While selling online is inherently more profitable than a bricks-and-mortar store, there are still ongoing challenges of making sure that each sale is profitable. Adding a minimum order amount in WooCommerce is an excellent way to do this. Keep reading to learn how to set a minimum order price and prevent customers from placing low-value, unprofitable orders.
One of the most important elements of running an online business with WooCommerce is making sure your profits outweigh your costs. There are several factors which can make this difficult:
- Low product costs - If you’re selling low-cost items, then you run the risk of receiving orders which aren’t profitable. After all, what happens if a customer orders a $0.99 pen and nothing else? It’s probably not worth your time to package and despatch such a low value order.
- Unprofitable shipping costs - Cost of shipping can wipe out your profits if you offer fixed rate shipping methods and customers are only buying one or two inexpensive items.
As a result, you can wind up losing money on sales, dragging down your bottom line.
The solution is to implement a minimum order value in your online store. However, many shop owners aren’t sure how to set minimum order values. That’s because the basic WooCommerce plugin doesn’t include a minimum order value feature, and writing or copying custom code snippets in PHP is risky and time-consuming.
In this article, we’ll discuss the value of minimum order amounts in WooCommerce, walk you through how to set up a minimum order amount with WooCommerce Quantity Manager, the best minimum order amount plugin. I’ll also give you some tips on how to make the most of this tool to maximize profitability.
Understanding minimum order amounts in WooCommerce
A minimum order amount is the lowest value of products that must be in a shopper’s cart before they can access the checkout page and complete their order.
WooCommerce minimum order values are helpful for many different types of shops, including:
- Wholesale and bulk suppliers - Setting minimum order amounts ensures that handling and shipping is cost-effective and efficient, allowing you to receive bulk WooCommerce orders only.
- Specialty and niche eCommerce stores - Customers often start browsing your other products when they realise they need to meet a minimum value for their cart subtotal. As a result, it encourages users to explore wider range of your products, beyond the specific item they searched for.
- Custom product creators - If you build custom or made-to-measure products, then setting amount minimums for each order can help justify customizations and ensure clients are invested in the products they are ordering.
Why set a minimum order amount?
There are lots of reasons to add a minimum order amount in WooCommerce. Here are some of the main benefits:
- Covers or offsets the cost of shipping low-cost items - Ensuring that every order exceeds a minimum price means that you can charge competitive prices for shipping. You know you’ll be making at least a minimum profit margin on each order, so you don’t need to worry about the cost of shipping low-cost items.
- Increases average order value - By encouraging customers to purchase more, you can pretty much guarantee that your average order value will be higher than if there was no minimum order amount. After all, you are only accepting sales with a higher order total!
- Encourage bulk purchasing - Furthermore, a minimum threshold nudges customers to buy in larger quantities. This is a popular strategy in WooCommerce wholesale stores using our WooCommerce Wholesale Pro plugin.
- Improves operational efficiency - Processing and shipping smaller orders can be expensive. A minimum order price in WooCommerce ensures that every fulfilled order justifies the operational cost. Your warehouse and despatch teams only have to focus on medium or large orders, and aren't wasting time fulfilling small and unprofitable orders.
- Provides opportunities for cross-selling and upselling - When customers have to spend at least the minimum order amount, they’re actively looking for ways to reach this minimum. As a result, they will respond more favorably to your cross-selling efforts, for example displaying related products above the add to cart button or in a popup cart.
- Creates one-stop shopping - Forcing customers to place larger orders and order multiple items makes them more aware of your full product range. This positions your store as a one-stop shopping experience, instead of somewhere to buy individual items.
- Boosts inventory turnover - It can help move products faster, reducing the risk of dead stock.
Setting up minimum order prices with WooCommerce Quantity Manager
Now we’ve learned why you should be setting minimum order amounts in WooCommerce, I’ll tell you how to do it.
In this tutorial, we’ll be using the WooCommerce Quantity Manager plugin. This is a comprehensive product quantity rules plugin. It gives you total control over the quantities in your store, including - you guessed it - the ability to add a minimum order value.
It has everything you need to set minimum order amount and more:
- Set order minimums and maximum order amounts (min/max quantities) by either value or quantity. While your priority may be setting minimum order prices, a maximum quantity can also be useful for ensuring that all orders are manageable for your team.
- Change the default quantity in WooCommerce.
- Set custom quantity increments and step values.
- Manage quantities on individual products, as well as by categories, variations, and user roles (e.g. to implement a minimum order price for wholesale users only).
- Build-in error messages and prompts to clearly communicate minimums to customers and gently guide them through ordering.
- Easy to set up and use.
- Comes with expert support, plus a 30-day money back guarantee.
Keep reading to learn how to use the Quantity Manager plugin to add a minimum order price in WooCommerce, step-by-step.
Step-by-step setup tutorial
- Purchase, install, and activate on your WordPress website.
- Go to WooCommerce → Settings → Products → Quantity Manager.
- Use the ‘Value rules’ field to set a minimum order price for your entire WooCommerce store. Either add a minimum order price, or a minimum number of products if you prefer.
This will apply the same minimum order amount to every item in your shop. If you prefer, then you can skip this step and add a different minimum order price per category, or even per product or variation. You can do this on the Edit Category and Edit Product page for specific products etc.:
Choosing the right minimum order amount for your WooCommerce store
Although minimum order prices can be a useful tool for WooCommerce shop owners, it must be done with care. Here are some factors that you should consider when making this important decision. Use them to determine a reasonable and justified order minimum which will achieve the benefits that I mentioned above, without annoying customers.
- Minimum profitability - What is the minimum order price which would effectively cover shipping and fulfilment costs (e.g. if you offer free shipping)?
