All eCommerce businesses experience lows at some point in their tenure. Sometimes, you might know when a low point is coming. You might even be able to pinpoint the source – holidays, seasonality, etc. Sometimes, it might be completely unexpected. Before you start freaking out and shutting down shop, take a step back. You don’t have to think of a lull in sales as necessarily a bad thing. Instead, think of it as an opportunity for growth. With some creativity and strategic planning, you can turn this low around. Here are 7 suggestions to bring your sales figures back up.
Look into Cart Abandonment
According to Baymard Institute, 67.45% of online shopping carts are abandoned. That means that out of 100 customers, 67 of them are going to walk away from your site without completing their purchase. That’s a lot of money that is out the door. If you could just slightly reduce that rate, you could completely change your sale figures.
In order to decrease your cart abandonment rate, you have to look into the reasons why a customer might abandon their cart in the first place. There are tons of reasons, so it is pretty much impossible to pinpoint a single one. But you can look at the most common reasons and compare them to your site to see if they might apply.
Common cart abandonment factors include:
- High Shipping Costs
- Unexpected Shipping Costs
- Site Difficult to Navigate
- Unexpected Service Fees
- Forced Account Create
- Not Enough Payment Options
- Complex Checkout Process
In addition to comparing these factors to your site, try out testing different features on your checkout page. You can create a pop up for shoppers who are about to abandon their cart and offer them a discount. You could also offer them a surprise free item in order to encourage them to check out. The goal here is to encourage them to check out before they get distracted or overloaded with information. Don’t worry about getting anything in return – focus solely on the sale and trying to get them to check out. Some research has shown these tactics and help to reduce cart abandonment by as much as 30%.
Compare Your Prices
Shoppers today are looking for the best deal possible. If they can find the same product or service somewhere else for cheaper, why would they pay more for yours? They won’t. They want to get it for the best price and if that means going somewhere else for it, then so be it. With the ease of the Internet, they can be at your competitors in 3 seconds checking out. Research shows that 94% of customers are going to take the time to find the absolute lowest price before they make a purchase decision. Therefore, you want to make sure your prices are comparable to others in your field.
Obviously, you want to check and see what your competitors are selling for. But you don’t have to limit yourself to just those companies. Get as broad as possible to see other prices out there. You can look at other marketplaces, such as Amazon, Etsy, Ebay, and see what prices are there. You can even take a look into Google Shopping ads for your product and compare your prices.
You also want to consider the final cost of the product for the customer, not just the retail price you are selling it for. Factor in the shipping for the customer and any service fees or taxes that they would have to pay. Even if you set your price the same as your competitors, if they offer free shipping and you don’t, they end up with a lower final cost for the customer.
Look into Other Market Places
Speaking of other marketplaces, it might be worth your time to explore other marketplaces while your sales are down. Maybe one of the reasons that your sales have dropped is because people are having a hard time finding you or maybe they are shopping somewhere else. According to BloomReach, 55% of people in the United States now start their online shopping trips on Amazon.
Now is a good time to look into other options – like Amazon or even an Etsy store. By being on a number of different marketplaces, you expand your reach and increase the possibility of a new customer finding you. This might help you come out of this sales lull and could even become a whole new revenue generator.
Update Product Images and Descriptions
Updating your product pages is a great way to add value to your site and help you in both the short and long run. These pages are one of the last definitive factors in the buying process. They are where your customers get the chance to learn more about your product and give you the opportunity to convince them to hit the buy button. If your product pages don’t offer enough information, chances are the shopper is going to take their business somewhere else.
You want to make sure that your product descriptions provide all the necessary information that the customer needs. The more the products are described, the better they will sell. When writing your product descriptions, think of it as more of the benefits of the product rather than just features. The description is where you can tell the customer why they need your product. Explain to them why your product is superior to your competition and what makes it unique.
You also want to update your product images to make sure they represent a clear view of the product. Photos can be very persuasive, but they tend to also be misleading. Photos can make a product look larger or smaller depending on how it is shot. Make sure you use visual tools to help the customer understand the dimensions and materials of a product.
Not only will updating this content help your customers understand your product better and have a better experience, but it can also help you on the SEO front. Make sure you really put some time and effort into this project and you can see serious improvements in your sales.
Create New Content
In addition to refreshing some of your old content on your site, you can also use this time to create new content. Content marketing is a great way to reach new customers and drawback previous ones. It can help to generate a lot of traffic to your site and then hopefully help increase your sales.
But don’t just create content for the sake of creating content. You want to create content that is going to help your customers. Content should be useful and provide them with additional information that will help them make a purchasing decision. There are tons of different types of content that can help you increase sales, but here are a few of our favorites:
- How It Works Videos
- Buying Guides
- FAQ Information
- Beginner’s Guide to ______
The more useful content you can provide shoppers, the more time they will stick around, the more they will trust your brand and hopefully, the more they will buy from you.
Create a Loyalty Program
In this industry, consumers have all the power, and they know it. That’s not to say that they are demanding or difficult necessarily, but consumers do want to be recognized for their purchases. Most of the time, they just want to be recognized. One great way that you can recognize and reward your shoppers is through a loyalty program.
Don’t run away when you hear loyalty program – it doesn’t have to be some complex process – it can be as simple as a punch card. Anything that tracks your customers’ purchases and then rewards them can help increase sales. These rewards help customers to come back to 1. earn the reward, and 2. use the reward. By pushing your customers to come back to your store, you can take some of the pressure off of finding new customers during slower points.
Another aspect you might want to consider with your loyalty program is a referral element. This can help encourage your current customers to tell their friends and family about your business because they could get a reward out of it. This way you can keep your current customers and work on building more.
Refresh Your Brand
One last way to help your sales during a slow period is to take some of your downtimes and amp up your brand. Give it a makeover and make it refreshing. This is a great way for you to stand out from the competition. Surprise your base with a new logo or website.
But you don’t have to limit yourself to a new logo, you can also work on changing how you market yourself or how you support your customers. Maybe conduct a survey with your current customers to see if there is anything that they would change about your brand. Take those suggestions to heart and see if there is a way to implement them. Maybe a new product design would really help your customers out.
However, make sure you are refreshing your brand for the right reasons. Don’t make a new website just for the sake of overcoming a slump. Make sure you are careful with your brand to identify and have a clear strategy in mind that is going to help your business in the long run.
Overcoming the Slump
With these tips, you can get your down period starting to look up again. Remember, just because your sales have slowed doesn’t mean you can’t be productive and work on building up your business. All eCommerce businesses experience a lull every now and then. The successful ones know how to use this time effectively and make the best out of a not so great situation. Anything else that you do when your sales are down? Share your tips in the comment section!