOV marketing is any strategy used to increase the average order value at a restaurant. This often includes implementing loyalty programs and incentives, cross-selling, upselling and updating brand messaging to drive the desired purchase behavior. 

When marketers are working on how to increase average order value (AOV), they’ll start with an understanding of what consumers value and want from a given brand. Then, they’ll give consumers a clear path toward getting more value from that brand over time.

Quick service restaurants (QSRs) can focus on AOV to gain an edge with consumers who are seeking a high value on a budget. Marketing efforts that entice customers to spend more per order can also deepen those customers’ engagement with a brand.

Loyalty programs and rewards, like what Fetch offers brands and consumers, can help QSRs increase average order value. By incentivizing higher spends and repeat business, platforms like Fetch help brands earn customer loyalty and improve lifetime value. 

What is average order value?

Average order value (AOV) is the average amount a customer spends on an individual order. At its simplest, AOV is equal to the total sales revenue over a given period of time divided by the total number of orders during that same period. 

This is distinct from average basket size, which looks at the number of items in orders rather than dollars spent. Average per unit revenue is another related but distinct measurement. This calculates the average dollar amount a brand brings in per each individual unit of product sold. 

These metrics can help quick service restaurants (QSRs), retailers and other brands better understand customers decision-making. In knowing how shoppers and diners make decisions, brands can sharpen marketing strategies accordingly.

What is average order value marketing?

AOV marketing is any marketing strategy that aims to increase average order value. Marketers tap into sales data to make decisions when developing and implementing an AOV marketing strategy. 

Brands tend to rely on a few tried-and-true techniques for AOV marketing:

  • Upselling, or pitching consumers more expensive alternatives and add-ons
  • Cross-selling, or suggesting different products that make sense to buy together
  • Loyalty programs and incentives to encourage repeat business and larger orders
  • Introducing new products
  • Updating brand messaging in-store and across various marketing channels
  • Creating targeted or personalized offers

Why does AOV marketing matter?

An increase in average order value generally correlates with an increase in revenue. But AOV also serves as an important indicator of consumer loyalty. A customer who is willing to start spending more per order with a brand is confident that the brand’s offerings meet their needs. 

This creates an opportunity for marketers to cultivate consumer loyalty over time, driving further increases in AOV and improved customer lifetime value. In turn, brands can count on higher-spending repeat customers to spread the word to friends and family who trust their recommendations.

Spikes and drops in AOV tell marketers a great deal about how customers are responding to offers and messaging. A sharp increase in AOV may indicate that a newly introduced meal combo or bundle has hit its mark. If a brand’s AOV is stagnant or dwindling, it’s time to pivot to a new approach.

Depending on the price points of a given retailer or restaurant, marketers should also consider how unusually low- or high-priced items can skew AOV. A high-end fashion retailer and a budget fast-food chain will make sense of AOV in very different ways – and develop different strategies to increase AOV.

AOV marketing should draw on a detailed understanding of the segments within a brand’s customer base. Different groups of consumers will spend more or less in one order depending on budget and their specific needs. Increasing AOV amongst distinct audiences will often require a varied, segment-based approach.

How to increase average order value in QSRs

Upselling and cross-selling are key AOV marketing strategies in QSRs – as they are in most industries. Advertising materials, in-store service staff and digital ordering platforms can all play a role in upselling. 

In a typical scenario, a fast-food restaurant can upsell a given item by suggesting upgrades, like a size increase or an extra burger patty, or perhaps a switch to a plant-based burger. The restaurant might also recommend add-ons, like drinks, desserts and extra condiments.

QSRs most often engage in cross-selling by offering meal combos and value menus. It’s a common and obvious example, but the underlying principle is important: understanding which items people enjoy together and adding value.

How to implement digital AOV marketing for QSRs

Consumers have rapidly adopted online and mobile ordering, and they’re more likely to use self-service kiosks. This presents a wealth of opportunities for increasing AOV. People who order food online tend to spend more per order than people ordering over the phone or in-person. They also tend to spend more time looking over a restaurant’s menu, which provides marketers an additional chance to introduce a range of options and build lasting customer relationships. 

Digital ordering systems, whether on a mobile app or in-store kiosk, can make recommendations to consumers as they add menu items or browse in different categories.

As with traditional in-store menus and marketing materials, QSRs can strategically use the presentation of digital menus to increase average order value. Emphasizing combo deals, new menu items or items at a slightly higher price point are all ways to nudge a consumer toward a higher spend. 

And, as with the in-store experience, brands can increase AOV by making their digital platforms as appealing and user-friendly as possible.

Fetch can drive an AOV marketing strategy – and more

When quick-service restaurants want to shift purchase patterns forever, they turn to Fetch. The platform fuels customer lifetime value with a mutual value exchange. Brands offer rewards to diners when they buy certain menu items, purchase a certain number of items or spend a predetermined amount with a single brand. 

By incentivizing purchase behavior, Fetch helps brands build lifelong consumer relationships. And, with verified attribution, brands who partner with Fetch know the exact impact their AOV marketing tactics have on revenue. 

Fetch has a proven ability to drive repeat visits to QSRs. Ready to revolutionize your brand’s AOV marketing strategy? Get in touch with the Fetch for Business team today.

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