Articles on: App testing and setup

How to make the most of Monk app?

Monk is a unified upsell + gift app that is divided into 4 parts:

Gift with purchase/free gifts
Cross sells & product recommendations
Bundles & quantity discounts
Purpose-built offers

All of these are geared towards helping brands increase their sales and average order value (AOV). With effective use of the app, brands can expect a 5-20% increase in sales. Depending upon your niche, geography and target customer profile, you can deploy a combination of the app's features for your brand and nudge shoppers to add more items to their cart.

This doc is a detailed guide on how your store can make the best of each of the 4 parts of the app along with specific insights and recommendations that we've garnered from over 2000 brands currently utilizing the app. We recommend exploring the app & implementing it in this exact order.

Let's delve into each feature in detail

1. Free gift

Add free items to a buyer's order based on their cart value, number of items in cart or based on the specific products they have added. It is the app's most used feature and we have evidence from brands across geographies and niches that gift with purchase offers convert better and drive more incremental sales than discounts in 2024. Like discounts, you can also market & communicate gift with purchase offers across Meta/Google ads, email & SMS campaigns.

Free gifts can play a role in enhancing all 3 major metrics of your website - Conversion Rate (CVR), Average Order Value (AOV), Lifetime Value (LTV), here's how:

Impact on CVR
You can create offer constructs like:

Buy any product from the store and get product X free
Buy product X get gift Y
Buy from collection A and get gifts B & C

These can nudge shoppers on the edge to go ahead and complete their purchase using a free product as a lucrative hook. We've seen this particularly do well in the apparel niche.****

Impact on AOV
If your customers shop for multiple products often, you can use this feature to tier different gift rewards at incremental cart value thresholds to keep them shopping and thereby incrementally increase your AOV. For example:

Cart value > $50, get gift X
Cart value >$100 get gift X +Y
Cart value >$150 get gift X + Y + Z
 > 2 get gift X
 > 3 get gift X + Y
Items in cart > 4 get gift X + Y + Z

The key to sucess here is to configure the correct cart value thresholds - we recommend keeping them at 1.2x - 1.5x your AOV. If it is too low (<0.5x of AOV) compared to your average order value, the gift won't act as an incentive and most customers will get them regardless and if it's too high (>2x AOV), not enough customers will look at trying to get the free products.

Offer constucts like these are particularly useful in niches and brands where the average customer shops for 2 or more products in each order and the store has a lot of complimentary products that go well together.

Impact on LTV
Gifting can also be used to nudge shoppers to keep coming back to the store & increase your retention/repear rate via 2 ways:

You can give away brand merchandise like caps, tote bags, mugs etc as gifts with all of your orders as a way of driving brand recall and salience. This is incredibly effective if you're a nutrition or a supplements brand & can giveaway bottles and shakers as free products.
You can offer small samples or miniatures of your main products as gifts - this can give shoppers the opportunity to try your other products and thereby increase the likelihood that they'll come back and shop for the full sized variants. We've seen this to be highly effective in cosmetics, hair care and skin care brands.

2. Cross sell & product recommendations

If your store offers a variety of complementary products, you can make use of cross-sells to enhance your average order value & push shoppers to add more items to their cart. Our analysis of the brands that use Monk has revealed that these features are particularly impactful in niches like apparel, food & beverages, cosmetics & hair+skin care where the average customer shops for multiple products in the same order and the inventory inherently has a bunch of products that fit well together (Example: conditioner + shampoo, shoes + socks etc)

The most effective strategies are the ones that enhance an already existing shopping behaviour on site. Hence, if you already know of specific products that are often bought together you can use those or you can take assistance of Monk's internal algorithm. We have an algorithm that analyses your store's last 60 day order data & creates a sheet of products that are often bought together with the exact overlap percentage. If you'd like this for your store please reach out to our customer support team via live chat/email and ask for 'cross sell recommendations sheet'

When choosing which 'type' of cross-sell to create - note that there is no one-size-fits-all approach, different niches and brands will need to take different approaches although we do have some insights on how to get started:

Cart cross sell - The cart is an underutilized real-estate and can be used to keep shoppers engaged. Generic store-wide or collection-wide product recommendations like 'Bestsellers' or 'New Arrivals' or 'Flash Sale' can be shown in the cart. Coming this with a Cart Progress Bar & Free Gifts can turn your cart into a conversion machine.

Product page cross sell - These are product recommendations that you shown on a specific product page and hence need to be extremely relevant to the main product. We've seen some brands have conversion rate as high as 50% on such cross-sells because the products being offered were complimentary and fit as add-ons to the main product. If your inventory has such high relvant add-on products, you can use this to drive an increase in AOV

Checkout cross sell - This is a Shopify Plus exclusive feature and can be used effectively to nudge impluse buys at checkout once a shopper is filling in their details. Recommend simple, affordable & relevant products that can be purchased impulsively without much consideration.

Cross sell pop up - Pop ups are tricky to get right - they require finding the right balance between effectiveness and potential negative impact on conversion rates (CVR). We recommend running A/B tests to determine if pop-ups work well for your store. While they have shown effectiveness in boosting sales, they may also impact CVR negatively if not implemented carefully.

