Struggling With Sales? Why No One is Buying From You and How You Can Change That!
Unlike traditional retail, online stores are open 24/7! That means your store should always be poised to convince and convert.
As ecommerce grows into the preferred shopping method for consumers around the world (thanks Amazon and Alibaba!), it’s more important than ever that you optimize your online store to actually turn that traffic into customers.
But if you’re struggling with sales, you might be making some common mistakes that keep online retailers just like you from maximizing profits.
So if you’d like to look like that guy, here are 10 things to avoid with your online store to boost your sales.
LACK OF BRAND STYLING
From logos to fonts and color choices, cohesive design elements immediately translate into something customers are attracted to and compelled to engage with. After all, shopping is not just transactional but emotional as well.
If you can resonate with a customer and send even a subtle message that they’re “right where they’re supposed to be” that communicates trust and makes them more likely to buy.
Brand styling is an essential component of a strong visual presentation that sets up your store for success. If you want a step-by-step walk-through of the process I recommend the book “How to Style Your Brand” by Fiona Humbertstone.
UNINTUITIVE WEBSITE NAVIGATION
Imagine you’re the customer. Great e-commerce experiences start by reducing the number of clicks it takes to reach checkout.
The organization of categories, placement of CTA’s and the ease of placing items in the cart, adjusting quantities and going through the payment process will determine if visitors actually become customers.
Even something as simple as being able to “checkout as a guest” without signing up for an account will speed the process and reduce your percentage of abandoned carts.
Because a sale deferred (especially out of frustration) isn’t likely to become a sale at all.
GENERIC WEBSITE COPY
Copy drives search traffic.
If you want more people to find your products, using relevant, searchable terms on product pages and non-sales pages is crucial to drive brand awareness.
As algorithms become more savvy and page rankings suffer with “keyword-stuffing” strategies, better copy will separate your from your competition and resonate with prospects.
The more relatable and personalized the copy, the deeper the connections will form and help visitors transition from consideration to conversion.
LACK OF USER REVIEWS
When it comes to ecommerce, community validation or social proof is an important component of the buyer journey. From discovery to decision, potential buyers depend on previous buyers to help dispel the inherent risk of shopping on the web.
Having a platform that supports user reviews (and incentivizing customers to give them) is absolutely necessary to drive sales–not just about the product but the entire purchase experience.
LOW QUALITY IMAGES
Shopping is an experience. Since buying online limits how customers interact with the product, having high quality images (or even video) serve as a bridge to make the product tangible.
There’s a reason why they say “a picture is worth a thousand words”.
That maxim drives ecommerce because it builds trust and perceived value–both of which contribute to your ‘brand’ or how one of my favorite definitions puts it “how customers talk about you when you’re not in the room”.
The more engaging the content throughout the buyer’s journey (especially on the product page), the more compelling the results.
NOT OPTIMIZED FOR MOBILE
It seems like we’re always connected. More and more users turn to their mobile devices for everything from news to travel, including of course comparing products and shopping online. You simply can’t ignore it.
Having a site that isn’t responsive for a mobile experience is at best archaic in e-commerce and at worst, causing you to lose customers that have to scroll, pinch and zoom before figuring out how to buy your products.
Remember: you should be doing everything you can to clear the path to checkout.
MISSING SHIPPING OR DELIVERY INFORMATION
No one likes a late charge!
If shipping is calculated at checkout, your customer should know BEFORE they reach that page. Setting and meeting expectations is another trust-building tenet in e-commerce.
The more informed customers are, the easier it is for them to make a decision. They should know what they’ll pay (if anything) to get their product to them and especially how long it will take.
Instead of burying it in the FAQ’s, why not have a real-time estimate linked to the product page?
And if you have a free shipping threshold, make sure to announce it at the top of your home page with a header bar or on a site lead image.
NO MARKETING BUDGET
You have to pay to play. The days of accidental discovery and stardom online are over. Even social media is tightening up with how much exposure and circulation branded content gets on its own.
In order to get the right eyes on your products, you have to be willing to invest. You should have an itemized marketing budget that is aligned with your goals for the year and each quarter.
That way you can coordinate that with your promotional calendar and know how, when and where to drive your traffic.
ADVERTISING IN THE WRONG PLACES
Just because you have a marketing budget, it doesn’t mean that you should be spending money just for spending’s sake.
The key is to have targeted platforms and partners to work with. You might use Facebook to share videos, Instagram for influencer promotions, and Pinterest for shopping links. Just make sure that your customer is actually where you’re placing your money.
The demographics and inclination to interact have to intersect. That way, you can truly get more bang for your buck.
NO CLEAR RETURNS OR EXCHANGE POLICY
When customers spend money online they want to be assured that (if anything goes wrong) they can actually get that money back.
Adding a guarantee gives that extra bit of security to make the ‘transaction into the unknown’ easier to stomach. Again, if customers can trust you then they’ll shop again and again with ease.
If you want your e-commerce venture to be a success, then you have to check these off of your “better brand” to-do list.
Commerce Corner: Have you been guilty of any of these? What changes will you be implementing on your e-commerce site? Let me know in the comments below!