56 Strategies To Increase Average Sale Transaction for Local Small Business

What is Average Transaction Value?

The Average Transaction Value refers to the average amount of money that customers spend every time they buy from you. It's also known as: Average transaction, unit per transaction, average transaction size, average transaction amount, average sale per customer, average Dollar per sale, or average amount per sale.


Ideally your business should be maximizing the value of every sale. There are many selling techniques you can use to get more out of each sale. You need to offer your customers more options, packages and deals. Up-selling, cross-selling, and packaging your products together or with products and services from other businesses can help you make the most out of each sale.

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It can also be as simple as asking the customer to buy. Take McDonald's as a great example: Years ago they created a simple strategy for increasing the average transaction value per customer by asking every customer that bought from them; "… and will you be having fries and a drink with your meal today?"

 About 30% of the time people say "yes", even though it may not have been in their mind. The effect is a 30% increase in sales of fries or drinks and an over 100% increase in profit contribution from those lines.

Average Transaction Value formula

By adding up your total sales and divide it by the number of sales done, you can estimate an average amount people spend every time they buy from you. What we like to do is increase the amount a person spends every time he or she buys from you. How we're going to do it is to monitor your total sales over a certain period of time and find out what your average transaction value (Dollar per sale) was.To increase your average transaction value or average Dollar per sale we need to implement new strategies that will increase this amount. On the other hand, it's nice to know which customers spend the most with you, so that you can reward this loyal customers and innovate ways to ensure they stay loyal to you. These are general strategies that are working for thousands of businesses, but not all of them may be best for your special business.

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Table of Contents

List of 56 Strategies to boost your Average Transaction Value

Set an average transaction value target:

It is important to have an average transaction value, or average Dollar sale goal to work towards, a goal that everybody in your company should know about. Monitor the results so that you can improve on your strategies if necessary.

Increase your product or service prices:

You can also increase your average transaction value by increasing your prices. If you make small incremental changes over a period of time, people will have less difficulty adapting to it, compared to a sudden price escalation. Nothing will increase your profits faster than this, and there are hundreds of easy ways to increase prices without losing customers, but this is not the best way to boost your average Dollar sale. You can even let your customers know the price is going up on a specific future date. If they want the product at this price, they need to order it now.  

Sell value and not price:

People don't buy products or features; they buy benefits – and experience. They don't buy the stereo; they buy the 'beautiful sound', the happy, positive feeling they will receive.


More than 80% of most purchasing decisions are made upon emotion. It's important to highlight the benefits of your product or service and how that will change your customers' lives. You need to know what they are thinking.


If you have done enough research to know who your perfect customer is, and what they exactly want, then connecting your product and service with their needs should be simple.


How will your customers benefit from using your products or services? Benefits get people's attention. Benefits are what people want most. How you communicate benefits to people and mean the difference between success and failure. People want to know what's in it for them.

Ask the people who already support you to buy more:

If you don't ask, you don't get to know the answer. Next time you chat with a customer, ask him or her if she would like to buy an additional one to go with or some extras to complement the original product. 90% of the time the customer is uninformed of all the extras they can buy to mix and match. Tell them about your special promotions, competitions, and new launches. This is a great way to increase your average transaction value.


For example, McDonald's, asks the question. "…and will you be having fries and a drink with your meal today?" About 30% of the time people say "yes", even though it may not have been in their mind. The effect is a 30% increase in sales on fries and drinks and an over 100% increase in profit contribution from those lines. 

Do not allow discount:

It is not always wise to give a discount to close a sale, rather offer an incentive. Discounting will not only reduce sales revenue and the average transaction value but also decrease your profit margin. Rather add value to your product or service that will lead to an increase in average transaction value, sales, and profitability. 

Up-sell your products or services:

To up-sell (Sell them more) your products or services to your customers, you need to make sure that the customer is happy with the product before you sell them more. Try to sell a higher-priced quality item or more advanced version of your product or service to your customers. If price and budget are more of a concern, sell a less expensive product.

Give them a choice of different colors, sizes, shapes, and pricing. This is a great strategy to increase average transaction value. You can also do it by asking customers to buy more. Remember how 18% of MacDonald's total Sales come from asking a simple question "Do you want fries with that". So find a way you can use the same strategy for your business. Creative ways to do this can be with a thank you note, catalog, telephone call or a one-time offer.

Cross-selling or add on sales on products or services:

Cross-selling is the promotion of other items that customers also would like to buy, based on the initial products in which they have shown interest. You can display impulse items alongside related goods or pictures of them at the pay point to tempt buyers before they leave your store.

