Your e-commerce store could be the biggest dream of your life. It must have entailed a significant investment, not just in terms of money but also in your time and labor. In spite of your best efforts, the store may not be yielding enough sales. This is high time you take a closer look at the probable causes that are impacting your sales figures.
Unattractive website design:
It’s not dissimilar to the experience that a shabby interior of a brick and mortar store may have on the walk-ins. Visitors to your website will first get hooked to your site design and layout and then proceed to explore the product categories.
The website design also tells a story about your brand. A premier apparel store has to reflect the class and elegance that its products embody. If the site resembles that of a grocery store, it won’t resonate with the target audience.
- Use a trusted e-commerce platform. There are a number of free, open-source platforms to choose from if you are working on a restricted budget.
- Hire a professional designer.
One of the 4 P’s of Marketing, pricing is essential in any form of business.
Online stores either end up pricing their products too high, or they run too many discount-based promotional offers. While giving special offers and discounted pricing works to attract customers to the site, overdoing it has its pitfalls.
- The pricing of the product has to match the niche that you are catering to. An exclusive cosmetics or designer apparel retailer can’t reduce the price below a certain level.
- Use discounts and offers cleverly.
Pricing can be your trump card. Play it wisely.
Shipping costs can have a serious impact:
Put yourself in the shoes of the consumer. How often have you left your chosen items in the cart after seeing the shipping cost during check-out?
Unrealistic shipping costs could stop a customer in the final stage of the
marketing funnel. You may have done all the right things to draw him to your store, move him through the product categories, and make him select his favorite item, but at the last stage, he doesn’t move ahead with the purchase decision.
Your analytics may not reveal the actual answer all the time.
- Check the shipping costs of your competitors to get an idea.
- Speak to your logistics partner to figure out a better deal
A complicated check-out process can hamper sales:
Customers do feel annoyed if the check-out process is overly complicated. After spending considerable time navigating through various sections and shortlisting their chosen products, they do not want to waste unnecessary time at check-out.
This scenario will become vital if you are in a highly competitive, homogenous
market. Consumers will be tempted to move to an alternate site.
- Reduce the number of action points leading to the final check out – As mentioned, a customer doesn’t want to go through multiple steps to close the selling process. All they want to do is find the check-out button, reconfirm that the items are correct, make payment and move on. To promote upselling, you could add some additional items on the check-out screen, but not in a way that increases the check-out time.
- No sign-in – Sign-ups are a good way to build a customer database that can be later used for various marketing purposes. However, including a compulsory sign-in at the time of check-out can be really frustrating for the customer.
- 1 click selling: Several retail giants are using this feature to good effect. 1 click selling can make it so much more convenient for buyers to close the process and move ahead with other tasks.
Navigability of your site could be an important factor:
Your website’s design could be very aesthetic, but if it’s not easy to navigate, you can lose valuable traffic.
Once you have a visitor on your site, the main objective is to keep him busy for a long. This invariably increases the chances of final closure. If the navigability of your site is complex, the customer may not visit the main sections that are likely to evoke his interest.
- Instead of scattering them, you can use the top of the page below the header to arrange them neatly. Keep only relevant tabs on the top panel of the home page. A dropdown menu under each button can also make it easy for the visitor to go to the exact page that he wants.
- Other non-customer-facing tabs like careers, corporate address, etc., can be positioned on the bottom part of the landing page.
Easy-to-navigate sites often result in higher conversion.
Customers are increasingly using different devices like mobiles and tablets to buy online. If your website is not mobile-friendly, you could be losing out on significant numbers of potential buyers.
- Develop your site on a platform conducive to different devices. Most successful e-commerce websites have a mobile-friendly option to provide a seamless experience to traffic coming in from such devices.
- You could also offer special offers only to those accessing the mobile site to promote the usage of this version.
SEO is indispensable:
A simple search on Google for, say, ‘online grocery stores’ produces millions of results within nanoseconds. Thus, it’s important to have a high rank on the SERP to maximize convertible traffic to your website.
- Select a platform that is SEO friendly i.e., it allows you to change keywords and understands the required algorithms to ensure a higher rank of your website.
- Invest judiciously in Search Engine Marketing to further increase the sights rank and drive incremental traffic.
- Targeting the right audience through your promotional channels is also pivotal to increasing sales.
Extended delivery time:
Depending on the product category, a number of e-tailers are now giving same-day delivery or next-day delivery options. In this scenario, your delivery time may have a huge bearing on repeat sales.
- Give multiple delivery options, if possible, like standard delivery, express delivery, etc.
- Ensure estimated delivery time is maintained. Err on the side of taking extra time but don’t miss the promised date.
Issues with the landing page:
Landing pages can make or break your online business. An unattractive landing page that takes a long time to download is a major distractor for serious buyers. Also, the information that you provide on the landing page should be engaging.
- Ensure minimal loading time
- Keep the landing page aesthetic and simple
- Reviews, blogs, etc., add to the appeal of the landing page and encourage the visitor to explore further.
- Your website slacks trust: Trust is essential for the long-term success of any business, be it online or offline. Sites that are unable to build trust among the visitors are likely to have low conversions.
- Suggested Solutions:
- Ensure product and service quality
- Build a relationship with your customers beyond the website
- Seek after sales feedback
- Address negative feedback in an appropriate manner
There could be other issues affecting your online sale. But addressing the above concerns is likely to yield the desired results. Analytics are important tools that give you a critical insight into your online business.