Editor’s note: This is a guest post by John Nasaye, a startup and tech enthusiast. He blogs regularly at https://www.lupgrade.com/
So you’ve successfully set up your e-commerce store, bravo! But wait, why aren’t there any sales after your launching month? An e-commerce store is an excellent way to ramp up our sales and revenues without the enormous overheads that come with traditional brick and mortar stores. You are instantly able to capture a global market as well as keep your doors open 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Marketing data and statistics continually show that millions of customers prefer an online shopping experience. While the average online spend-per-person is steadily growing, e-commerce businesses are still struggling to turn out a profit. If your business is among this lot, here are 10 possible root causes of your stagnant online sales revenue:
- Poor navigation
If your e-commerce store has a cluttered design with miniscule buttons and small product image, navigation can be quite challenging. Therefore, potential customers are unlikely to spend any more time on your website and much less, make a purchase. A vast majority of online shoppers today use their mobile phones to search the web. Therefore, ensure you don’t create a sour shopping experience that can send the customer elsewhere.
- Poor product descriptions and poor quality images
Online shopping does not afford the customer the luxury of inspecting the final product. Therefore, they can only rely on the product descriptions and images provided on your e-commerce store. Showcase your products from several angles using high-quality images and unique descriptions. If you only rely on technical descriptions, you will fail to garner the required interest in your product to help you close the sale. And on that note, don’t put up shoddy or low-quality images because they will not attract buyers to the item.
- A complicated checkout procedure
Imagine walking into a big box retail store to pick up a single item. Then you immediately realize the store has only one register running and a lengthy queue. A complex check out procedure with too many steps can be quite a frustrating experience for a customer. Cut the checkout process into one or two steps and don’t arm-twist your customers into a mandatory registration process. Wait until after they have completed the purchasing process before asking them to fill in their details. In fact, allow them to make that decision by themselves.
- Hidden shipping rates
There are several reasons why customers abandon online shopping carts at the end of the checkout process. However, on top of that list of reasons is hidden shipping costs. Many customers don’t even get that far in the purchasing process before ditching the whole thing. Many e-commerce platforms allow plugins that can help customers calculate the shipping costs based on the items they are buying and their zip codes. You’ll want to have one in your e-commerce store so that your customers can determine the actual cost of their goods.
- The prices are not right
Whichever way you look at it, pricing of products is quite a challenge. Finding that sweet number that will be just right for your business can be daunting. If it too low, customers may perceive your products to be of low quality. On the other hand, if it is too high, customers will be happy to have a chat with your competitors. Shipping and taxes further complicate the pricing challenge. You can try good old trial and error to attract with your pricing to keep your customers. Alternatively, you can either conduct or dig into the available market research or even spy on your competitors and find out what numbers are on their product tags.
- Customers don’t know what to do
It is not just about setting up the e-commerce store and throwing all the product information in there. You should make it clear what you want the customers to do. Successful e-commerce stores are the ones that tell the customers exactly what to do with clear call-to-actions. Let all your non-product pages have blatant and obvious pointers about what you would like the customer to do. Here you will have to remember the ABC of sales and marketing; ‘Always Be Closing.’
- You are not promoting your e-commerce store properly
This is rather too obvious. Without a proper inbound marketing strategy, your e-commerce store will hardly generate any sales. With e-commerce, you can’t just build a beautiful e-commerce store and sit around waiting for your customers. You have to get out there, find them, and drag them back to your site. Once you’ve built a sizeable customer base together with a lot of user-generated content and testimonials, your brand presence will snowball and lead to increased sales. Every business out there is constantly trying to get the customers’ attention. Therefore, you will need to properly promote your e-commerce store.
- You are not engaging your customers
Ignoring your customers ranks right up there with dealing with an overly pushy salesperson. Use social media to engage and interact with your customers so as to keep your brand at the fore. You can also dive into industry-related online discussions to grab the attention of potential customers.
- Targeting the wrong audience
Be double sure that your marketing strategy is targeting the right audience. Don’t burn through your marketing budget through ad spends or content marketing that don’t result in sales revenue.
- No contact information
Missing contact information is a huge red flag to a potential customer. The e-commerce space largely thrives on trust. Therefore, if you don’t provide detailed contact information for your store, customers will have a hard time trusting you. Even if there are no issues, they’ll want to know that they can always reach you 24-7.
Share with us any cool tips and words of wisdom with regards to e-commerce strategies.