Sell customers more products that promote or compliments the product or service. For example, if you sell your customer soap, sell a nice container with it or a refill packet. If you sell your customer bolts, try to sell some washers also. If it means you must make use of another company's products together with yours, do it.

Down-sell on products or service:

By showing the more expensive version of your product or service first to the customer and then the less expensive one, the customer will think that the product or service the customer originally had in mind, is really cheap.

Make use of Checklists:

When a customer buys a product go through a checklist to see if the customer won't need anything else. If a customer buys a puppy, ask if he will need some dog food, a blanket, dog shampoo, and maybe a brush. See that your checklist is well suited for all your products and services.

 Use survey forms:

Hand out survey forms, consisting out of questions, to your customers so that they can tell you what they want. The more they can tell you, the more you will know about their needs and wants. With this questionnaire, you can fill their needs and also know what more to sell to them. Use creativity to get to the bottom of your customers' hearts.

Use either/or questions when selling: 

When a customer has a choice, he's more likely to buy. Give your customer a choice by asking which color does the client prefer, when do they want it, and how do the client wants to pay. It's an effective way of closing a sale.

Use buttons as a 'ask me' tool: 

Buttons are a cheap and effective way to prompt customers to ask about special offers. They can also start conversations that allow employees to sell other products or services. Tailor your buttons to specific specials or use a general button that reads, "Ask me about today's special".

Use the telephone to do upselling: 


After the operator has taken the order, try to do a "Columbo": Oh, just one more thing. We have a special offer only for today's callers – would you like to hear about it? Or Oh, just one more thing – we have an extra special offer just for today's callers – would you like to hear about it?

Make use of effective Sales scripts:

Each sales call is a golden opportunity for you to intensify your relationship with the caller. Your phone should be answered the same way each time and professional through and through. If you have to put the customers on hold play a message advertising your product or service or telling them about a special currently running.

Offer options:

Propose to your client the expensive product or service first and then the less expensive one. Show your customer first the top-of-the-range product. Tell your customer about the features and benefits and unique qualities of this product. If it is possible to show the customer how the product works and then sell the lower priced item if the customer's budget cannot accommodate the higher-priced item.

Offer the best deal and not the cheapest:

Explain what the benefits of your product or service are and how that can help the customer with his buying decision. People don't necessarily go for the cheapest product or service; they buy to fill a need.

Pareto's law, or the 80/20 principle:

Basically, Pareto's Law works on the principle that approximately 80% of the turnover will come from approximately 20% of the stock. This ratio applies to any kind of business, even a service one, and a solid strategy to increase the average transaction. So start by categorizing your stock or service into:

A – The top sellers; i.e. roughly 20% of the total amount of stock or services offered, which account for approximately 80%, due to higher gross margins.
B – The average sellers, which account for roughly 30% of total stock, with a sales contribution of approximately 10%.
C – The poor sellers, which account for approximately 50% of items in stock, with a sales or profit contribution of approximately 10%.

These percentages may vary from business to business and industry to industry, but the basic principle tends to hold true 'A' products, the winners, are obviously the most important, as they provide the bulk of sales (and profit as well), and should always be in stock. 'C' products, the poor sellers, do not sell in volume, and therefore do not have to be 100% stocked. These may even be phased out in favor of a better selling line in due course.

Store more high-priced products:

Supply higher-margin products also for those who may request them and have the money to pay for them. But make sure it will sell. You can use the good, better, best, product strategy, where you offer 3 different price options and let the customer decide. In most cases, customers will take the middle option. This will make a big difference in your average transaction value

Diversify: 

Broaden your horizons and expand your variety of products. Automatically you will give your customers and prospects a bigger choice of options. This will lead to more sales than usual.

Offer new innovative products:

Offer new items from time to time to your growing customer list.


Present only quality products and service:

Quality is what the customer says it is and is willing to pay for so find out how your customer defines quality. Sell quality and added value and not price. People will pay more for quality, so you can charge more and increase your profit.

Carry a selected range of products or services:

By selling your own selected range of merchandise, you make sure you're the only one that has it. There will be no competitors and people will buy only from you if they really want or need the product or service you offer. One, you have a market to yourself, and two, you have no competitors to compete against. You can go so far as to ask your customers what changes they should like or what new innovations they seek and adapt this to your new product or service.

Close joint ventures with other companies: 

Joint ventures with other related, but non-competitive businesses is and the way they work together to increase transaction size by promoting and selling each other's products or services. This can work well as long it's related to each other in some way and complement each other. For example, a company that sells printers could also sell copy paper or stationery. This will allow you to increase the average sale.

