How to Calculate the Average Number of Items per Order
By Emil Kristensen CMO
@ Sleeknote

Running an e-commerce business requires careful attention to metrics that drive revenue and profitability. One such metric is the average number of items per order (ANPI). Calculating ANPI helps business owners understand how many items their customers typically purchase in a single transaction. This measurement is critical in understanding the behavior of buyers and driving business growth. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at ANPI, why it’s important, and how to calculate it effectively.

Understanding the Importance of Calculating Average Number of Items per Order

ANPI is an essential metric for any e-commerce business, as it helps to measure overall customer engagement and purchasing behavior. Understanding how many items customers are buying in a single transaction can help businesses to optimize inventory, streamline shipping costs, and improve revenue. Additionally, tracking ANPI can help e-commerce businesses make informed decisions about product offerings, promotions, and marketing strategies. By tracking ANPI, businesses can identify patterns in customer behavior and tailor their marketing efforts to encourage more significant sales per transaction.

Moreover, ANPI can also provide insights into the effectiveness of cross-selling and upselling strategies. By analyzing the ANPI of customers who purchased complementary or higher-priced items, businesses can determine the success of these tactics and adjust their approach accordingly. Additionally, tracking ANPI over time can help businesses to identify trends and changes in customer behavior, allowing them to adapt their strategies to meet evolving customer needs and preferences.

Key Metrics to Measure in E-commerce Business

Apart from ANPI, e-commerce businesses must track various metrics to drive success. Some essential metrics to track include customer acquisition cost (CAC), customer lifetime value (CLV), and conversion rate. CAC measures how much a business is spending to acquire a new customer. CLV measures the total value of a customer to the business over the customer’s lifetime. Conversion rate measures the percentage of website visitors who complete a specific action, such as making a purchase. When businesses track these metrics regularly, they can make informed decisions and improve overall performance.

The Role of Average Order Value in Improving Business Performance

ANPI is closely connected to another important metric known as the average order value (AOV). AOV measures the average amount of money spent by customers on each transaction. When combined with ANPI, they offer a full picture of customer behavior. By increasing both ANPI and AOV, businesses can improve revenue and profitability. Increasing AOV involves implementing tactics such as product bundling, up-selling, and cross-selling.

Factors Affecting the Average Number of Items per Order

Several factors can influence the ANPI of an e-commerce business. Some of these factors include pricing strategy, availability of inventory, shipping costs, and customer checkout experience. Customers are more likely to add extra items to their orders if they see discounts, free shipping, or complementary products at checkout. Businesses can improve ANPI by offering free shipping for orders above a certain threshold, providing rewards for loyal customers, and creating convenient checkout experiences.

Best Practices for Increasing the Average Number of Items per Order

Businesses can implement several best practices to increase ANPI. For instance, businesses can create upsell and cross-sell opportunities at checkout by showcasing complementary or accessory products. Another way to increase ANPI is by offering product bundles, where customers get a discount for purchasing items together. Additionally, businesses can implement loyalty programs that reward customers for making larger purchases. By implementing these best practices, businesses can drive revenue and improve customer satisfaction.

Tools and Techniques to Calculate Average Number of Items per Order

Calculating ANPI requires analyzing sales data. To calculate ANPI, divide the total number of items sold by the total number of orders. For instance, if a business sold 200 items in 50 orders, the ANPI would be four. It is crucial to continue monitoring ANPI regularly to identify trends in your customer data. Businesses can use various analytics tools such as Google Analytics, Shopify Analytics, and BigCommerce Analytics to make this task more manageable.

The Impact of Product Bundling on Average Number of Items per Order

Product bundling is an effective way to increase ANPI by encouraging customers to buy more items at once. Product bundling offers specific product combinations that complement each other and that the customer might not have purchased otherwise. This strategy works because customers’ perceived value for the products they are buying increases when buying in bulk. Offering a discount on the bundled products also provides an incentive to purchase more items. Successful businesses use product bundling to increase revenue and improve customer loyalty.

Strategies for Effective Cross-selling and Upselling to Boost Sales

Effective cross-selling and up-selling can help businesses improve ANPI. Cross-selling involves offering complementary products that customers might need alongside the current purchase. By contrast, up-selling involves offering a similar but higher-priced product than what the customer was initially looking for. To make these strategies effective, businesses need to understand their customers’ needs and preferences. For instance, if a customer is purchasing a camera, a business might offer complementary products such as a memory card, camera bag, or a tripod. These upsell and cross-sell tactics are highly effective and can increase a business’s ANPI and AOV significantly.

Case Studies: How Successful E-commerce Businesses are Improving their Average Number of Items per Order

Several successful e-commerce businesses have implemented ANPI optimization strategies to drive revenue and profitability. For instance, Amazon has mastered product bundling by offering a “Frequently Bought Together” section on their product pages. This strategy has driven significant revenue for Amazon by encouraging customers to buy more items at once. Another successful business, Dollar Shave Club, has leveraged upselling by offering bundles that include a razor, blades, and shaving cream. These bundles have increased the company’s ANPI and AOV and helped to drive significant revenue.


ANPI is a critical metric for any e-commerce business looking to drive revenue and improve profitability. By understanding the factors that influence ANPI and implementing best practices such as product bundling, upselling, and cross-selling, businesses can increase sales per transaction. By leveraging tools and analytics to calculate and track ANPI, businesses can make informed decisions and optimize their inventory, shipping, and marketing strategies. By implementing these strategies effectively, businesses can drive more significant revenue, improve customer loyalty, and grow their business.