The E-Commerce Column

10 Reasons Your E-Commerce Sales Are Not Increasing

Store Owners Planning Success

It’s so easy to get caught in the grind that you miss things, look past things, or just simply forget to take time to think about and fix the things that you know may be holding you back.  We know this all too well.  You’re not alone.  Nearly every single online store falls prey to this, and such a thing isn’t limited to selling online either.  Here’s a quick hit list of areas to look at, which can significantly improve your sales, almost instantly.

As you go through this cheat sheet listing of things to cross off of your list, you should keep in mind that none of them are industry or vertical specific.  They’re not exclusively B2B or B2C.  B2B adopts B2C practices all of the time.  Why?  Because B2C stores prove them to work so darned well.

Convert to a Single-Page Checkout

Nothing annoys a customer more than deciding that they’re done shopping, only to be met with a 5-6 steps checkout wizard.  Checkout wizards the first indication to contemporary consumers about your company’s values, age, service, and outlook upon clients.  Don’t punish your customers for deciding to spend money with you.  Switch to a single page checkout.

Don’t Force Customers to Specify Their Credit Card Number

It’s all but common knowledge today that credit card patterns are known.  Knowing this, it is truly irritating when an online store forces me to choose my credit card type.  If you remove the credit card selection from checkout, this is yet one less thing in the way of completing an order.  You should remove every possible obstacle from your customers.

Make Products Easily Found

Unless your product catalog is less than 20 products or so, this is massively important.  If your customer can’t even find what they’re looking for, what chance do you have of getting the sale?  How many times have you physically walked out of a store when you couldn’t find something?  Your online store is no different, except that it happens at least 100x more often.  Make sure your search and categories have the necessary filters and facets.

Make Products Easily Shared

Not every visitor will be a customer every time they come to your site.  Sometimes they arrive at the wrong time, on accident, or they’re looking on behalf of someone else.  Social media is one of the few things that can grow your sales exponentially.  If you want to be exposed to your customer’s network, make is super simple to do so.  Take every possible step out of the way.  If at all possible, make it as easy as one-click to share your products to their network.

Implement a Loyalty Program

Depending on the source you’re reading, it can be 10x more expensive to get a new customer versus reselling to an existing customer.  Also, repeat customers tend to spend at least 2/3 more than a first time customer.  So why wouldn’t you want to market to and incent your existing customers?  Implement a loyalty program in your store to reward your existing customers.  Just like your favorite grocery store, your customers will have yet one more reason to come back.

Implement an Affiliate Program

Okay, I’ll admit that this is maybe the only suggestion there that’s not completely universal, but it’s pretty close.  Marketing is expensive, period.  You should take advantage of every single trick you can to spend less money acquiring new customers.   Incenting your existing customers to do it for you is one of those ways.  A well-run affiliate program can recruit new customers like you never imagined.

Sell and Accept Gift Cards

Gift cards don’t have to be called gift cards and they don’t always need to be used and marketed the same way.  Whether you choose the traditional route, or decide to get creative, gift cards can be a great way to recruit new customers.  It basically is it’s own affiliate program.  Push gift cards as much as you can.  Your existing customers will bring new customer to you at no additional charge.

Decrease Page Load Times

This is easily the most preventable issue that any store can face.  If your site is taking too long to load, then your customers are leaving before even Google Analytics can tell they were there.  Constantly test, review, measure, and improve on your page load speed.  If you don’t, you should know that your competitors are.

Capture the Abandoned Carts

One of the most difficult jobs you have as a store owner is getting potential customers to know you exist and then get them to your site.  Once they’ve been there, why would you just let them go?  Contact them. Alert them before they leave.  Give them discounts to come back.  Use a remarketing campaign.  Do anything you can to bring them back.  Nearly 70% of shoppers regularly abandon carts.  Customers that were remarketed to tend to spend 55% more.

Run the Reports

Finally, it’s not always enough to get the rest of these suggestions taken care of.  You’ll always have the need to review and tweak things to improve your sales.  You need to be able to make business-critical decisions on how and why things are or aren’t improving in your store.  Put mechanisms in place to be able to determine what recent updates you made that may be influencing sales issues.  Put those markers in context by looking at them alongside sales and cart abandonment data.  Compare that to other products and categories that are doing well, then duplicate the success.

About the Author

Will StrohlWill Strohl

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