Post purchase - These are unique to Shopify and we'd suggest all brands to experiment with it. If done correctly, post purchase cross sells/upsells can be the most effective from this entire list. This shows up once a customer has completed their purchase and is on their way out & presents one final opportunity to increase AOV. We recommend using a high discount percentage and framing it as a limited-time offer (Example: "Before You Go," "Flash Sale," "One Time Only").
For more details on how it works you can refer to this:

Irrespective of which type of cross-sell you choose to create (cart, pdp, post purchase, popup, checkout), here are some best practices to keep in mind:

Relevance is king
Make sure your product recommendations are catered to the specific items in a shopper's cart. Irrelvant or unrealted product recommendations are unlikely to convert irrespective of which type of cross-sell you create. We recommend manually configuring these recommendations for stores doing less than 10,000 orders/month because AI auto recommendations aren't as effective below that scale. Algorithms need a lot of data to come up with insights and hence most brands are better off using thier own insights on buyer behaviour to manually create their cross-sells. It will be a one-time only task and shall definitely have an impact on your overall AOV.
You can configure your cross-sells based on specific products, product tags, collections or product vendors and for each of these groups you can create highly targeted product recommendations.

Don't forget coverage
You want your cross-sells to be seen by as many shoppers as possible to have the best chance of it having an overall impact on your store's AOV. Make sure the cross-sells are prominently displayed on your best-selling products to capitalise on their popularity and increase the likelihood of additional purchases.

Focus on incremental wins
While cross-selling aims to increase sales, it's essential to strike a balance and not overwhelm customers with too many additional products. Aim for a modest increase in cart value, typically around 10-30%. Example:

Let's say a shopper has added a $100 item to cart, the product recommendations should ideally of products in the $10-30 range so that a customer can add them to the their cart without having their cost balloon too much. Recommending products worth $100-200 can be overwhelming and a shopper is unlikely to opt for it at all.

Recommend simple products
We suggest recommending products that are simple, easy-to-understand & not too heavy on the wallet so that shoppers can quickly add them to their carts in a impluse. This is precisely why products like clothing accessories, chocolates etc are kept at the billing counters of retail shelves.

3. Bundles & quantity discounts

Bundles come in handy when your store has specific complimentary products that can be purchased together - it's an alternate way of positioning similar products as a group rather than as simple recommendations. Niches like nutrition, health supplements, cosmetics or skin/hair care effecitvely use bundles to create a 'Complete your Routine' or 'Complete your Kit' that can be used to nudge shoppers to add an entire set to their cart instead of just 1 product. Bundling best practices are quite similar to that of cross-sell

Quantity discounting is an effective strategy for brands that don't have highly complimentary products in their inventory but want to nudge their shoppers to keep buying. This can be of two types:

Volume Discount
If your store has 2-3 best selling products that drive the majority of your sales, simply selling more quantities of what's already working is a great strategy. Incentivize customers to add more units of the same item to cart to unlock larger discounts. If you already observe a small fraction of your shoppers purchasing multiple quantities of the same product, you can use volume discounting to supercharge this buying behaviour across all your other shoppers and enahnce your AOV

Quantity Discount
With this you can set-up offers for store-wide or collection-wide purchasing using higher discounts for more quantities purchased. You can configure these based on specific products, product tags, collections or product vendors. Example:

Buy any 3 items from the store and get X% off
Buy and 2 items from collection X and get Y% off
Buy any 3 items from product tag/vendor Z and get X% off

We recommend using this feature if majority of your shoppers purchase only a single item in their orders - using a lucrative discount can push a fraction of these buyers to keep shopping and add another product to their order thereby increase your AOV.

4. Purpose-built offers

This part of the app consists of features that are unique and can only be utilized by certain specific brands based on the niche they operate in.

Subscription Upsell

If you're a store that drives a sizable share of your orders and sales via subscriptions, using the app's subscription upsell feature can increase your one time -> subscription uptake by 10-15%. The app embeds an 'upgrade to subscription' widget in the cart or checkout nudging one time buyers to subscribe. All subscription details are automatically fetched from your subscription app and this feature is compatible with all major subscription providers like Recharge, Skio, Loop, Appstle, Stay AI etc

Shipping Protection

If your store sells fragile or heavy machinery items, you can use Monk to give shoppers the choice to opt for protected/insured shipping - this is a great way to build trust with them as well as add additional profit revenue to each order. Shoppers can avail this protected shipping from right within the cart itself and we've seen it to be hugely impactful adding 5-10% to each order. Our data says that less than 2% of the buyers that opt for protected/insured shipping actually face any issues and demand a refund - the additional revenue made from the rest of the 98% can be used to process this refund as well as add to profits. The great thing about shipping protection is that it's a near 100% margin item which means it add direct value to your profit margins.

Although, for brands selling apparel, cosmetics, hair & skin care, food and nutrition we've seen customers choosing not to opt for it rendering it useless.

Product Upgrade

With this feature, you can show a popup on the store nudging customers to upgrade to a bigger/costlier variant of a product using a discount as a nudge.

If you'd like to see all of these feature in action you can visit our demo stores:

Demo Store:
Password: qwerty123

Shopify Plus Demo Store:
Password: checkout

You can also schedule a demo with our team where we'd be happy to walk you through all of the above features in detail and answer any questions that you might have:

Alternatively, we also undertake audits for our merchants where we take a look at their store & analyse last 60 day's order data to come up with a set of recommendations tailored to your store on how to best use the app and drive 5-20% increase in AOV. If you're interested simply write to us via live chat or email (

Updated on: 12/06/2024