Reorganise your store's layout and stock: 

The overall layout and image of your place of business must look attractive to customers. This place must look neat and tidy, there must be enough space to walk and it must be easy to find something. Shelves should be well stocked and in a logical way packed.

Attract your customer to your products: 

This can be a colorful display on each shelf, informing the customer of the product on a specific shelf, its features and benefits, and what accessories go with it. Use bin labels for smaller accessories to state the color, size, and description for customers to easily locate. You must attract your customer to your products.

Let people buy spontaneously: 

This works like a bomb, especially for increasing the average transaction value! Place items like sweets or magazines near counters where customers have to pay. The longer they wait, the more they will see, and the greater the chance will be that they will buy something. Effectively used where mothers have their children with them or in clothing stores where the ladies can look at the latest magazines. For the creative ones, think out of the box and place extraordinary items or funny items – attractive items – near the counter or a place your customers can't miss them!

 Charge additional services:

Charge additional services like your time and knowledge. If you charge people for your time and knowledge it will add more credibility to your product or service and they will have more trust in you because you will look more professional. You will also have the advantage of getting only the people that is serious about your product or service.

Bundle to increase the average transaction value: 

Bundle extras together as a single-price package. As an added temptation, feature a special package price tied to purchasing the original item. If a key product or service isn't selling well, add a premium of lesser value to it. Choose something that works within the theme of your overall advertising campaign or promotion. This will help leverage the drink campaign in-store.

For example, if promoting activewear, a free branded energy drink and protein bar would be a good way to raise your average dollar sale. Select items that have high appeal to your customers. What's new and hot right now? Items that support the charity can be very powerful. 95% of customers who view a business as supportive of the community say that they will continue doing business with that company. 68% agree that they will pay more for a product that is linked to a good cause. Purchase a fundraising item from a charity and offer it as a bundle sale to your customers.

Offer your customer service contracts:

If you are selling a product ask the customer to sign a contract with you to service that product for a certain period. If you are selling consumables, ask for a contract so the customer will use you for a certain time period. Just remember to give prompt and quality service. No matter what you offer, try to sign your customer on for a period; maybe he or she will become a lifelong supporter!

Add a delivery service as an extra:

If you want to increase your average Dollar sale, this is a perfect way to do it. First of all, you make it easier for your customer by delivering the product to the customer's house, you make it easier to buy the product from you and you earn the extra income. You also can offer to package and mail items to customers at a minimal fee.

Charge for extra services you may provide: 

Charge for mailing monthly newsletters, sending off packages, and being part of a club where the client receives pamphlets or extra news. Provide a service where you sent the client's package on behalf of them to the person they would like it to be delivered to (like flowers).

Offer special rates:

Offer special rates to companies buying in bulk or to individuals buying more regularly than most other customers.

Offer a gift when buying a certain amount:

If a customer buys for more than a certain amount, give the customer a gift. This will encourage customers to buy for more when they visit your store.

Generate specials on Bulk buys:

Promote a special price if a customer buys in large quantities. This way the customer will save and get used to using your product or service and will return when running out of stock again. It will also help you to sell more and increase your average transaction value.

Add value to your products or services:

Add extra value for your customers to a sale by giving them something for free. Give an extra product if they purchase for the first time, or give them a service for free with every 5th purchase. In other words, you're giving away extra value.

Offer more value for more transaction value:

Offer more value to your products and services to encourage people to buy again. Add additional services or products on top of the product that the customer is buying. At the end of the day, the customer does pay more but they are getting more value. Sell the value that you are giving the customer.

Create a minimum amount when placing an order:

To compensate for travel expenses and still make a profit, you need to put in place a minimum order amount. This will also cover your delivery cost.

Offer a bonus for purchases above a certain value:

When customers buy for a certain amount and more, give them an incentive, discount, or points. Just remember to set the figure 20% higher than your existing average Dollar sale. 

Run specials like buy-one-get-one-free:

This is a great way of getting rid of that old stock on your shelves that you just can't get rid of! You can use it as a way of introducing a new product to your customers, and then you won't risk not selling products just because people aren't familiar with it. On the other hand, to use products with a reasonable mark-up is the ideal opportunity; just check with your suppliers first.

If the profit margin allows you, make up packages where you sell two or more for the price of one product. With the thought of not getting such an offer again, people will buy more than they usually do. Just make sure your mark-up allows you to still make a profit.

Ad extra warranty or insurance on your products:

Ask your customers if they would like to get an extended warranty or insurance on the product they have purchased. This leads to larger transactions and larger average transactions. 

Provide easy payment choices:

Provide easy payment choices for your customers like credit cards, debit cards, cash, or cheques. This way you make it easier for them to spend more money than they've planned to spend.

