You’ve honed your product niche, tested website design, and started marketing your first few products. Despite all of this investment and dedication, your new platform’s conversion rate just isn’t where you thought it would be—and there are a lot of reasons why this may be happening.
Before you start doubting the product quality or slashing prices too hastily, consider the many other potential issues at play. Check out some of the common reasons for lack of sales, and remember: all of them are easily fixed. Move from the new kid on the block to the popular brand by addressing these potential issues.
You’re Not Marketing to the Right Audience
There’s a difference between launching an e-commerce platform and curating it to reflect the specific needs and demands of your target audience. While it may seem best to market to a broad audience to reach more people, it’s best to narrow your focus on a precise demographic.
If you haven’t identified who your products will connect with, you risk feeling generic and lose the chance to connect emotionally with potential customers. In order to attract the right audience, you need to consider these initial questions, posed by Volusion:
- “What am I really selling?” At first glance, the answer might seem obvious, but if you look deeper, you’ll find it’s not just the tangible product for sale—it’s the emotions or experiences attached. For example, if you own an ethical clothing brand, you’re changing the world—along with your customers—not selling t-shirts.
- “Who will the product serve, connect with, and appeal to?” This relates to demographic factors including race or ethnicity, gender, subculture, hobbies or interests, life-stage, an area of residence and economic status. Compiling the statistics of your target audience and distilling them down into actionable marketing focus areas allows you to connect with them on a relevant, authentic and human level.
- “How will the product be used?” Another way of phrasing this might be, “How can the product’s function benefit my customers?” For example, if you’re selling artisan repurposed home décor to a quirky Millennial crowd, accentuate how the design elements will add a unique, creative feel to their decorating scheme. That can’t be found in a generic housewares store. Better yet, connect with influencers in this space to show how it’s used in real life, creating that human factor.
You’re Not Driving Enough Repeat Business
Of course, the objective of owning a business is to increase brand recognition and expand the audience reach. But as you pursue new leads, don’t forget those who already support the business and create fresh incentives to keep them coming back. The guide for selling products online from Selz explains:
Existing customers are your most profitable. Encourage customers to regularly visit your site by updating content regularly, building an email list and consistently sending out relevant information, and freshening the areas of your site that you feel are under-performing (you can see this using Google Analytics).
The easiest way to stay in touch with your past customers is to add them into a drip email campaign that includes sales emails, value-add emails, announcements, and deals and discounts. Your campaign can last as long as you want, allowing you to engage the customers you’ve already won over.
You’re Not Accounting for User-Friendliness
Your product could be the most cutting-edge innovation on the market, but if your platform is not accessible or convenient for the public, it won’t get noticed. This often is the result of issues like poor website design, browser issues, low SEO ranking, confusing navigation or even a laborious checkout page. A website that’s confusing to access is bound to lose traffic over time which causes the number of sales to diminish in the process. This is especially true with mobile traffic, which is less patient.
For example, Google reported that as page load time goes on, users are more and more likely to leave. The probability of users bouncing for a page that takes 3 seconds to load is 32 percent—that jumps to 123 percent at 10 seconds.
To determine how the content, features, and usability of the website is performing, conduct a user flow analysis, suggests TechRepublic. This can help you establish which aspects are user-friendly and which should be optimized.
You’re Not Blogging Yet
Customers want to know your brand before they buy from you—especially if you’re new to the e-commerce scene, with little brand equity or trust. To build that relationship, give your customers something of value first: awesome content.
Blog posts not only allow you to connect with potential customers before they’re ready to buy. Consistently creating great content also boosts SEO and therefore can drive more traffic to your site.
A blog also allows you to build authority in your industry: “One of the things people don’t often consider about a blog is that it helps to establish you as a resource or an authority in a particular niche or area. This helps expose you to a whole new part of your target market: the people who are still seeking information,” explains Jock Purtle, entrepreneur, and business owner.
Now, with visitors on your site, you just need to convert them. Consider using a tool like HelloBar, to turn visitors into customers.
Address Your Selling Challenges
Bottom line: just because your products aren’t selling, doesn’t mean the products are to blame. Your lack of transactions could be the result of backend oversights that, once detected, are easy to solve. Don’t forget about the value of starting your e-commerce blog and staying in touch with past customers, as well, all of which will allow you to provide value and build trust. Before you know it, all that hard work will pay off.