What is AOV?

What Is AOV in Affiliate Marketing?

Are you an affiliate marketer looking to boost your earnings? Understanding AOV is key.

AOV, or average order value, directly impacts your bottom line. The higher the AOV of the products you promote, the more commission you can earn per sale.

Keep reading to learn exactly what AOV means in affiliate marketing and how to calculate it using a simple formula. 

What Is AOV?

AOV stands for average order value. In affiliate marketing, it refers to the average amount of money a customer spends on a single order for products or services that you’re promoting as an affiliate.

As an affiliate, you earn a commission – either a flat rate or a percentage of the sale price – each time someone purchases through your unique referral link or code. So, the higher the AOV of the products you promote, the more income you can generate per conversion.

For example, if you’re promoting a high-end software product with an average order value of $500 and you earn a 30% commission, you would make $150 per sale on average. Compare that to promoting a $20 ebook with a 50% commission rate, where your average earnings per order would only be $10.

Example of Calculating AOV

  • The AOV formula: Calculating AOV is simple. Just take your total revenue earned and divide it by the number of orders. If your affiliate links generated $2,000 in sales from 50 orders, your AOV would be $2,000 / 50, or $40.
  • Why AOV matters: Knowing the average order value of the products you promote helps you forecast your affiliate earnings and informs your promotional strategy. You can run the numbers to see whether it makes more sense to promote a high volume of low-ticket products or focus on driving fewer sales of high-ticket items with bigger payouts.
  • Finding your AOV sweet spot: While high AOV offers are appealing, the key is finding that sweet spot – products with a high enough average order value to make promoting them worthwhile but not so expensive that they’re out of reach for your audience. The ideal AOV will vary based on your niche and your audience’s purchasing power.
A team of affiliate marketers working on laptops

Why AOV Matters for Affiliates

Higher AOV equals higher earnings per click (EPC). Since affiliate commissions are calculated as a percentage of the total order value, promoting products with a higher AOV directly impacts your bottom line. For example, earning a 5% commission on a $500 product nets you $25 per sale, while the same commission rate on a $50 product only earns you $2.50.

A high AOV signals a premium, high-converting offer. Products commanding a high price point are typically well-established, reputable items that shoppers perceive as valuable. These tend to have optimized sales pages and convert visitors into buyers at a higher rate, meaning more commissions for you.

Comparing AOVs helps you select the best affiliate programs and products to promote. When evaluating potential affiliate partnerships, looking at each program’s average order value gives you a concrete metric to compare earning potential. Based on the AOVs of your past promotions, you can also gain insights into which types of products resonate with your audience.

  • Increased income stability: Focusing on high AOV offers means you can earn a full-time affiliate income from fewer conversions. This protects your earnings against fluctuations in traffic or conversion rates.
  • AOV reveals your audience’s buying preferences: Tracking the average order values of the products you promote shows you what price points resonate with your audience. You can spot trends over time, like if your audience starts buying more big-ticket items, and adapt your promotional strategy accordingly.
  • Higher AOVs support your marketing efforts: The higher commissions from elevated AOVs give you more wiggle room to invest in paid advertising, content creation, and other initiatives to drive traffic to your affiliate links and scale your affiliate business.

How to Find High AOV Affiliate Products

To maximize your affiliate earnings, you need to seek out products with strong average order values. But where do you find these high-ticket affiliate offers? Here are some strategies:

Research Top Affiliate Networks

  • Explore well-known affiliate networks: Clickbank, ShareASale, and CJ Affiliate feature a wide range of physical and digital products, including many with high price points. Browse their marketplaces to discover top-selling, high-value products to promote.
  • Look for big name brand partnerships: Affiliate networks that partner with major retailers, like Walmart or Target, give you access to promote trusted, high-quality products that shoppers are likely to spend more on.
  • Filter by product category: Many affiliate networks let you search for products by category or niche. Aim for categories that tend to have higher price points, like luxury goods, high-end electronics, online courses, or software.

Analyze Product Price Points

  • Set a minimum price threshold: When searching affiliate networks, filter products by price to display only those above a certain dollar amount. Aim for products priced at $100 or more to increase your chances of a high AOV.
  • Compare prices of similar products: If you’re deciding between a few different products in the same category, compare their prices. Promoting the higher-priced option will likely lead to a better AOV.
  • Consider the full customer journey: Some products may have a lower sticker price but compel customers to purchase add-ons, upgrades, or other complementary products that raise the total order value. Factor in these additional purchases when assessing a product’s AOV potential.

