E-commerce is a rapidly growing industry and expected to continue to grow with an expected 2.14 Billion digital buyers by 2021. So if your sales are stagnating or even plummeting here are some key points to look out for.
Products are a key part of any e-commerce store and a huge part of why revenue comes into a site. If your products are outdated they are unlikely to get as much traffic as products that are up to date and optimized. You also want to make sure the images on your products and clear and up to date with any of the latest trends within your industry.
Another key factor with your products to keep in mind is competitors. Keeping an eye on competitors is extremely important because you might think you have the best prices but if you aren’t keeping track your competitors could be way ahead. We recently tested PriceZag which monitors products prices through a number of competitors and sends email notifications when there is a price change. This has proved extremely useful in knowing when competitors are changing their prices.
The final factor I would consider with products is sales and discounts if you can afford to do this within your margins it will always encourage potential clients to click through. I would only ever advise sales and discounts if you have the margin to still turn a profit.
User experience is a huge factor when it comes to whether a user will convert or not. An important factor with user experience is customer service. You can help provide the best possible customer service experience by replying to customer enquiries quickly and efficiently and by having a live chat on the site to help any customers struggling with your products or site.
Another Important factor is make sure you listen to your clients and what they want. If clients are willing to give you feedback on your website or products make sure you take it onboard and see how you can improve any aspect of your business. Additionally having the correct call to actions on your website and adverts can increase the traffic and conversions on your site.
Lastly on the theme of customer service I would like to talk about shipping and how shipping can make a huge difference to sales and revenue. If you can offer free shipping on your site customers are much more likely not to abandon their carts when they get to the checkout. This free shipping method can been seen used by some of the worlds largest ecommerce companies such as Amazon, eBay and ASOS all using this model.
Your website has a huge effect on how customers interact with your site and whether or not they will convert. One of the main factors is your site platform if you have an outdated platform and look to the site, people are going to be put off converting if your site doesn’t look right. One example that comes to mind is Magento, If your store is currently on Magento 1 then its much less likely to be converting to its maximum compared to site running on Magento 2 or Shopify.
A second factor to consider with your e-commerce store is the recent Google update ‘Mobile First’. This update means Google judge your website based on the mobile version rather than the desktop. This is hugely important for traffic and conversations because if your site is optimized for desktop but not mobile you are likely to see a drop in traffic and sales. Another factor that needs to be considered is having a responsive website. Your website needs to be able to adapt to the users needs, If it doesn’t respond to the users needs the conversation rate is likely to be lower than it could be as users are likely to leave if the site isn’t responding how it should.
The penultimate factor I would consider is Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO plays a huge part in who finds your website and how many people find your website. If your website is properly optimized for the products you are selling then it’s going to have more visitors and more conversations than if you haven’t optimized your website at all. SEO can be done professionally by a digital marketing agency or in house if you have a member of staff who specializes in digital marketing.
A final factor to consider with your site is the checkout. The checkout is vital in maximising sales you want it to be as quick and as clean as possible. You shouldn’t give users the chance to click away as this will result in more abandoned checkouts. If you notice your sales dip or stop entirely I would advise one of the first things you should do is check to see if your checkout is still fully operational as if it isn’t no customers will be able to complete their order.
Marketing your website is hugely important and can increase sales and traffic massively if done correctly. If you have a marketing specialist within your company you could try and do all the online marketing inhouse but if not I would recommend a digital marketing agency. Digital marketing agencies can offer you a lot in the way of marketing your website out and gaining more traffic and conversations.
The first sector of marketing I would suggest is Pay Per Click (PPC). PPC offers you a chance to appear on the biggest search engines in the world including Google, Bing and Yahoo. This opens up a huge market audience and when managed correctly can give your e-commerce store a huge boost in sales and revenue. Another form of advertising online is social media advertising this can put your business in front of users on apps such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. This opens up a huge market audience with a combined 3+ Billion users across all three platforms some are likely to be interested in your products.
The final factor I would consider for marketing is Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This can play a huge part in the performance of your website and if done correctly can attract traffic and conversations to your website. Within marketing SEO can be done by outreaching your site to other companies this can be done by a digital marketing agency or yourself if you have the correct knowledge when it comes to social outreach.
In conclusion if your sales are dwindling or have stopped completely there is a lot of factors that could be harming your e-commerce store and all of them should be checked and up to date if you want to maximise sales and increase brand exposure.