There are many reasons why your online store might not be generating the traffic you want or need. This is obviously not a complete list, but it does provide very specifics areas that many stores are missing out on. Below we discuss 8 Reason Your Online Store Is Not Generating Sales and What You Can Do By the Weekend To Change It.
We have also included specific actions you can take (Your To Do List) to change your stores trajectory. Follow the steps outlined. We would love to know if any of these changes made a difference for you. Look for the Act Now button.
Your Product is Priced Wrong
It would be easy to tell you that you should lower your prices. But the fact is, that lowering prices is not always the solution to increased sales. You need to consider what consumers are willing to pay and maybe you have thought long and hard about your profit margin, however the wrong price, even just a few cents can make a big difference. Do you remember the day when adding .99 cents to the end of the price became a thing? No? Neither can we, because it’s always been ‘a thing’, a psychological thing. $19.99 looks better than $20.00 and $399.99 looks better than $400.00. I know we are all smart consumers and we know the difference is only a penny, but it is also true the consumers are price conditioned well before they even see the price you are offering. The same is even true with colors. Walmart can put up yellow smily face balloons that say CLEARANCE, add a few yellow or red price stickers and we buy into it, hook, line and sinker. That is over simplifying it, for sure, but the rules of engagement to win the price-war game is simple, know what your competitors are charging and don’t be too far out in front of them, unless you are in a market that will sustain it and play with the numbers until you find a good fit. We recently found a rare product that consistently sold for $49 but we couldn’t give it away for $35.
Your To Do List:
Start by changing the last numbers to 01, 02, 50, 88, 92, 96, 97 98 or 99 on 10-20 items, if possible. Track sales over 10 days. If it doesn’t work try it different times of year. If you tried it in the Early Summer, give it a shot again in the early Fall when summer vacations are over and schools gets back underway. You might see it work better in one season or another.
We are not necessarily saying that you should go from 250.00 to 249.99, you might want to try 250.99, 250.06 or 250.88. As retail stores begin to publicize there clearance price strategy, such as Home Depots,.(06 is a clearance item and has 6 weeks to go) You just don’t know what might get consumers to pull the trigger, but as with anything you will not know unless you try it.
You Aren’t Bundling
As with the above pricing, sometimes a few small changes might reap big results. If you aren’t bundling product you are missing out on sales. What is bundling? It’s offering a group of products, sold together in a package, think Tshirt/CD combo packs, Meal Deals, or computer and monitor bundle. In the case of McDonalds, they figured this strategy out a long time ago with their meal deals. A meal for one flat price. I know it’s hard to believe but there was a time you had to buy your sandwich, your drink and your fries all separate. Fries were not a given and neither was a drink, but in the fast food industry it was the 2 biggest profit makers, so adding them in with a sandwich was a perfect combination, or should we say combo, a strategy not just reserved for fast food, you can do this too.
Your To Do List:
Find 2 complimentary, similar items you can bundle together as one. A quick caution: Look at your order trends. Ask yourself this question first? Do consumers already buy these 2 items separate, or do you think they should buy them but they currently are not. If they already are buying them, leave them as separate stand alone items, but also offer them as a bundle. If they aren’t buying them, make them a bundle and play with the pricing as noted above. Do this for 5-6 items. It works great with “goes with” as in Curtains and Curtain Rods, Pillow Cases and Pillow or “Sounds like” as in, if you like this, try this. Hopefully you have many of those already in place.
Your Customers Can’t Contact You
As much as we would like to have our stores on auto-pilot, humans buy from our stores, humans stock the warehouse, humans ship the product and humans should answer emails and phone calls. There is no way to take the human element out of it. You might think with Amazon’s Robots and Drones that this is the future of ecommerce, but if you take a close look, it won’t take long to realize that Amazon has alway put customer service first. Robots and Dones might make you more efficient but it will never replace the necessary need for having humans, your people, your staff, or yourself in direct contact with your customers, making yourself available around every corner.
Your To Do List:
Make sure that your email and phone number are clearly listed on the header or footer of your website. Don’t bury them in a contact us page. They are fine to leave there, but also make it easy for consumers to contact you and get their questions answered. Commit to a same-day or 24 hour response. You and I don’t like to wait an entire day, and neither should your customer.