Consider Recurring Commissions

  • Promote subscription-based products: Customers who sign up for subscription products, like meal delivery kits or monthly beauty boxes, often have a high lifetime value (LTV). Even if the recurring payments are smaller, they can add up to a substantial AOV over time.
  • Look for annual payment options: Some subscription products offer a slight discount to customers who pay for a year upfront. These annual prepaid subscriptions can significantly boost the AOV, and you’ll often earn your commission on the entire year’s payment instead of just the first month.
  • Prioritize products with high retention rates: Recurring commissions are only valuable if customers stay subscribed over time. When evaluating subscription-based affiliate products, look for ones with high retention rates, which indicate satisfied customers who will continue generating commissions for you month after month.

5 Ways Vendors Can Increase AOV

As an affiliate marketer, partnering with vendors who actively work to increase their average order value can significantly boost your earning potential. When vendors implement strategies to encourage customers to spend more per transaction, you earn higher commissions on each sale. 

Here are five effective tactics vendors can use to increase AOV:

  • Offer product bundles: Vendors can group complementary products together and sell them as a package deal, often at a slightly discounted price compared to purchasing each item separately. Product bundles incentivize customers to add more items to their cart, increasing the total order value and, in turn, your affiliate commission.
  • Provide volume discounts: Offering discounts for purchasing larger quantities or higher-priced items can motivate customers to spend more in a single transaction. For example, a vendor might offer a 10% discount for orders over $100 or a “buy 2, get 1 free” promotion. These volume discounts encourage shoppers to add more to their cart, driving up the AOV.
  • Implement minimum order thresholds for free shipping: Free shipping is a powerful motivator for online shoppers. Vendors can set a minimum order value requirement to qualify for free shipping, like $50 or $100. Customers are often willing to add extra items to their cart to meet the threshold and avoid paying for shipping, resulting in a higher AOV.
  • Use upsells and cross-sells: Upselling involves encouraging customers to purchase a higher-priced version of the product they’re interested in, while cross-selling recommends complementary items to go with their purchase. Upselling and cross-selling techniques, like displaying related products on the product page or during checkout, can effectively increase the average order value by enticing customers to spend more.
  • Create a customer loyalty program: Vendors can incentivize repeat purchases and higher spending by implementing a loyalty program that rewards customers for their business. Loyalty programs might offer perks like exclusive discounts, free gifts with purchase, or points that can be redeemed for future purchases once customers reach certain spending tiers. Encouraging customer loyalty not only boosts AOV but also increases the lifetime value (LTV) of each customer, leading to more affiliate commissions for you over time.

When evaluating potential affiliate partnerships, look for vendors who actively employ these AOV-boosting strategies. Partnering with proactive sellers who continually optimize their offerings and customer experience to maximize order value will lead to higher affiliate earnings for you in the long run.

What Is a Good AOV for Affiliate Marketing?

  • The ideal AOV depends on your niche: AOVs vary significantly across different niches and product categories. Physical products like home goods or fashion items typically have lower AOVs in the $75-$150 range, while digital products like online courses or software subscriptions often boast higher AOVs of $200 or more.
  • Aim for triple digits: In general, top-earning affiliates shoot for promoting products with AOVs of at least $100. This triple-digit benchmark ensures you’re earning a substantial commission on each sale without promoting products that are too expensive for the average consumer.
  • Factor in your audience: A “good” AOV is relative to your target audience’s purchasing power and preferences. If your blog or social media following consists mainly of budget-conscious consumers, a $300 AOV might be too high. Analyze your audience’s past purchasing behavior to determine a realistic AOV range.
  • Consider your traffic volume: If you have a high-traffic website or large email list, you may be able to earn significant commissions even with a lower AOV. Conversely, if you’re just starting out with a small audience, focusing on higher AOV products can help you maximize your earnings per click.
  • Look at earning potential holistically: AOV is just one piece of the puzzle when evaluating an affiliate offer. Also, consider the commission rate, conversion rate, and cookie duration to fully understand an offer’s earning potential. Sometimes, a product with a lower AOV but a higher commission rate or better conversion rate can be more profitable than a high AOV product with a low commission or poor sales page.

How to Promote High-Ticket Affiliate Offers

Create Detailed Product Reviews

Crafting in-depth, honest reviews of the high-ticket products you promote builds trust with your audience and showcases your expertise. Share your personal experience using the product, highlight its key features and benefits, and address any potential drawbacks or concerns. 

To give readers a closer look, include visuals like product photos, screenshots, or video demos. Optimize your reviews for search engines by targeting relevant keywords and including your affiliate links throughout the post.

