If you have an online sales component to your business, it can sometimes be tough to identify the culprit when sales take a downward turn. It could be a change in the market, the introduction or a new competitor, or it could be a problem with your own website. While two of those things can’t be prevented, the last one certainly can. If you’re wondering if your site is its own worst enemy, check out these five things that might be causing the problem:
There’s a lot of debate on whether or not price is a major factor when it comes to sales, but the big difference is whether or not you’re selling something that’s sold other places. If you’re offering a unique item or experience, price is going to be less of a factor. If, however, customers can get the same products that are being sold on your site for 20% less on Amazon, you can bet that they’re going to take that route every time.
You have to ensure that your prices are competitive to survive. If for some reason you can’t get your price low enough to compete, you may have to focus instead on added services and value, such as loyalty programs, bulk discounts, or extra customer support.
Research shows that most people like to see multiple images of products before they commit to making a purchase. One of the best ways to entice people to buy your product is to help them to visualise themselves using it. Without pictures that task will be nearly impossible. Try to include shots from multiple angles, and even in-use photos as well. Even better, include a video demonstrating your products being used.
Extended Checkout Process
If you’ve used Amazon before, you’ll probably agree that their checkout process is fairly straightforward and quick. However, it’s interesting to note that even that simple process has been refined down to the “1-click” option that uses a predefined set of criteria to literally let you click one button on a product page to add an item to your cart, pay for it and ship it.
When potential customers have that as an option, a lengthy checkout process that asks for unnecessary information isn’t going to cut it. If you’re wondering if your checkout process is fast and easy enough, have some friends and family go through the process of buying something and give you honest feedback. You may be surprised by the results.
To quote the movie Baseketball, “People today have attention spans that can only be measured in nanoseconds.” Unfortunately, that means that if your site is taking longer than others to load, your potential customers are going to leave before you ever have a chance to sell them anything. Make sure that your site is performing at optimal levels so that people will be able to navigate at a decent pace while visiting.
So your website is fast, friendly, and engaging. Your store is filled with pictures and videos and a wealth of information. A customer adds items to their cart, begins the checkout process, and boom! Error. Your cart doesn’t work. If your website is lacking in functionality, none of the other things you’re improving are going to matter. Make sure everything works, all the time, no excuses. If a part of your site is broken, it should immediately jump to priority #1.
Have you experienced a dip in sales and figured out a way to recover? Share your story with us below.