You Aren’t Emailing Your Subscribers Enough, or For The Right Reasons
Customers sign up for your email because they want you to contact them with deals, discounts, special offers, new releases, re-stocked items and a plethora of other reasons. So today is the perfect time to get out of your head that no one likes to be spammed and that opted in subscribers are being spammed when you email them. When they sign up, they want you to email them. When you don’t, it’s like walking into a store and no one greeting you. Walk into a Cold-Stone, Best-Buy or Walmart and you’ll be greeted by someone. It’s amazing how many stores miss this great opportunity to touch base with their customers. For retail stores it’s a great theft deterrent, for online stores it’s a great marketing opportunity. But don’t just email them with things to buy. They will eventually unsubscribe and treat you like unwanted advertisement. Have something to say and even better, make sure that you are emailing relevant information by utilizing all the automation that comes with great ESP (Email Service Providers) platforms.
Your To Do List:
Sign-up for a email service provider such as mailchimp, contant contact or emma, and build your first email. If you are already doing that, put together an email campaign schedule with frequency, audience and message clearly defined for each one. If you already have that in place, get your automation working even if it’s just email those that have abandon carts and reminding them of the item they put in their cart. Set it up to email them 24 hours later and then send a coupon for 10% off if they still don’t respond and checkout within 48 hours. Email automation is a like saver. Make sure you are using it every possibility you get.
Your Website is Not Mobile Friendly
You would think that we should not be having this discussion now that smart phones have made their way into nearly 90% of the American public, but yes. We are creature of habit and we own, operate or are in charge of an online store. Chances are great that we are making most of our changes using a laptop or a desktop PC or Mac. But a huge audience out there is view on a mobile device. The numbers are staggering and it would behove you to look beyond your personal routines and see things the way your consumers do. If you have not looked at your website in a mobile environment, take a moment and do so now. Even better, pull out a tablet a iphone and an android phone and look at it there as well. If you don’t have those at your disposal, you need to invest in them or find the nearest store, such as a best buy or equivalent and look at your website on their devices and ask yourself the question, how many sales have I lost because users could not navigate. Telling yourself that YOUR CUSTOMERS are not viewing form a mobile device is like believing that myspace is going to be around forever and there is no reason to get a facebook account. Or how about this lie, ipods are here to stay and downloads will always be the way we listen to music. We are starting to see signs that digital downloads are on the decline as steaming becomes the new thing. How’s that for a reality check. You either move with the times or you’ll get pushed out of the way.
Your To Do List:
Check your website on every conceivable mobile device, but don’t just check it, place an order to see what users see. Change everything this week to make sure you do not lose another sale.
You Don’t have Guest Checkout Enabled
You can loose shoppers before they even begin the checkout by not enabling Guest Checkout. This topic has been debated online with the pros and cons of guest checkout, but let me put this to rest once and for all. I know you really want to collect their personal information up-front, just in case they don’t check-out, but in all honesty you’ll get that information if you don’t scare them off with cumbersome or time-consuming forms with a lot of personal information. If that is not enough reason, lets look at a brick and mortar equivalent. You want into a store, walking up and down the isle to find exactly what you hoped to find. You walk up front and the first thing a person does is ask you is for your full name, address, phone number, email address etc. before they even let you checkout. All you want to do is give them your money and get on your way. Had they been more accommodating you would come back because of the pleasant experience. I know this is not brick and mortar store, but the idea is not much different. Do not put a wall up between the item in their cart and the checkout process. Get the money first, then ask them for some basic information. Form auto-fillers are great and work on a lot of browser, but don’t take the chance of it working every time.
Your To Do List:
Remove all obstacles that allows a consumer to check-out. After all you are in the business of selling aren’t you? I don’t think you set up the store with the first order of business being collecting their personal information.
You Aren’t Offering Enough Payment Options
Having payment options is good for business. No we are not advocating Cash, COD or Check, but adding Paypal, Google Wallet, Stripe, and Array of Credit Cards, Buy Now, Pay Later or even ACH (Online Checks) are good for business. Customers want to give you their money, so make it as easy as possible. Have minimum 3 options.
Your To Do List:
Get at least 2 payment options in place.
You Aren’t Offering Enough Sales, Discount Codes and Promotions
Start with the Holidays. No not just Christmas, take a look at this chart and you will see a full list of US holidays that will blow your mind. If you are not offering a sale on at the very least, the major holidays just a Memorial Day, Labor Day, Independence Day, etc. you are missing out. Most stores spend their July-August preping for Nov. – Dec. Don’t make the mistake of falling behind. But don’t be fooled thinking that just adding a few holiday sales will spike sales, you need to be offering a full range of discounts and promotions to really see sales move. With a healthly mix of Social Media, and email campaign activity you will have your website buzzing in no time.
Your To Do List:
Create a holiday schedule and set up holiday sales 3 months out complete with wording, graphics, etc. Make a list of promotions you would like to run such as bogo’s, social media contest and create a series of discount promo codes for one item or 10. Once the discount codes are created, submit them to websites like RetailMeNot.com and MyCoupons.com