Offer Bonus Incentives to Buyers

Incentivize shoppers to purchase through your affiliate link by offering exclusive bonuses they can’t get anywhere else. Your bonus should complement the main product and add value to the customer’s purchase. 

Examples might include a companion ebook, video tutorial series, group coaching call, or discount on a related product. Promote your unique bonus offer prominently on your blog, social media profiles, and email list to entice shoppers to buy through your link.

Rank for Buyer Keywords

Attracting qualified leads who are ready to make a purchase is key to driving high-ticket affiliate sales. Optimize your affiliate website for buyer keywords – search terms that indicate high purchase intent, like “product name review,” “product name discount,” or “best product category.” 

Creating content around these bottom-of-funnel keywords brings in warm leads who are actively looking for information before buying.

  • Choose a niche-relevant domain name: Registering a domain name that includes your target keywords, like BestEspressoMachineReviews.com or OnlineYogaCourseGuide.com, can give you an SEO advantage and help you rank for buyer keywords. Visitors will instantly know what your site is about, signaling its relevance to search engines.
  • Invest in fast, reliable web hosting: Website speed and uptime are crucial ranking factors. Choose a reputable web hosting provider that offers fast loading times, minimal downtime, and responsive customer support. Managed WordPress hosting is a smart choice for affiliate marketers, as it comes optimized for WordPress performance and security out of the box.

Leverage Email Marketing

Building an email list of engaged subscribers lets you promote high-ticket affiliate offers directly to your audience’s inboxes. Email marketing drives higher conversion rates than other channels, making it a valuable tool for selling expensive products. 

Create a lead magnet, like a free ebook or email course, to entice visitors to sign up for your list. Then, nurture your subscribers with valuable content and strategically promote your high-ticket offers through email campaigns, newsletters, and automated sequences.

Partner with Complementary Affiliates

Teaming up with other affiliates in complementary niches can help you tap into new audiences and drive more high-ticket sales. Seek out partners whose products or services align with yours but aren’t direct competitors. 

For example, if you promote high-end kitchen appliances, you might partner with food bloggers, recipe creators, or cooking course instructors. You can promote each other’s affiliate offers to your respective audiences through guest posts, joint webinars, social media shoutouts, or co-branded email campaigns.

  • Look for affiliates with engaged audiences: Prioritize quality over quantity when choosing affiliate partners. An influencer with a smaller but highly engaged following in your niche will likely drive more sales than one with a huge but uninterested audience.
  • Set clear expectations: Establish clear guidelines for your affiliate partnerships, including what products you’ll promote, how you’ll promote them, and how you’ll track and attribute sales. Use affiliate tracking software to ensure each partner receives credit for the sales they generate.

Is Promoting High AOV Products the Best Affiliate Strategy?

While high-ticket products with impressive AOVs can lead to sizable commissions, they’re not always the easiest items to sell. Expensive products often come with longer sales cycles and more buyer objections, which can result in lower conversion rates. 

You may need to invest significant time and resources into pre-sale nurturing, like creating in-depth blog posts, comparison guides, or video reviews to convince shoppers to purchase.

On the flip side, promoting low AOV products typically leads to more frequent sales, as budget-friendly items tend to have shorter customer decision journeys. However, you’ll need to drive a higher sales volume to hit your income goals with lower-priced products. 

This often requires a substantial existing audience or a large advertising budget to get enough qualified leads to your affiliate links.

For most affiliates, the most effective strategy is a balanced approach that includes a mix of high, medium, and low AOV products. Diversifying your affiliate offerings with a range of price points lets you appeal to customers at different stages of the buyer journey and maximize your earning potential.

Ultimately, the best products to promote are ones that solve real problems or provide genuine value for your target audience, regardless of price point. Choosing relevant, high-quality affiliate products that align with your niche and your audience’s needs will always be the most sustainable approach. 

Focus on becoming a trusted resource for your audience and only recommend products you truly believe in. This authentic, value-first approach will help you build long-term affiliate success, whether you’re promoting big-ticket items or affordable everyday products.

Understanding AOV in affiliate marketing can significantly boost your earnings, and HostPapa provides the reliable hosting and resources you need to succeed in this space. 

With our fast, secure web hosting solutions, you can ensure your affiliate site always performs at its best, maximizing your chances of increasing AOV and commissions. Discover how HostPapa can support your affiliate marketing goals today.


Categorized as Marketing

Mike is a digital marketing pro and has built and hosted hundreds of his own websites over the past decade. He also writes about various other topics including sports, cyber security, and video games.

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