- Customer perceptionAt what point is the minimum order price so high that it will turn away enough customers to negate the benefits? Consider getting feedback from loyal customers. Their insights can be valuable in determining a threshold that they’d be comfortable with.
- Market research - Understand what competitors are doing. If you set a minimum order price too high, you might push customers to competitors.
- Demand for your product - Estimate how many units of an item you expect to sell over a given period, and how quickly you need to get through the stock.
- Your break-even point - What are your per unit costs, which would result in zero profit if you didn’t achieve them? For example, if you stocked your store with 20 cat toys that you purchased for $40, then your break even point is $2.
- Understand your costs - Calculate all operational costs, including production, storage, shipping, and handling.
Although minimum order amounts can be a useful tool for WooCommerce shop owners, it must be done with care. I recommend using a process of trial and error to find the right balance. Analyze sales data, cart abandonment rates, and customer feedback during this period to adjust the minimum order price as needed.
Strategies to implement minimum order price
Setting a minimum order price in WooCommerce is largely about you - the store owner or manager. It’s a way of guaranteeing your profitability and while you don’t want to put customers off, it’s not directly designed to benefit them.
However, you can achieve a win-win situation by using minimum order prices alongside strategies which allow customers to actively benefit from placing higher value orders. This can make a big difference to your bottom line and customer satisfaction by aligning your interests and making everyone happy. After all, if a customer is properly incentivized to place larger orders then they won’t even notice the minimum order amount - let alone resent it!
- Tiered discounts - Offer bulk discounts based on cart value so that customers get a better price for spending more and more. For example, 5% off on orders above $100, 10% off on orders above $200, and so on.
- Bundling - Create product bundles that are priced just above the minimum order price. This encourages users to opt for bundles, ensuring profitability and moving inventory faster. Advertise these bundles prominently on your site so that customers exceed the minimum order price in WooCommerce without even trying. This also gives you a chance to cross-sell useful items, improving both the actual and perceived value of the order.
- Loyalty programs - Introduce loyalty programs where customers accumulate points based on the price of their order. Set a threshold where they can redeem those points, encouraging them to meet the minimum order value. This encourages higher spending, builds loyalty, and sweetens the deal for customers.
- Seasonal promotions - Introduce limited-time items or discounts that require customers to reach a certain cart value. Seasonal sales like Black Friday are a big part of this.
- Include limited-time items on your shop - Build a sense of urgency and exclusivity, encouraging customers to add items to their cart on that particular shopping visit. This is a great tool for clearing out inventory.
Communicating the minimum order price
There’s nothing more annoying than adding a product to the cart and clicking through to the checkout, only to be told that there’s a minimum order amount you didn’t know about it. When this happens to me, I often start reconsidering the whole process and thinking about whether to shop elsewhere. It’s not surprising that unexpected minimum order rules can lead to cart abandonment.
To stop this happening, you should make sure that customers know there’s a minimum order price before they even start shopping. Communicate the minimum order value from the moment visitors land on your website. For example, you can do it using banners, cart page notifications, and also during the checkout process.
More specifically, you need something universal like a banner to communicate a global minimum order quantity. In contrast, more functional messages on individual products or categories will work if you're using more specific minimum purchase messages. For example, this screenshot shows WooCommerce Quantity Manager combined with our WooCommerce Product Table plugin. The minimum order validation takes place inline, and clearly advises customers of the minimum quantity for each product:
Be creative and word your minimum order messages positively, rather than sounding like a rule or command. The aim here is to positively guide customers into ordering the right amount. One way to do this is to remind them of the other products they will benefit from. That way, they don’t feel they’re adding items to the cart just to meet the minimum order price.
Measuring the impact of the minimum order price on your business
Informed change is always the most effective type of change. For this reason, make sure you measure the impact of setting a minimum order price in WooCommerce. There are several ways to do this.
Track changes in average order value (AOV)
One of the direct goals of adding a minimum order price in WooCommerce is to increase your average value. This is also known as AOV, i.e. the average amount that each customer spends per order. Here’s how to track the impact on AOV:
- Note the AOV (total revenue/number of orders) before you set a minimum order price.
- Define a tracking period (common periods include monthly, quarterly, yearly).
- Collect AOV data over the defined period.
- Create charts and graphs to visualize the change in AOV over time.
- Monitor your AOV regularly and adjust the minimum order price if you’re not reaching your goals.
Analyze customer behavior
Customer behavior is an important metric for learning how a minimum order amount is affecting your bottom line. For example:
- Are customers adding more to their cart in order to meet the minimum cart total value?
- Are they using bundles or other cross-selling attempts on your site?
- Do you see high bounce rates, cart abandonment, or other indicators that something’s gone wrong in the process?
If you’re noticing red flags in tracking your data, that’s a sign you need to tweak your order minimum amount. You may need to increase or decrease the order minimum, depending on your findings. For example:
- High cart abandonment may suggest your minimum is too high and is driving customers away.
- Poor AOV improvement paired with satisfactory sales numbers may mean it's not high enough to cover your costs.
- Keep listening to customers and monitoring sales data. Similarly, if feedback indicates that customers find great value in bulk orders or bundles, consider introducing more of such deals.
Take action to implement a minimum order amount today
Setting up minimum order values is a strategic move you can use to reach a variety of business goals, including:
- Improved profit margins through shipping and handling cost mitigation.
- Improved AOV and boosted bottom line.
- Opportunities for upselling and cross-sales.
The WooCommerce Quantity Manager plugin makes it quick and easy to add minimum order prices in WooCommerce. You can set a global minimum order value or quantity for the entire cart. Alternatively, you can set different order minimums per category, product or even per variation. This gives you everything you need to ensure that every sale is profitable, whatever type of products you sell.