Allow Financing or payment terms:

The initiative for you is to take your price, however low it may be, and break it into even lower numbers. If the cost for what you sell is R1000, you can say, "That's only five small payments of R200 each." This will make your products or services more affordable. Another way to do this is to mention that you accept all credit cards.

 Allow customers to exchange products:

Exchange an old product for a new one, or an older model for a newer model, while the customer then pays less for the new product. You can then re-sell the old product to another customer or company. 

Allow people to do lay buys:

Lay-buy means to pay now and receive the goods when the final payment has been made. For people who can't afford the full amount now this is a nice way of getting the product they really want in a more affordable way. Also, you get the chance to see them more regularly in your store for payment and maybe more purchases.

Build a relationship of trust with customers:

To build relationships and trust is to ask your customers questions and to really listen attentively to them. Use their 'language' and call them by name. By knowing your customer you should be able to give them proper advice and assistance regarding your products and services. By doing this you will be able to assure them of the correct decision that your product or service is the answer to their problem or need.

Make sure your customer is informed:

Make sure your customer is informed of your full product or service range. Your customers must know exactly what you sell and how you sell it. Keep them up to date with new innovations and changes. Introduce them to your whole product range and never assume they know. Remind them because customers tend to forget. 

 Provide a service or product catalog:

Your customers must know exactly what you sell and how you sell it. Keep them up to date with new innovations and changes. Introduce them to your whole product range and never assume they know. Remind them because customers tend to forget. Give them a list of items, features, and prices. 

Inform and educate your customers to spend more:

It is very important you educate your customers on your products and services and how your company does business. Together with that, you have to give spectacular customer service so that your customers keep coming back to you. Follow up regularly to keep in touch with them and give them feedback from time to time.

Run regular promotions:

Run regular promotions on your products or services in your store with the goal to increase average transaction value. During open hours run promotions like specials, add-ons, product demonstrations, or a celebrity in the store entertaining people. You are not only going to attract new customers, but you are going to keep the existing ones because they will be on the lookout for the next special promotion. Making money while having fun! Think about competitions and a way to make them worthwhile.

Focus on value and not price:

Focus on value and not price when informing your clients about your products or services. The main focus of a product should be on the features and benefits, not on the price. Draw the attention to convenience and satisfaction by telling the customer what he would benefit from by buying your product. People buy into benefits. More value and benefits lead to a bigger average transaction value 

Give sales team sufficient training and incentives:

The salespeople in a company are the most important people in the organization. Those are the people that the customer will see and talk to when walking into your business. Your sales will depend upon these people. What they know, how they walk and talk, how they look and how they manage to handle customers depend on how you are looking after them. Give them sufficient and necessary training, set sales targets and standards, give them incentives, and let them feel special.

Build on image, excellence, and professionalism:

Ensure a professional image at all times. Make sure your team members are neatly dressed each day; your store is neat and organized. Check that your vehicles are clean, visibly marked with your company logo and motto on them, and well driven. Teach your team to take pride in their work and surroundings while putting their customers first. This will give you an image of superiority and excellence.

Give quality and superior image to your store, vehicles, and your workers – one of excellence. Look and act professionally. By doing this you will attract the more sophisticated kind of customer with the money to purchase expensive and profitable products that leads to a higher average transaction value. 

Rewarding sales team on bigger sales:

Offer bonuses or big incentives to your salespeople (make it something they really want) for sales targets reached. If you achieve to keep the spirit high it will lead to super-duper sales. Give salespeople targets and incentives for increasing minimum average transaction value.

 Choose only customers that's worth all the effort:

Choose your customers by servicing only the customers that are worth all the effort. Divide your customers into groups. One group will be the customers who spend more money and are less of a hassle, and the other group will be the group of people, who you need to make how your business operates and what you expect from them. 

Get rid of customers that cost you money:

Make it clear to this type of customer how your business operates and what you expect from them. These are the customers who are the most demanding, make late payments, and take most of your time and money. Get rid of them! They cost you more at the end of the day.

Reward customer loyalty with special treatment:

Reward your loyal customers with special treatment when they spend above an average transaction amount. This special treatment can include receiving free merchandise or service, special offers not available to other customers, and special privileges. Stamp or bonus point programs have been around retail for years.

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About the Author Hans

Hans had 40 of his own businesses over the last 30 years and is famous for creating fast-growing businesses” He is an author, speaker, coach, and consultant and a specialist in business optimization and turnaround, helping smaller business owners eliminate business limitations, threats, and growth challenges in achieving their sales, profit, cash flow, and income goals with sniper precision.

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